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Wed Aug 15 01:04:04 EDT 2018

After winning MTV’s The Challenge: Vendettas earlier this year, Cara Maria Sorbello is back in action for her 12th season, Final Reckoning. As she vies for the $1 million prize alongside rival and partner Marie Roda, she’s blogging about it exclusively on PEOPLE! Follow Cara Maria on Twitter at @CaraMariaMTV.

I know why you’re here — so let’s get right to it.

Brad, Britni and last week’s cliffhanger

We finally get to see the phone call between Brad and Brit. Brad opens up about Paulie’s accusations of infidelity. Brit vehemently denies any wrongdoing but also fails to mention how Paulie had announced in the Redemption House kitchen his plan to lie to Brad. Brad says he believes his girl but doesn’t sound convinced. The phone call doesn’t seem to do much to settle Brad’s mental state as he keeps seeking reassurance from his friends. Kyle, not one to go an episode without bringing up his man crush Paulie, seizes the opportunity to keep the witch hunt alive in case Paulie returns to the main house.

CT’s crazy wall

Like a true veteran champ, CT takes advantage of the vacation time given to him at Redemption House. His body may be at rest but his mind never stops. He develops an alliance/power team connection web to the likes of which I have only seen on serious detective shows. With this power board, CT hopes to work out how votes will go as the game unfolds.

The Hen House

Joss, Kyle, Nelson are frequent visitors in the girls’ room. They get in and get out nightly if you catch my drift. At this point in The Challenge, I am still in the dark about Kyle and Faith. He doesn’t interact with her much in the house, so aside from the kiss, I am clueless.

Cue Never Have I Ever, which is one of the games we play in the Challenge house to sort out the tea on each other. Shane puts the Challenge house sex-capades on blast when he asks who has had sex since being in this house — and Faith admits she has had sex with Kyle.

From downstairs I hear screaming and assume some juicy info has leaked. When I find out what happened, I am feeling hurt. Everyone’s single and can do what they want (Kyle recently did an interview where he admitted he was, in fact, NOT single coming into the house, but his girlfriend allowed him to hook up with anyone except me because she knew he had feelings for me).

My biggest problem is that I’m not in on the joke because I AM the joke. Everyone in the house knew or knows but didn’t say a word to me. I am in my own ignorant little world. Here I am looking stupid…. In Faith’s ear, Kyle says he doesn’t want me; in my ear, he says he cares about me so much he can’t physically be with me because of feelings involved. The actual truth, as he recently told TV Guide, is he “was getting with this model girl and I was quite close with her. She said to me, ‘I know you work in reality TV and that’s fine. I get it. I know you’re going to have to hook up with girls on the show,’ but she knew that I had feelings for Cara, so she said, ‘If you get with Cara, if you hook up with Cara, I don’t want anything to do with ya… It’s all good as long as I don’t get with Cara so that’s why I didn’t want to get with her — but then it sort of just blew up in my face.”

Here’s the common denominator: Kyle was being manipulative.

Today’s Challenge: Off the Rails

The objective: Get your teammate through an obstacle course on a moving train.
That winner advantage: Brad and Kyle can take away a supporting lifeline rope from any team, making the obstacle course considerably more difficult to complete.
They choose: Me and Marie. I am pretty sure a lot of strategy was involved in this decision, but here are the main two:

1. The winner of this challenge is 100 percent safe and has a power vote. Clearly, you want to handicap the team you believe is the strongest so you have a better chance at winning.
OR
2. Or maybe you are friends with a strong team so maybe you want to give the handicap to a team who is newer and doesn’t have a lot of alliances, therefore not ruffling any feathers.

Clearly Kyle and Brad see me and Marie as the biggest threat to beat them today. I am flattered. I did beat Kyle, Zach, and Tony in last season’s final so this does make sense. Thanks, guys!

But not only do we get a handicap, we get to go first. Marie and I are ready to school Bananas and Tony and set a time to beat for the rest of the teams — handicap be damned!

