Thirty Challenge seasons and nearly 20 years ago, the most emblematic MTV underdog of all time, Sarah Greyson, won The Gauntlet after surviving her teamâ€™s season-long mission to oust her. She notched five elimination-round wins en route to her victory in Season 7, including two against men, and by the time she collected her check, sheâ€™d unwittingly made history.
Two decades later, Sarahâ€™s record remains unbeaten and matched only once, but the standout rookie of Season 37, a blue-haired Romanian pop star named Emy, is in a position to finally amend the record books. But with the Spies, Lies and Allies finale likely around the corner, will Emy have time to collect Lair victories five and six to officially cement her standing as one of the greatest players ever, or will Sarah continue to reign supreme?
On the latest episode, and outnumbered by Ruby and Emerald Cellsâ€™ wider rosters, Emy, CT and Kyle â€” the Sapphire Cell â€” seemed doomed to fail the next mission, â€œMillion Dollar Heist.â€ The competition challenged teams to each move $1 million dollars â€” thatâ€™s 2,000 pounds of cash â€” from a designated vault to a designated SUV.
Quickly, the mission boiled down to a sprint between Ruby And Emerald Cells, but with one final push, Team Green notched their fifth win, leaving Sapphireâ€™s Emy and Rubyâ€™s Tori and Big T each vulnerable to elimination.
And Tori, for one, wasnâ€™t thrilled by Emerald Cell using her as an assassin to take out Big T, who threatened to infiltrate Emerald with a potential win.
â€œIf you decide to weaponize me and it doesnâ€™t work, itâ€™s not gonna be pretty,â€ Tori said.
Tori could avoid any ugliness for at least one additional round, though, as the Emerald Cell Agency nominated Big T â€” who eventually picked Emy as her opponent â€” into The Lair.
Emy, whoâ€™d already won three tense elimination rounds, felt slighted by friends she felt sure could have protected her, but with a few minutes to pump herself up â€” and another fiery invocation of her late grandmother â€” Emy-the-beast looked prepared to annihilate Big T in â€œLicense to Chill,â€ which challenged players to complete a giant puzzle punctuated by torturous trips into an ice bath.
â€œIf I have to die in here, I will die in here,â€ Emy said. â€œMy grandmother motivates me the most. Sheâ€™s up there in the sky, and I really need her and I want to make her proud.â€
And that is precisely what Emy did. Though Big T, a self-proclaimed â€œpuzzle queen,â€ was favored to win the Lair game, Emy, who admitted brain teasers were her weakness, pulled through, notching her fourth elimination-round win.
â€œCongratulations â€” 4-0 â€” can we say Emy is Rookie of the Year?â€ Nelson asked. â€œSheâ€™s definitely Rookie of the Year.â€
That much is undeniable, but will Rookie of the Year ultimately lend itself to Challenge legend, and can Emy pull off the nearly impossible feat of two more Lair wins?
What do you think â€” can Emy beat Sarahâ€™s record, and is Challenge history about to change? Or is there too little time left, and are the remaining women too tough for even Emy to beat? See what happens next Wednesday on Spies, Lies and Allies.