Finale: Rome has 16 brand-new contestants, who were split into two teams.
- Debbie Waynes is a preschool teacher from New York, and considers herself a non-maniuplative person. She is unsure of whether or not she has the physical or mental ability to win Finale, but wants to show her family and students that a person can do anything, regardless of how they may seem. Debbie recently recovered from strep throat, and is entering the game in possibly the worst condition possible.
- Cathy Trouston is a retired grandmother of 5 from Alabama. Cathy's daily life revolves around her family, and she loves spending time with her pets, grandchildren, children, and husband, Mark. She lives comfortably in a country home in the wilderness of Alabama, but is looking for the adventure she used to chase as a young woman.
- Charlie Johnson is a social worker from Florida. Despite being almost 70, Charlie is not out-of-touch with today's youth, and prides himself on his social skills and welcoming personality. He plans on making relationships with all kinds of contestants while in the game, giving him a "safety net" when it comes to eliminations. He does not want to manipulate or lie, but wants to play a game based on loyalty and integrity.
- Haley Pellifer is a personal trainer and business woman from New York. With little free time during her day, Haley must interact with many types of people to "climb her way to the top." She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and running, and uses her healthy lifestyle to keep her energy up while running one of the biggest companies in New York.
- Howard Belle is a bodyguard from the city of Chicago. He considers himself "loud and proud," saying exactly what he feels and not being intimidated by anyone. While he isn't on duty as a bodyguard at night clubs around Chicago, Howard enjoys working out, which shows from his muscular build. His strategy is currently undefined, as he is waiting to see where the game goes before making any quick judgments.
- Jason Overland is a profressional poker player and gambler from New Jersey. Despite having just entered his 40s, Jason still lives life as an adventurous bachelor, traveling around the country to make money in gambling and poker competitions. However, he does claim to be ready to settle down, and is hoping to win the prize money in Finale so he can find a house near Las Vegas and start a family.
- Jenson Quinnely is fresh out of high school, working a part-time job at Subway and planning to attend Montlow University in Tennessee. Jenson considers himself a "people person," and loves hiking, skydiving, and other outdoor adventures. He aspires to be a film maker, and intends to use his experience on the show as a learning experience to prepare for a life of television and journalism.
- Lee Takalani is the youngest Apple executive in Massechusetts. A smart, quick-witted young man, Lee's only goal left seems to be finding romance. Lee hopes to win Finale and spend a chunk of his money on finding a "smart, sexy woman who will love him."
- Lora Umbridge is a bartender and waitress from Los Angeles. Raised in a lower-class home, Lora has always had an undying motivation to work for the well-being of herself and her 10-year-old son. Lora enjoys being social, and describes herself as "witty, brash, and giggly."
- Macy Hikashi is a fun-loving mother from Pennsylvania. She is a self-proclaimed inventor, and has recently recieved patents for many of her creative products. Three years ago, Macy appeared on Shark Tank, where she was able to secure a deal, which has now made her a self-made millionaire. Macy wants the best for her two children, and is not playing Finale to win the money, but to show her children how "mentally strong she really is."
- Meghan Schuers is a photographer and actress from Miami, Florida. Although she has appeared in a few commercials here and there, Meghan has no shame in admitting that she has a long way to go as an artist. She also is not afraid to admit that her main goal in Finale is to win the prize money and never look back.
- Neal Duncan is a comapny executive from Boston Massachusetts. Neal recognizes his interest in many random things, including politics, jogging, movies, and reality television. In fact, Neal is a self-proclaimed "reality television superfan," and hopes to put his knowledge to good use when it comes to winning Finale.
- Raven Longland is a is a model from Texas, who prides herself on her fiery spirit and sociable personality. Aware that she may come off as an "African American Barbie" during the game, Raven plans to prove herself to her team right from the beginning, by helping out in challenges and showing her strategic genius.
- Reed Markowski is a waiter and ex-football player from Massachusetts. Had it not been for a brutal concussion during his last year of high school football, Reed claims he would be a professional football player. An energetic and charismatic young man, Reed still plays football in his free time, but spends most of his time making money as a waiter.
- Shanice Ross is an unemployed mother of three in Mississpi. Shanice is content with her housewife position, and has an extreme devotion to her children and busy husband. Despite being home most of the time, Shanice is no stranger to the real world, with a sharp and sassy personality. She is not worried of Finale, saying she has "the social skills and the guts to make it all the way."
- Thomas Edwards is a children's basketball coach from Michigan. Despite loving professional sports, Thomas prefers working with younger athletes to prepare the "next generation of great basketball players." He has three children of his own, and a wife who works in an office building across town. Thomas prides himself on being a stay at home dad who knows what it takes to nurture children and create relationships.
