Every week, I’m going to rank the players based on their impact in the episode. These rankings are going to be completely subjective (so please don’t spend too much time critiquing them) based on my feelings of how entertaining the characters were, how they did competitively/politically, and how the episode impacted their overall game.
I’m going to keep running totals to determine who has the best season on War of the Worlds 2. The winner of this prestigious championship will be awarded the grand prize of nothing.
Let’s get to it.
23. Idris- No subtitles in three straight weeks. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
22. Josh- I was expecting to see him making his move on Georgia this episode, but we didn’t see anything from Josh.
21. Jenny- She’s clearly viewed as the top girl on Team UK, as the tribunal thought Georgia was more likely to lose to Esther than Jenny.
20–17. Leroy, Turbo, Nany and Kayleigh- These four have all had one big episode, then have been basically invisible the rest of the season.
16–15. Jori- A quiet episode for them, but I loved seeing Tori’s face as she was watching the Cult of Cara bullshit.
14. Ninja- The whole Cult of Cara alliance acted ridiculous toward Dee this week, but I’m putting the biggest blame on Ninja since she’s Dee’s best friend in the game.
How would it have made any sense for Dee to save Esther? First of all, Esther was already volunteering for elimination. Second, Esther is obviously the UK’s worst player and was beyond due to go in. Third, Dee’s alliance already was guaranteed to have a 6–3 advantage in numbers since either Kyle or Theo was going home, so why was it so important that they kept Esther?
The US just clearly wanted to keep the UK’s worst player in the game, so they tried to manipulate Dee. It didn’t work, and now Dee seems to have lost faith in her US alliance.
13–12. Para- They’re obviously running the show on Team US, and they deserve some credit for that. They were in the tribunal this week, but they just annoyed the hell out of me with their power.
Cara repeatedly asked Dee who she wanted sent in on UK, which was a complete no-win situation for Dee.
Para both gave bullshit reasons in saying that they were picking Theo because he was the best competitor and Georgia because she threw a vote on Cara, when in reality they just voted for them because they weren’t in their alliance.
I really hope the power dynamic gets shaken up, because I really don’t want to watch Para run the show this season.
11. Kam- I think she did a more subtle job of trying to get Esther saved than Para or Ninja. She stated in confessionals that she knew Esther was the anchor of the UK team, and she let Ninja do her dirty work.
10. Zach- It’s a good sign that you’re one of the best competitors when in a challenge that is strictly team-based, TJ still points our your performance. Although he’s had some bad performances in eliminations and the Free Agents final, Zach might be a top-five daily challenge competitor of all time (the only people I’d definitively rank above him are CT, Alton and Landon, and I think he’s in the discussion with Evan, Mark and Bananas).
I also loved him cheering like a soccer mom for Kyle in the elimination.
9. Joss- It’s nice that I actually noticed Joss this episode, which is usually a rarity. I liked seeing Joss step up to be the first one to throw Kyle’s name out, and he stood his ground when Kyle came after him.
Throwing in a mate like Kyle is a pretty dirty move, but they’ve been on opposite sides of the numbers all season, so I can’t fault him for keeping a number in Idris around.
Also, Joss dropped a solid one-liner when Kyle told him to fuck off, and he responded, “We live in the same house, you knob.”
Who put a nickel in Joss this week?
8. CT- Something that kind of went unnoticed in this episode — CT was the main orchestrator for Kyle going in. Rogan was keen on targeting Idris, but CT appeared to change his mind to Kyle.
I honestly just don’t get anything CT has done this season. He even said that he thinks Kyle is a better competitor than Idris, so unless he feels like Idris is in his pocket it doesn’t make much sense to throw in one of his friends.
CT has put all the power in Rogan’s hands, and I don’t know if it’s going to work out for him.
7–6. Theo and Georgia- It was nice to see them pull out elimination wins to keep their unbeaten records (Georgia is now 4–0, while Theo pushed his record to 3–0).
But seriously, what the fuck were they doing going back to Team UK? I don’t know if they’re afraid of being labeled as traitors to their country, but this wasn’t even a difficult decision.
On one hand, you could go back to a team that hasn’t legitimately won a mission yet, where you are clearly on the bottom of the pecking order.
On the other, you could go to the most dominant team in Challenge history. I just don’t get it.
5. Rogan- Is Rogan a good political player, or is he just getting lucky? There’s no way this guy should have stayed out of every elimination so far this season (although it was ironic for Kyle complaining about that since he didn’t go into any eliminations in his rookie season on Vendettas).
Maybe he’s just lucky that the numbers have gone to his side, but he’s clearly doing something right.
He earned CT’s trust over Kyle, he has Dee eating out of the palm of his hand and it looks like he will be protected by both the UK and the US going forward. He also was well-composed when Kyle was attacking him, smartly keeping his mouth shut.
I don’t think Rogan is the next Kenny Santucci, but there’s no denying he’s playing a strong game right now.
4. Ashley- It feels like Ashley is in the shadows pulling the strings right now. She got herself to be the Speaker of the Tribunal, but smartly brought in Paulie and Cara to put a bigger target on their back. And it worked, as now Georgia and Theo are pissed at them.
