Warning: This post contains spoilers, but will save you the 2 hours of watching the episode.
It was a rough night for Challenge fans and cast members on Twitter last night. We open the episode with Enzo calling everyone rats and moving into the daily pretty quickly. It is a women’s elimination (the last elimination before the final) with besties Angela and Alyssa knowing that they need to win to stay out of The Arena. This should be simple for Angela Rummins who has been dominating the dailies all season…right?
In the season’s first-ever nighttime challenge, these CBS competitors swim across a dark lake (Enzo is already panicked…) to reach a creepy abandoned town. The town was complete with fake body parts and faceless mannequins. There, they must solve various puzzles, varying from sliders to tangrams, in order to collect tokens and tires that are worth points. Whoever earns the most points, wins. They had 2 hours to complete this challenge.
Angela and Tyson appear to snag the lead, and Cayla needed a boost (no seriously Sarah lifted her with her head) to get out of the mud. Angela gets stumped by a slider puzzle (with the token there worth 20 points).
Shockingly, Dom does quite well and I was reminded once again that he is indeed on the show, and Ben hurts his shoulder.
Eventually, winners are determined, Tyson and Dom tie (and split 5k in their accounts), and Sarah snags her first win in a daily in her entire reality TV career. Coming in last place is Angela, all of this is great news if you are not Alyssa…
What does this mean? Well, Angela goes straight into the arena and Tyson, Dom and Sarah will determine who she competes against for the last spot in the final.
My favourite part of the episode was the Kiki and Zoe sighting during Danny’s call to them. #TEAMKIKI
Angela gets a birthday call from her fiance (ex??) Tyler Crispen too, which was sweet.
After some debate with the winning trio, it is clear that Dom and Sarah are voting Alyssa in and Tyson is going to vote for Cayla.
The majority rules in The Arena and besties Alyssa and Angela compete in a Challenge classic, POLE WRESTLE.
Angela wins to no surprise and sheds possibly her first tear ever at the sight of her friend leaving on her account.
Fast forward to the final, where Ben finds out he is not medically cleared to compete and the algorithm is back.
Each leg will have one man and one woman paired up (if one of them quits they are both out), and one woman competing alone. This will all rotate of course, and there is a series of points for each place in the leg.
The challenger with the most points at the top of the mountain wins the big prize and will compete on The Challenge World something something.
Leg one is a puzzle and a long swim, Desi and Enzo are paired up and Sarah is alone. Enzo, in true Enzo fashion, quits mid-swim robbing Desi of her winnings and the opportunity to continue on.
This was a clear indicator to me that I was not going to enjoy the rest of this final, and I sure didn’t. Danny and Cayla finish first and bank five points each.
The new pairings for the second leg are: Danny/Angela, Tyson/Sarah and Dom/Justine, with Cayla running solo. After a long sprint, it’s time for an eating challenge! I love these.
They have to eat an entire onion, full garlic cloves and an entire thermos of lemon juice. Which is honestly pretty low-level for The Challenge? After finishing one onion and garlic cloves they must do some math. Angela and Danny bank first place points on this one after Angela uses her cooking skill as a vegan.
For some reason the episode is STILL going and there are new pairs for this next leg. Dom/Cayla, Angela/Tyson and Sarah/Danny, with Justine going alone. Here, they must memorize a series of numbers, collect a decoder and run along a path. After adding up the numbers and using the decoder, they have to unscramble letters to form a phrase. Tyson and Angela crack the code first and win the leg, while Justine times out.
Final check point (before the final leg much to Justine’s surprise) It’s now Danny/Justine, Tyson/Cayla and Dom/Sarah, with Angela alone. It’s the overnight portion, and duos must move a huge mound of rubble, while their partner gets some rest. With Angela being alone, she’s at a serious disadvantage but has half of the rubble of the pairings. She ‘opts’ to sleep instead, figuring she’ll take last place points in exchange for being fully charged for Day 2. Instead of production getting involved and confirming that she wants to quit… Her “strategy” comes back to bite her: When TJ wakes them up bright and early in their smelly tent, he asks her what happened, then he disqualifies her. This final is a mess but Dom and Sarah win five points for the task.
The competitors are paired no more and individuals again. With some puzzles along the way, and a snowy and cold footrace to the top of a mountain (a Challenge classic)If the players finish the task, the money in their individual bank accounts is theirs. Also, points for this portion are doubled, so the first person place gets a whopping 10 points added to their overall scores.
Following a hexagon shape puzzle, Tyson takes a quick lead for the men, while Justine leads for the women. The second puzzle is a batch of Sudoku puzzles, and this is where we get all the quitters. Danny completes the puzzle with ease and grabs the lead while Tyson, Dom, Justine and Cayla are bested by the number puzzle and the frigid air/weather and quit. All 4 leave with 0 dollars and a quitter title.
Sarah is meanwhile, stuck at the first puzzle with no idea that anyone else has quit. She assumes she’s playing for 3rd in the women’s portion. She pushes through and completes both puzzles eventually meeting Danny and TJ at the top of the mountain. Mr. Lavin tells the two that everyone else quit, and that not only will they split the quitter’s bank accounts but the 500,000 prize as well.
Remember when I said my favourite moment of the episode was the Kiki/Zoe call? Well, I did not mean the first one, I meant Danny telling his family that he won. Very reminiscent of Ashley Mitchell calling her mom at the end of Invasion Of The Champions.
What did we learn this season? It’s f*ck Enzo and Sarah is unlikeable no matter what show she’s on. Oh! And Danny is a sodoku master?