The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 5 Recap — Winners & Losers

Welcome back to another edition of Winners & Losers! I don’t think the house will ever be the same with Gabo’s departure. I know I sure won’t. Oh yeah, and I guess Aneesa broke her ankle or got a concussion or something. Oh well. Inside this edition: Amber orders Postmates, Nelson brings his nipples to breakfast, Berna gives us her hot takes on the latest NCAA ruling, and much much more…

Winner: Michele

Okay, low key, really well written note? Like what? Makes me think…

Loser: Me

That is so much more concise than anything you’ve ever read in this space. Anywho…

Winner: Gabo’s Honesty

Look man, a lot of people have come on this show and vocalized grand ambitions with their potential earnings. To be sure, some have meant it. But, for the most part, in the words of Gabo’s homeland, they’re all full of bologna.

I appreciate the reality of Gabo’s desires and his willingness just put it out there. I want a nice watch, too. There is nothing in the world wrong with that.

Winner: Amber’s Plan


Winner: The Taco Bell Drive-Thru Guy

Been there, Amber.

Couple Crunchwraps and a Cheesy Gordita Crunch or two after a night of tequila and cheap beer is dangerous game as far as fire and asses go.

Loser: Berna’s Ambition

Listen here, Bernsy, if you’re gonna just sit there, speculate recklessly, and over analyze the psyche of people you barely know, why don’t you just start a blog on Medium like the rest of us. Okay?

Loser: Josh’s Third Thing

He absolutely, unequivocally, no doubt in my mind had nothing for thing number three here.

I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. Having “three thing to say to him” sounded cool. Then the train left the tracks and he realized he didn’t know when or where that third stop was.

Wait, I forgot, I’m being positive only about Josh this season. Oh well, I yam what I yam…

Winner: Fessy’s Consistency

Get outta here. No way. Just when life was starting to make sense.

Loser: Nelson’s Torso

Honestly dude, it’s breakfast. Put on a shirt. I don’t need your hard ass nipples anywhere near my avocado toast.

Winner: Ed, Captain Platitude


That’s two weeks in a row now that Agent Ed is the default Challenge platitude guy and I’m loving every second of it. Somebody get this guy a whistle and an unhealthy sense of entitlement and get him on a high school football practice field immediately.

Loser: The Full Picture

So we briefly get a scene here of Kyle lining up a pool shot, taking it, then he, Logan, Josh, Esther, and Kyle begin freaking out like TJ was flying in on a helicopter. Even Big T’s reluctantly impressed!

Except for there’s one problem…we don’t see the pool shot!

What in the world could he possibly have done that was so impressive? I mean, it’s pool? I doubt Kyle’s out here on a Fall Sunday afternoon on ESPN 2 doing trick shots with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. I mean what the hell, why would they do that to me? To us? Let’s start a petition. Or something. Silence is violence.

Loser: The Initial Quarantine

For those of us who spent that first lock down in tiny city apartments, this conversation was a bit too on the nose.

Walking around in leisurewear, kind of working out, and instinctively responding to any inquiry about the happenings of your day with “I’m feeling depressed”…..yep, I remember that.

Winner: Cardale Jones

I bet Berna’s fucking psyched about college athletes being able to make money now. How do I know this?

Well for one, she won’t stop talking about it. And for two…stop asking so many questions. How’d you get into my room?

Winner: Super Trailer Schadenfreude

About halfway through the Super Trailer, right after the various gratuitous pool shots and make out scenes, it gets super dramatic, the music switches, and they show this new guy Gabo in slow motion, sighing dramatically.

Boy oh boy, this looks intense! He’s muddy! Look how focused Josh is in the background! Plus this music change makes me think things are going really tough. Maybe this is the end of a long, grueling daily challenge. Maybe Gabo is getting towards the end of the game, is all beat up, and slowly realizing how much he has to push himself to complete this task and win a life changing amount of money.

Nope. He was just doing math.

Loser: Logan’s Shirt

Nope. Not for me.

Winner: The Croatian Nurse On Shift That Day

“Hey hun, sorry to bring this on you right after work, but I have some bad news…”

“Hold on, before you say your thing, listen to my day. So this American woman came in the hospital today, dressed in this outlandish, skin tight, Under Armor sponsored work-out gear. She was full of mud and kept repeating to us that she was perfectly fine and TJ was gonna be mad if she quit. Now I don’t know who this TJ person is, but her shoulder was hanging out of it’s socket, so I think he just needs to lighten up a bit. I think she was on some kind of game show? I couldn’t tell for sure. You know my English sucks, but she kept saying the word ‘channel’ or ‘challenge’ or ‘salad’ or something like that. I don’t know, it was just a really weird day.”