Ashley and Kam were the ones who got Ninja to try to convince Dee to save Esther, allowing someone else to do her dirty work to try to keep Team US strong.
It’s hard to know where the US girls pecking order stands — if I had to bet it would be Cara, Kam, Ashley and Ninja with Tori and Nany sitting at the bottom. But while Cara, Paulie and Ninja are pissing everyone off, Ashley has kept her record squeaky clean.
That’s pretty impressive for a girl who stole $500K from her partner just two seasons ago.
3. Esther- Esther came into the episode as the biggest wallpaper character of the season, and exited the show as one of the more inspirational characters on in recent memory.
Nobody would have thought that she would have put up a fight against Georgia — one of the best runners on the show — but she did.
Now, it should be noted that Esther never transferred her 50-pound relic, which obviously would have put her much further behind if she had started with it like Georgia did.
But still, the fact that Esther was able to get 24 relics on Georgia is impressive.
Do I want to see Esther back? No, she basically contributed nothing before this episode and I think there should be stronger competitors on the show than her.
There’s no guys being cast who are even close to as out of shape as her (other than, as sad as it is to say, CT). So I don’t think they should put layups on the girls side either.
But like Georgia said in the episode, she should be proud of her performance.
2. Kyle- As a big Kyle fan, this episode was tough to watch for me. The writing was on the wall for him from the start, as CT felt like he couldn’t trust Kyle and basically threw him under the bus to Rogan.
I loved the hellpath Kyle went on after he was voted in. At that point, why not? He was 100 percent going to switch teams if he won his elimination, so it only makes sense to take shots at his own team, in particular Joss, Rogan and Dee.
Kyle did a good job hanging with Theo, but he made a huge mental mistake by leaving his 100-pound relic until the end. At that point he had no energy and couldn’t make the relic budge.
This is the earliest Kyle has ever been out of a season, and it’ll be interesting to see if this was an anomaly or if it will become a trend. Kyle is a solid competitor but he’s not elite (now down to a 2–5 elimination record), and he’s mostly relied on his social game throughout his career.
But CT showed that people are wise to his floating game. My belief is that Kyle just had a bad break this season getting caught on the wrong side of the numbers, but we’ll see.
1 Dee- I didn’t think much of Dee as a character before this season after a relatively quiet run in Wes’ shadows on War of the Worlds, but she’s undeniably been one of the biggest stars of the season. She’s now up to fourth in my season standings, and this was my favorite episode from her of her career.
She handled herself well when she was being attacked by the Cult of Cara, answering diplomatically when she was asked who she wanted the tribunal to throw in.
She got in a random fight with Kyle, then put Ninja in her place for trying to manipulate her.
Dee has shown throughout her career that she’s not going to take shit from anyone, even if she might have (dumbly) lost from trust from Cara and Paulie.
- I’m glad that it was a double elimination this week, it’s time to start cutting the cast down. We’re eight episodes in and we still have 21 people left. The last time there was a two-team season, The Ruins, after eight episodes there were just eight people left (technically Kim and Dunbar were both eliminated at the start of episode nine, but still).
- What would they have done if Theo and Georgia had switched? The numbers would have become 14 against 7, basically a US superteam versus Rogan, Joss, Kayleigh, Dee, Jenny, CT and Idris. Would they just continue on this path until Team US absorbed the entire Team UK, and we have like 17 winners? With Team UK still not having a legitimate win under their belt, I’m surprised they haven’t switched things up yet. The politics have been fun to watch this season, but at this point I think it’s a time for a change.
- I thought both the mission and elimination were pretty average. While I liked seeing the teams work as a unit again in Crate Expectations, it was pretty boring and repetitive seeing the competitors build towers over and over again. And watching people run and carry things usually isn’t the most exciting thing to watch, which was the case in Running Riot despite both eliminations being close.
- What is with the relic theme this season? I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the word relic on The Challenge before last season, and it’s already been used in four challenges and eliminations.
- Episode Grade: B+
32. S̵e̵a̵n̵ (1)
31–30. F̵a̵i̵t̵h̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵Z̵a̵h̵i̵d̵a̵ (6)
29. B̵i̵g̵ ̵T̵ (32)
28. N̶i̶c̶o̶l̶e̶ (67)
27. W̵e̵s̵ (76)
26. L̶a̶u̶r̶e̶l̶ (97)
25. Kayleigh (98)
24. E̶s̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ (103)
23. Idris (113)
22. Jenny (116)
21. Joss (118)
20. Ninja (120)
19. Turbo (125)
18. Kam (127)
17–16. Nany and B̶a̶n̶a̶n̶a̶s̶ (131)
15. Cara (136)
14. Leroy (137)
13. Theo (146)
12. Josh (147)
11. Paulie (151)
10. Zach (156)
9. Tori (158)
8. Ashley (169)
7–6. Jordan and B̶e̶a̶r̶ (181)
5. K̶y̶l̶e̶ (197)
4. Dee (198)
3. CT (201)
2. Georgia (205)
- Rogan (206)