The Challenge Ride or Dies Episode 19 FINALE Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways
The 19th Episode of The Challenge Ride or Dies is in the books. You probably have some thoughts, so let’s compare. Instead of giving a simple summary, I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the nineteenth episode.
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10 Maize Maze
I’m not going to acknowledge the helicopter chalk balloon throwing other than Devin & Tori killed it, Jordan was meh, and Bananas & Nany looked like jabronis.
Day 3 began in the cornfield maze, which as a Harry Potter fan, reminded me so much of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Part of me was hoping a particular veteran would get sent through a port key, and I’d never have to blog about them again. Aesthetically, I loved the nighttime corn maze as it was something we had never seen before, and it had a video game/movie feel to it.
Devin & Tori took their lead, communicated well, and finished first easily. I could not stop laughing when Devin took a shot at Bananas & Nany after they were bickering about coming in 2nd and whose fault it was. Their feathers were so ruffled, and they couldn’t say anything because they sabotaged Devin & Tori, and those two crushed them regardless.
9 Really Strange Balls In Elimination
I mentioned this last week — eliminations in a Final should not be a thing. Especially not a headbanger. Especially not a Balls In elimination we’ve already seen this season except in a watered-down way.
Nany fucking choked. She missed two wide-open dunks where all she needed to do was slow down. I haven’t seen anyone that afraid of taking an open shot since Ben Simmons. Aneesa did decently considering her lack of mobility, and I appreciated her acknowledging that Nany going for her legs was the only way she’d have a shot to stop her.
Bananas stepped up big time by tackling Jordan behind the line when they fell behind. Technically, Jordan was the person who lost this elimination more as he was down 2–1, whereas Aneesa went 1–1.
8 Third Place Isn’t Bad
3rd Place was a best-case scenario for Jordan & Aneesa. They did not like each other, and she hadn’t run a Final in 13 years. Some would say she still hasn’t “run” a Final, yet, they made it all this way. It’s an accolade for Jordan and a storyline for Aneesa that’s finally over. Good for them.
7 Olivia stole the show
Bringing back the Finalists to watch the last part was a cool addition. Olivia coming in with a fractured face stole the show. They made sure to pan in on her a bunch too. An injury propelled Cara Maria to superstardom after Free Agents and now Olivia might be on fast track if she wasn’t already.
Jordan being there to watch Tori was a great touch too.
6 The Actual Final Part
Maybe they should have left the cinder block portion for last; that way, we didn’t have to see Bananas & Nany give up as Devin & Tori cruised through the last two parts.
It came down to communication and focus. Devin & Tori kept a good pace, played it smart, and never sweated when they were down. Bananas & Nany played like Rookies, and it was embarrassing. Devin & Tori crushed them. There’s no other way to put it.
5 The Cool Confidence of Devin & Tori
Throughout this entire Final, Devin & Tori were confident (not cocky) because they’d been building towards this moment for months before they came to film the season. When Bananas & Nany sabotaged them at the beginning of Day 3, they didn’t flinch and quickly took back the lead. In the last portion, they fell behind early, and you didn’t see them freak out. Bananas & Nany were a mess the second they fell behind.
Tori & Devin’s losses over the last few years got carried into this Final, where they battle-tested and ready to deal with whatever got thrown their way. They were far and away the best team in this Final and deserved to win.
4 It Might Never Happen for Nany & Bananas is Old
When Johnny Bananas goes to Challenge Finals, things usually work out in his favor. Wes & Kenny on Rivals 1 and Cory on Total Madness had massive leads depleted by Day 2 twists. The Adderall/overnight portion of Rivals 3, being two points, gave him the edge on Sarah to steal the money. Johnny Reilly got Devyn during a portion of the Free Agents Final that set him back an hour. In this Final, he went up against a team who was hungry and prepared and took advantage of the fact he took a couple of years off. The Challenge was Johnny Bananas’ entire life at one point. He would do two-a-day workouts and be locked in the whole time. Bananas fucked around a little too much and found out what happens when you do that facing a team who is on their A-Game.
