Kristen Baldwin
September 04, 2012 AT 05:04 AM EDT

Bachelor Pad

TV Show
Current Status

We’re almost to the finish line, rose lovers, and somehow it seems that the Padmates have suddenly all developed Stockholm Syndrome: As the episode begins, everyone’s still gathered in the driveway, and they’re giving their full attention to Chris — who just hours ago was still the most hated man in the house — as he gives an inspiring pep talk. “I think we’re going to have a hell of a time with the final challenge,” he tells the troops, all of whom (minus Blakeley) listen raptly, “and regardless of how it ends up, it’s going to be an unbelievable experience that only very lucky and privileged people get to experience.” Well, that’s one way to describe this gang, though personally I would have gone with needy and damaged.

The next day, Harrison strides in wearing a blue button down with… are those zipper pockets? Hard to say. Anyhow, he informs the Padmates that the winners of the next competition will not get a rose, but they will have “a lot of power”: They’ll decide which couple will be leaving Bachelor Pad… FOREVER. (And this time, he might be right; I would be amazed if ABC greenlights season four based on these ratings.) Harrison leads the gang outside, where they all gaze up in bedfuddlement and wonder at… dangling seats over the pool! But this is no boring endurance competition — instead, one half of each couple has to sit on the hanging seats, while the other has to answer Bachelor/Bachelor Pad related trivia questions. For each wrong answer, one rope holding up the seat will be cut… and eventually, the only thing separating the seated partner from a chlorine-drenched game-death is a metal bar they can only hang onto with their hands. Everyone clear? Let’s get to it!

Each team decides who’ll take the chair and who’ll face Team Bachelor Pad‘s litany of trivia questions and much to Nick’s chagrin, Rachel wants him to use his brain, not his giant biceps. He’s joined by Sarah, Jaclyn and Blakeley… which shows you that most teams took the opposite strategy. Of course the questions start out easy (Q: “Which girl was first into her bikini on Bachelor Pad?” A: Donna, duh!) , but before long ropes are a’snappin, with Tony taking the most punishment due to Blakeley’s wrong answers. Soon he’s just hanging from the bar, while Chris is relaxing comfortably with three ropes intact. “Sarah’s TV watching is definitely paying off,” he says admiringly.

First Tony falls, then Rachel, and Ed is not far behind, meaning Chris and his side-mouth-talking sweetie are winners yet again. Who will they boot? It seems like the obvious choice is Blakeley and Tony — at the very least, we know it’s not Rachel and Tony, since the Tonight on Bachelor Pad promos show blondie weeping copious tears over some as-yet-unknown drama. Before Chris and Sarah pull the trigger, the Padmates are allowed to make a plea from their perch on the chopping block — and they all talk directly to Chris. Nick reminds him that they used to be in the same alliance; while Tony points out that he was there for Chris when “times got tough.” Plus, he needs the money in order to make his son “proud.” Oh sir, I think that ship has sailed.

NEXT: What’s your price for flight?

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