‘The Challenge Rivals III’ Finale: Split Decision

One slippery Bananas

One slippery Bananas MTV

A good Challenge twist is about the best thing in the world after Will Smith’s run of July 4th blockbusters and a swimming pool that has just enough people to hang out with but not too many so that you can’t relax. This finale had a major, shocking, totally unforeseen outcome. I mean I was seriously blown away by it. Never once in my wildest dreams, and I once had a dream that was me watching Dream a Little Dream in real time so pretty wild stuff. But never did I have any expectation that this episode would end like this. Vince came in second and shared the money with Jenna! Who? What? How? Totally unbelievable. I absolutely did not see that coming. 

Oh yeah, Johnny and Sarah came in first and Johnny had more points and he didn’t split the $275,000 with her. Which is the least shocking outcome of this show. From day 1, it felt like the shoe-in that this team was going to take the whole thing. And Johnny had Sarah apologizing for “back-stabbing” him when all she did was put him in an elimination on another season. He ended up losing that year and blamed her for “stealing his money.” So he felt justified in doing it back to her. 

The bottom line is that Bananas does not outwardly seem to care what people think of him. And if that is the case, then you take all the money. If the right thing to you is to always put yourself first, then you put yourself first. If everybody hates you, you may as well have $275,000 to go with it. I’m not defending him because I never expected him to do anything differently. Johnny has fans who I’m sure think he did the right thing. If you’re the type of person that thinks saying “buttfuck a nap” is hilarious or that coming out of a cave into the light gave you “flashbacks to the day you were born” or go around on an after show with a handheld camera doing upskirt shots of your castmates, then this sure is the guy for you. He’s a perfect villain for these shows, and the bad guys are disliked for a reason. Johnny called the $275,000 a “life-changing amount of money” which it is. He has also already won about $415,000 in his five other victories. 

As far as my longstanding belief that their beef wasn’t real…well, last week I said the only way I’d believe they had real beef would be if one of them took all of the money. So yeah, in reality, I was right. Because if they didn’t really have beef the last time, they sure as TJ hating quitters do now. 

Devin and Cheyenne came in third and split the money. They were the “feel good” story of the finals. There’s always one team that is clearly out of the running to win but they need to finish so that they can collect that third place check. You don’t get paid if you quit. Plus, Cheyenne almost crimped her looms on cable television and Devin said in the after show that if she did it, he’d do it along with her. True teamwork. They’re also the first Are You the One? players to make a finals. Earlier in the year I said it would take a great team to truly legitimize adding this other show into the fold. I’m not sure this 100% did it but I have to say I like most of the additions that we now have in the stable. So entertainment value, I’m sold. But only a true champion will give them that final bit of legitimacy. 

Jenna and Vince came in second and as I said earlier, he shared the money with her—a total shocker. My one question is if they did the order reversed and Johnny took the full money before Vince had to make his choice. Does he still split it or does he figure everyone is going to hate his cousin more, he might as well go for it now? I think he probably still splits it but who knows. Jenna’s made the finals every time she’s been on the show and she’s slowly creeping closer to that first place spot. If Laurel doesn’t ever come back again, Jenna’s gotta be the favorite now on the woman’s side of the house, right? Camila is still a great competitor but Jenna somehow manages to stay out of all the in-house beef that gets you nominated?

The Reunion had some great fireworks. I don’t think the host gets their full check if at least one person doesn’t storm off the stage so cha-ching. Of course Sarah and Bananas are going to go at it. But there was a lot of other stuff, like Jenna and Zach being split up and whatever it is that happened between Nate and Nicole. Camila and Vince claim the old “they’re editing us to look like we hooked up.” Which I don’t actually care about either way and could I never see full-frontal Vince or Vince reaching down into his shorts to adjust the package ever again? Thanks ahead of time. 

All-in-all, this was a very solid season. If Dario and Devin and Cory and Wes could have gotten their side in line, they might’ve knocked out Johnny and Vince. But aside from that, it felt like a safe bet that Bananas and Sarah would take it. Please next season, can we finally return to The Duel. All I want is to see another straight-up, every man / woman for themselves extravaganza and see who comes out on top of this crop. Big money to the winner. It’s the purest way to see who is the best. Let’s get it popping. 

‘The Challenge Rivals III’ Finale: Split Decision