Much like I did last week, I am going to use this time between seasons to discuss some hot topics from previous Challenge seasons.
This week, I wanted to look at what is perhaps the most controversial decision made on The Challenge: disqualifying the veterans from the Gauntlet 3 final.
After Big Easy collapsed during the final mission, he was medically disqualified. The veteran team then continued with the final challenge, dominating the remaining stages and finishing much quicker than the rookie team. The raised their flag, but no horn was sounded. As it turns out, the entire team had to remain in tact to become the victors.
In Favor of The Rookies Winning: TJ did say that this was the Army Strong Final, and the team had to finish together. However, he never discussed (on screen) what would happen if someone was deemed unable to complete the final. The whole Army Strong campaign that aired throughout the Gauntlet 3 season promoted a “no man left behind” mission. So, in true Army Strong fashion, the veterans were violating the theme of the mission by abandoning Eric. They knew that finishing without a teammate was against the rules, so the shouldn’t have just assumed that they would be able to continue without consequence.
In Favor of The Veterans: Eric was medically unfit to continue, but given the strength of the other veterans they could have carried him across the finish line. The rookies finished hours after the veterans so they would have had plenty of time to compete the mission with Eric the anchor. Additionally, this wasn’t the first time a competitor was abandoned during the final; on The Gauntlet Coral was medically disqualified and team Real World only received a 10 minute penalty. On Cutthroat, Abe and Sarah were medically disqualified during the final and the grey team received no penalty. Regardless of the theme, the penalty has never been so severe.
To add insult to injury, on The Gauntlet 3 all prize money was given for winning the final. Despite the fact the veterans won the bulk of the missions, they walked away with $0. Many of the veterans who would have won their first Challenge needed multiple attempts to finally win. It took: CT 4 more attempts to win, Brad 3 more attempts to win, Paula 5 more attempts to win, and Evan 1 more attempt. Diem, Robin, Adam, and Big Easy would have won their first Challenge, but have still not received a title.
So who do you think deserved to win?