It’s time for the Final Day 2, which is actually seemingly the rest of Day 1 and Day 2, divided into four stages and no checkpoints, as opposed to part one, which was one stage with four checkpoints. Brianna is as confused by MTV’s jargon as I am. But it doesn’t matter. There are more timed tasks and the cumulative best time wins the big bucks.


Title: Family Matters

Fun reminder: Team Staten Island has the lead going into the final part of the final.

This week’s episode starts with the teams getting dressed in suits and given briefcases to complete four more stages of the epic final. They must keep the briefcase with them. Looking like real professional people with important jobs, T.J. tells them never to go to work on an empty stomach.

Stage 2 (which is the first stage of this episode) is eating gross food. Since they’re in Berlin, it’s German grossness, like blood soup, bloodwurst, speck and a couple other plates of not the best-looking stuff.

This, of course, leads to a ton of vomit. There is a limit of two vomits per episode, for fantasy points. Cara Maria, Cory and Jenna all puke at least twice (1o points each). Mitch and Jamie are also shown vomiting (5 points each).

Cara Maria and Jamie finish first. T.J. tells the competitors they have a train to make. Jenna is struggling and Brianna gives her a hard time, reminding Jenna that this is what was her team’s downfall last season. The two get mad at each other and fight (10 points each). Jenna mentions that she’d have no problem if it were chicken noodle soup. Oh, Jenna… there’s nothing challenging about eating the most basic soup ever.

When time runs out, Cory and Mitch have two plates remaining, which means they will be given a 10 minute penalty to their final time. Jenna and Brianna have six plates left, so they are getting an extra half an hour tacked to their time.

Finale Stage 3 - Train Station Sleepover

Finale Stage 3 – Train Station Sleepover

The group travels by limo to a train station and are escorted deep into the bowels, to an abandoned track. Welcome to Stage 3! Instead of sleeping on a train and heading to some mountain, as Cara Maria predicts, they have to stay at the station all night. Each team gets a little box of ground to stand in and a bench. If the briefcase touches the floor, a time penalty occurs. Each team takes turns holding both briefcases, standing, bored and waiting for a train they know won’t come, and sleeping on the bench.

Mitch has a reputation for getting drunk and passing out/being able to sleep anywhere (see the Stuff They Should Have Shown). I wonder if it was easy for him to sleep on that bench… I am sure they were all so tired that they got a little rest in.

Come morning, T.J. retrieves them and brings them to Stage 4: a 10-mile canoe race down Spree River. The views are terrific. After an evening of staring at concrete walls, the contestants are rewarded with an outstanding way to see Berlin.

Final Stage 4: Canoe Berlin

Final Stage 4: Canoe Berlin

In order to canoe in a straight line, you gotta steer from the rear. Jamie and Cara Maria seem to know what they are doing. They get out in front and never look back. Cory and Mitch are not as great on the steering side of this, but they hang in there and aren’t too far behind. Meanwhile, Jenna and Brianna yell at each other (10 points each) as they are very frustrated that they can’t figure out how to get a groove going.

Finally, Team Staten Island completes their canoe trip.

T.J. brings them to the final stage/part/not checkpoint at Olympic Stadium. T.J. tells them to complete a puzzle and instructs that the pieces are in those briefcases they’ve been lugging around. After that, they are to enter the stadium and run eight laps (2 miles) around the track. Why a puzzle and running is one stage and not two is beyond me, but I really just need to get over MTV’s odd wording in this episode.

Finale - Stage 5 PuzzleThe puzzle is one we have seen before. MTV has used it, I don’t have time to research when, but certainly in the past 5 or 6 seasons.Finale - Stage 5

The pieces are numbers 1-9. The goals is to place the numbers down so that every row equals the same sum. Mitch and Cory figure it out quickly because it’s not that hard and maybe they have seen this before.

Cara Maria and Jamie seem to take at least another 15 minutes to figure it out. Jenna and Brianna are stumped.

It is very difficult for me to understand this being so tough. If all the numbers have to add to the same amount and you have numbers as low as 1 and 2,  and numbers are high as 8 and 9, you know those have to connect to each other. That starting off point (based solely on logic), can not be that hard to figure out.

However, the exhaustion of dragging around heavy bags, puking up beer and food, not sleeping, canoeing a mini-half-marathon, may kind of justify… eh, I can’t even sell myself on making excuses for them. Time elapses on Jenna and Brianna.

By the time Team Staten Island finishes their two mile run, the rest have been sitting around for a bit and have caught their breath. T.J. calculates the cumulative time.

This is clearly not as exciting as seeing a team run to a finish line and immediately know their level of achievement. By the end of the season every season, much of the fun drama is over and it’s just a matter of seeing who wins. Because of that, it’s always a bit anti-climatic, but this season especially so.

All three of these teams are likable in their own way. Brianna and Jenna are adorably ditzy, underestimated underdogs who are helpless, but sweet. Mitch and Cory are rookies who played in straight, without fear, having fun. Cara Maria is the seasoned veteran, looking for victory in her 8th challenge appearance, partnered with a level-headed cousin who tried his best to keep her calm and focused.

In an interview, Cara Maria says that at his point it’s “literally anyone’s game” (eye-roll). While she’s trying to be endearing, come on now. We all know Jenna and Brianna are in 3rd place (10 points each). Even though they won the first stage, they accumulated 30 minutes of penalty in the eating challenge, were very last in the canoe and quite behind on the puzzle/run, too. It’s still a victory for Jenna, who redeems herself from last season’s awful quitting in the final. Jenna can also be proud, as she went into three elimination pits and won all of them. Brianna, while not as important to the team’s success, didn’t do anything stupid enough to get them disqualified!

Like rookies Cory and Mitch, Jenna and Brianna didn’t try to manipulate people or play politics. They kept their heads down and just did whatever they could do.

Olympic Stadium in Berlin

Olympic Stadium in Berlin

The difference between winning the gold and $250,000 versus the silver and $75,000 seems close. Cory and Mitch really took that last leg (see, now I’m making my own terms for this whole thing!), but lagged on Stage 1 pretty badly. Remember, MTV really punished the guys with those insane 120 lb bags.

It was very disappointing to not see a graphic explaining how the time was calculated. Instead, in an even more anti-climatic end of the season as previous years, T.J. simply says it was close and announces that Cara Maria and Jamie are the winners (100 points each).

That means Cory and Mitch are second place (30 points each). They are also proud of their accomplishment. Not bad, rookies, not bad at all. Cory is also gracious to his competitors, saying that Cara Maria and Jamie earned it.

And they did. The two of them were a good team who worked hard. Cara Maria clearly trained like crazy as she’s ripped. Cara Maria wanted this to be her season, and boy was it! Cara Maria cries (5 points). While she can be annoying at times (like Sarah Rice), it’s gratifying to see someone who has been hunting victory and working harder and harder to get it, finally reach their goal.

Cara Maria and Jamie Win!

Cara Maria and Jamie Win!

Cara Maria dominated in both drama and performance this season. In her personal life, she hit a deep low, but in the Challenge she got her championship and, at this point in her life, that seems to be what’s more important to her.

More on this in the final scores and reunion blog entries…

Scores for Episode 13 are shown below:

Ep13 Scores

Ep13 Scores

A link to the excel file is here: Bloodlines – Ep13 Scores

Best player performance of the episode: Cara Maria (115 points)

Worst player performances of the episode: Mitch and Brianna (30 points each)

End of season stats coming soon!

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