MTV premiered what might just be the most intense episode of "The Challenge" to date Wednesday night. In episode 9, the "Battle of the Bloodlines" contestants had to compete underwater, were greeted by two new veterans and faced some major house drama.
Episode 9, "Blood Versus Love," opens with the contestants out at a club. Jenna remarks how annoying she finds Vince, calling him “Creepy Uncle Vince,” and says she wants him and Johnny Bananas out of the game. Meanwhile, Johnny reveals Abram’s plan to send himself into the pit if Johnny’s team loses in order to face off against him. Johnny says he’s not excited about the idea of having to fight him in an elimination.
In what is perhaps the most death-defying challenge yet, the house is told they must swim 150 feet to a finish line using underwater air pockets. Most of the contestants are upset about having to swim underwater to reach the first tank of air in order to compete.
The red team goes first and four contestants immediately are disqualified after failing to make it to the first air pocket. The only two team members to stay in the game are Johnny and Abram. “Fancy seeing you here,” Johnny jokes after the two reunite underwater. Despite Abram’s initial plans to throw the challenge, he and Johnny manage to complete it.
Three members of the blue team make it to the first checkpoint, but several others disqualify themselves mid-challenge. Johnny’s bloodline, Vince, also gives up and calls the loss “embarrassing.” Jamie and Mike are the only two to complete the challenge for the blue team.
Host TJ Lavin announces that the red team was the fastest to complete the challenge, making them the winners. TJ tells the red team they must pick one guy from the blue team to send into the pit. The blue team is told they must also send one male from their group into elimination. Before sending the teams on their way, TJ announces the underwater challenge was the last time the contestants will complete as teams; in episode 10, they will go back to competing alongside their bloodlines.
Jenna immediately votes for Vince, but he refuses to volunteer himself. Vince reminds Mike that he previously said he wanted to compete in every pit, yet calls him “dumb” for volunteering. Mike says in a confessional he really wants to go up against Vince.
Johnny tries to talk to Jenna and Brianna, the swing votes in the house, to send Cara Maria’s bloodline Jamie into the pit instead of Vince. Johnny tells the cousin duo that Cara Maria poses a bigger threat to their future in the game. Jenna says she’s unsure who to side with and tells Johnny they need time to think.
During the official vote, Mike reveals he will be going into the pit. Johnny is the first person to vote from the red team and he chooses Jamie. Brianna, who calls siding with Johnny a “safety” move, votes for Jamie too, and the rest of the team follows suit.
Before casting his vote, Abram lashes out at the male competitors in the game. He says he has “no respect” for the men, specifically Vince and Mitch, who fail in the challenges and then refuse to man up and vote themselves into the pit.
Elimination (and a Special Surprise!)
Cara Maria calls the pit situation awful, since either she and her bloodline or her boyfriend Abram will going home. Abram says he loves Cara Maria but he still wants Mike to try his best in the elimination round.
After bringing Jamie and Mike into the pit, TJ introduces surprise guests. He reveals to the two contestants that they will not be competing against each other, but with “Challenge” veterans Chris “CT” Tamburello and Zach Nichols.
— The Challenge (@ChallengeMTV) January 19, 2016
“I knew there was going to be some awful plot twist at some point in this game,” Johnny remarks. “I had a feeling it was going to involve a pit, and lo and behold, two mutants walk out.”
TJ reveals the game will have the men standing on either end of a pole. The contestant to pull the pole out first the most times out of three rounds wins and stays in the game. TJ flips a coin and reveals Mike will go up against Zach and Jamie will duel with CT. Jenna, who is dating Zach, is thrilled by his arrival. The two share a passionate kiss before the men compete in “Hand It Over.”
“I'm just here to basically cause havoc. That’s why I’m here,” CT, who also appeared in episode 8, says. “I’m not paid to think.”
When Mike and Jamie both fail to get all three poles from CT and Zach, TJ says the winner will be the one who held out the longest against the veterans, and he declares Jamie the winner. Despite being sent home, Abram tells the cameras he was glad to come on the show and scare a few guys away from his girlfriend. Cara Maria says that now that Abram is gone, she’s going to focus on winning.
“The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on MTV.