We try a couple of different strategies but ultimately it’s easier for me to walk backward and push Marie’s hips down to keep her secure. She has weak ankles and not the best balance. She is like Bambi on ice with her legs wobbling and shaking. I just hold her down and encourage her as she scrambles to grab the ropes for support. She still doubts herself but I know she can do it. We eventually make it to the second obstacle with Johnny and Tony. This is where Kyle and Brad have taken away a lifeline rope from us. I feel secure and confident that we can do this, but Marie’s legs are shot and she scrambles to grab at a rope that isn’t there as she loses her balance. I can’t hold her up so there is nothing more we can do. I feel that we didn’t need the ropes physically as much as Marie needed them mentally. She needs to take a breath and believe in herself. This is my challenge with her this season. Kyle and Brad got us here even though Marie gave me her best.

Only Tony and Johnny, Joss and Sylvia and Amanda and Zach manage to complete the challenge, and Zach and Amanda walk away with the win.

What you don’t see

After the challenge, we go to the club and get wasted. I am angry at Kyle for the grenade, so I tell producers I am going to bite the anger bullet and go play nice so Kyle and Brad don’t vote for me and Marie.

What you do see

After the club, drunk me and Kyle decide to talk. This is where I think I am playing Kyle like a fiddle (even though the edit is meant to make me look like a lovesick loser). As we talk, I work angles to make him think I am not mad at him for throwing the grenade at me. I pretend everything is squashed. Kyle thinks he’s the genius, when in fact I am the one playing him this time.

Shane-anigans

Shane wants to come for Johnny but is on the same wavelength as Tori in getting rid of their girls first. He tries to rally Jozea and Da’Vonne to vote Faith and Angela. He tells them it will be a close vote and they need to vote this way to save themselves. Jozea and Day pretend to listen but make no promises. These two are independent agents playing their own game.

Time to vote

I want to vote in Brad and Kyle to send a message that you can’t treat me like dirt and throw me a grenade and expect to get off free and clear. You do it to me, I get you back; we are “even.” Marie agrees. We don’t want to look like pushovers. So we own it.

After voting, Kyle overhears me talking about my choice and comes after me. He and Brad are LIVID that we voted for them. Kyle tells me that because I won Vendettas so I don’t deserve to win again. He then tells me by voting for Brad I am taking food from his children’s mouths. Fans and fellow Challengers love to throw around the term “entitled” and “whiny” when people get voted in elimination. To this I say, what do you call this temper tantrum over a single vote? Also, if you have children, are you “entitled” immunity from elimination votes? Mind you, Brad and Kyle gave me and Marie a handicap that cost us a fair chance at a win on a challenge day. Are they so out of touch with reality that they think they are invincible? Good luck with that, holier than thou attitude boys.

That final confrontation

Shane realizes that Da’Vonne and Jozea do not vote according to plan. Day makes it known now that she isn’t a puppet. She is here to play her own game and no one can tell her what to do. Shane takes this as a declaration of war and vows to take her team down come high or hell water.

The heat is high and an elimination is on the horizon. Stay tuned for next week’s recap and juicy inside info you can only get here.

STAY WEIRD!

The Challenge: Final Reckoning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on MTV.

Wed Aug 15 00:57:24 EDT 2018

Morgana King, who is best known for her role as Marlon Brando’s wife in The Godfather, has died.

News of King’s passing broke Tuesday but the actress died on March 22 in Palm Springs, California, at the age of 87 according to the Washington Post.

The star had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer, the Riverside Country coroner’s office told the Washington Post. 

In addition to her appearances in the famed film and a number of other movies, King was a jazz singer.

She performed in a variety of nightclubs for over 50 years and recorded a little over 20 albums with her biggest hit being single “A Taste of Honey” in 1964, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Although her music career didn’t bring her mainstream success, King pursued it out of passion.

“I am a rebel. I am not a commercial artist,” King told the Bergen Record in 1988, as reported by the Post.

“If I don’t believe in something, I won’t do it. I don’t believe in superstardom, publicity stunts and plugging records…,” King explained to the news outlet. “The only thing I believe in is music. I won’t forfeit anything for that.”

