The Challenge has a history of shady victories. Every season has one or two competitions that feel a bit off, and Episode 11 of Spies,Lies and Allies featured a debatable win.
During Satellite Sabotage the goal was to unplug as many plugs as possible by taking a “leap of faith.” If two teams unplug the same number of plugs, the time becomes the tiebreaking factor. To add to the competition, competitors won $3,000 each from P3 protein if they were on the winning team.
While the ruby team unplugged more cords than emerald, Kyle did not take a “leap of faith.” So, his plug didn’t count. While this is kind of BS, TJ did explain this in the rules. So, I don’t take issue with this decision. The real problem lies with the tiebreaker.
Apparently the emerald team was faster than the ruby team. Of course, we don’t truly know what this means. Does it mean the entire ruby heat was longer than the entire emerald heat? Or, does it mean ruby spent more time getting their second official point (Logan’s plug) than the emerald team spent getting their second official point (Devin’s plug)? Regardless, there’s a reason why the emerald team moved so quickly: their players sucked.
Essentially, The Challenge handed over $18,000 because Nany, Tori, and Josh fell into the water really quickly. The emerald team maintained power, and only two people actually did anything.
The show likes to give a lot of shit to quitters. Ashley likely gets a bad edit for jumping into the water on this challenge, but with a silly time-based tiebreaker, it makes sense. She’s not confident she can complete the mission, so she’d rather not impact the time. It’s not a noble move, but it’s more likely to help her team win than falling midway through the mission.
A lot of people, myself included, sit on the couch and talk about what coulda, shoulda, woulda happened. This is one of those times when we need to remember The Challenge is not a real sport. Production can set whatever rules they please, and these tiebreakers can be used to influence the storyline of the show. It’s no secret that production likes the people on the emerald cell, so why not keep them safe? If they wanted to choose a performance-based measurement, they would have used the number of platforms scaled as a tiebreaking metric.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen production use unclear rules to measure success. I can think back to the first Redemption challenge on Dirty Thirty. Tony returned to the main house after Man Overboard, but he only won because he hit the water milliseconds after Darrell. In a different world, Darrell could have (and probably should have) won this challenge because he was the last person to touch the platform before falling off.
I know The Challenge is meant to be fun, but we’re 37 seasons deep. Fans notice these things, and inconsistancies are frustrating. Nobody wants to see people get handed money for doing nothing. At least Devin and Kaycee performed well during the mission. The rest of the emerald cell didn’t need to do anything at all. They’re getting rewarded for falling quickly and relying on their teammates.