- Surprise Meals: Teams will wake up to find food at their homes on random occassions. The food can be shared among the team or eaten by whoever finds it first.
Episode 1 - "Sweet, Sweet Victory"Edit
The 16 contestants arrive in Rome to begin the game. They are randomly split into two teams, Bello and Machi, which mean "battle" in Greek and Latin, respectively. Almost immediately, it seems that the Machi is physically weaker than the other team. Avery a member of Machi, Shanice, about this, who points out that Jenson, Lora and Charlie may be two of the weakest players in the game.
"I figured this was going to happen. Thanks a lot, Shanice."
At the Bello team, Howard and Reed form a bond, while Cathy quickly becomes an outcast. However, this changes when Lee, who has taken note of Reed and Howard's friendship, strategically tries to befriend Cathy.
"My strategy right now is simple: make friends with the outcasts. I'm well-aware that the people like Reed and Howard are going to happy to blame me or Cathy if we lose the challenge, so I need to build a shield made up of the team's weakest players. I don't want to make the team weaker, I want to make my chances at winning stronger."
Meanwhile, Debbie reveals her motivation for playing the game, (to show her students that they can achieve at anything,) to Macy. Despite seeming to sympathize with Debbie, Macy isn't sure whether or not she should believe what Debbie is saying.
"It's clear that Debbie's a very emotional person, and that's fine, but... I'm not sure I want to play the game with someone like that. And how do I know I can even believe what she's saying? She could be pulling my leg, and I can't fall for it. I'm playing for sweet, sweet, victory."
At the Machi team, Charlie and Jenson quickly begin plotting against Shanice, who had called them out at the beginning of the episode. Charlie does not like Jenson's approach to the game, but wonders if he should accept taking down a team member who was so rude to everyone.
"I don't want to strategize, especially not Jenson's way, but the kid has a point... Shanice is rude."
Meanwhile, Meghan and Lora begin to talk, and start thinking of a way they can use Shanice's outburst to their advantage. Meghan thinks they should bring Shanice into their alliance, while Lora thinks they should leave Shanice alone and let her self-destruct on her own.
"Lora is cool, but I don't think she can accept the fact that we need more numbers. It can't just be the two of us. And I think Shanice is the perfect candidate, because I want to be with anyone who can make me look more sane."
At the challenge, everyone is surprised when Machi is victorious, leaving Jenson and Charlie relieved and Shanice speechless. Bello, on the other hand, is upset, namely Howard, who slams his fists down on the ground, frightening Debbie, Cathy, and Raven.
Back at the Machi team, an emotional Debbie assumes she is on the bottom, and confrots Macy about finding more allies. Macy, however, has already begun strategizing, and befriends Reed and Howard.
"Reed and Howard are great protection in this game! Not only are they hot, but aligning with the stronger guys should keep me away from the elimination dinners as much as possible."
Debbie, unaware of Macy's new allies, befriends Cathy, who is already aligned with Lee. The three begin to plot against Howard and Reed. Macy notices Debbie has found new allies, and begins to investigate. She confronts Debbie, who tells her that Howard and Reed are on the block. This worries Macy.
"I'm definitely against voting off one of the team's strongest members, but I also don't want to vote off Debbie, because she's someone I can sort of rely on. My best option is to find someone who isn't really fitting in and pin the votes on them. ...Being villainous is so fun!"
Macy notices Raven, who has talked to virtually no one and has mostly slept. She goes to Reed and Howard and attempts to convince them to vote off Raven. Then, Macy goes to Debbie and asks her to vote off Raven.
"I know the concensus right not is to vote off Raven, but I'd rather get rid of Howard. However, I'm not sure Debbie would be more on board with me or Macy, as I'm not totally sure where her allegiance truly lies."
At the elimination, it is revealed that the two people on the line are Howard and Raven. Macy attempts to convince everyone that Raven is the weakest member, but this only bothers Lee and Cathy, who are trying to save the weakest players. In the end, however, it's Raven who is eliminated.
Raven - Macy, Debbie, Howard, Reed, Neal
Howard - Lee, Cathy, Raven
Episode 2 - "I May Have Just Earned Some Brownie Points With Grandma"Edit
The Bello team returns home, where Lee questions Debbie for her vote against Raven at the elimination dinner. Debbie begins to cry, saying that she couldn't turn against Macy, and that she wanted the stronger players to stay.
"I don't want any enemies, and I'm terrified I just made one out of Lee! I hope he can forgive me for my vote at the elimination, but how are we supposed to win if Howard is gone?"
Meanwhile, Howard and Reed are now aware of Lee's conspiring against them, and try to decide how to stay in the majority and vote out Lee or Cathy.
