The end is here. Here’s a look at our finalists and their prior Challenge experiences. If you want to know everything that happened, just stream the show on Paramount+, though this is more of a spoiler than my prior posts.
Here, I am going to discuss the achievements of the finalists as they compare to prior Challenge seasons.
10. Eric (9 Points)
Of all the people in the final, Eric had the biggest motivator just to complete the race. After The Gauntlet 3, he wanted people to remember him for finishing rather than collapsing. Fortunately for him, he did cross the finish line. It was surprising that he was willing to tap out during the eating portion, but at least he made it to the end.
9. Aneesa (13 Points)
Aneesa talked a lot about wanting to finish the final: her first final since The Duel 2 in 2009. It’s nice to see her make it to the end, but her performance is very underwhelming. On Total Madness and Double Agents, Aneesa alludes to the fact that she held back during endurance competitions. All Stars seems to suggest that’s not true.
7. Ruthie (17 Points)
Ruthie hasn’t been in a final since 2003 on Battle of the Sexes. She has bursts of impressive performances, but this final didn’t seem to cater to her strengths. She seems truly grateful to have the opportunity to return to the show, and it would have been nice to see her walk away with more success. Still, she shows a lot of potential.
7. Jemmye (17 points)
Jemmye kills the narration during the final, and this is the first time she actually crossed a finish line. On Rivals 2, she made the final but was purged out on the first day. She had a strong start on All Stars, but it seems that she was running on fumes at the end. Eating appears to be a huge weakness for her, and that seems to have mentally exhausted her.
6. Alton (20 points)
I’m a bit shocked to see Alton so low on this list. He really just floated in the middle during the final, which is unlike him. Of course, he won on The Gauntlet 2, but that was a weak final. On The Gauntlet he kept pace with the rest of his team and he was the leader during the Inferno 3 final. However, he did get some good praise from his partners during this final, especially Jonna and Kellyanne.
5. Mark (22 points)
It’s really surprising to see Mark fall in the middle of the pact. He is the ringleader of this show, but he also hasn’t been in a final in over a decade. He ran The Duel 2 final with Aneesa, but he was able to take it easy because she moved slowly. He did win on the eating checkpoint, but given his performance at the other stages it’s fair to say he was earnestly defeated.
3. Kellyanne (24 points)
Kellyanne got a slow start, but she slayed in the second episode. At checkpoints 3, 4, and 5 she finished in first. As we know from older Challenge seasons, Kellyanne is a vegetarian, so her ability to eat meat is quite impressive. It kind of stinks that she didn’t win any money because there was very little chance she’d outrun the men in the final leg. However, I expected her to do well based on her previous seasons and her performance in the Ruins final.
3. Jonna (24 points)
Jonna had never made a final before, but she did exceptionally well. She worked well with all of her partners, and she had the second best female performance in the race up the mountain. She showed a lot of potential, and delivered a very promising performance. She has a lot of potential if she returns to another season.
2. Darrell (29 points)
Darrell has been in four prior finals (five if you count Champs vs. Pros). He’s never lost or even struggled in a final before. This was also his first overnight final, and it really pushed Darrell. He got a lot of high scores, but he also showed a lot of struggle. It was a back and forth battle for first, but Yes was able to pass him and get the win.
1. Yes (31 points)
Yes was a wildcard all season, and he’s the only competitor in the final who never appeared in one of TJ’s Challenge seasons before. Yes proved he’s a jack of all trades, and was an overall nice guy this season. Seeing him motivate Jonna during the final demonstrated his ability to work with partners, but he does have a tougher side. He kicked it into high gear during the mountain climb, passing Darrell and talking a little shit. Technically, Yes won The Challenge 2000, but that season didn’t even have a real final. That’s not to speak poorly about his prior performances, but it was a surprise to see Yes come back and dominate. If nothing else, he’s a winner we can appreciate for his good spirits.