Challenge: Final Reckoning

Bananas, Tony, and the Case of the Changed Elimination

This week we saw Team Banony get sent home, for real this time. Both Bananas and Tony seemed a little bitter over their loss, but nothing excessive. Both of them handled their elimination with an appropriate level of grief and anger, so viewers would never know they had almost earned their spot in the final.

How did this happen? Production switched the elimination and made Tony & Bananas face Paulie & Natalie a second time. This time, Natalie was able to outlast Bananas.

If you follow my blog, you know I generally avoid elimination spoilers. However, the spoiler juggernaut Vevmo posted this a while ago, before Final Reckoning aired:

Now that we have seen the actual elimination, I can confirm this is true. Here are some screen shots from the episode we viewed on Tuesday. The first picture is shortly after TJ brought the four competitors down for Armageddon. Observe the structures behind TJ:

Then, we see TJ and the four competitors in a very similar position. Now, view the structure behind TJ. This is the structure supporting the buckets of milk from Milk and Cookie:

Clearly, these structures have changed and this is due to a new elimination being implemented. But, if you’re not convinced by now, Marie also confirmed on her Betches blog post that the elimination changed.

So, I can say with near 100% confidence that the rumor of the swapped elimination is true. We had a reliable spoiler team reporting it, footage of the original structure, and confirmation from Marie. Now, the question is whether or not Tony & Bananas got screwed. In my opinion, they kind of did.

I will say, Milk and Cookies was a pretty level elimination. Either team could have won and I see no reason why Natalie has a better shot than Bananas. However, it can be spirit crushing to subject a team from a near-guaranteed victory then resetting the match in a new game. This level of mental trickery impacted Tony & Bananas while providing a new sense of hope for Paulie & Natalie.

If equipment really did break it would have been unfair to sent Paulie & Natalie home as a result, but I have my doubts. It seems like all conversations about the original elimination are deliberately vague. View Marie’s post where she talks about a broken “contraption.” Maybe this is because they’re not supposed to talk about the original elimination, but I think it’s because the equipment itself was fine. I’d bet (and this is just speculation) that a male/male team had a huge advantage when compared to a coed team. Bananas & Tony were likely winning by a lot and a coed team couldn’t keep up, so production halted the eliminated before a winner could be declared. Apparently it was very difficult to keep the competitions balanced for male/male teams and coed teams all season. This was just another frustration for production. If equipment was truly the issue, I’d think the original elimination would have been shown. This would validate the need for a new elimination and build suspense. But alas, we’re just left to speculate.


  1. Nah, I believe the equipment breaking. There have been a few cases (particularly in the early Challenge seasons) where production wouldn’t do a challenge because of equipment failure or unsafe conditions (Battle of the Sexes 1, they delayed the challenge due to weather; Extreme Challenge, they didn’t do the human catapult because the testers got injured). Plus, production is so pro-Bananas that it wouldn’t make sense for production to knowingly sabotage him. Knowing production, I bet they would exempt Tony and Bananas from elimination just to see their golden boy in the finals ahaha

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