"I shouldn't have almost gone home back there. This team needs me, and Lee needs go."
The next morning at the Machi team, Lora and Meghan find a stash of breakfast food near their team's sleeping place. Unsure of whether or not the food is supposed to be shared, Meghan has the idea of waking up Jenson and sharing the food with him. They do this, and the three relax and enjoy all of the food, without saving any for the rest of the team. Unfortunately, this causes controversy when Haley wakes up and finds the three eating the last bit of food.
"I've always been an early-bird, and it was no surprise to me that I woke up earlier than most of the group. However, I was surprised to find that Lora, Meghan, and Jenson were eating a stash of food they found. I assume it was for the whole team, and I'm still pretty infuriated about it."
Haley angrily wakes up the rest of the team and tells them what has happened, throwing a target on the three young teammates. Later that morning, Lora pulls Meghan aside and tells her that she is worried of their position in the game. Meghan, however, seems calm, assuring her that they've gained Jenson's trust, and in effect gained Charlie's trust, giving them the numbers.
"I had assumed Meghan was smarter than this. Jenson seems crafty, and I don't feel like sharing breakfast with him is going to secure us his loyalty. Instead, we pissed off the entire team, especially Haley, who I know is going to do anything she can to get us out of here if we lose the challenge. The worst part is, though, is that Meghan doesn't seem to care!"
At the Machi team, Reed pulls Lee aside and attempts to befriend him, worried that he will be smart enough to organize Howard's elimination if they lose the challenge.
"Lee's kind of a punk, but he's smart, and if I'm thinking that if I can get on his good side I can save Howard, who is, unfortunately, on the bottom. I think that's ridiculous, by the way, considering he's by the bigges guy in this game!"
Lee stubbornly declines Reed's offer at an alliance, but offers him a spot in his alliance with Cathy and Debbie. Reed is surprised by this, but awkwardly turns the offer down, telling Lee that Howard deserved to stay and he wanted to play the game with the strongest people possible. This disappoints Lee, who is secretly trying to find a back-up ally to replace, Debbie, who he is still unsure of.
Meanwhile, Howard is approached by Cathy, who asks if he can take her fishing. Howard agrees, at first seeing this as nothing much, but later recognizing it as an oppurtunity to bond with Lee's main ally. The two go fishing at a lake by the house.
"Don't get me wrong, I want to win! But at the same time, I'm sick of all this drama, so I asked Howard if he could teach me how to fish! He's quite an outdoorsman, and a cute one at that!"
"Cathy's such a nice lady, and I genuinely had a fun time fishing with her. She wasn't very good, but she has a lot of wisdom and she reminds me of my grandma... who I lost to cancer a few year back. But aside from that, and I hate to say this, I need Cathy's trust if I want to save myself from Lee. She's his main ally, but I may have just earned some brownie points with grandma."
Back at the Machi team, Haley vocally draws a line between young and old, annoying some people, including Jenson and Charlie.
"What those three did this morning was pretty awful, but I don't think Haley pushing away all the young team members is going to help us move forward! We need their charism and energy if we're going to make it! Also, I see Jenson as one of my closest pals here, one I don't want to lose!"
Realizing that she may not be in a good position, Haley attempts to make an alliance with the three other oldest members on the team, Charlie, Jason, and Thomas. Jason agrees happily, while Thomas is unsure of whether or not he wants to turn against Shanice, who he has developed a friendship with.
At the challenge, Bello wins, relieving Howard and Reed. After Bello has left the challenge area, Avery asks Haley how she feels about the fact that her team must go to elimination dinner. Yet again, Haley's anger bubbles up, and she states that there are some "cancerous members of the team who need to go." Curious, Avery asks Haley to clarify who she is talking about, and in response, she glances at Meghan, Lora, and Jenson. Meghan smiles weakly, while Jenson rolls his eyes.
When Machi returns home, Lora begins to scramble.
"The only possible positive to come out of this situation is that the alliance lines couldn't be more clear. It appears that it's the young ones, (me, Meghan, Jenson, and Shanice), against the older group, (Charlie, Haley, Thomas, and Jason."
Meghan meets with Lora and Jenson to discuss a possible plan for the elimination. Jenson assures the two girls that he can pull in Charlie, giving them the majority if Shanice indeed votes with them. However, no one has talked to Shanice except Thomas, so it seems unlikely that it will be easy to pursuade her to vote out Haley.
Meanwhile, Thomas and Shanice discuss who to eliminate. Thomas suggests Jenson, and Shanice agrees, claiming she has no allegience to the "younger group" that Haley had manufactured.
"Yes, Haley is annoying, but she definitely ain't a threat to me. Jenson is a sneaky little guy, and I have no issue voting him out, especially if it keeps me aligned with Thomas."
