Darrell had an incredible season, he one of the true great competitors all time. For a lot of people who ever had any doubt in their brain, he usurped Bananas as the total GOAT of the Challenge. For me, it’s still really close between the two, but that’s another discussion for another day.
What we found out during today’s elimination is that CT is very out of shape for CT standards. When he showed up on Bloodlines, he had clearly lost some muscle definition and had some weight gained this season. Yet, he’s still the same CT, still strong, same muscle memory, just a little less in the tank that there used to be. An out of shape CT is miles better than Cory at his best. Makes me wish he could be fatter next season so that he could push the limits to see how far he can go before Cory or Tony or Dario could actually compete with the beast. I feel like had this been a pure physical elimination, Darrell wins 7 out of 10 times.
CT however, is superior to Darrell in puzzles. Darrell has always struggled with puzzles, and lost the FM2 first elimination to an inferior team due to his inability to do puzzles. CT dominated Rivals 2 with his puzzle sense. After watching Camila and Laurel face off, he had the same sense that I have been saying, and he essentially made one REALLY TOUGH KNOT, with intricate loops all around that Darrel’s arms could not get through, let alone his body. CT took it to a level that I never expected. Darrell tried hard, but it was not happening.
It did not matter how many weaves that Darrell made for CT to go through, when it’s a simple loop you can take it apart easily. Exactly like a shoelace. I hope they never use this elimination again, as CT cracked the code tonight. Did CT deserve the final over Darrell and Bananas who killed it in prior eliminations and daily missions, probably not. But he definitely deserved the final after years of coming up short.
TJ tells the group they are going to a resort for a quick vacation the next day before the final.
We get a club scene and aftermath house scene. Cory and Camila are out there doing their thing and each others. Nicole is crying, missing Laurel. Nelson is comforting Nicole, and Ashley is off paranoid after losing her two best friends. She has a panic attack/freak out, creates a schism in the house, and wakes CT up.
CT goes over to Ashley and gives her the greatest Dad talk of the century. Ashley went from paranoid and sad to happy and optimistic. I really wish we could get CT as the new host of the Challenge where he interacts more with the cast to coach them up.
They are staying at a beautiful beach resort. The group participates in a Thai lantern festival where you send one lantern down the water to represent your past, followed by a new one to represent optimism for a fresh start and your future. Nelson talks about his past where he sold drugs and is was great to hear him give actual insight into his past instead of vagueness. We also find out in this episode that Nelson manages a strip club for a living, which is shocking as that is a ton of scheduling and accounting.
CT is dealing with the grief of it being the two year anniversary of Diem’s passing. It is a sweet moment to watch her be remembered, and tugged at all our hearts. Only CT and Camila ever competed with Diem, but her presence will always be a part of the game.
MTV dun hit us again with a to be continued. We learn the final is individual based. What a surprise!?!? Kidding.
We find out the money breakdown of the final, 3rd place gets 5k each. The competitors looks very disappointed by this total, as am I. How does AYTO get a freaking million dollar prize for fucking each other? It’s not even porn!
2nd place gets 15k each, paltry compared to past seasons, and 1st place gets a solid 100k. Worse than every recent season besides Rivals 2.
Possible money hauls:
1st Place Underdog: 121,250
2nd Place Underdog: 36,250
3rd Place Underdog: 26,250
1st Place Champ: 112,500
2nd Place Champ: 27,500
3rd Place Champ: 17,500
They start with a swim and Nelson gets left behind, while the Vets take a dominating lead. Not surprised, that’s 21 seasons of swimming right there.