The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies Power Rankings — Week 5

Brian Batty
10 min readSep 5, 2021

Welcome back to a fresh batch of Power Rankings! After a long, hot weekend I gathered my thoughts and dug deep into Episode 4. Let’s start our week off right…Inside this edition: Bettina makes her pitch to Michele, Logan gets initiated, I accidentally spend 2,000 dollars, and much much more…

37) Lauren (Eliminated)

36) Nam (E)

35) Renan (E)

34) Michaela (E)

33) Tracy (E)

32) Kelz (E)

31) Tommy (E)

30) Tacha (E)

29) Corey L. (LW: 14)

This game has a tendency to cannibalize itself. The machine is always more powerful than any one person. Understanding that is what finally got CT over the hump all those years ago. And not understanding that is what killed Kelz a few weeks ago.

But Corey maybe understood it a little too well. He saw the tsunami approaching from miles off the coast. Ignorance is bliss, and maybe it would have behooved him to just throw his floaties on and get ready to swim.

28) Michele (LW: 12)

RIP to Survivor.

They came, they saw, they conquered absolutely nothing.

27) Dyle (LW: Non-Sentient)

Not a lot is known about this rookie, including exactly where they came from. But even after a quiet four weeks, I’m intrigued. There’s just something uncanny about them. Stay tuned.

26) Josh (LW: 28)

Last Sunday, a reader called me out regarding my stale “ugh Josh sucks” move I’ve been doing for two years by consistently putting him at the bottom of this list.

Look, here’s the deal, I’m not getting any satisfaction out of it this season either. I’m so bored with my own writing that I gave up on figuring out a funny angle for the Josh space before the season even started. But figuring out something clever (honestly, debatable whether any of this is clever in the first place) to write about people that only get a second of screen time each week is hard. I still know absolutely nothing about Bettina, Priscilla, Logan, etc.

So just by plugging Josh in at the end here, regardless of temper tantrums thrown, just makes things easier on me. And I know what you’re now saying to yourself, “nobody asked you for this, dude”.

Speaking of self indulgence…

25) Aneesa (LW: 27)

My favorite track on Certified Lover Boy is probably No Friends In The Industry. Something about corny ass Drake rapping his corny ass bars over an insanely hot beat just does something to me.

Seriously this song makes me wanna go do an Oklahoma drill with my high school football team.

Like most Drake records though, I feel like in a month or so, my favorite song will change multiple times over multiple listens. Overall my biggest takeaway is that I’m mostly just disappointed he wasted the Young Thug feature on that stupid Way 2 Sexy track a.k.a. the how-many-memes-is-too-many-memes song.

I know what you might be thinking, isn’t this section about Aneesa? Well yeah, it sure is, but you clicked the link don’t blame me you got a Drake hot take without being ready for it.

24) Bettina (LW: 26)

“I’m telling you, Michele, you gotta just go for it. Pull everything out of your 401k and put it all into dogecoin. I’m telling you. Alt-Crypto’s are the wave of the future, man. I’m talking two hundred, three hundred percent returns. Fucking quarterly. I got a guy who’s deep into this shit telling me this next big wave is gonna be huge. The fiat system is dead, I’ve been telling you all.”

“I’m serious Bettina, you have to stop.”

23) Priscilla (LW: 25)

“Look guys, what you don’t understand is I masterminded the whole thing. Just like last week, they gave me none of the credit. It’s definitely cause I’m British. Those damn myopic Americans.”

— Priscilla, to her friends, again.

22) Logan (LW: 22)

21) Gabo (LW: 24)

Look, I know that all Finals to this point have been run right-side-up. But all I’m saying is…what if? What if they had to run the entire Final upside down?

Then I’d have to bet that the Warsaw War Machine himself would be victorious. Look at him go.

20) Jeremiah (LW: 21)

Jeremiah overheard Nelson say to Berna “I like you because of who you are” and said hold my sparkling wine.

If the goal of this season was to teach f-boys all over the world how to spit mediocre game at the bar, then all I have to say, in words of the old country, they’re killin’ it.

19) Big T (LW: 20)

Uh oh…

18) Mature Nany (LW: 16)

It’s very clear that Nany’s never been picked for dodgeball. That shit sticks with you man.

17) Amanda (LW: 17)

How many times has Amanda said that exact phrase at a bar over her lifetime? 100? 200?

Amanda telling someone else to get over something represents a sliver of hope that one of these days after we all quarantine in Croatia, things will eventually get back to normal.

16) Hughie (LW: 23)

I can’t remember ever seeing someone talk shit to their opponent quite like that during an elimination. Leave it to an Irishman to throw decorum out the window in favor of an emotional outburst.

Also if you haven’t seen or heard, my buddies from across the pond Levi and George had Hughie on their podcast after his big win on Wednesday night. Safe to say he didn’t disappoint. He talked about his time on Big Brother, keeps the rivalry with Corey on a low simmer, and admits that the hardest part about being on The Challenge was not having access to different men to bring home with him. Safe to say it was a fun listen.

