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MTV’s “The Challenge” Has A Winner After Dramatic Season

Lindsay Berg |
March 29, 2012 | 3:48 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

The cast of "The Challenge, Battle of the Exes" (MTV)
The cast of "The Challenge, Battle of the Exes" (MTV)
Despite a fan poll on Facebook that favored early-leaders CT (Chris Tamburello) and Diem Brown to win “The Challenge: Battle of the Exes,” Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio and Camila Nakagawa took first place on Wednesday’s season finale. 

As usual, MTV’s editors worked the whole season to make sure the last episode of “The Challenge” was still incredibly dramatic.

There was a lot of fighting and heartbreak that went on this season. For example, two teams were sent home early without being officially eliminated in the dome and each of the three teams in the finals had come the farthest in their relationships with their exes (a term used loosely for most of the teams). 

The first big fight, which was highlighted in a montage after the team’s victory, was between Johnny and Camila (although it was really only between Camila and Camila). The second came for the second place team (actual exes CT and Diem). MTV did its best to tease that the two might get back together, but the two came out of “The Challenge” as good friends. The third and final fight, which almost sent Ty packing, involved his partner Emily making fun of him and his challenge hook-up, Paula.

The episode itself was a nail-biter between the first two teams. Promos had not played up CT’s loss of strength or Johnny and Camila’s inefficiency when it came to puzzles. The final challenge (set in the frozen tundra of Iceland) tested not only the teams’ physical and mental determination, but also their ability to motivate their partner. Each team had a weak link. 

For Johnny and Camila, Camila was the physical weak link, but Johnny was, according to his partner, the worst motivator. Although it was laughed about as the two made their way past the finish line, Johnny’s screams at Camila were less than endearing. If it hadn’t been for the money motivator of $150,000, Camila probably would not have passed the fifth checkpoint. 

CT, the obvious weak link of his team, was helped by teammate Diem, as he tried to make his way up the mountain. This was even more played up, because CT still had blood running down his face from the Viking meal challenge. Unlike Johnny, Diem was a very understanding and positive partner, not only showing the progress in their relationship throughout this season, but causing the viewers to root for their team to win. Without CT, Diem would have made it to the top before anyone, yet she and CT seemed just as happy with second place.

Although they won the most elimination rounds, Ty and Emily were unable to keep up with the other two teams. Not only were they physically the weakest, but they also couldn’t solve a puzzle. The thirty-minute time period that they had to solve their first puzzle elapsed, with the two still far from figuring it out. Ty was the team’s weak link, as Emily easily trekked through the snow, but she remained supportive of a freezing Ty, which allowed the two to finish strong, albeit last.

Overall, this season of “The Challenge” was one of the best in a while, now that MTV has taken a break from focusing on just two people (last season’s Kenny and Evan) and the rivalry between them. It seems that MTV will never be out of ideas to make each challenge unique, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next challenge has in store for the cast.

Reach writer Lindsay Berg by email here



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