At the end of last week’s episode of The Challenge: Invasion we saw half of the Champion elimination. The girls fought in Knot So Fast and right before the men competed, the episode ended.
This is not new. Bananas and Darrell’s elimination was separated into two episodes. The Nelson/ Cory fight and Cory/ Shane elimination were separated into two episodes.
This isn’t new. We’ve seen cliffhanger episodes before this season. In fact, some of the more iconic moments on shows have been (in my opinion) ruined by dividing them into two episodes. Think of all the suspense for Jo’s departure on The Gauntlet 2, only to have the moment separated into two episodes but rushed through in the second episode. Or the Nia and Averey fight on Real World Portland. 95% of the fight was shown on the second-to-last episode of the season while the remaining five seconds of the fight were shown on the last episode to reel viewers back into viewing.
Over the past eight seasons or so, cliffhangers have been particularly common in the final. We’ll see the first stage of the final on the second-to-last episode and the the remainder of the final on the last episode. Given the fact that the finals are so long, this has become expected. However, I feel the use of cliffhangers has increased for non-final episodes over the past two seasons. For some reason, Rivals 3 and Invasion have had more episodes but the same number of challenges. This has meant that we’ve had fewer episodes with a full challenge and elimination and more episodes with just an elimination, just a challenge, or a partial elimination.
It has gotten to the point were fans can only hope to see a full elimination and challenge in an episode. I do believe there are some moments where cliffhangers are OK. For the finals, I’m fine with it. When a twist is revealed, like the Champions coming onto the show, I understand the cliffhanger. Tease fans with the Champs coming out, save all the real reactions for later. When you’re dividing an elimination, a fight, or a challenge, the cliffhanger tends to diminish the intensity of the moment and lowers the potential for the moment being memorable.
How do you feel about the cliffhangers this season?