The Challenge: Rivals – Finale

This week’s episode is the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the final challenge. And leave it to MTV to top themselves once again in what is the longest final in challenge history. Partners had to work their way from check point to check point, slowly creeping up the mountain, until they reach T.J. at the end. To make matters worse, both Jenn and Tyler were suffering from food poisoning – they couldn’t keep anything down, were seriously dehydrated and overall at a huge disadvantage.

The show picked up right where last week left off with phase 1 of the challenge underway. Teams had to kayak three miles to a beach where they found the next check point. To keep some distance between teams, not crowd the playing field and probably keep things fair, the guys started a little while after the girls.

Here are the finalists:
Johnny & Tyler
Wes & Kenny
Leroy & Mike
Jenn & Mandy
Laurel & Cara Maria
Evelyn & Paula

After the kayak race Evelyn & Paula had a slight lead over Laurel & Cara Maria, while Jenn & Mandy weren’t even close. On the boys side of things, Wes & Kenny spent a good portion of the three miles turning in circles, arguing of course. Once getting the kayak under control, they eventually pass Johnny & Tyler. Poor newbies Leroy & Mike don’t stand a chance. After the first phase of the competition it was safe to say who third place was going to be for both the guys and girls…

Check Point 1: Players must jog from the beach up the mountain to the next check point. To make things interesting, each team had to carry a ball (rock) and chain with them the rest of the challenge.

In a genius move by Leroy & Mike, they decide to break the rock in half to distribute the weight and avoid tired arms. It takes other teams quite a while to realize this is even an option!

Check Point 2: Here, teammates had to play a game of memory only it wasn’t the fun game you remember from your childhood. Teams had to memorize an entire campsite for another check point down the road. Everything to the positioning of the tent to whether or not the compass was open mattered.

Check Point 3: Teams must move an entire pile of dirt uphill by wheel barrow to a designated box. Once the whole pile is moved, they can continue on the trail. Every little spec must be in the dumping zone or teams cannot advance.

Check Point 4: And now the memory game comes back into play. Teams had to recreate the camp scene from earlier. As mentioned before, the scene must be identical. If it is, partners continue; if not they had to wander back down the mountain, return to the first scene and try again.

This check point is one of the funniest, most ridiculous things ever. The tents not built, extra items were thrown in – basically it was impossible! All of the girls have to go back: Evelyn & Paula and Laurel & Cara get a couple things wrong, whereas poor Jenn & Mandi have EVERY single item wrong. These girls just can’t catch a break! Leave it to Wes & Kenny, neither one of them knew how to pitch a tent AND neither one of them has even been camping, ever. Needless to say it was pretty entertaining. Lucky for Mike & Leroy, they got it right on the first try and are able to make up some time. After this check point, Cara & Laurel take a small lead for the girls, while the guys are still pretty close.

Check Point 5: Final feast may be one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen on a challenge. Each team had a picnic table set up with an insane amount of food, including steak, empanadas, salad, etc., and they must eat every last drop before moving on. As expected, everyone throws up excessively except Kenny, Johnny and Tyler – gross!

In one of the bitchest/badass moves in challenge history Wes starts crying like a baby about the pain he’s in. With a lead in the game, he sits down on the trail and won’t stop complaining about his throbbing leg. And like the challenge champ that he is, “Mr. Beautiful” himself, Kenny throws Wes over his shoulder and carries him up the hill… along with the ball and chain! It was kind of awesome. Wes claims to be the best, the strongest, the fastest, yet when it matters most, he can’t keep up and this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen.

Unfortunately, Jenn & Mandy don’t make it to enough check points before dark and are disqualified because it becomes too dangerous for them to continue at night.

Check Point 6: Surprise! Teams have to sleep in the freezing cold on the mountain; only one player gets to sleep at a time. The other partner has to stand and balance on a small rock. If partner one falls off the rock, they must wake partner two and trade places. Any team that interferes with other players will have to wait ten extra minutes in the morning before they can get going for the day. FYI – the mountain is FREEZING!

In the morning TJ arrives to explain day two of the challenge. Basically it will be in two parts:

  1. Teams must race to the top of the mountain, but the order in which they start is the order in which teams arrived the night before. First place has a two minute advantage over team two and second place has a one minute advantage over team three.
  2. Once teams reach the very top, they have to go on a search and rescue mission for a key. Avalanche beacons will lead each team to their key, which will unlock the trophy at finish line.

Just a reminder, the prizes are as follows:
First place – $100,000
Second place – $50,000
Third place – nothing

Now keep in mind, this is some hardcore rock climbing up the mountain and no easy feat. Mike was feeling pretty sick all day and night, so he and Leroy decide not to continue. Usually T.J. calls people out for quitting, but I think everyone was impressed with how far they made it, so Mike & Leroy were no longer in the competition.

At the top of the mountain, all remaining teams were neck and neck as they tried to track down their key. Johnny & Tyler get the key first and win first place for the guys. Think another bromance was formed – Johnny tells Tyler to unlock it, which Tyler believes really symbolizes their relationship and journey in this challenge. According to Tyler & Johnny, they came in as rivals, but leave as brothers. Awww! No surprise here, Paula & Evelyn win for the girls. And in another exciting challenge moment, this was Paula’s very first win! We’ve seen her get screwed over by her alliance time and time again, so it was nice to see her finally walk away with the cash.

Now of course, this challenge wouldn’t be what it is without the drama. So how did Kenny & Wes go out? Fighting at the top of the mountain, obviously. And the rivalry continues…

Next week MTV will air the reunion show, which always brings up the good, the bad and the ugly. I, for one, can’t wait!

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