The first challenge, the first elimination win, the first time from 20 ft into water, and the first time hooking up with Cory are all major milestones for a challenger. However, none of them quite compare to reaching your first final.
In The Challenge, every single competitor talks about winning and what they would do with the money. All of it is TALK. Until you reach a final, the concept of winning is not realistic. Just ask Nelson; fans didn’t think much of him until he made the Invasion final, losing to CT by two minutes. Two minutes! He went from being a flop to almost beating a Challenge legend. If a challenger reaches a final, they automatically have a real chance to win. Even then, there is a decent shot you will still be able to walk away with some money.
Kam and Kyle have continued a trend, stretching back to S23, of rookies reaching a final. Kam is the fifth AYTO player to reach a final, hoping to become the first AYTO champion. Killa Kam has made her name in the elimination arena by going 3–0 in her rookie season. Kyle is the first UK (Geordie Shore) player to ever make a final, and has easily been the most shocking import from the UK bunch, going from pirate eye candy to social game savant.
Tony and Kailah are two new school veterans finally breaking through new ground. This is Tony’s fifth season, and if you could not tell, it is finally Tony Time. After seasons of yearning to be a star of the franchise, he has finally put in the work to achieve star status. He was in seven Troikas this season, leading the second most appearances by three, and totaled an almost 40k dollars bank account. Like Tony, Kailah lost right before the final in Dirty 30. Her physical performance on Vendettas has been lackluster. However, Kailah has won when it mattered most. She won her elimination against Marie, was safe in the final purge, and won the last challenge of the season to give her an additional 12.5k before the final.
What will be the biggest obstacle for each?
Kam: Her biggest obstacle is she has not been doing well in daily challenges this season. Shocking, right? You would think reaching the final required success in daily challenges. Kam is her best self when she competes alone in physical exhibitions. To win the final, she needs to bring her best self to the actual challenges, and go above and beyond her normal rate. We have seen performances like these in the final before e.g. Nelson (Invasion), Mitch (Bloodlines), Nany (Free Agents)
Kyle: His biggest obstacle is to be better than other competitors. Kyle has surprised everyone this season with his ability to keep up with the best athletes despite being a party boy, living off Diet Coke. In the final, keeping up is not enough. A challenger trying to win must push past their limits in order to beat their opponents. Even champions like Cara Maria have struggled with trying to keep up versus setting the pace.
Tony: He needs to understand the final is not a regular daily challenge. Once you reach the final, the entire season is thrown away. This is the Championship game, you win or you lose, nobody cares if you went 16–0, or if you went 8–8. Leroy has not win any money all season and he is now competing with Tony for the win. Tony needs to continue to push himself and he also needs to realize there are a ton of variables at play. If he can work well under pressure, then he can start making some Tony Time T-shirts with his winnings.
Kailah: She must not not quit on herself. When she lost against Sylvia on Invasion, she quit on herself once she gassed out. When she lost in the final purge on Dirty 30, she gave up once she fell behind. Kailah wants to talk herself up as one of the best, now it is time to put up or shut up.
What would winning mean for each?
Kam: It would be the first ever AYTO win and cap off one of the best rookie seasons of all-time.
Kyle: His win would prove the Challenge is not just a physical game. Kyle’s win would be awesome and hilarious. It would also prove that bringing players from the UK was a great decision.
Tony: He finally gets to call himself a Champion. Tony is going all-in to win his first season, hopefully, he gets it.
Kailah: She gets to shut up the Cara Maria fans spamming her Twitter whenever she does poorly.
It will be fun to see if any of the new finalists can pull it out.