Later, Meghan approaches Shanice and tries to convince her to vote for Haley. Shanice seems strangely unsure, and begins to waver from her previous decision to vote out Jenson. Shanice mentions that Jenson is a threat, but Meghan objects, saying that "Jenson didn't call you out in front of everyone after a challenge." Shanice acknowledges this, and realizes that she is the swing vote.
At the elimination dinner, Avery again brings up the two groups that were identified by Haley during the challenge, pointing out that if they are real, then it leaves no group with the majority and there could be a tie. Haley uncomfortably agrees, unsure of how to respond.
Eventually, the team votes, and it is revealed that Shanice flipped on the older group, sending Haley home.
Haley - Meghan, Lora, Jenson, Charlie, Shanice
Jenson - Thomas, Haley, Jason
Episode 3 - "Talking To The Wrong People"Edit
The Machi team returns home, and Thomas pulls Shanice aside to ask her about the vote. Shanice panics and lies, saying she hadn't voted for Haley and that it must have been Jason or Charlie. Thomas explains that he already knew Charlie was going to vote for Haley because he was aligned with Jenson, but he assumed that he could at least tie with Shanice's vote. If Shanice was to be believed, it must have been Jason who voted for Haley.
"Man, it's crazy how your position in this game can change so quickly! I'm definitely on the bottom now, and I don't even know if I should believe Shanice! I don't think Jason would flip on me, and I saw Shanice talking to Meghan before we had gone to elimination, so I still think Shanice betrayed me! Man, this is not good!"
The next morning at the Machi team, Thomas decides to confront Jason about whether or not he flipped. Jason denies, saying he would never flip on Thomas, his main ally, leading Thomas to believe that Jason really wasn't against him, and that Shanice was.
Meanwhile, Meghan, Jenson, and Lora meet to discuss the remaining team members. It doesn't take long before the meeting turns into a venting session, where the three allies agree that Jason is basically clueless on what's happening most of the time. Jenson also remarks that Charlie may be an easy ally to string along, but ends up feeling bad about saying it later.
"The funny thing about Jason is that he kind of resembles a stupid bear. He just eats, lays around, and scratches his belly, then becomes friends with the first person to talk to him. In last night's case, that person was Thomas. I think we could easily pull Jason into our group if we needed to."
"I'm beginning to regret the way I'm treating Charlie in this game. He's such a great friend, and it's like having a fatherly figure to look up to. But when I'm with Meghan and Lora, I realize that this is a game, and in order to progress, I need to use Charlie to my advantage, even if that might mean slitting his throat later on down the road."
At the Bello team the next morning, everyone seems to be getting along well. When a hole is ripped in the side of the ruined home, Howard and Reed team up to fix it. Eventually, they have Lee assist them, creating a bonding moment for the three men and another oppurtunity for Howard to create better relationships on the team.
"I saw this morning that Lee isn't such a bad kid. Sure, he's kind of stuck-up and a know-it-all, but he's got a really genuine personality. I just wish he'd realize that if he teamed up with Reed and I, we'd have a pretty powerful trio."
"It was painfully obvious that Howard was trying to get me on his side this morning. I'll admit, the guy isn't so bad. He really helped us with fixing up the house. But regardless, my plan still stays: The next challenge we lose, he's going home."
Later that day, Neal entertains Macy, Debbie, and Cathy with impressions of iconic movie characters. Debbie notes how her preschoolers wouldn't understand most of the references, and how it was nice spending time with actual adults. Meanwhile, Howard and Reed sneak off to discuss the idea that Neal might be a good person to pull into their alliance. Howard also mentions that he trusts Cathy, who had bonded with him during their experience fishing together. They return to the group and laugh at Neal's impressions, proving that the Bello team is in good shape overall.
Back at the Machi team, Thomas decides to ask Meghan and Lora if Shanice voted with the the previous night. Meghan and Lora are taken aback by the question, and act as if they don't know. Thomas offers to join forces with the two girls, causing Meghan to believe he is painfully unaware of what is going on, and making her wonder if Thomas and Jason are as close as they seem.
"Part of me feels bad for Thomas, because, let's face it: He knows he's on the bottom. I want to help him, but Meghan and Jenson are my main allies and there's really no point in jepordizing that. I just don't want to see Meghan get too cocky, because that will screw us all up."
Meanwhile, Jason suggests to Charlie an all-male alliance. Playing a simple game, Charlie sees this as a logical way to keep the team strong and keep Jenson around as his friend. So, he later approaches Jenson with the idea, who immediately shuts it down, saying that Lora and Meghan are the best allies they can have in the game, promising Charlie that no matter what, the two are together until the end. Charlie hesitantly accepts this, but secretly is unsure of whether or not to trust Jenson.
