The final is in the books and I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the final episode. Since you?re Challenge fans reading this, I figure you likely have watched the episode already. These will be integral storylines that the last episode focused on. I?ll breakdown why they matter:
10 So this final was kind of bullshit
The fact Team USA was allowed to egregiously break the rules on day one to only receive a single ten-minute penalty is utterly ridiculous. Seriously, Team UK got the same punishment for pushing Team US?s gurney, while Team US broke the rules multiple times in so many different ways. It should have been a flat out DQ if we are being honest. And then it becomes Team UK only getting a 5-minute head-start on the final leg, despite murdering Team US on Day 1.
Even worse, production allowed the teams to time out on a Tangram puzzle. I feel like there should be no such thing as timing out on a Tangram, they should force you to finish it. Then again, at least Team US did not win after their tragic performance on Day 1.
9 The Final Purge
Not going to lie, Tori and Jordan have to be disappointed they lost a puzzle to Rogan. Never in a million years would I have expected him to beat both of them. Tori had the best season out of any female this season, so to watch her go out on the puzzle was rough. Likewise, Leroy and Kam carried their team on Day 1 of the final, but they were the ones who came up short in the puzzle. It sucks to watch them go down, especially Leroy, as this was probably his last realistic shot of ever winning.
Ashley losing on a puzzle purge is ironic because Ashley cashing in at the last minute and grabbing the win out of nowhere is usually her brand. Luck was not on her side this time.
8 Ninja is something
The highlight of the episode for me was when Ninja solved her puzzle first. After sucking the entire season, the moment the game became individual for one portion, she came out on top. I?m surprised Zach didn?t flip over his entire puzzle when it happened.
Zach?s utter distaste for Ninja has been one of my favorite subplots all season.
7 Zach is a victim of himself
Zach continues to be mad that Cara and Paulie took a bunch of layups to the final, but if he didn?t want to be on this team, he could have volunteered himself for elimination and TurnCoated. It? is generally not smart to put yourself in elimination. However, if you know your team is going to lose the final and you are going to be a curmudgeon the entire time, then you should have actively tried to flip to the other team.
It is wild that Zach volunteered himself and Amanda for elimination on Final Reckoning to ?teach her lesson,? yet now he won?t do it in a game to put himself on the winning team. Zach is someone who would rather have an excuse for why they lost, rather than look at himself in the mirror. He?s hilarious sometimes and is so talented; it?s just irritating to watch him always find a way to be negative over the years.
6 Paulie and Cara are entertaining losers
When someone like Darrell or Leroy loses, I feel bad. Darrell has kids at home, and Leroy works hard, and his window of opportunity is closing fast. Paulie and Cara are two adults in their early thirties, acting as if they were freshmen in college while on this show. Everything they do gets magnified, whether it be good or bad. Watching them succeed is cool as they are great players, but watching them crumble gives me way too much satisfaction.
When Cara attempted to make the argument in her confessional that Paulie was the hardest worker in the final because he refused to quit was fucking hilarious. MTV cropped in on Zach?s face during this moment.
Cara and Paulie are so much in their bubble that they?re acting as if they are the only two people on the team running the final when, in actuality, they were holding their team back quite a bite.
Paulie suddenly getting a second win and becoming a puzzle expert gave some validity to the fans who said he was faking his ?heat stroke.? Regardless, he did well in enough in the second part to not be in the Big Easy/Jay level of bad final performances.
5 CT is a 3x Challenge Champion
When CT talks about winning ice cream money for his son, there is a genuine smile on his face that we haven?t seen on all season. CT does these shows for the money as no other day job will pay as well in such a small amount of time for him. Considering CT won 62.5k and 112.5k in his other two final wins, he will gladly pocket this 250k. He and Jordan became the 8th and 9th players to accomplish 3 wins.
Also, did anyone else feel like CT lost ten pounds during the final?
4 Rogan is everything Paulie wanted to be
Fans hated Rogan this season. He played a ?cowardly? game by hiding behind numbers, never seeing elimination, and actively allowing Team US to make moves for his team if they granted him safety. In the end, he got that guaranteed spot in the final and smashed it.
After getting eliminated on Day 1 of Vendettas, Rogan realized the most important thing to have in the game is a seat at the table. Rogan got that seat and stole the biggest turkey leg once dinner got served. He is the villain everyone hates, but in the end, he comes out a Champion. Paulie was a villain who got criticized for everything and came out a loser. Rogan is like the perfect Wrestling Heel, walking away with a victory nobody believes he deserves.
Rogan is the Miz, and Paulie is Dolph Ziggler.
3 Dee is a Champion!
Dee is the first Asian Champion since Jamie Chung on the Inferno 2! She represents both Vietnam and Australia proudly. On Dee?s first season, she won 5 daily challenges and shocked people by holding her own while partnered with Wes. This season, she blew people?s expectations away by killing the final, learning how to swim, and becoming a Champion in only her second season.
The fact Dee was on this season is kind of weird in the first place. She was not an American and not a Brit. The only other person who got a spot on this cast like that was Turbo, who won the previous. MTV could have picked so many different people to be a reinforcement. Dee was their choice, and she became a Champ. Amazing.
2 Jordan is the GOAT
It is a 3-PEAT! Jordan won Exes 2, Dirty 30, and now War of the Worlds 2 in a row. This guy seriously won Exes 2, took a two-year break and won, and then took an additional two-year break and won again. Since Exes 2, Johnny Bananas never left, made the show his life, and won once. The last time someone had 3-peated was Derrick Kosinski, who won Inferno 3-Island-Ruins in a row. Which was over a decade ago. Darrell Taylor and Jamie Murray are the only others to ever 3-peat, and Darrell is the only to ever 4-peat.
Jordan has the second-best male elimination record through their first eliminations at 7?1. He has a strong record in daily challenges, and his cardio in finals is maybe the best all-time. His three final wins have come as a pair, individual, and as a team, proving he can win under any format. As much as Jordan pissed off Cara and Turbo, he was right, he wins.
1 Overall Thoughts on the Season
I think in retrospect, fans will view this season as Paulie & Cara versus Jordan & Tori. The Jordan and Cara rivalry is the modern-day Kenny and Wes. These two great competitors have a legitimate distaste for one another, they get others involved, affect friendships, and they put their entire focus of the season on them. In the end, Jordan seems to always come out on top. Jordan questions Cara?s abilities in such a way that even fans begin to wonder if Cara is a good competitor. Though because he leaves the show and people have short memories, Cara can return to her bubble, and create the narrative she wants to.
Of all Challenge seasons, this was the one that didn?t need 90-minute episodes. War of the Worlds 1 desperately always required more time, but this season could have been trimmed down. In the end, I think this season will rank better than the worst seasons of the show, but I wouldn?t put it in the good season category either. Not a bottom 5 season, definitely bottom 15, maybe bottom 10. One of the big wins from this season is we got to have daily challenges and eliminations in the same episode. Dirty 30, Vendettas, and Final Reckoning rank very low to me based on the fact that the editing of those episodes was utterly horrendous.