This week, we saw Kaycee leave the final due to her knee injury. Whether or not you like team Big Brother, Kaycee took the DQ pretty hard. She has been working to maintain a strong alliance all season, played a solid game, and lost everything due to an unexpected injury.
She’s not the first person to DQ in the final. In fact, we have a long line of people who didn’t compete, all giving varying efforts. Kaycee certainly wanted to give the final her everything, but other people probably could have dug a little deeper.
Here, all the finalists who had to withdraw or chose to withdraw are ranked on their efforts in the final. Anyone who was purged or lost an elimination will not be mentioned here, as their elimination was involuntary and production did not need to discontinue them. Even Hunter’s appearance on War of the Worlds will not be mentioned, because he lost an endurance-based elimination. Had he not been sent into that elimination, he likely would have rested overnight and continued.
Anne Wharton (RW/RR Challenge)- Anne was forced to sit out of the Money Chamber on the first proper Challenge due to an ankle injury. Technically, this was half challenge and half reward, and Christina Pasitzky from Road Rules: Australia stepped in for her. Christina was never acknowledged on the show.
14. Jay Gotti & Jenna Compono (Battle of the Exes 2)
When you look up the term “lay-up” in the Challenge dictionary, Jay’s picture comes up. He didn’t want to drink a fishy concoction and decided to bounce out of the Battle of the Exes 2 final. TJ gave him shit, but Jenna didn’t do much to stop this from happening. She said she’d try to choke down the drink, but showed no encouraging signs that she was actually going to participate if Jay didn’t. So, she’s on this list too.
13. Georgia Harrison (War of the Worlds)
It took about half a lap in TJ’s super long final before Georgia was exhausted and dehydrated. She did try, but it seemed she knew she wasn’t going to cut it in this final. So, she gave up rather than inch her way through a 50 mile race. Clearly she wasn’t going to win, but a lot of people expected her to do a little better.
12. Leroy Garrett and Michael Ross (Rivals)
People are awfully forgiving of Michael quitting the Rivals final. Perhaps it’s because he was an alternate unprepared for the rigors of The Challenge. Perhaps it’s because expectations were exceptionally low. Or, it might be because he’s just a really nice guy in the first overnight final ever. Regardless, he quit the game because he was tired and afraid of climbing a mountain. TJ didn’t give him any shit, but he did leave a lot to be desired. Leroy handled it well, but in retrospect, he probably wishes he gave this final his all because he still hasn’t won.
11. Mattie Lynn Breaux (War of the Worlds)
Mattie lasted longer than Georgia, but not by too much. After a couple laps in the Death Race, she determined she couldn’t go on. It was a much calmer departure than Georgia’s, but the fact that she lasted longer does demonstrate a greater effort. TJ was disappointed, but gave her an anti-smoking PSA rather than a quitter’s lecture.
10. The Veterans (The Gauntlet 2)
Yes, we know The Gauntlet 2 has the worst final. And yes, we know the Veterans would have lost, but they did throw in the towel before they were technically out. For the Veterans to win, Aneesa would have needed to beat Landon, MJ, and Alton in a race. They knew it wasn’t happening, so they handed the rookies a victor. The likelihood of Aneesa pulling off a miracle is next-to-none, but this is a level of sportsmanship that would make Lolo Jones cry.
9. Fessy Shafaat & Kaycee Clark (Double Agents)
While these two left as a team, their efforts varied greatly. Kaycee put her heart into the final. She never wanted to quit, even though she wasn’t going anywhere on her busted knee. Once she sustained her injury, Fessy felt his game was over. When it came time to eat animal organs and drink blood, Fessy didn’t even try. Eventually, TJ questioned him. He said he wanted to continue, but he knew he would’t be able to get further with Kaycee’s knee. So he took his time. TJ got sick of waiting and told the team they were too far behind and they axed from the final.
8. Abram Boise (Cutthroat)
Abe is one of the oddest competitors in the game, but he ended up being an unconventional coach to the gray team on Cutthroat. In the final, he started to feel disoriented and dehydrated. He claims this was a euphoric experience, but it ultimately got him medically disqualified from the game. He took it in stride, but it really wasn’t a strong showing for him.
7. Sarah Rice (Cutthroat)
Cutthroat wasn’t Sarah’s best showing. While she did fairly well during the daily challenges, she was a mess in the final. She was dehydrated, vomited, and got taken away on a stretcher. While she was reluctant to leave, some viewers felt this was karma. All season, she insisted Cara Maria was the weakest girl on the team, but she was the only girl who couldn’t complete the final. However, this isn’t really karma because Cara Maria also lost as a result of Sarah’s struggles. It was really just a result of eating cheese and drinking wine for a month straight in the Czech Republic.
6. Jenn Grijalva & Mandi Moyer (Rivals)
Going into the final, Jenn had a stomach virus that kept her up all night and depleted her energy. She was in a shitty situation (pun kind of intended), but she at least tried. However, she was sluggish and sloppy, ultimately costing them the game. Tyler was in the same situation, and he won, but Jenn moved so slowly production disqualified her team. Mandi was just grateful Jenn tried, but it certainly wasn’t the ideal outcome.
5. Eric Banks (The Gauntlet 3)
Eric collapsing in the Gauntlet 3 final will always be one of the most notable moments in Challenge history. Early in the game, he insisted he wouldn’t leave the competition unless it was on a stretcher. He didn’t lie. To be fair, he gave the challenge everything he had, and he didn’t volunteer to leave. You could argue his teammates pushed him too hard, and the Veterans could have won if they weren’t so intense. On the other side, Robin did just fine in this final. Clearly Easy wasn’t ready for this final, but you can’t fault him for not trying.
4. Melissa Reeves (Total Madness)
Melissa did a lot during Total Madness. She swung from a moving truck, wrestled Nany, and was suspended Superman style through an obstacle course. She seemed to move uncharacteristically slow in the final and decided not to compete in the surprise elimination. While TJ may have been disappointed, she did have a valid excuse: she was pregnant. She just didn’t know at the time. Luckily, her baby is healthy and unharmed by her Total Madness antics. If she wasn’t competing for two, she would deserve to be lower on the list.
3. Bayleigh Dayton (Total Madness)
Similar to Kaycee, Bayleigh suffered a knee injury during the final on Total Madness. While her outlook didn’t look promising, she was never formally pulled from the competition. Instead, she took herself out when she was told she’d be sleeping outside. No one thought she was going to win with a busted knee and her injury was real, so you can’t really fault her for leaving the competition.
2. Nicole Zanatta (Vendettas)
Nicole went into the Vendettas final with her eyes on the prize. She was intense, and willing to play the game. She seized the opportunity to sabotage Cara Maria, but she probably should have been more focused on her trail rather than Cara’s success. She kept rolling her ankle in the mud and eventually the pain was too much. Kudos to her for trying to play the game, but she probably shouldn’t have allowed other players to distract her so much.
1. Coral Smith (The Gauntlet)
When Coral was struggling in the Gold Rush final, her teammates thought she wasn’t athletic enough for the competition. While she was running with an all-star team, but her symptoms were more than just exhaustion. Her body was going into shock, limbs were going numb, and vision was blurry. The team left her on the side of the trail, and the medics determined she was bitten by a spider. Given the fact that she was having an allergic reaction, she did a pretty good job. However, some people still question the legitimacy of the claims.