"I've noticed that Jenson likes to keep me in the shadows until he needs me, and that's not the way I want to play this game. Part of me wants to side with Thomas and Jason to keep the team strong, but I'm not sure I should do that just yet."
"I absolutely hate the idea of an all-male alliance. Yes, it may keep our team stronger, but I trust Meghan and Lora, even if they are smart. I need to keep them around for now, at least, then hopefully Charlie and I can team up at the end and take them down. I'm trying to keep me and Charlie secure, but if he keeps talking to the wrong people, that may change."
At the challenge, Bello takes a huge lead and manages to win, leaving Machi with a deeper sense of failure and dyscombobulation. After Bello leaves, Avery asks Thomas about the team's morale. Thomas responds saying that everyone feels like they're on the bottom, but with enough hardwork, the right person will go home. This response causes Meghan to smirk silently. Avery notices this, and asks Meghan why she smirked. Meghan explains that things aren't as bad as Thomas is making them out to be, and that he is really the only person on the bottom. Immediately, Jenson and Lora both look at each other in astonishment.
Back at the Machi team, Jenson and Lora have a brief talk about Meghan's snide remark at the challenge. They agree that she is overconfident, but decide to trust her and go along with voting out Thomas, who is currently the biggest threat.
"Maybe Meghan knows what she's doing? That's what I thought until I realized that Jenson sees her overconfidence too. Meghan has become one of my closest friends here, but the way she talks to people worries me."
Later, Jenson meets with both Lora and Meghan to discuss the male alliance that Charlie had suggested to Jenson. Although Thomas had been the target, Jenson suggests voting off Jason instead, as he had been the one to approach Charlie about the all-male alliance. Meghan disagrees, however, saying that Jason isn't a big enough threat, and that the male alliance can't be successful with Thomas's leadership. Lora agrees, and Jenson is pursuaded into voting off Thomas.
Meanwhile, Thomas meets with Jason to discuss who they want to vote for. Thomas suggests Jenson, but Jason argues that the only way to get Charlie's vote is if they vote for one of the females, either Lora or Meghan. Thomas agrees with this, but expresses his concern that Shanice will flip again.
"The only way this is going to work is if Shanice is willing to vote out one of the girls. Although I'd rather get rid of Jenson, we need Charlie's vote to make this work, and he won't vote for Jenson. That's just a fact."
After his conversation with Jason, Thomas approaches Shanice and asks her if she'd be willing to vote off either Lora or Meghan. Shanice seems hesitant, but tells him that she would be willing to vote off Lora.
"In all honesty, I would MUCH rather vote off Jenson, but if I have to get rid of one of the girls, I'd choose Lora because Meghan has done enough wrong to paint a target on her back. Later on down the road, Lora is going to be the one who will be hard to get rid of, not Meghan."
At the elimination dinner, Avery asks Jenson about what alliances are lying within the team. Jenson explains that the answer is unclear, based on whatever perspective you're coming from. Avery then asks Jason the same question, but his answer is much simpler, and he states that there is a male alliance and "the rest." Avery asks who "the rest" are, and Meghan immediately interuppts, motioning towards herself, Jenson, and Lora.
Avery seems interested, and asks Charlie if what Meghan is saying is accurate. Charlie argues that the vote is more complicated than just "males vs. females," and that some are lying in the middle of the two groups. Thomas raises an eyebrow at this, and the team votes. Thomas is eliminated. Although surprised, he is sure that Charlie had flipped, and gives him a long stare as he exits the game. Charlie glances at Jenson, who mouths "thank you."
Thomas - Lora, Jenson, Meghan, Charlie
Lora - Thomas, Jason, Shanice
Episode 4 - "I Didn't Need To Betray"Edit
Machi returns home, where Jenson yet again thanks Charlie for voting with him. However, Jenson is shocked to learn that Charlie is extremely upset with betraying Thomas, and is on the verge of tears.
"Before I came out here, everyone told me I wasn't going to win this game. They all said I was too nice, but I told them I didn't need to betray to do good in Finale. I told them I was going to win just by being likable, and honest, and real with people. But Jenson asked something of me that I thought... I was never going to be capable of... and I..."
"I really do feel bad about asking Charlie to betray Thomas, but... this is a game. What was he expecting? Part of me feels like maybe it's time to follow my alliance with Meghan and Lora. I just can't play the game the same way Charlie is."
The next morning at Bello, the team wakes up to find a large breakfast stashed within their home. The 7 remaining team members share the feast together, leaving everyone with plenty of energy and a feeling of comradery.
