Wow. There’s no really other adjective to use when describing the final surprise twist host TJ Lavin announced at the end of Wednesday night’s (July 27) episode of “The Challenge: Rivals III.” Even though Zap2it called this kind of change-up happening mid-season, seeing it actually take place, and the contestants’ mixed emotional reactions will make watching this final challenge absolutely riveting.
While this surprise new rule is quite “dirty and cutting” as Lavin describes, it’s a move that saves the series from having the most boring finale ever. Without this twist, Johnny Bananas and Sarah were going to wipe the floor clean with Jenna and Vinny and Devin and Cheyenne as their competition. By giving each contestant the option of keeping all the prize money to themselves, and not sharing the 1st, 2nd or 3rd place winnings with their “Rival” partner seriously shakes things up. These teammates, who’ve all at this point bonded into friends, are now “Rivals” once more.
The deep trustworthy bond and beautiful friendship that Bananas and Sarah rekindled this season has once again been squashed. The two were so dominant, worked so well together, and as veterans, treated with such respect by all the other contestants that they couldn’t help but wash their hand of their tumultuous past.
Now, it’s time kiss that newfound friendship goodbye. Bananas and Sarah are instantly distracted by this new rule, and can’t stop stewing over whether or not the other teammate is going to keep all the money for themselves or not. But even with this dark cloud hanging over their heads, it’s safe to assume that they’ll still whoop everyone’s butt. There’s really no chance that Vinny and Jenna or Devin and Cheyenne even have a prayer of beating Bananas and Sarah.
Bananas and Sarah have been through enough challenges before to be able keep their eyes on the prize. And if we had to hedge out bets, we’d put money that these two will make a pact midway through the finale and decide that whoever wins, the prize money will be split. At the same time, $275,000 is a record amount for one person to win on a challenge ever. This is a title and paycheck that might be extremely hard for both Sarah, whose future plans include going to grad school and starting a family, or Bananas, who’s just bananas, to turn down.
The finale episode of “The Challenge: Rivals III” airs on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.