15) Berna (LW: 16)

If Berna was a white girl from the suburbs in America, her Senior year Powderpuff Homecoming jersey (including all the subsequent kitchy t-shirts girls in high school find a reason to make for even the most mundane of occasions) would 100% said have read “Burn-uh” on the back.

14) Emy (LW: 15)

13) Emanuel (LW: 13)

Ya’ll thought I was joking.

I’m holding a contest for one lucky listener to win a six day, five night trip to Romania with me (including two layovers in London where we get to record a live podcast with the guys from Redditors React! Not only that they’ll get us so drunk that we’ll be passed out for the second half of our 17 hour flight.). But there’s only one bed because these fancy hotels are expensive so that means you gotta sleep on the floor.

Call within the next fifteen seconds to redeem and use the key phrase “GLORY TO ROMANIA” in the first sentence of your call. Good luck!

…..hold on…I just paid how much for that joke? Uhhhh, yeah…Moving on…

12) Agent Ed (LW: 11)

The small number of people who have been reading my articles consistently over the last two seasons know that I’m a dead-on sucker for completely useless Challenge platitudes.

Shout out to Ed’s high school football coach. You taught him well.

11) Esther (LW: 19)

You like apples?

Nelson would have to win the next 51 (!) daily challenges in a row to match Esther’s career winning percentage of 50%.

How you like them apples?

10) Ashley (LW: 10)

I’m not saying Ashley has killed someone. I’m also not even saying that Ashley has the capacity for murder. But if she were to kill someone, those are probably the last words that person would hear out of Ashley’s mouth before the knife came down.

9) Nelson (LW: 9)

Ya know, I don’t have a lot of fashion icons in my life. I almost exclusively shop at Kohl’s. So it’s like, what do I know?

But Nelson has always, always been one of them. If I didn’t have to exist in regular society and could dress like a reality TV person, I would Single White Girl him in every single way. He toes the line between silly and cool better than anyone I’ve ever seen. But rocking a pinky ring to deliberation?!?! I mean, how does anyone, ever, top that?

8) Kyle (LW: 8)

I know none of this is new and he’s had this ink since he washed up on the shores of Vendetta’s but…

At what point was it Kyle’s tattoo artist’s responsibility to say “hey man why don’t we just relax for a second?” For me it would have been right before Kyle asked me to turn his knees into the inside of a kaleidoscope.

7) Devin (LW: 7)

Time is a flat circle everywhere but The Challenge house.

After the happenings of Double Agents, watching a scene where Devin goes to Fessy to talk out an issue he’s having with Kyle is like a lame version of the Butterfly Effect where in a different universe bird pooped on CT’s shoulder once on The Inferno II and it altered the course of history.

6) Tori (LW: 6)

“What’s with everybody else getting attention?”

— Tori, probably

5) Fessy (LW: 5)

“Look guys, I already know what you’re gonna say. Yes, Esther and I have won twice out of four times, but that probably should have been four out of four. But that’s another press conference for another time. What we should be focusing on is my friend Josh getting upset with me which he’s profusely apologized for many times. Which is good, because he should. Talking to Fessy to like that is a mistake many have made before him, and many have never made again. Alright I have time for one question. Yes, you in the green blazer…”

4) Cory (LW: 4)

When people ask me my name (Brian) and then ask if I spell it with an ‘i’ or a ‘y’ I simply answer “the correct way” and don’t go into any more detail.

Now, is that a little arrogant? Sure? A little annoying that a stranger is just trying to correctly spell my name and I have to give them a smart-ass answer? Yes, definitely annoying. I would hate me for that.

I just hope that with someone else showing up with the same name as him spelled incorrectly, Cory ran that same little gambit on all the newbies. Just to assert his dominance in the house.

I mean, he definitely didn’t do that, because Cory’s not a loser like me. But what else do you want me to write here? I’m running out of gas.

3) Kaycee (LW: 3)

I know I already touched on this in my Winners & Losers Recap, but I just need to go back to this.

I watched and re-watched this scene like a hundred times just so figure out what the hell she was talking about.

1000% just seems high.

I can totally get behind the concept of “don’t trust anybody”. That idea carries a lot of weight in a game like this. But 1000%? That’s like Monorail salesman level mistrust.

I just don’t see how she could possibly feel that way about someone as innocuous as Amber. The level of jealousy that her and Fessy are beginning to bubble up to is pretty petty and quite delightful to watch.

2) Amber (LW: 2)

Come on girl, that was so last season. Don’t be me, be better. I’m unoriginal, you’re a Challenge champion.

1) Some Guy (LW: 1)

Seems as though not only is CT their biggest threat, he’s also dictating decisions for everyone!

They better figure it the fuck out.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back on Thursday for my Episode 5 recap. And until then, as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!



Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions, from a fan’s perspective. Inquires: -Twitter: @TJsAirhorn