"I've been on a lot of teams in my life, and I honestly couldn't have asked for a better one in this game. I feel bad for Raven, but none of us never really got to know her, so I can't say I miss her. Spirits are so high, and I genuinely like all of these people, even Lee. I hope we can soar through the rest of these team challenges so we don't need to worry about voting any Bello members out."
Unfortunately, the team's high morale is slightly lowered when Debbie begins to cry. Macy goes to comfort her, and finds out that Debbie misses her life back home. An awkward silence sits over the group as Debbie cries in Macy's arms throughout the morning.
"If there's anyone in the group that I'm a little weary of, it's Debbie. No offense to her, I'm sure she's a great girl, but she just always takes the energy down somehow. Dealing with her has become emotionally draining."
"I really do feel bad about crying during breakfast, but... It's just, seeing such a nice, home-cooked meal laid out for us like that sends my heart out for all my little preschoolers who are sitting in financially instable situations. I wish I could give them meals like this. I need to win this money so I can help them, make them happy. I can't give up."
At the Machi team, Jason begins working uncharacteristically harder than usual. Meghan, Lora, and Jenson notice, and Meghan concludes that Jason knows he's on the bottom, but Lora suggests temporarily aligning with him for another vote during the jury phase. Jenson is hesitant to the idea, knowing that it would leave Charlie out of the majority, making him the next target to go home.
"A temporary alliance with Lora, Meghan, Jason, and myself would leave two people on the outside: Charlie and Shanice. And I know the girls would rather get rid of Charlie, considering he's weaker in challenges and just downright awkward sometimes. I really don't like this, but I'm not sure I have a choice."
Meanwhile, Charlie takes careful note of the fact that everyone has disappeared except for Shanice and himself. He easily concludes to himself that he and Shanice are on the bottom, partly wanting to except his fate after the emotional toll of betraying his friend Thomas.
"Jenson is a young kid, and if he wants to go off and strategize, he can go ahead. I'm old, and I understand that. I don't want to hold him back. I don't want to give up, but what else can I do? I know Jason is plotting something with the girls, which leaves just me and Shanice."
At the challenge, an intense battle takes place between the two teams, and the outcome shocks everyone. Machi wins, shocking the Bello members, whose morale had skyrocketed since voting out Raven and winning challenges. Once Machi leaves, Avery asks the Bello members about how they are feeling. Lee speaks up first, speaking for everyone in saying that he is disappointed and dreading the elimination dinner that night. Avery asks who thinks they're going home, and almost immediately, Reed and Howard raise their hand, along with Cathy, causing some smirks and confused faces among the group.
Back at the Bello team, Howard quietly asks Macy if she is willing to vote with him. Macy seems surprised, and quickly explains to Howard that she is only wanting to make the team stronger. It isn't until Howard suggests voting for Macy that Macy silently nods and slips away.
Unsure of what to do, Macy approaches Lee and Cathy asking about their plans. Lee answers with Howard, which is unsurprising to Macy. She still suggests voting off Debbie, however, pointing out that she may be too emotionally instable to make it far in the game.
"I have a lot of friends back home, and most of them are probably only around me for my money, but, the point still stands that I know a lot of people. Debbie is really close to me, and she feels like one of my best friends back home. But regardless, she's too emotional for this game, and I think I'd be content with sending her home, but Lee is being too stubborn about this."
After his conversation with Macy, Lee is aware that his plan to get rid of Howard is falling apart. Still secure with Cathy, Lee follows Neal to the backyard of the house to discuss his plan for the night. The discussion is short, with Neal agreeing to vote for Howard, leaving Lee with the assumption that he has four votes.
"I'm a very, VERY relaxed guy, and Lee... well, he's just not. I told him I'd vote for Howard, and honestly, I might. Or I might not! I'm okay with that, I don't know what I'm doing yet."
At the elimination dinner, Avery asks multiple questions, all of which lead to unexpected responses. Howard reveals that he finds Lee to be the weakest member of the team, confusing Cathy, who comes to Lee's defense by saying that she is most likely the weakest member. Neal stays silent the entire dinner. In the end, he decides to vote for Howard, giving Lee the majority to execute his plan and unexpectedly sending the team's strongest member home.
Howard - Neal, Debbie, Lee, Cathy
Debbie - Howard, Reed, Macy
Episode 5 - "He's Thinking About The Long-Run"Edit
Bello returns home, where Reed sits in astonishment, trying to comprehend what had happened when his main ally was eliminated.
"What... what was that? I knew people were gunning for Howard, but I didn't think he'd actually go! Lee isn't thinking about the team, he's thinking about the long-run, and that's such a bad idea right now. I know Macy voted with me, which means I have at least one person on this team."
