The Challenge

Throwback: Was Paula Screwed on The Island?

The Island is a Challenge that most of us would like to forget, but for Paula it is a defining moment in her career as a Challenger.


At the very end of the season, Evelyn earned the ability to steal the final key. She took Dunbar’s key, and suddenly  TJ announced that the 8 key holders must divide themselves into two teams for four. Derrick, Johnny, and Kenny were clearly working together and it seemed like they would take their season-long ally Paula in their final spot.

Instead, they took Evelyn because she was the stronger girl. This left Paula with a fate worse than death: she had to compete alongside Robin, Ryan and Jenn. Obviously this team lost, and Johnny went on to win his first Challenge while Paula remained a Challenge loser. Bananas selecting Evelyn over Paula goes down as one of the biggest backstabs in Challenge history.

However, Bananas insists that Paula was never part of the final plan. The final boat was supposed to include Dunbar, so Bananas not selecting Paula never violated any agreement. Paula set her own expectations for the final, and this was not based upon any promise Bananas made. Even though Dunbar lost the final key, Paula should not have assumed she’d be on a boat with Bananas, Derrick, and Kenny.

Of course, Paula was clearly aligned with Johnny all season. She defended him, made moves consistent with his game plan, and never jeopardized his game. On the other hand, Evelyn was constantly fighting with Bananas and vocally started that she wanted him gone. She even took his key earlier in the season only to have him take it back. Really, no one was expecting Evelyn to be working with Johnny for a final.

Though Paula lost The Island, her newfound hatred with Evelyn allowed the two to be partners on Rivals three years later, a Challenge that both girls won.

1 comment

  1. I think Bananas & his crew smartly never told Paula that she was part of their team, just treated her like she was. They had plausible deniability at the end (obviously Paula was never going to be on their boat, but as long as they never said she was, they weren’t REALLY the bad guys). They played Paula perfectly. I don’t like it, but they’re right, they never told her that she was on their boat.

    Side note: I cried when on Rivals, Ev told Paula to grab the flag or whatever that meant she finally won. OMG, that was such a great moment.

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