Flying Under The Radar: Could Amber B.’s Super-Chill Strategy Help Her Win The Challenge?


Across six seasons, and with contestants like Da’Vonne, Josh and Natalie now etched into the fabric of The Challenge, Big Brother stars have tried — but ultimately failed — to win MTV’s tentpole competition series. Kaycee and Fessy came close on Total Madness, and Natalie and Paulie would have likely won Final Reckoning were it not for an unfortunate wrong turn, but second place is as far as the uber-competitive BB bunch has managed.

But could the newest BB­-born Challenge contestant — who’s approaching the game more prudently than her peers — prove that watching and waiting might be the key to Double Agents success?

On the latest episode, and with three Gold Skulls still up for grabs among the game’s women, the pressure was on for Amber B., a rookie who’d so far found allies among Gabby, Amber M. and Big T. That all changed, though, after the previous week’s Crater vote, when Amber was finally forced to choose sides between her Itty Bitty Committee and her Big Brother peers.

By voting to send Amber M. into The Crater, Amber B. made her alliance clear, and the Ambers — once joined at the hip — came apart at the seams.

“It just shows me her character,” Amber M. said. “She just dug her own grave.”

“I find Amber B.’s behavior very manipulative,” Gabby added.

Still, Kaycee, Amber’s reliable Big Brother ally, said Amber B.’s vote was inevitable if she really aimed to advance in the game.

“In order to win this game, you’ve gotta do uncomfortable things,” Kaycee said.

Thankfully for Amber B., the house’s likeliest next Crater candidate, the next win was just around the corner. By notching a victory in “Interrogation,” Season 36’s trivia installment, the Big Brother alum and her partner, four-time champion Darrell, earned the power to nominate another duo into the next elimination round — or, if they were eager enough, nominate themselves.

And Amber was torn: Was it time to earn her Gold Skull, or was it a smarter move to nominate a power player like Lolo or Kaycee to beat Theresa, the house’s Crater vote?

Darrell insisted Amber should take advantage of the opportunity to earn eligibility for the final mission, but it was ultimately Nany’s advice — to eliminate Theresa, the likeliest woman to win a final — that Amber heeded.

“I know that Gabby and I are having our beef…but maybe my best move is getting Theresa out of this game,” Amber conceded. “When it’s my time, it’s my time, but I wanna make a bigger move.”

As a gambler, Amber’s bets paid off. By nominating Kaycee into The Crater, Amber successfully set into motion Theresa’s elimination. Kaycee took Theresa for a ride in “Operation Snatching Point,” a variation on a reverse tug-of-war, and left the field for a new odds-on Challenge favorite wide open.

“I got a huge competitor out,” Kaycee said. “Getting [Theresa] out now is everything. I don’t see anyone else touching me.”

But will Amber’s nimble Challenge method prove to be the right one, and will her tempered gameplay be the secret recipe for success? Or is she a little too calm for the game’s high stakes, and will flying under the radar ultimate lead to crashing and burning? Share your thoughts, then check out the next Challenge episode Wednesday!

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