"I couldn't be more extatic right now! This game has been much easier than I had anticipated, and it shows by the fact that I just took out the strongest member of my team! I'm not worried about moving forward without Howard, considering a team swap or jury phase has to be coming... Right?"
Reed watches in fierce anger as Lee comes towards him and sits down. Lee apologizes for having to vote out Howard, and offers Reed a spot in his alliance when the jury phase arrives. Reed declines however, and remarks angrily that Lee "better hope the jury comes soon," otherwise he's going to to be the next to go. Macy tries to intercept the two, but this only angers Reed more, as he stands up and shouts that Lee sabatoged the team's hopes of winning.
"I don't like conflict, especially at this age. There was no need for Reed to get so angry, although I do partly regret voting for Howard. If we don't start winning more challenges like before, fingers are going to be pointed at Lee, and he's a nice boy, he doesn't need that kind of blame."
The next morning at the Machi team, Charlie pulls Jenson aside and explains that he isn't angry at him for asking to vote for Thomas, however, he has decided to have himself voted out of the game. Initially, Jenson sympathizes with Charlie, begging him not to give up so easily, but eventually becomes annoyed, seeing as Charlie is deadset on his decision.
"I considered Charlie as someone to look up to, but the more I'm getting to know him, the more he's seeming like a sad pacifist. I mean, come on man, have some fun! I want to keep Charlie around, he's a great ally for me, but I can't keep sacrificing my own game for his moral compass."
Later that afternoon, Jenson attempts to convince Meghan and Lora to eliminate Shanice next instead of Charlie. Meghan points out that she never had any plan on voting for Charlie, but admits that she thinks Shanice would be a better ally to keep around than Charlie. Jenson responds that he is unable to betray Charlie, but only Lora understands, promising to try to keep Charlie around as long as possible.
"I care about Jenson because he's one of my main allies here, but keeping Charlie around is just a stupid idea. The man gets upset when he has to vote someone out, and that kind of gameplay is ridiculous. I don't care if Charlie's out here, but if we lose today, I would rather keep Jason or Shanice, who are both possibly too stupid to argue with any plans Lora or I make."
Upon arriving at the challenge, the 12 remaining players notice that Avery is holding a large jar that is painted red and orange. It is revealed that inside the jar are 12 orange and red flags, which signify a team swap. Multiple reactions come from this, including Jenson's astonished glances at Lora and Meghan. Debbie buries her face in her hands, and Macy rubs her back in comfort.
Avery asks how the players are feeling about this twist, and it's Reed who speaks up first, immediately saying "great." He then explains that he was clearly on the bottom of the team, causing Cathy to look at the ground.
"This twist couldn't have come at a more perfect time. It just goes to show, just when you think you're out, you can get right back in there! It sucks I don't have Howard as an ally anymore, though, and I'm going to have to work extra hard to forge new bonds on whatever team I end up being placed on."
One by one, the contestants pick a flag out of the jar. In the end, the new Bello team is Neal, Shanice, Meghan, Cathy, Macy, and Lora. Lora and Meghan smile in relief, while Cathy glances at Lee with worry.
"This worked out decently. Of course I'm glad to be with Lora and Shanice, but I lost Jenson, and that's not going to be good."
The new Machi team is Debbie, Jason, Jenson, Charlie, Reed, and Lee. Reed lets out a frustrated laugh and pats Lee on the back, while Debbie looks down at the line of males she's been teamed with. Avery asks Debbie if she is worried with being the only female, and presumably weakest member, of the team. Debbie responds by saying she's more than frustrated with the outcome, but reminds everyone that "came out here with a ready-to-win-no-matter-what attitude." Macy smiles.
"Honestly? Being separated from Debbie sucks, because I don't think she's going to make it to the jury phase. Especially with the team she's on."
"I was on top of the world, and now I might be back at the bottom again. OF COURSE I get teamed with Lee, however, this time I have a chance. Cathy's gone, and this is a team full of males, which makes Debbie an easy first target."
Before the challenge begins, Avery asks Neal how he feels about being on a team of all females. Neal sighs, saying that it wasn't the best scenario possible, but hopes that they can somehow pull out a win.
Bello loses the challenge, however, leaving Neal frustrated. As the teams make their way back to the houses, a stormcloud rolls in.
Back at the Machi team, a violent rainstorm has begun, and a hole is torn through the roof of the ruined home. Not wanting to get wet, everyone huddles around the perimeter of the main room, and Debbie is surprised to find Lee moving closer to her. Already overwhelmed, she puts her head on his shoulder.
"Before I knew I would be controlling the game, my plan was to find love here. A partner in crime. And... well... Debbie and I have gotten awfully close ever since Howard was voted out. She's a little emotional, but I think all women are kind of like that."
