It’s the final day of the Challenge Invasion final!
Season 29 Episode 15 (Finale)
Title: The True Champions
We pick up where we left off, end of Day 2. Camila and Cory don’t finish their puzzle. They get the 30-minute maximum time penalty. Camila is not pleased.
Once they get back to the shelter, Camila talks to CT about her rough day. Since it’s the shelter, Cory is in earshot of this conversation. Camila and Cory fight about their bad Day 2 performance (10 points each). It’s easy to understand Cory being salty. He was the only one who, going into Day 3, was so far behind he’s really extremely unlikely to win. It wasn’t looking good for Nicole either, but not as bad as Cory.
Quick reminder on where we are:
Camila – 1st place Day 1, 3rd place Day 2
Smashley – 2nd place Day 1 +5 minutes from the Time Buster, 1st place Day 2 (but unclear if that includes penalty time from not doing the rope checkpoint)
Nicole – 3rd place by a lot Day 1, 2nd place Day 2
CT – 1st place Day 1 +5 minutes from the Time Buster, 1st place Day 2 (but unclear if that includes penalty time from not doing the rope checkpoint)
Nelson – 2nd place Day 1, 2nd place Day 2
Cory – 3rd place by a lot Day 1, 3rd place Day 2
T.J. finishes Day 2 with another Time Buster. The objective is to sting the most beads onto twine as possible. While last episode’s Time Buster was an hour, this Time Buster does not have a defined amount of time… it’s until T.J. come back. He implies it will be a while, as he “expects to see beads all the way down the beach” by the time he returns.
When Cory complains about stringing beads, Camila calmly asks him if he has a better strategy. Just like what was shown the day before, Cory does not have a better strategy. It was, however, nice of Camila to ask nicely this time (unless she was being condescending or maybe obsequious… hard to tell). Camila is also just going crazy between being tired and the repetitive nature of this task.
Five hours of threading beads and they all call a truce, saying it’s time to have canned meal feast. T.J. shows up, gets pissed that they’re having fun and counts the beads. -5 points for all for T.J. disappointment in not being competitive enough. It’s close, but the winner of this Time Buster is CT & Smashley by 51 beads. Smashley puts 5 minutes back on Nicole, not because of revenge, but because Nicole came in first for the day and it’s a good strategy. CT puts 5 minutes on Nelson, who understands and still thinks he’s doing pretty well.
Camila feels awful and thinks she’s in last. She almost cries in her interview.
After some rest, T.J. comes back to announce it’s time for the final day of the finale. The day features a series of checkpoints and a 10-mile kayak. That’s very far. For this leg, the pairings need patience and persistence. The pairings are:
- Camila and Nelson (CT is worried about the strength of this pairing)
- Nicole and CT (muscle beach)
- Smashley and Cory (Ex-plosion season roommates… even though Smashley didn’t stay in that house very long, Rivals 3 teammates)
The final day starts with taking a long pole with hooks on it and picking up buckets with it and bringing it down the beach. Cory thinks he has the worst partner for this because Smashley is so skinny and not muscular. Camila complains that she’s short so the long bucket by her legs is getting in her way. Camila yells at Nelson (5 points for verbal attack). Nicole and CT cruise, finish the bucket first. Smashley and Cory come in 2nd, while Camila and Nelson are in 3rd for this checkpoint. Camila wishes she had CT for this leg, just like Cory wishes he had Nicole.
Next is a long kayak journey… ten miles. CT tries to show Nicole how to hold the paddle correctly and gets a little impatient. He yells at Nicole (5 points for verbal attack), but calms down quickly when Nicole asks him to. Camila and Nelson are doing well, until they go the wrong way. When they straighten out Camila yells at Smashley and Cory who are in her way, passing them (5 points for verbal attack).
This long kayak is tough for everyone. Smashley and Cory have a little strategy spat (10 points each).
Even though CT doesn’t seem to love working with Nicole and they flip their kayak at one point, they finish the kayaking first. Camila and Nelson make up for their getting lost and come in second (not too far behind), while Smashley and Cory come in third. Cory feels defeated at this point. It’s clear he’s coming in 3rd.
Nicole is feeling good, but she wasn’t too far ahead of Camila and Smashley and still has that awful first day in her time.
The final leg of the final day is the individual challenge. The competitors will just from one boat going 40 miles an hour to another boat with a hanging bar. They will hold the bar as long as possible and then swim and then run to a finish line. There’s only one boat set up, so they don’t go at the same time. They go individually and are timed.
While this makes logistical sense, it means that once again, we have a final run to a finish line, but that doesn’t tell us the winner, because we need calculated collective times.
T.J. announces that, not surprisingly, Cory’s 3rd place finishes on Day 1 and 2 cost him and he comes in 3rd place (10 points). By just 2 minutes and 22 seconds, CT wins (100 points). He’s a true champion, and $100,000+ his part of the Champ bank richer. Nelson comes in 2nd place (30 points) and receives the $15,000 associated with 2nd plus Underdog bank money.
For the girls, Nicole also pays for her inability to do simple division, coming in 3rd for the females (10 points) and getting $5,000, plus bank money. Drumroll please… and Smashley wins (100 points). Camila gets 2nd place for the ladies (30 points) and $15k. Camila isn’t pleased. Just like Cory, she thinks she didn’t have the right partner on the right days.
Smashley can’t believe it and cries (5 points). T.J. lets her use his phone to call her mom. She cries in an interview, too (5 more points).
This season pinned Champs against themselves, leaving just the “best of the best” for the Underdogs to beat in the final. Smashley lucked out, facing Camila and not Laurel or Cara Maria. But she also worked well with all her partners, proved that knowing division matters and fought for her win. Even more impressive, Nelson almost beat a “true champion” by pushing himself and letting Smashley count triangles.
She makes mention of brains in her and CT’s winner-winner-chicken-dinner interview with People.
End of season stats coming soon.
- Time Buster was a fun new final addition, but it ended up having no effect on the outcome.
- While I love that they all decided they didn’t want to string beads anymore and called a truce to have a middle of the night snack, if Nelson was still Nelson from the Bloodbath episode, he would have defied the truce, added beads and that five minute penalty on CT would have made Nelson the Champ.
- Not a great final for Cory. MTV loves him, so we know he’ll be back. Let’s see if this disappointing performance fuels his fire or exposes his flaws as a competitor.
- Camila is proud that she beat Laurel and had a good season. Considering last season her and Tony were kicked off for fighting, yeah, this was a much better season for Camila.
- These finals are always a little anti-climactic, especially because there’s no crossing the finish line first moment. Maybe next season MTV can add the times, give the appropriate head starts and then send them on a foot race? Would be good for CT vs. Nelson situation of close times, but probably not satisfying if the times aren’t close (which I assume they were not for the girls or else T.J. would have mentioned it).
- No trivia challenge this season. No T.J. “you killed it” this season. Because the Champs and Underdogs didn’t actually face each other in eliminations, our Underdog Bonus category got no action either. Wamp wamp.
- T.J. has an Under Armor polo? Is that the most dressed up we’ve ever seen him???!!?
- Nicole doesn’t regret “nothing” she said. So she stands by wanting Cara Maria more before she got to know Laurel? Interesting choice. I can’t wait for next week’s reunion!
Episode 15 scores shown below:
A link to the excel score spreadsheet is here: Invasion – Ep15 Scores
Best player performance of the episode: Smashley (115 points)
Worst player performance of the episode: Nicole (5 points)