It’s the finale!
SEASON 26 EP 12 – The Finale (329th episode in the series)
Title: The Greatest Love of All (Again, an ode to music… R.I.P. Whitney… OMG – will someone die this episode? Maybe someone’s ego? I think the Greatest Love of All they really wanna focus on is the prize money).
Sarah & Jordan jump out of the helicopter first, into the cold water and swim to their rafts. Because they set the order, Jay & Jenna jump next, then Leroy and Theresa. Because Leroy is a weak swimmer and they jumped last and they kayaked in circles for a bit, they know they have time to make up.
After changing into dry clothes, the next leg of the race is to run along a road til they hit a checkpoint, which is a bunch of stones that spell out a sentence. The board gives the breakdown of the puzzle – 3 letter word, 4 letter word, 7 letter word, 3 letter word, 6 letter word.
The phrase is one T.J. gave in explaining the finale challenge and its checkpoints: You Will Respect the Trolls.
Jordan & Sarah finish it easily and leave before anyone else shows up.
Theresa & Leroy pass Jay & Jenna on the road. Theresa even makes a comment to Jenna to fall to 3rd place where she should be. Jenna is committed to jogging, to Jay’s dismay as he reminds her about the money and pushes Jenna not to quit.
Theresa figures out the puzzle while Leroy stands back and watches.
Jenna puts together the word trolls, but team trivia victory can’t figure anything else and when the 30 minute time limit expires, they move on by default.
After more running, the next checkpoint is a messed up game of flip cup. It’s some fish juice concoction of horror. They have to drink a glass, then try to flip coasters on top of a whole line of more glass of this nastiness.
The problem with this checkpoint challenge is that flip cup is a lot easier than trying to flip a coaster on top of a pint glass. Did anyone at MTV test this challenge? It seems impossible. Jordan & Sarah figure as much and resign themselves to having to drink all the glasses of this putrid grossness.
Leroy & Theresa show up, draw the same conclusion and chug it down.
Jay & Jenna eventually arrive, but Jay can’t even stomach a whole glass. Jenna drinks some, pukes and says she’s only drinking more if Jay is gunna be able to hold up to his end of the bargain. “I’m not drinking this if you aren’t,” Jenna says. The tables have turned now, with Jenna telling Jay to suck it up and reminding him about the money, telling him not to quit.
Oh yeah, regarding this checkpoint, literally everyone vomits (5 points for all).
T.J. shows up and tells Jay & Jenna they’re doing a terrible job and if they don’t get it done, they’re out.
Jay is struggling. T.J. calls him out calmly, “are you crying?” He is (20 points for Jay). “Have you ever seen this show before?” T.J. asks, “It’s part of it.”
Jay says he can do anything but this. Jay asks Jenna how she feels about them calling it and that’s it. They are disqualified, they quit. T.J. explicitly expresses his disappointment (-5 points for Jay & Jenna). T.J. then proceeds to launch into an awesome epic lecture on how bad they are, how they are the layups, etc. It’s terrific.
Jordan & Sarah arrive at the next checkpoint, which is another task that seems to have not been tested by MTV quality control, if such department exits. The teams had picked up 5 rocks and need to eat a tube of “local caviar,” then try to throw the rocks into buckets far enough away that this task is too hard.They can go back for more rocks and down more tubes of fish eggs, but it’s all for nothing because Leroy got one rock in and that’s it.
Neither team complete the task, but they try so they don’t even get the 30 minute time limit to relax or anything. Also, Jordan & Sarah puke more.
Next checkpoint after some more running, has the teams taking bikes to travel farther. Leroy & Theresa, who have been bickering at times through this final, finally are mad enough at each other that it constitutes verbal fighting (5 points each for Leroy & Theresa).
Jordan yells at Sarah, but in a somewhat encouraging way, while Sarah is suffering and needs to pull over from biking to take a dump in the woods (10 points).
After biking, they run up a little hill and find a campsite.It’s a two-day final. Sarah finally breathes. They sit by the fire. Sarah cries about how mean Nia and Bananas and people were and how no one thinks she can do it (5 points). Jordan bonds with her since he only has a hand and a half, so his abilities are doubted frequently.
Leroy & Theresa show up. Leroy pees by the fire (10 points).
They all wonder where Jay & Jenna are, figure she couldn’t handle the fish drink. Leroy & Theresa talk about politics. Theresa correctly informs Leroy he needs to play the game or he’ll get played and tells him the truth: he only got to the finale cause he was able to win eliminations, but in the future, he needs to play the politics to stay out of dome situations. Leroy doesn’t wanna hear it, but he has to know it’s true.
It’s cold and dark and the teams have to stay a pair and either both be sitting by the fire or both together on this little mattress. It’s forced cuddling for warmth. It’s kinda funny.
In the morning, T.J. shows up, explains that Jay & Jenna quit – saying, “I guess they were a layup” – Sarah nods. T.J. explains that the last part of the Challenge is to race to the top of Mount Slogen. Because Jordan & Sarah got to the campsite first, winning day one, they get a 5 minute lead.
Sarah is upset, but not really crying. She’s cold, tired, sore, hungry… oh, and Leroy & Theresa made up 20 minutes on them the day before, so 5 minute lead time seems like nothing.
Quick side note – I don’t get this small lead reward thing they do. You work hard all day and you get a pretty small lead. Does this encourage any weaker teams (like Jay & Jenna but not that weak) to take it slow and steady day one (still need to get to the campsite by nightfall, but maybe job not run type effort) and then explode day two because they conserved their energy? It’s a gamble, but I’d be interested to see if any team ever goes into a finale with that strategy.
Nevertheless, 5 minutes is enough for Jordan & Sarah, who at one point are in Leroy & Theresa’s sights, but they can’t catch up.
Jordan & Sarah get to the top and touch the flag to win (100 points each). Sarah lays down and cries (5 points) while Jordan shouts with joy (who would have the energy to do that? Jordan I guess.
Unclear how many minutes later, Leroy & Theresa get to the top and take 2nd place (30 points each). Somehow, Theresa, who cried so much this season, doesn’t cry at the top of the gorgeous Norwegian mountain. Maybe she knows she’s lucky to have been brought back for the final at all so it wasn’t a really hard to watch layup of just Jordan & Sarah vs. Jay & Jenna.
Sarah cries in her final interview about the season (5 points).
T.J. isn’t at the top of the mountain. He either didn’t wanna climb or was still chastising Jay & Jenna for quitting.
Scoring for the finale (episode 12) is noted below:
A link to the Excel file is here: BOTE2 Scores – Ep12
Best player performance of the episode: Sarah (130 points)
Worst player performance of the episode: Jenna (0 points)