The loss for Nany is heartbreaking, yet it shows why she’s never won. It hurts because I’m a long-time Nany fan who thinks she’s one of the most important characters the show has ever had. She’s a veteran; sadly, she played this Final like a rookie. Nany let the pressure get to her and, instead of taking a breath, tried to speed up and fucked up. I can’t imagine Nany having a better shot of winning ever again. It sucks, and we might have to turn the page on the concept of her winning. This does not mean Nany is not a legend — it does mean she is not a Champion.
3 From First Boot To Champion
Most people forget that Devin was the first boot on Rivals 3. Only due to players quitting/DQing, was he given a shot back in the game. While Devin made the Final of his rookie season, he did so as part of a lay-up team who went on a lucky streak of pulling White Skulls. Devin was a funny character and a great confessional but not a serious competitor. He got Purged early and easily on Dirty 30.
Over the years, Devin trained, and we saw massive improvements every season. On Vendettas, he beat Bananas in elimination which felt like it would end up being the biggest moment of his career. Following that great moment, Devin got Purged because he was the slowest male runner out of the last seven men — a fate that seemed like his potential ceiling as a competitor. Final Reckoning was a pasta-filled mess. After getting left off a couple of seasons following Final Reckoning, we finally saw Devin return on Double Agents, where he shined a much improved mental side of the game. Devin had always been smart, except now he was figuring out strategies to win physical challenges and crush any puzzle. We saw him run the game on Spies, Lies & Allies, cruising to a Final where he’d gas out and come in 3rd Place.
Last season’s loss fueled Devin. He spent this entire season building himself towards this moment, and when there with Tori, the two crushed it. Devin is now a Champion. I don’t know where I’d rank Devin all-time, as his game still has major flaws and weaknesses. That doesn’t matter, though. Because Devin Walker was deadset on doing whatever it took to become a Challenge Champion, and now he’s done it. The Dad Bod, Foamer King, is now more than a comedy character; Devin Walker is a fucking Champion.
2 Tori Deal Finally Takes Her Crown
From Day 1, it was clear Tori would be an elite competitor on The Challenge. She was a D1 athlete with a glow and energy to her in confessionals that you knew she would be a power player. After finishing in 3rd Place on Dirty 30, Tori got put on a pedestal by production and the veteran competitors. Tori was called the Rookie of the Year, got brought in as a Mercenary on Vendettas, and was on 2 seasons of Champs vs. Stars before she was even on 2 MTV seasons. Becoming a Challenge champion seemed like something in the immediate future for Tori.
It wasn’t. It took a lot of years and some hard losses. On War of the Worlds 2, Tori was one of/if not the best female competitor that season, took the hardest path to the Final, eliminated two elite competitors in Georgia Harrison and Jenny West, killed the Final, and then got purged due to a puzzle (she was on a whole team of puzzle beasts). She was at least able to keep her head high that Jordan won and that her time would come soon. It didn’t again. Instead, Tori had embarrassing elimination losses to Jenna and Aneesa. Tori would come back strong on Spies, Lies & Allies, was a top player the entire season, went to the Final, and had a fantastic Finals performance, only to have Kaycee get CT for the last portion and take the win at the last moment.
The Challenge was originally going to be Tori’s side project. Those losses enveloped her, and the show became her life. It took six years; however, Tori has finally achieved a feat she’s honestly deserved for years. Although there have been some bad losses, Tori’s been a Championship-level competitor since Day 1, and I’m glad she now officially has the title.
1 Ride or Dies Final Thoughts
Devin & Tori giving all the other Finalist 38k dollars each was an incredibly kind deed. At the same time, I wish it was MTV giving them the money, and they got to keep their million-dollar pot.
All-in-all, this was an alright 73 out of 100 season. It started strong, then dragged on, and now we’re finally done. If this were a 13-episode season, it’d be an 82–86 out of 100. The best team won the Final, and that always feels satisfying.
Also, I’ve seen so many terrible Finals that have broken my brain that this one wasn’t even that bad. Not saying it was good, I just know I’ve seen worse.