King was admired by all of the greats including Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, Eileen Farrell, and even Billie Holiday.

King performed Holiday’s “Body and Soul,” one night in the famed singer’s dressing room, immediately winning Holiday over, according to Jazz Times.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Godfather Celebrates 45th Anniversary: 5 Fascinating Facts Behind the Making of the Greatest American Epic

“You better all take care of this baby, ’cause that’s my child,” Holiday said in reference to King, the Jazz Times reported.

King married twice, marrying trumpet player Tony Fruscella when she was only 17 years old. The couple divorced after nine years together, according to the Los Angeles Times. Together they shared one daughter Grayson Simental, who died in 2008.

King then married trombonist Willie Dennis in 1961. He died in 1965.

Wed Aug 15 00:36:20 EDT 2018

The world’s most famous emotional support peacock has died.

“At approximately 1pm on Sunday, July 22, 2018, Dexter the Peacock passed away in his favorite human’s arms,” Dexter’s owner Ventiko, a New York-based artist, wrote on Instagram Tuesday.

While Dexter’s cause of death is not clear at this time, it caught his owner by surprise.

“His passing was sudden and unexpected. Attempts were made to save him, but his doctor confirmed that nothing could have been done to alter his fate,” Ventiko continued.

“Dexter defied stereotypes and brought joy and magic to all who encountered him. It was an honor to know him and a privilege to share this life journey with him.”

At approximately 1pm on Sunday, July 22, 2018, Dexter the Peacock passed away in his favorite human’s arms. His passing was sudden and unexpected. Attempts were made to save him, but his doctor confirmed that nothing could have been done to alter his fate. Dexter defied stereotypes and brought joy and magic to all who encountered him. It was an honor to know him and a privilege to share this life journey with him. He never let fame, adoration or his prodigious number of followers on social media inflate his ego, and he loved working the camera with grace and humility. He is survived by his sisters, Eva (pictured here) and Zsa Zsa, and by all the humans who loved him. Dexter, you will forever be missed and remembered with fondness and love.

A post shared by Dexter The Peacock (@dexterthepeacock) on Aug 14, 2018 at 9:42am PDT

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“He never let fame, adoration or his prodigious number of followers on social media inflate his ego, and he loved working the camera with grace and humility,” Ventiko said in reference to Dexter’s many photo shoots and his 17,000 followers on social media.

“He is survived by his sisters, Eva (pictured here) and Zsa Zsa, and by all the humans who loved him. Dexter, you will forever be missed and remembered with fondness and love,” Ventiko added.

In the photo, Eva the cat can be seen looking up at a shrine for Dexter filled with photos and feathers.

Dexter first gained stardom back in January after his owner attempted to bring him on a United flight out of Newark Liberty International Airport.

A spokesperson for the airline told PEOPLE Ventiko was asked at least three times to leave her pet at home.

“The animal did not meet United’s guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size,” United spokesman Charlie Hobart explained.

RELATED VIDEO: A Peacock Walked Into a California Liquor Store And Destroyed $500 Worth of Alcohol

“We explained this to the customer… the peacock did not meet the guidelines for an emotional support animal.”

Following the incident, Ventiko shared a photo of Dexter in the baggage claim area at the airport.

“@kumathedestructor took this great shot of me at #newarkairport today. Spent 6 hours trying to get on my flight to LA (after following all required protocol) Tomorrow my human friends are going to drive me cross country! Keep an 👁out for us! 🌈,” Ventiko wrote, speaking for Dexter.

On Sunday we turn a Look #preenyourself 🐣💄✔ #yasqueen #genderflewid

A post shared by Dexter The Peacock (@dexterthepeacock) on Jul 7, 2018 at 12:15pm PDT

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Ventiko previously said her art helped her find herself an emotional support peacock.

In preparation for her installation at the Miami Art Basel in 2014, Ventiko wanted to feature birds in her piece and found an ad for Dexter on Craigslist, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I scooped him up, and was like, ‘Oh my peacock, oh my darling,’ and he just, like, immediately wrapped around my neck and that was it,” Ventiko told the publication.