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The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars - Finale

By James Bullock Jan 12, 2018 - 9:24 AM print


Previously on The Challenge: The season finale was quickly approaching and after winning a water obstacle course, “Challenge” Champs Johnny Bananas & Emily and Stars Michelle Waterson & Josh Murray were forced to choose the third person for their respective finale teams with the latter team choosing on a coin flip between Kim Glass and Justina Valentine.

The episode picks up right where the last left off with the Stars announcing first that Justina Valentine won the coin toss thanks to Michelle calling heads. Matt Rife is infuriated over the fact he wasn’t in the running; declaring Michelle & Josh have failed their team. Kim Glass, on the other hand, is a commendable loser who is pushing for her team to win it all. No coin flip from The Champs as they announce CT will be the third person on their team for the finale. Host The Miz congratulates everyone who didn’t make it to the finale for competing hard as they did with the promise all of their charities will get a donation in their names.

Everyone is happy & loose heading into the final course that will declare who is the best of the best. Taking over an entire football field, The Miz runs down the course ready to break every competitor starting with “Don’t Trip”: a game where each team must build a small bridge, scratching off numbers atop each intermediate block that will allow them to unlock a locked box holding their team’s flag that must be raised for the win. The Champs actually struggle at the start of “Don’t Trip”, giving The Stars an impressive lead mostly thanks to the larger bodies of CT & Bananas are hindering their progress. By the final platforms, both teams are able to make it to the flag, but remembering the order number costs The Stars.

The next phase is “Hard AF”: an old school “Challenge” game where competitors are standing on a pedestal avoiding being knocked off by a rotating beam while being hit by balls thrown by their competitors. The Champs are up first and Josh is abusing Emily with balls. The CT is the first to go down; ending The Champs’ round thanks to Josh’s attack.

The champs decide Justina is the weak link for their team; aiming for her the whole time. The strategy works to perfection.

“Face Race” is up next: a cart racer where the driver is blindfolded while the teammates are trying to help their partner knock down markers featuring faces of eliminated competitors from this season by offering directions. The Champs take the lead, but halfway through Michelle drives right into Emily. Justina is left collecting markers that need to be placed in front of their charities. The lack of conversations with Terrell Owens costs The Champs as they have no idea what TO was playing for; giving The Stars their first “Challenge” win.

“Slide Ball” is up next: a game of slip & slide soccer. The Champs call the play early and put themselves on the board. With two guys being on The Champs’ side, Michelle is forced to go into her bag of grappling tricks to potentially stop her opponents.

The game takes a sudden pause when Josh’s eyes become inflamed. Showing much heart, Josh continues on while replacing Justina as the goalie. It’s a bad decision as CT easily slips past him to score the final goal; making it 3-1 overall for The Champs that will give them an advantage in the final portion of this finale, “Tower of Power”: tethered together, the players must collect puzzle pieces littered around the grandstand before digging for some keys inside a box that’ll unchain them so they can build a climbable tower to achieve victory. Thanks to their three wins prior to the final Challenge, nine of the twenty-five keys that will be placed in the sandbox have been removed for The Champs while only three will be gone from The Stars’ box. The Champs try to go big with puzzle pieces collecting while The Stars take a more conservative approach to keep their energy levels nominal. Reaching the lowest boards placed, the two teams start colliding for the lead.

The Champs are the first ones to get all of their pieces thanks to grabbing more at a single time; leaving them to dig for keys. The Champs are unable to unlock anyone on their team as The Stars arrive at their sandbox. Bananas is able to find the keys for Emily & CT before discovering his own key. A mixture of sand and too many keys inevitably cost The Stars. Each Champ has earned $50000 for their respective charities to end another “Challenge” spin-off season in grand fashion.

Episode High(s): The Grand Finale. You can’t have a “Challenge’ finale without something crazy, but just like the “Champs vs. Pros” season they kept it mostly simple when it came to the final challenge. Keeping it simple actually made it so much more entertaining because it was easy to keep up with what was going on and still had the tension of everything that came before it by utilizing some of the same Challenges not seen in many moons. This episode was all action and worthy of “The Challenge” name.

Episode Low(s): Matt’s Tantrum. While it’s understandable someone would be upset not making it in the finale, Matt’s anger over him not being picked was really childish and made himself look bad in the end.

Challenge Winners: Johnny Bananas (Special Olympics), CT (F.I.G.H.T.) & Emily (Girls Inc.) ($50000 for Bananas, $55000 for CT & Emily respectively)

Eliminations: Cory (Episode 1); Camila (Episode 1); Jenna (Episode 2); Terrell Owens (Episode 3); Ashley (Episode 3); Romeo Miller (Episode 4); Shawn Jordan (Episode 4); Riff Raff (Episode 5); Aneesa (Episode 6); Matt Rife (Episode 8); Ariane Andrew (Episode 8); Kim Glass (Episode 8), Wes (Episode 8); Tori (Episode 8).

Most Embarrassing Athletic Display: Justina Valentine. This is one that’s reaching because everyone worked hard and did a good job, but Justina obviously fell short in pulling her weight in a couple of portions of the finale as she was targeted and placed in a bad position overall (being the goalie against CT & Bananas).

Competitor of the Week: Johnny Bananas. “The Challenge” king went all out to the point he was literally showing his booty during “Slide Ball”. Bananas powered through several phases, got all the keys for his team, and essentially led his team to victory. And that’s not mentioning the fact he convinced Emily that CT was necessary for their team makes Bananas the real MVP.

Episode Summary in Five Words or Less: Who can stop The Champs?



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