‘The Challenge’ Field Study, Entry 8: Sweet Nectar Causes Former Mates To Clash

In addition to the cameras, this season of “The Challenge” was documented in print. Check out the latest behavioral analysis, straight from our anthropologist-at-large’s Thailand field notes!

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By Carey O’Donnell

My research is nearing completion. Up until this point, the order of the nest has remained relatively intact, save a few squabbles, but after this week I’ve seen the horror and evil that can consume the nest, as if possessed by some sort of rabid feral creature, and I fear that chaos will only remain. Any semblance of normalcy now dwindles like an old star in the Thailand night sky.

We began with a jaunt to the Temple of Revelry, where the sweet nectar flows steadily, allowing the herd a break from the nest games. This nectar, while giving each member of the herd a flushed face and temporary euphoria, can also come with negative consequences if consumed in excess. CT and Diem appeared to partake in a mating dance; a ritual to evoke the sensations of their past bond. I wonder when they will cease these games of jealously and feigned apathy and finally come together once more?

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While this was occurring, Frank spoke venomously of many herd members to Jonna. Due to their friendship outside the nest, Frank assured Jonna that no matter what occurred in T.J.’s next challenge, he would spare her a Jungle vote. Jonna already appeared skeptical and stated, “I hope Frank keeps his word.” Back at the herd’s sleeping grounds, Camila came to the defense of her rival, Jemmye, after she quarreled with her ex-mate Knight over Frank’s harsh words. Already in a nectar-infused trance, Camila quickly became locked in an intense state of wrath, as she and her own former mate Johnny began to argue. I watched in horror as the other females were forced to physically restrain Camila as she gritted her teeth, howled and tried to break free. Fortunately, she was able to turn this characteristic emotional outburst in her favor, later during the mission.

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This week’s challenge required each team to swing from the same trapeze, high above the ocean, to a second trapeze which would in turn lower them into the water below. Once submerged, they were required to swim to various checkpoints until they reached the finish line. The typically ferocious Cooke and Cara Maria came up short, despite completing the mission. Cara Maria panicked in the water, slowing Cooke down, and their poor time sent them into The Jungle. Camila, on the other hand, combined her anger from the previous evening with her swimming skills, and led herself and Jemmye to victory.

Before the Jungle tribunal, Jonna was visibly shaken that she and her teammate Nany would be voted to face Cooke and Cara Maria. Her initial distrust in Frank’s “protection” over her proved valid, as he and Johnny voted to send Jonna and Nany into the elimination round, where they perished quite quickly to fierce blows from Cooke and Cara Maria. Jonna found out the difficult way that the nest knows no loyalty, especially when $350,000 is at stake.

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