It was a quiet week for Lio Rush on The Challenge.
He was in a couple of confessionals and a small portion of the challenge. Otherwise, he didn't have any role in this episode. The main takeaway was that Lio was a supportive partner during the challenge when Gabby had trouble swimming. There are two ways you can treat your partner who holds you back; yell at them for ruining your chances at winning or be supportive and encouraging. Lio did things the right way and that's not only great for his partnership with Gabby, but other females will take notice of that as well.
However, Lio didn't vote with his partner, choosing to nominate Joseph instead of Wes. That tells me he's on the right side of the numbers if nothing else. Is Gabby playing the other side or is Gabby just getting played? Guess we'll find out.
- CT is safe. Ashley has gone home and Natalie chose to stick with Wes, leaving CT as a rouge agent. Did they switch the rules after the first deliberation when they realized they could lose one of CT or Wes in the first episode? Tough to say. The Challenge Gods work in mysterious ways.
- Wes has carried this show through two episodes with narration. Make of that what you will if you're a longtime competition reality television viewer.
- Everyone seems afraid of Fessy and Aneesa, who won the main challenge for a second straight week. Then, Fessy was afraid to go against the new guy Joseph in an elimination that looked physical from the very start. Not a good look for him.
- Their choice of Kyle to go into the elimination and Kyle calling out Fessy for playing a scared game is going to cost Fessy and Aneesa next week. More on that in a bit.
- Kyle made a big move taking Kam as his partner. With all the partner switching that will seemingly happen this season, there's no real reason to get comfortable.
- What a legend Kyle is. Plays a snake game, take advantage of any night out, and still performs in the challenges and eliminations. Even if he pukes after winning because he's hungover.
Where Lio Stands
The numbers game, which is usually very important in these games, will be all screwed up this season. Fessy and Aneesa, who had the numbers and were in a power position, made a poor move this week by throwing Kyle in when the house plan was to go against Wes. That works if Kyle loses, but Kyle didn't lose. They also tipped their hand on knowing how people voted in the secret vote. Any power that they had through two episodes will disappear next week.
I still believe Kam and Leroy are the power couple with the numbers on their side. They are veterans who have the respect of other veterans and they haven't won, so they have the respect of rookies.
Last week showed Lio may have loose ties to them, which is good for his game, but he appears to be low on their totem pole. So once their real targets get picked off, he won't be long.
Of course, since you need to go in to get a skull and qualify for the final, there's no real point of trying to hide from elimination. In fact, since there are only eight skulls left, you'd rather get yours now while there are still some potentially weak players left.
Mechie and Josh would be the two weakest players left. Devin is hit or miss and Cory can be inconsistent as well. Nam is unproven. Everyone else remaining has proven to be a strong competitor in eliminations or would present a tough challenge for Lio depending on the elimination.
If the current format holds (it won't), there are only four skulls left for Lio to potentially win. So no one can really afford to wait around in this game.