The Challenge Battle Of The Exes Finale “I Will Always Love You”

After last week’s weak finale lead-in, I’ve got to say, tonight’s finale was actually a pretty big nail biter. Leads were won and lost, teams came from behind, but who came away with the big money? You’ll have to hit the jump to find out!As you’d expect, the final day of the Viking Quest finale kicks of early with a wake-up call from TJ. The day will involve a 12 mile hike in below zero temperatures in which they must perform five tasks and also remember to collect the artifacts after doing so. TJ blows the horn and they’re off in a fairly consistent clump of trudging humanity. Eventually, though, CT and Diem break out into a lead even with the -14 degree weather.

The first challenge of the day is called Feast For A Viking and the contestants have to eat the head of some kind of an animal (sheep, deer, small cow, I’m not quite sure), soured shark squares and a horn filled with blood. If you remember from the wedding themed challenge, Johnny and Camila did not do well with the cake eating portion of that. Meanwhile, CT decides to eat the whole head and drink all the blood (which makes him look insane) while Diem devours the shark. They finish first and take off with Johnny and Camila, then Ty and Emily not far behind.

The next bit is called Ice Key and isn’t really that big of a deal. Each team has a station with snow shoes and poles waiting for them, but they’re locked up. They have to break through a box with a rock to unlock and then they can collect the artifact and move on. It looked like CT and Diem were going to sail through this one, but after coming back from a commercial it became clear that they wouldn’t have such a tremendous lead. The other two teams were there by the time they finished, but, CT has trouble with his snow shoe and the other two teams wind up passing them. Now they’ve got to catch up!

During this leg of the race, first place moves between Camila and Johnny and Emily and Ty pretty fluidly. As you’d expect, Johnny gets pissed and yells at Camila any time things aren’t going quite their way or she falls behind. It should be noted that Ty is basically settled with not pushing himself too hard to win this thing. He looks sluggish and doesn’t seem to be putting a lot of effort in. Meanwhile, Emily is tearing it up. If it was a solo finale, she’s probably win it.

Anyway, the next station puts all three teams on pretty equal footing because it’s a puzzle called Poled Out. There’s a series of logs laid out with rocks in between each space. After finishing you have to carry the extra log to the next task. You have to remove one log and keep the same amount of stones. Everyone goes to triangles pretty quickly, but it’s not until Camila decides to make a kind of hexagonal pie with triangles that one of them actually gets it. They take off. Camila and Johnny aren’t too too far behind, but Ty and Emily are stuck.

What An Ice Hole is the next challenge and it involves chopping through an ice block in a big snow drift that leads to a very tiny tunnel the crew built. They have to crawl through and get out the other end. CT is a monster and destroys the ice, making it so he and Diem can get through easily. Johnny and Camila showed up while they were just starting, but didn’t go through the actual tunnel nearly as fast. Around this time, Ty and Emily are told that their 30 minutes on Poled Out is up and they can move on to the next thing. My wife and I were wondering what would happen with this, if there would be a time limit or possibly a penalty. They show up not very far behind Johnny and Camila.

At this point it becomes clear that all the crazy work CT put in earlier in the finale is taking its toll. He’s having a lot of trouble making his way through the snow and needing breathers. Meanwhile, Diem is killing it, but Johnny and Camila are not far behind and Johnny can not help but taunt them. Back as Ice Hole, Emily has to practically yank Ty out. His deadweight-ness is really showing. It seems like CT gets it together by the time they get to the next challenge Sliced Up. It’s another puzzle where it looks like three runes were written on all four sides of a parallelogram and were then sawed so that all the pieces spin horizontally. You’ve got to match the runes with those on a guide before moving on.

Once again CT and Diem get done first, but Johnny and Camila are only half a puzzle behind. They get to a point where they think they’re done, but they’ve got some of the runes on the wrong side and have to fix it just as Emily and Ty get there and don’t take too much time themselves as Emily basically does it all herself.

At this point CT is still struggling, but doing alright. They get to this sun dial thing where they have to put their artifacts in a certain order. I don’t think it was ever made clear exactly what the pattern was or how they were supposed to know it, but Diem basically did this on her own and got it wrong several times. This slowed them down, giving Johnny and Camila time to catch up. There were about three or four failed attempts shown during this overlap period, but Diem finally got it, popped the thing open, grabbed a horn and they took off up a mountain. At this point, it’s literally a race up said mountain to the finish line.

And this is where the momentum of the game changed. CT and Diem were ahead, but Johnny and Camila were climbing along not too far behind them. Had CT been less tired, he and Diem would have easily taken the victory–she was killing it the whole time–but it was not meant to be. CT eventually went to his knees, barely able to stand up, which gave Johnny time to get ahead of him. For a while it’s basically Diem in the lead with Johnny right behind her and CT and Camila struggling for fourth place. Eventually, CT basically stopped moving and Camila pulled ahead, catching up with Johnny and moving up to the last peak of the mountain.

So, they won. In past Challenge finale posts, I’ve whined about the lack of come from behind wins and now I finally got one…but it’s Johnny! Man, I really don’t like that guy. I mean, yeah, he and Camila proved they were the best team, but I still don’t like seeing him win. I like CT and Diem and hoped the win would make for the perfect end of this season which clearly revolved around them. It wasn’t meant to be. Heck, at one point, it looked like Ty and Emily might wind up getting second, but CT finally stood up and the two of them came in second.Ty and Emily came in third which reminded me of something, have the last two or three Challenge finales featured basically two teams actually competing for first and one lagging team? That seems to be the case in my foggy memory.

Another thing I’ve got to say, the women killed it in this finale. I know CT came out strong and ended weak which is a bummer, but Diem was consistently rad the whole time as was Emily. Camila did well, but she also had Johnny hollering at her the whole time which had to have been annoying. Ah well, at the end of the day, this wound up being a really close finale, which is what you want in these kinds of things, even if your team doesn’t walk away with the win.

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