The Challenge USA FINALE Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways
The Finale of The Challenge USA 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 last two episodes.
If you prefer audio/video, my podcast recap can be found above/below.
Caffeine Confessionals: The Challenge USA FINALE Recap: Everyone Quits! on Apple Podcasts
Allan, Luke, and Zoe are here to talk about The Challenge USA Finale. In order they talk about: * Anger & Discontent *…
10 Angela vs. Alyssa
Did they give a former Pole Vaulter a Pole Wrestle elimination? Talk about rigged! In all seriousness, Alyssa performed admirably in most of the daily challenges and was part of the biggest elimination upset this season. Losing to Angela is nothing to be ashamed of; Alyssa should walk away from the game proud. Even more impressively, Alyssa got the self-proclaimed “Ice Queen” Angela to melt when crying over the pain of eliminating her best friend.
9 Ben’s Shoulder
Ben was the 2nd best male competitor in the daily challenges this season. He gave 110% every time, and the fact he got hurt giving his all in a daily challenge when his spot in the Final was already guaranteed was heartbreaking.
8 They Knew Ben Was Hurt and Still Had A Partnered Final?
What’s ludicrous is that production knew Ben would not be able to compete and thus chose to go on with a partnered Final despite the uneven numbers. If the numbers are uneven, you wait an extra day, fly David back in and have him compete to even the numbers. Or you make it a completely individual Final where nobody gets put at a complete disadvantage in any one portion. Not to mention, Ben being out somewhat altered some placement results numbers.
7 Enzo Drowned Desi’s Chances of Winning
Yo, Enzo is a chump. He quit the Final less than twenty minutes in; knowing he would be sealing Desi’s fate as well was an absolute disgrace. Enzo came off the boat saying he didn’t care either was infuriating. He showed remorse once he saw Desi crying on the shore; at that point, it was too late.
Desi had a great season where she was arguably the second-best player in daily challenges, and politically there was never a thought she could be going into elimination. She had the skills to do well in a Final and was a real contender. Instead, Enzo drowned her chances of winning while he floated with his life vest, asking for a medic.
6 Did Angela Quit or Was She DQ’d?
The Angela situation is incredibly perplexing. For starters, the Final should have always been individual so that we don’t get situations where a solo player has to do a partner job, even if they gave her less dirt to carry. Second, it’s hard to compare this leg or what Justine had to do in comparison to Sarah/Cayla’s portion. We are talking about the difference between a 1 hr leg of the Final versus a 3–5 hr leg. Third, Justine had set a precedence where you take the 4th Place amount of points if you time out.
So Angela chose to sleep, thinking she would get the 4th Place points. Now, people will claim the difference is Justine actively tried during the challenge, which is a fair argument. However, had production explicitly told Angela that not participating would lead to her DQ, I believe she would have been out there digging till 7 AM. Angela was tied for 1st Place before “quitting.” Even if she had come in 4th in that portion, she would have still been 2nd amongst women and in contention to win. People will bring up the sound byte of her saying she was quitting, and I have to note that was an “I’m quitting for the night and taking the 2 points” tone rather than an I’m leaving this Final right here and now voice. Hell, we’ve seen people like Jonna & MJ threaten to quit a Final while competing and go on to win.
Should Angela have put a more concerted effort into this portion of the Final? 100%. At the same time, the fact no producer gave her a legitimate heads up as to what her rest decision would entail is fucked up as she had a real shot at winning. The Final was a real clown show. Also, before anyone mentions it, I saw someone comment about Sarah talking about Angela’s “quitting” on her Instagram. All I have to say is I have no interest in hearing Sarah’s opinions about Angela, or even Tyson’s, for that matter. Both are too biased when it comes to Angela in different directions.
5 Dom & Cayla Did Surprisingly Well
Dom has looked rough and out of shape in most of the challenges this season. He performed well in the last daily challenge and the Final, even outpacing Danny in certain segments.
Cayla also had a rough last month in the dailies, except she showed up big-time in this Final. In terms of the final score, Cayla was technically the 2nd Place Female this season. Had Cayla finished the Sudoku and Justine actually finished as well before Sarah, then Cayla would have been the season’s winner. It would have been a historic upset.
4 Justine is Amazing. She Just Wasn’t Great In The Final
I love Justine; sadly, she didn’t finish Top 2 in any of the partner portions and ultimately walked away with no money. Regardless, she’s proven to be a strong competitor, and I fully believe she has the skills to be a champion one day. Hell, she had a massive lead in the individual portion before giving up on the sudoku. Apparently, they didn’t receive the rules for sudoku. Personally, I don’t know what’s more absurd, them not knowing what sudoku is or production not giving them the basic fundamentals.
3 Down Goes Tyson
Tyson performed well in the Final. He proved to be a good swimmer, runner, solved puzzles, and was a supportive teammate. The problem is that Tyson didn’t quite dominate like expected, and he got outworked in a couple of portions. Still, Tyson had a real shot to take home the win in the end. Unfortunately, sudoku isn’t Tyson’s game. What shocked me was the fact he *quit* the Final. Even though Danny was clearly going to win, Tyson had 18.5k dollars on the line if he completed the Final. Tyson stated on Twitter he was forced to quit by production, which makes sense because I don’t see someone with Tyson’s pride/ego giving up in a Final.
2 Sudoku King, Danny McCray
Danny knows four things in this world: Kiki, Football, SUDOKU, and Kiki again. Sudoku and his love for his family led Danny to victory and to become the first men’s Challenge USA Champion. Spoilers leak, and most people knew Danny won, except once we saw the season play out, I think most assumed he had won due to a partner screwing over Tyson. Nope. Rather, Danny won both the partner portion and the individual portion. It’s nice and refreshing to have a purely likable human as the winner.
1 Sarah Shut Me Up
Everyone who reads my blogs or follows me on Twitter knows I’m not too fond of Sarah Lacina. Well, I’m giving props where they are due. Sarah killed the Final; she finished Top 2 in every “partner” portion and proved she was a top player. Sarah’s a beast, and she’ll be a real threat in the global challenge if they let her get to the Final. I must thank Sarah because the pure vitriol I held towards her at times kept me engaged during the season. Without it, I would have hit the snooze button over a month ago.
God, I wish she, Angela, and Desi had faced each other in a purely individual Final.