The Challenge has always been a game that rewards fighters. People like Wes, Aneesa, Cara Maria, Derrick, and Laurel have earned their spots in Challenge history because they are elimination beasts. So it comes as a shock that 8 of the 12 finalists on War of the Worlds 2 have been in 0 eliminations.
This season has allowed Cara Maria, Paulie, Kam, Leroy, CT, Rogan, Dee and Zach to skate to the end without seeing a single elimination. Seven of the eight competitors mentioned were in an alliance all season. Ashley almost made it to the end, but the final elimination of the season was her first elimination appearance.
This has made the season seem predictable and stagnant. For many weeks, it didn’t matter who won. The strongest players were voted into elimination while poor performers could just skate to the end. If you look at episode thirteen, Ninja didn’t even compete in the challenge. She sat out because she sucks at swimming, but then her alliance made her speaker at the Tribunal and gave her the power to pick Jordan’s opponent on the Proving Ground. Then, Ninja picked her own teammate Josh because he wasn’t in her alliance.
A part of me applauds the “Cult of Cara.” They worked well together and stayed loyal all season. They even roped in Ashley and Leroy and had their loyalty all season. That is impressive, but not interesting to watch. There were also times when their opponents like Jordan were truly the strongest competitors. Despite his great performances he’d remain powerless and would go into elimination.
Is this a surprise? No, not at all. This is the downside of a team Challenge. Alliances can dictate the teams and many people will skate by. It would have been nice to see some merit-based initiative introduced like a life shield, but that is not standard. Based on the format this season, alliances controlled everything.
Regardless of whether Team US or Team UK wins, we will get winners from the cult. Do they deserve the win? Honestly, they do, but it won’t be exciting.