Almost to the end…
1. The Race Begins
In the first leg of the race, competitors pair up and have to complete a swim, solve a puzzle to unlock a key, paddle back to a boat on paddle boards, and complete a jigsaw puzzle of the Challenge logo. The first pairings are Nelson & Ashley, CT & Camila, and Cory & Nicole. Nelson gets off to a slow start with the swim, but it’s the first puzzle that allows him and Ashley to make up time. The puzzle involves triangles and math, and Ashley and Camila surprisingly catch onto the puzzle really fast. Cory and Nicole struggle, and they amass the maximum time and move on. The day ends with CT & Camila finishing first, Ashley & Nelson finishing in a close second, and Cory & Nicole coming in third.
The cast is spending their first night in the shelter, and when they get there they immediately notice a pile of coconuts. TJ announces a twist: the teams have one hour to crack as many coconuts as possible and the team who collects the most coconut water will be able to give a five minute penalty to the guy and girl of their choosing. All the teams work through as many coconuts as possible, but Cory & Nicole come out on top. For this, Cory gives CT the penalty because he’s currently in first. Nicole, on the other hand, gives Ashley the penalty as they never got along with each other throughout the season. Ashley is mad, but wants to use this as motivation.
Day two begins and the partners much switch. Now, CT is with Ashley, Nelson is with Nicole, and Cory is with Camila. The day’s events include a run on the beach, the dreaded eating challenge, swimming in a sketchy river, and a puzzle. Throughout each task the competitors will collect pieces to the puzzle, but the pieces are huge and must be transported on a chariot. Nelson and Nicole get to the food first and they have four plates they must complete: pond snails, fermented fowl eggs soaked in horse urine, silk worms, and crickets. Most people do OK, Ashley struggles a little bit, but Cory is the one who has the hardest time. He throws up and Camila is stuck waiting for him to choke down the food.
4. The Mighty Fall
The second stage of the final is a rope course where teams must balance in unison on a tightrope using only swinging ropes for support. If one competitor falls, both my start over. Nelson and Nicole get there first and struggle to get across, but they complete the course in their first try. CT and Ashley get there second and CT falls. They try again, and he falls again. He and Ashley decided to take the maximum time of 30 minutes and move on. Cory and Camila fail their first try as well. They’re exhausted and just take the maximum time and move on.
After the ropes course, the cast must swim through a river to collect their final puzzle pieces. Once retrieved, they head over to a puzzle that we’ve seen before. The puzzle pieces, which are varied in sizes, must be moved from the leftmost peg to the rightmost peg. Only one piece can be moved at a time and bigger pieces may not be stacked on top of smaller pieces. This exact puzzle was used in an elimination on Rivals and the final of the original Battle of the Seasons. CT and Ashley, who arrived at the puzzle second, know what to do, make up time and finish first. Nelson and Nicole finish season. While they lose some time, both of them admit that they suck as puzzles so they handle this pretty well. Cory and Camila are a wreck and get frustrated. They narrowly finish the puzzle without choking each other… and then production tells them that they’ve moved all the pieces to the wrong pole. Camila cries, Cory is mad, and the episode is to be continued.