“Our dog died.”

“Maybe she was saying ‘flannel’…wait, what?!”

Winner: Pauly D

Out of the myriad of valuable lessons to be taken away from the early seasons of Jersey Shore, there is one that I still apply to my life to this very day.

I’m of course talking about the concept of “the shirt before the shirt”.

Pauly and Vinny made this a thing during their season in Miami, but it couldn’t be more useful in real life. I do it every day. Before work, I hang up my work shirt and lounge in the shirt before the shirt. Before I go out? Same thing, hang up the black v-neck, and pre-game in the shirt before the shirt. Anyone who’s anti-wrinkle understands the importance of this step. Living life is a process. Shout out Sam Hinkie.

Logan wearing the same ugly ass shirt to the club as he wore earlier that day convincing Josh to send him into elimination is taking that tried and true principle and snapping it’s neck. Gabo was probably furious.

Loser: Fessy

Hold on, rewind the tape.

Why is Fessy laying like that?

I got nothing.

Winner: Gabo’s Thighs

Skies out, thighs out, amirite?


Loser: The Skull Twist

Are you sure? Like, are we totally positive on that one?

It sure would be weird, but would you put it past them to at the end of the season to be like, “okay class, time to turn in your Gold Skull Permission Slips before we head off to the Field Museum” and only Logan, Hughie, and Amber are in the Final?

My money would be on Amber, I think, probably, in that scenario. But that’s a different podcast for a different day.

Winner: Big T

Loser: Josh’s Timing

Look, Josh, maybe you have some gripes. And maybe you’re upset at Kaycee, and speaking up about it is the only way you’re going to move forward. I’m okay with all of that.

But while she’s doing dishes, dude? I mean, she’s actively contributing to the greater good. Do you remember the way the kitchen looked earlier in the season? Because I do. If not, here’s a quick reminder.

Time and place, Josh. Time and place.

Winner: The Song 0/100 by Drake, But Sung In Gaelic

What exactly was Hughie so mad about again? I forgot. That escalated rather quickly. Truly, it doesn’t really matter to me. I just like hearing Irishmen shout about stuff.

Winner: 2 Chainz

In the song “Ali Bomaye” by The Game, 2 Chainz has a verse where he ends it by saying the following…

“Uhh, that’s pimpin, that’s slick/Got a bottle of cologne that cost more than your rent”

Now I don’t know how much that cologne Gabo brought with him to Croatia costs, but knowing him, it was almost definitely more expensive than my monthly rent payment. Shout out to Gabo.

Winner: Rafiki

This is the exact advice the sage mandrill from the Lion King gives Simba before he saves Pride Rock.

Low key, Logan kinda looks like teenage Simba a little bit. Is it just me? Even if it is just me, I hope for his sake, that his uncle didn’t manipulate him into thinking it was his fault his Dad died in that stampede. plus I doubt Logan’s the type to roll around and eat bugs with a hog and a meerkat, but hey, I don’t know what they do in Spain. I’ve never been.

Tune in next week where I’ll explain to you why Scar kind of had a point.

Speaking of…

Loser: TJ’s Advice

You know what they say about people who assume…

They’re usually right.

Winner: Logan

Logan didn’t win this elimination by climbing the rope and solving a puzzle. He won the elimination right here.

It’s a good lesson for you kids out there. Don’t beat yourself, let the other guy beat you first.

Loser: Production Fairness

Ugh I am so sick and tired of these unfair eliminations! What if one of them were 20 feet tall?! They could just look at it without having to climb the rope!!

Don’t they ever think?!?! These stupid dumb idiots running this show are so stupid and so dumb and such idiots. I could do it way better. Ugh. #Challenge37

Winner: Gabo, A Man After My Own Heart

I mean…come on…

Winner: The Pyro Gal/Guy

My favorite member of the cast came back in a big way!

First there were two completely unnecessary explosions during the daily, and then they were back at it later that night. Blowing shit up for no reason to celebrate victory. It like the 4th of July in America, except for three to four times a week.

Winner: Gabo

Gonna miss you, Gabo. You won my heart day one, and never let me down once. Brb, gonna go binge watch Season 3 of Jersey Shore. Shout out Snooki.

Loser: Emy’s Partners

At this point, Emy’s just a blue haired Cory.

She’s now on her fourth partner, Hughie, and I couldn’t be more upset about it. She got Gabo killed, and now she’s gonna lead Hughie directly to the same untimely fate.

Why must you murder my favorites, Emy? Can’t I have anything nice in this world?

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back on Sunday for my latest batch of Power Rankings. And until then, as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions, from a fan’s perspective. For inquires: