The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 8 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
10 min readSep 30, 2021

Welcome back to another Winners & Losers!!! What an episode! Priscilla shoulder shimmy her way into our hearts last night and officially kicked this party off. Inside this edition: Berna and I share dork synergy, Jordan continues to win on The Challenge, Priscilla hopefully finishes her dinner, and much much more…

Loser: The Chicago Bears

Justin Fields, my savior, Chicago’s Prince Who Was Promised, managed one net passing yard last Sunday. One (!). One yard.

Watching a 40 year old CT with shades on unleash a perfect spiral in the backyard somewhere in Croatia is giving putting some crazy ideas in my head.

Loser: The Nerd in Your Friend Group Who Reads The AirBNB Info Sheet Upon Arrival

Traveling with friends can be weird. You learn a lot about someone you thought you already knew very well. You learn their showering habits, their getting ready habits, how they scroll their deodorant on. If they even wear deodorant at all.

But there’s always the one guy/gal who actually sits down and takes the time to read the info sheet provided by the AirBNB host. It’s usually fairly innocuous, much more helpful to a family of four rather than 6 rowdy 20 something boys.

Nobody’s a bigger dork than the person who reads the info sheet. And who’s got two thumbs and reads the info sheet Every. Single. Time.???

This guy.

Maybe Berna isn’t so bad after all. There’s no way she behaves in a way this episode that could possibly make me think otherwise. Stay tuned I guess.

Winner: The Challenge

Berna’s gone off the deep end.

That didn’t take long.

Hurt me so much? I know deep down she doesn’t just think that she was gonna hold on to CT forever, and everyone was being honest within the midst of a dishonest game. I know she knows that. She’s not Madam Curie by any means, but she’s not a dullard either.

The game has finally gotten the best of her, and every action, every slight, has now been magnified to a factor of a thousand. It’s a tried and true aspect of the game that any prospective Challenger has to learn to deal with. Berna’s getting her lesson all at once.

Winner: Voyeurs on a Packed Subway Car

All season long I’ve been wondering why these people aren’t covering their screens during the Fruit Ninja iPad voting sessions. One has to assume production explicitly told them not to.

But to paraphrase Devin, these votes are about as private as the porn you’re looking up on a packed train car during the early evening rush. To even think that for one second your vote was going to stay anonymous is to carry around a sign that says “Hi, I’m Naive, nice to meet you!”

Loser: Nelson

For sure for sure for sure.

Winner: The Way Big T Says Pervert

Her accent forces her to pronounce it “Pah-vaht”, making it sound the opposite of perverted. If a random woman called me a pervert, I’d be offended. If Big T called me a pahvaht, I’d say thank you.

I cannot emphasize enough how sonically amazing the addition of British people has been to this show.

Winner: Jordan

Sometimes after a long relationship, we go for the person who looks most like our ex. Sometimes we go the opposite way entirely, subconsciously separating themselves from that person forever.

Tori’s managed to do both of those things in like the last month of television time. Relentless, I’m telling you.

Speaking of Challenge legends…

Winner: Leroy

Tough line-ups on the guys this season. I mean while that’s not the worst haircut I’ve ever seen, it’s actually not even bad. It’s average. But that’s the point. Not having Leroy the in-house barber is severely impacting the ability of the gentleman to be fresh-to-death.

That leads to the obvious question. Who’s cutting their hair? Leroy was a production line-item savior for so long being able to cut all the hair in the house our of sheer boredom. But now that he’s gone? Does that mean they have to hire some Croatian barber to come in for 45 bucks and hour and line everyone up once a week? Is like Hughie just doing it in the upstairs bathroom or something? I’m dying to know, because Josh, CT, and many others (Fessy was having a tough go of it too) have had a rough go of it lettuce-wise so far this season.

Loser: All The Other Water Jets in Croatia


“How bout this one.”

“I said ‘badass’ not ‘slow and stupid and dumb’ Jesus Christ, does the entire country of Croatia not ride bad ass water jets???”

“Teej, look, we have…”

“Ah, ah, ah…”

“Oh sorry…Mr. TJ, we have one more batch to bring in. We can’t afford to scrap this challenge we already rented the yacht.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, are my standards of bad-ass too high for you? What show do you think you signed up for? You’re on The Challenge, you got a responsibility. You don’t just look for a couple of hours and then call it quits. You get your ass our there and you find that fucking dog!”

Loser: Logan’s Geography

Ya know, I was gonna make a pithy little comment here about how the Mississippi River’s just on the one side of the state and is also super dangerous to practice things like grabbing flags with water jet’s in.

But then I realized that I couldn’t name a single body of water in Spain, so maybe I should just shut up. Moving on…

Winner: Rich Person Things

One day, when my salsa company takes off, I’m gonna ride a bad ass water jet up to my yacht parked somewhere in the Croatian sea just to say I fuckin did it.

I’m also just gonna let Ashley steal 500,000 dollars from me too. I’m terrified of heights, don’t have social media, and my hip’s all fucked up so I could never be on The Challenge in reality. But like every other rich loser, one day I can pay my way into feeling like a real Challenger, ya know?

Winner: 311

WaaaoOoO Berna is the color of your energy, waaaoOoO, shades of grown in roots displaying naturally

Lemme break this down: Amber’s name is same as the name of the song Amber by 311 in which they say “Amber is the color of your energy” in the exact same cadence that Amber says that she’s “not okay with Berna and her energy”. I’m not kidding. Seriously, go back and watch this part. She says it in the exact same way. Same exact amount of syllables (11) and everything. Amirite? Just a lot goin on there. Cracks keep showing in the simulation every single day.

Loser: Drunk Talk

It seems as though Amber has enjoyed a few beverages this evening at the club in their backyard. Now drunk talk can lead to many things. Best case scenario? The person you were talking to was as drunk as you and the next morning it was meaningless. Worst case scenario? Nine months later a child pops out and your life gets flipped turned upside down.

Shout out to Josh for being a good friend and being like “hey bro, why don’t you sleep on it” during Amber’s liquid courage fueled bravado.

I don’t think anyone watching at home actually thought Amber was serious about wanting to go into elimination. And Kaycee and Josh rightfully didn’t fall for it either. It’s entirely possible that in that moment, a moment being televised on multiple continents, the only person in the world who thought she was being serious was Amber herself.

Loser: Amber’s Ability Within Confrontation

I’ve been making a lot of different salsas lately. It’s kinda been my thing. I moved right next to the spot where one of Chicago’s largest farmer’s markets stakes claim to every Sunday morning/afternoon. So I’ve been sort of inundated with all of these wild peppers from farms all over the Midwest. Espelette’s, Krimzon-Lee’s, italian hot cayenne peppers. It’s a neverending stream of flavor going on over here.

So I’ll buy a bunch of those, some tomato’s, tomatillos, and garlic. All straight from the market. Then over the week during my free time I’ve been making salsa’s with it all. That’s how I’m gonna buy that yacht I was talking about earlier.

So towards the end of the process I’m usually just left with a smorgasbord of random roasted vegetables with no rhyme or reason to them. I then just thrown them all in the blender and label that as the “Kitchen Sink” salsa. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but in this economy every pepper counts.

Watching Amber defend herself against Berna reminded me of the sheet tray of remaining assorted vegetables on my stove top. She said a bunch of stuff during that little tete-a-tete, mostly with no rhyme or reason. Sometimes what she said was good (“speak your peace, whatever you gotta do before you go home”) and sometimes what she said was bad (“like you and Nelson, like I don’t know, it is what it is”), but in this economy every hot take counts.

Winner: Wes -> Jeremiah, The Natural Evolution

Let’s get this fact out on the front end, Jeremiah was going into this elimination round no matter what. Like Kyle could have walked up to CT and started peeing on him in the middle of the room, and CT still would have made the correct game move and voted in Jeremiah. So let’s just make that clear.

So when Jeremiah makes his plea to be allowed to go into elimination to prove himself, he gets a resounding pat on the back from the house. This is an old school Wes move. When he knew the jig was up and death was knocking on his door, he did one of two things. He’d volunteer, the valiant move aka the move he does when he still wants to play. Or he’d check out completely, and basically dump the elimination to whomever he was against (Battle of the Seasons, Rivals 3, War of the Worlds 2, just to name a few).

Shout out to Jeremiah, youknowwhatI’msaying, for learning from one of the best.

Loser: Priscilla’s Sandwich

Does she get to finish it?!?!

Seriously, that thing looks bangin. These lights going off during a meal would make me more upset than anything Berna’s gone through on this show so far.

I really hope Priscilla got to at least bring that on the bus. How much time do they get once those alarms start going off? Do they just go off the entire time? Like, what it Emy can’t find her shoes or something? Do they just stand around while there’s flashing lights and a siren?

Seems downright inconvenient if you ask me.

Winner: Helga Pataki

Why’s Emy out here lookin like a bully from Hey Arnold?

She’s dressed like a bully from a different school who shows up with her bodyguard CT and out-bully’s Helga. Then Arnold, Gerald and the gang figure out a way to get Emy the Bully out of the neighborhood for good.

Anyways, remember Stoop Kid? I have a stoop now and I sit out there and read all the time. Sometimes I feel like Stoop Kid when I do it. This is all pretty stupid, but I just felt like I had to share. My friends say I need to share more. So here I go. Sharing.

Loser: Hughie’s Ass

And he thought buying jeans was hard…

Remember that soap/pole/grinding elimination from Rivals 3 that Simone tore her butthole doing? Hughie would’ve crushed that one.

Winner: Priscilla

Thank you for finally starting The Challenge. I’m psyched to finally watch my friends play. Shout out to Tracy and everything, but it’s blast off time.

Thanks for reading. My week long sabbatical is over and I’m back for good! Be sure to check back Sunday for the freshest batch of Power Rankings you’ll ever see. And until next time, as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!



Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions