A winner is finally crowned during the Nov. 20 finale of ‘The Challenge: Final Reckoning,’ but does he/she take ALL the money and run…or share with his/her partner? Here’s a recap of everything that went down!
It all comes down to this! Four teams are competing in the final on this season of The Challenge: Final Reckoning: Cara Maria and Marie, the only girl/girl team to make it this far, Natalie and Paulie, the rookies who battled their way back from Redemption House, Sylvia and Joss, the only team to compete in EVERY weekly challenge AND multiple eliminations, and Ashley and Hunter, the team who won their way into the game as mercenaries and have performed consistently ever since. To start the final, the teams are timed as they exit a helicopter floating in mid-air via a ladder to the ground. Marie struggles a bit with this section, leaving her partner extremely worried about how she’ll perform the rest of the way.
When all the teams make it to the ground, host TJ Lavin reveals that they will each have the power to use ONE grenade to put another team at a disadvantage at any upcoming checkpoint of the final. However, the players must make this decision wisely — if they use their grenade too early, they might put themselves at risk later on. The next leg of the challenge is a 4K run. The competitors know that they are not only competing as a team, but as individuals, with the winning individual from the winning team getting to decide if they want to take all the money or split it with their partner. Paulie wants that power, so he pulls out in front of the pack during the run, leaving his partner, Natalie, in the dust.
Paulie finishes first, but Natalie winds up getting lost, opening the door for Joss and Sylvia to cross the finish line together and win this leg. They’re followed by Ashley, with her partner, Hunter, eventually coming in behind her. Natalie is still lost when Cara and Marie finish together, and when she finally makes it to the finish line, she’s in tears and needs a major pep talk from her partner.
During the next leg, the players have to stand together on a teeny, tiny platform several feet above the ground. Whoever falls first, gets a ten minute penalty, with whoever falls second getting a five minute penalty and whoever falls third getting 2:30 minute penalty. Cara and Marie drop almost immediately, but the other three teams stick it out for FIVE hours….which is when negotiations begin.
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Coming from Big Brother, Natalie and Paulie know how to manipulate their enemies. They do just that by promising on their family’s lives that they won’t use a grenade against whoever drops first during the rest of the competition. Ashley and Hunter urge Joss and Sylvia to jump first, since they’re in the lead anyway, and although they’re hesitant, they go for it. Then, since Ashley and Hunter know they’re already decently farther ahead than Natalie and Paulie, they take the 2:30 penalty and jump off next, allowing the rookies to win this leg.
After a night sleeping in BEDS (seems like a pretty luxurious final to me!), the teams are woken up to a dreaded eating challenge. They have to finish 32 plates of some nasty foods. When the first team finishes, time will stop, and the remaining teams will get a minute tacked onto their time for every plate they have left. Ashley and Hunter decide to use their grenade on this leg, and they throw it at Joss and Sylvia, requiring them to drink two amasi fish milkshakes before they can even start on their 32 plates. YUCK! Ashley and Sylvia may be BFFs, but with $1 million on the line…anything can happen.
Hunter dominates the eating challenge, and he and Ashley finish their plates first. Joss and Sylvia finish second, with an 11 minute penalty, followed by Natalie and Paulie with a 13 minute penalty and Cara and Marie with a 19 minute penalty. After finishing that delicious breakfast, the teams have to complete a 3K race into a dark cave. Joss and Sylvia use their grenade on Ashley and Hunter this time, tacking on a ten minute penalty to their run time. Natalie and Paulie win the race, followed by Joss and Sylvia, Cara and Marie (who argue the entire way) and Ashley and Hunter.
For the final leg of the challenge, the competitors have to race across burning hot coals to the finish line. Anyone stuck with a grenade, though, will have their feet locked together, and have to sort through a key ring to find the correct key before they can pass. Natalie and Paulie know Joss and Sylvia are in the lead, which leaves them with a tough decision — after all, they swore on their family’s lives that they wouldn’t use a grenade against them earlier on. But, Natalie isn’t willing to play when it comes to $1 million, and although it pains Paulie to do it, they pull out the grenade, leaving Joss and Sylvia devastated. Meanwhile, Marie and Cara STILL can’t get on the same page, and since they can’t agree on who to use their grenade on, it gets thrown out without being used.
The teams all complete the final leg, and it’s time to announce the winner. TJ reveals Cara and Marie as the 4th place finishers, and then lets the remaining teams know that their times were within TWO MINUTES of each other. Natalie and Paulie come in third, and Joss and Sylvia in second, meaning Hunter and Ashley are the winners. Naturally, Joss and Sylvia are beyond, as they likely could have won had Paulie and Natalie not used that grenade.
Now, it’s time to find out the individual winner on team Hunter/Ashley. With no explanation or breakdown of the times, TJ reveals that Ashley beat Hunter by 30 seconds, leaving the decision regarding what to do with the $1 million in her hands. Looking back on the season, Ashley recalls all the times Hunter screamed and “belittled” her, particularly when he called he a “f***ing slut” and threatened to come for her family. With that in mind, she takes the $1 million, causing Hunter to go OFF on her and eventually storm away. What a finish!