The Challenge’s Paulie Calafiore: What Really Happened in Armageddon

Former Big Brother alum and The Challenge: Final Reckoning cast member Paul Calafiore will be blogging exclusive with Us Weekly each week, sharing his opinion and what really went down.

Another week, another recap that’s bound to piss people off or at least have them try to use a bunch of Mean Girl GIFs on Twitter. Well, in my best Gretchen Wieners voice, “I can’t help it that I’m popular.” There hasn’t been this much controversy over someone’s words on MTV since Eminem dropped The Marshall Mather’s LP in 2000. You’d think I was a veteran instead of a rookie with how much energy everyone is spending dissecting my analysis on these episodes. I’m flattered. Really, I am.

Although I’d love to dive in to this past week’s Twitter wars that erupted, let’s instead dive into the episode that began by the pool. First I have to give the guys who were putting Kayleigh through ladder drills s—t because they didn’t correct the fact that she was stepping in and out of the ladder with the wrong lead foot. If you’re moving to your right, you always lead with the right foot first. You’d think with all this crying about The Challenge needing real athletes and competitors, they’d know this! Anyway, vent sesh over.

The conversation that Amanda and Johnny had was clearly saved by the perfectly timed facial expression of Marie while she was cleaning the pool. I may have critiqued her game last week, but her facial expressions are f—king GOLD. Although there were a lot of good points made on both sides, let’s be real: After all the hype I’ve seen on twitter, I don’t think the girls hate her cause they ain’t her. All they’d really be missing out on is a lot of build-up that would only end in disappointment no matter how much stimulation you tried to use.

Fast forward to the redemption house where everyone sat in limbo over who would be picked for the double cross. At this point, all the teams knew that it was narrowed down to the two teams with rookies on them: Faith and Angela and Natalie and myself. So, CT doing this whole “polidicking” stunt was for pure entertainment of the house because – let’s be real – there’s not much to f—king do at the redemption house other than entertain ourselves. I remember one night, the whole house had me act out the entire Dark Knight Rises movie because I do a badass Bane voice. Side note, anytime Jozea or Da’Vonne are giving their interviews, it’s TV GOLD and anyone that thinks otherwise is just a hater. From a viewer’s standpoint, it’s amazing.

The time for reckoning has come and the redemption house heroes returned to Armageddon to see who Jozea and Da’vonne chose, but not before Angela and Faith go the IN on the main house. They even exposed what we saw on surveillance when Kyle slept with Ashley. Yes Cara, what you’re feeling is correct. All these guys that you have done season after season with, had their back season after season, gotten screwed over by season after season (Johnny), have not only been laughing about it behind your back, but have been doing so with a second-year vet. With friends like those, who needs enemies?

The only two things that were on my mind during redemption was training Natalie’s brain to operate better under pressure and all of the advice that CT gave me throughout our stay together that would help me if I made it back into the house or even the next cycle of the redemption house. I’ve been keeping CT’s advice close to my chest for the right time to use it. As far as Natalie’s transformation, that takes time usually and I was trying to cram years of knowledge and experience into weeks. I could only see progress whenever we competed so although hearing her tell me that all we have to do is get back in the house for us to win a final, my fingers were crossed that she was ready for when we got picked and ready to compete in front of a house, even though the only people who wanted us back were Cara and Shane.

Watching this show is the first time I’ve ever watched myself, so I truly never knew the meaning of “TV Magic” until I witnessed how my first ever elimination was edited, as well as this one. This elimination was actually neck and neck and it came down to one piece being wrong as our time ran out. I had to stop solving my puzzle to walk over and solve Natalie’s puzzle which we completed. By the time I got back to mine, I had 10 seconds to find the one piece that I had wrong. Either way, it doesn’t matter because the game plan that us Big Brother players had was to hope that we could all get into the main house together. If we couldn’t, we were laying the ground work on both sides to give each other the best chance at longevity in this game. So ultimately, I’m happy that Jozea and Da’Vonne are right back in there!

As for Natalie and myself, back to work at building that mental game to bring out the beast that I know she is and formulating a new plan in the redemption house, because here are the facts: Unless Cara, Shane, Jozea or Da’Vonne walk through those doors, we may not be so lucky this time around with all the enemies we have currently in the Main House.

I really don’t want to dive too much into the eating challenge because to be honest, it’s f—king disgusting. All you need to know is it was a purge challenge that came down to two elimination beasts Kam and Cara – two teams that ultimately would be tough to get out in an elimination setting are now facing a chance to be purged right to the redemption house!

The Challenge airs on MTV Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.




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