Unexpected ‘challenge’: are this season’s opposite-sex teams totally screwed?

“I enjoy being a girl!” — Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song and “The Challenge”’s Jenna and Brianna, probably.

During this week’s “Battle of the Bloodlines” episode, the cousins, who were sentenced to The Pit on the show’s premiere episode as a two-woman team, seemed poised for a return visit. To put it gently, Brianna didn’t handle the premise of “Family Dinner” — which challenged competitors to chew up grasshoppers and cockroaches — so well, and TJ didn’t mince his words when he called out the ladies’ weak performance. In fact, he noted they were the undisputed worst of the day.

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Still, somehow, they were safe.

TJ went on to explain that, this season, elimination rounds will alternate between male-specific and female-specific games in The Pit. And, since the ladies went rounds in the preceding week, Jenna and Brianna would be spared, and the lowest-performing team that had at least one man would be sacrificed instead.

Unfortunately, though Jill blew most of her fellow female competitors out of the water, she and Cohutta wound up on the bottom of the totem pole as the first victims of the technicality. And, only hours later, they were sent home.

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As Jill and Cohutta had been in control of the game only a week earlier, their ousting came as a total surprise and put a harsh reality into context: Opposite-sex teams will never be in the clear on “Bloodlines.” Same-sex pairs can count on the fact that they’ll be totally safe from elimination every other week, but Cara Maria and Jamie, KellyAnne and Anthony and Leroy and Candice will not be afforded the same luxury and have a significantly more difficult battle ahead. Can they last?

What do you think — is it at all possible for an opposite-sex pair to battle through “Bloodlines,” and can you picture any of the remaining three man-and-woman teams going the distance? Or are Cohutta’s and Jill’s fates just a sign of things to come, and will same-sex pairs capitalize on their new advantage? Sound off, and be sure to see what big twist TJ has in store on the next “Bloodlines” episode!