"We were all huddled up in the storm, the roof was leaking, and I just started getting really dizzy. I don't even know why. Lee was right there, so I kind of just laid my head on him. I hope he didn't mind..."
Everyone begins to take notice as Debbie groans quietly and her breathing becomes more rapid. Lee raises an eyebrow, while Charlie rushes over and puts a hand on her back. He asks if she is okay, but her response is hushed and broken up by small breaths. Debbies eyes begin to open and shut, and, thinking she is having a panic attack, Charlie calls the medical team in, and Avery quickly decides to evacuate Debbie from the game, due to the emotional state she is in.
"Poor girl... I didn't really get to know her well, but she looked like she was having an anxiety attack so I took action. Turns out this game was a bit too much for her, so they took her out."
At the Bello team, the group talks together as it rains outside. Wanting insight on the relationships in the previous Bello team, Meghan asks Cathy, Macy, and Neal about their old team. Cathy briefly mentions that she and Lee had been close, while Macy reveals most of the team's inner-politics, including Lee's conspiring against Howard and Reed. She also mentions Neal's flip on Howard, causing him to give her an annoyed look.
"Meghan was smart by asking the Bello members about their old team... Macy revealed basically everything, and I'll be honest, Lee sounds like he knows how to play the game. I feel like when Meghan and I reach the jury phase, if Lee is still there, we could team up with him."
"I'm not sure how I feel about them right now. Cathy seems fine, but I feel like Macy has more up her sleeve than she's letting on. Neal doesn't seem to have known much about his own team, which is interesting to me, because he seems smart."
Later that evening, Meghan and Lora pull Neal aside to talk about the elimination dinner. Neal seems to have little to say, and Meghan suggests eliminating Cathy, simply because she is the weakest member of the team. Neal seems fine with this, and solidifies a plan with Meghan and Lora, who pass it on to Shanice, who also agrees.
Things change, however, when Macy meets with Cathy and Neal, suggesting they vote for Meghan, who Macy describes as the "queen B of the old-Machi."
"Meghan definitely has that bitchiness to her, and I don't like it. I don't feel threatened by her, it's just not a good thing to have around."
"Macy doesn't tend to think when she talks to people. I'm still bothered by earlier, when she just sort of... vomited up all the details about our old team. I think I'd rather play with Meghan and Lora. They seem a little smart and more self-aware, you know?"
Neal reapproaches Meghan and informs her that Macy is targetting her, and asks her to consider voting for Cathy and instead voting for Macy. Seeming frustrated, Meghan agrees to vote for Macy, however when she later informs Lora and Shanice of the change, Lora objects, saying that voting off Macy would weaken the team.
"Macy is sporadic, but Cathy is obviously the weakest member. Also, Meghan isn't thinking about the fact that Macy is a goldmine of information when it comes to the members on the other team. Voting her out would be stupid!"
At the elimination dinner, Avery asks Neal what the hardest part of the team swap has been. Neal explains carefully that the hardest part is drawing the line when it comes to sharing too much information, and that the exclusive information you had about your old team can be used later if it is kept a secret. Macy seems bothered by this remark, and shifts in her seat uncomfortably. Lora nods thoughtfully. The contestants vote, and it is ultimately Macy who is eliminated, leaving her shocked and sad.
Macy - Neal, Meghan, Lora, Shanice
Meghan - Cathy, Macy
Episode 6 - Edit
The next morning at the Bello team, Meghan and Lora discuss a plan for the jury phase of the game. Meghan suggests an alliance with herself, Lora, Jenson, Charlie, and Shanice, giving them the majority in a group of 9. Lora reminds Meghan of Charlie's disconnection to the game, and suggests pulling in Neal instead, who had assisted them in voting out Macy the previous night.
"Lora wants to align with Neal, but I'm not fond of that idea. I mean, Neal is a smart player, but sometimes he just seems disconnected from the game. I don't want to play with someone who I need to constantly keep an eye on to make sure they won't flip."
Meanwhile, Cathy reflects on the previous night's vote, which proved to put herself on the outside of the team.
"My position on this new team isn't very good. I don't trust Lora and Meghan at all, and it appears to me that they pulled in Neal for last night's vote. I'll admit, it's hard playing this game without Lee. I liked having someone here to guide me through each vote-off, but that's not a good way to win this game. I need to start playing an independent game."
"I'm hoping that Cathy doesn't see me as an ally to Meghan and Lora just because of what happened last night. If I make it into the jury phase, I would happily flip over to Cathy and Lee's side, and if Debbie is still there, we could have a strong alliance. Meghan and Lora worry me, because it feels like they have too much power here."