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Team Strength - January 23
 
We start with Susie and Kina playing table tennis at home base while. Then a few of the other girls talk about one of them being approached by Cara and Susie for an opportunity to form an alliance to get her to stay in return, but she refused. One of the Rookie girls said that Brad, Timmy, and David were apparently hoping that they would throw the girl challenges. And in return, Susie, Cara, and hopefully Jillian would throw their guy mission. In each case, all of those three in the alliance would be safe. She feels like it's the best decision for them to tell Alton about because it's his butt that's on the line.

The teams receive their next clue on their Sidekick II's.

>"So you think you're strong, huh? Prove it."

In Syrus' case it's his butt on the line thinking it could possibly him in the Gauntlet.

Over on the patio of home base, a few of the Rookie girls are trying to look like they're discussing anything. As the current female captain of the Rookies, it's Kina's responsibility to let her team know that on tomorrow's challenge every single one of them needs to make up for the possible slack that Susie and Cara may have. Kina tells her team that nobody's participating in it and when the mission comes, they need to watch them. According to Alton, he thinks it sucks when an issue of an alliance and that conflicting with fairness comes up. Kina also mentions that the alliance can have the potential to f**k with their team and they can't let it happen. Those of you who watch Survivor know that alliances don't always work out the way the players want it to.

The teams end up in Plymouth Park for the next mission almost appropriately titled "Team Strength". Each team will have a big boulder, a truck, and stack of cinderblocks. For each team, there'll be two designated pushers and one driver. Also on each team, there'll be a male and a female pusher who'll push the truck to the finish line. The teams will first move a boulder from one end of the field to the other. Then they'll run back and move the truck all the way and finally fill it up with cinder blocks and move the truck back to the starting point.

The Rookies don't trust Cara and Susie at all. So in a sense, they have to make up the slack for two of their players which Kina says it's automatically difficult since the challenge is what the name implies. And today is a "Male Gauntlet Day" so it's either Alton or Derrick on the chopping block.

Before the challenge begins Ace decides he wants drive the stick shift. He has been doing this since he was born and he pretty much knows how to drive stick shifts about as good or better as anybody. Over on the Rookies side, they know their strategy for today and they're letting Cara and Susie have minimal responsibility. But Cara has to find some way into this competition as her other teammates have proved themselves to be assets.

The challenge has begun the moment T.J. sounds the air horn. They're both neck and neck rolling their wooden boulders until the Vets broke theirs. However, they picked up those pieces to the end of the playing field. The Rookies get to their truck with Randy and Ibis pushing it with the rest of their players on the bed. The Vets are behind as they have Beth and David push their truck. As Randy feels the burning in his legs, the Vets are coming on strong. Upon their trucks reaching the starting point, the players break up for the final stage. The Vets use the assembly line method to load the cinder blocks onto their trucks without problems. The Rookies decision to have Cara and Susie do less work along with the extra man on the Vets team are working to their disadvantage. The Vets go first in the final stage with Julie and Brad pushing the truck, and it's moving little by little. But, the Rookies truck isn't moving no matter how hard they push. Then T.J. steps in telling them when he honks the horn, they can have one more guy and one more girl to help them push. Cara and Susie begged to help them out to have their chance to shine, but Landon says they're not pushing this truck. Susie did not get Landon's refusal for assistance. The Rookies get Kira and Alton for assistance while the Vets get Beth and Syrus for theirs. Then a reversal of fortune occurred with the Rookies getting a big lead over the Vets whose truck gets stuck. This unfortunate turn of events gives the win to the Rookies. And to add insult to injury Ace forgot to hold down the clutch to make the truck move.

The Rookies add $10,000 to their team bank account now totaling $40,000 and the Vets are stuck with $30K in theirs. And Alton wins a check for $1,000 from Energizer. Landon's relieved that they saved their guys from the Gauntlet, and if Susie and Cara have an alliance. They stopped them from taking the mission. Susie doesn't know if it's a conspiracy of if her and Cara aren't capable. In any case she finds the snub offensive. Cara's completely thrilled that their team won, but her and Susie find little celebration in knowing they were shot down by Landon in that challenge.

The Vets are back at home base for their deliberations. Because Ace made a big mistake in the mission, he volunteers himself into the Gauntlet along with Derrick. Then T.J. spins the wheel to once again land on "Captain's Choice", then Derrick decides to play "Beach Brawl". Julie thinks that Derrick is making a bad choice because Ace is taller than him.

Both teams go into the Gauntlet and Derrick and Ace take center stage. They grease their bodies in baby oil in preparation for "Beach Brawl". The objective is for one player to get their opponent out of the circle by pushing and shoving. It's a best-of-five match with the first one to win three rounds staying in the competition.

In the end, size did not matter as Derrick wins the match 3-1 over Ace. Despite losing, Ace mentions that Derrick is a great captain and he'll continue to be a captain and he's not going anywhere for a long time. David says that Ace is like the social chair of the house and keeps the party going. He also says that having Derrick as captain is definitely a benefit to his pocket.

As this episode reaches the finish line, Cara and Susie tries to let their team know about how they could have done a great job if one of them would have helped on the mission. And there was also talk about the alliance with the Vets. Then Landon asked "Do you guys have an alliance?" As shocked as both Cara and Susie were, Cara denies they had an alliance. Jillian says she thinks that Cara's playing it off now, but at the time, if her and Susie would've said yes, she would have been all over it. Kina let's them know that they are well aware of what they could possibly do. Susie was absolutely blindsided by those accusations which left her crying. Cara though it was a joke when Jillian approached her tells her teammates there's miscommunication going on. Cara really didn't know how her teammates got the information that Susie and her are in an alliance. She tells her teammates that this is untrue, but Kina doesn't believe a word that comes from either Cara or Susie's mouth.

And that's the show, we'll see you next time for another recap from the Gauntlet II.

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