Takin' on 'The Challenge': The Hours

This week brought us the second part of the 100-hour final on The Challenge. Last week, we unfortunately said goodbye to Olivia & Horacio due to a medical DQ, leaving us with three teams: Tori/Devin, Bananas/Nany, and Jordan/Aneesa.

This final has been a test of everything competitors face on this show -- endurance, puzzles, tests of strength, teamwork, eating, and T.J.'s ridicule. Just one more episode to go next week before we crown a champion.

Question 1: Is Nany the greatest eater in Challenge history?

TD: Pound-for-pound, I'd certainly say so. For someone with such a petite frame, Nany sure can pack it away. And she doesn't shy away from anything, either, she'll take on regular food or anything gross. You have to tip your cap to her for never backing down where so many others wither.

Blaine: I’d never considered it, but sure! Why not? I was impressed at how she handled the pasta in this episode. And during it, Bananas continued to joke. Is it me or is his heart not in it this season despite continuing to the final? They do not seemed destined to win with him being content at cracking wise rather than cracking skulls.

Question 2: What's your take on this final, so far? Has it lived up to past finals?

TD: I really like it. For awhile, finals basically became endurance cross-country events, with a puzzle or two thrown in. But this final is a good mix of everything you need to win on The Challenge. I'd rather watch a final like this than watch them climb another damn mountain, that's for sure.

Blaine: Last week’s episode — the first of three parts of this 100-hour final — was truly great. This episode felt hampered by the events being so drawn out. After a few competition rounds, it seemed as though days went by! It’s still a good final because it’s adding variety to what they have to do. (I don’t recall a car being pushed lately for a game.) I’m okay with more Challenge. The big issue, though, is that each leg or competition was much ado about nothing: what are they gaining? Extra sleep time? It needs to equate into something that’s related to the final, and that didn’t happen nearly enough on this episode.

Question 3: It looked like Tori & Devin might run away with it, but the eating station was a big equalizer, and now all three teams are pretty even heading into the last stage. What's your take on how it all ends?

TD: I did think Tori & Devin might win almost by default, after Aneesa hurt her ankle and Nany's knee started giving her trouble. But Bananas & Nany ended this episode in first, and once Jordan stopped being a dick, he and Aneesa caught up and are right there with the other two teams. It's anybody's game, but I think Bananas & Nany win, giving Johnny his eighth title and Nany her first. Tori & Devin have been working really well together, but the tease made it look like the final leg will have more of a head-to-head aspect, and that's where I think Bananas/Nany have the advantage. And I tell you what: if the endurance part is over, and this comes down to elimination-style events, Aneesa & Jordan become a very dangerous duo.

Blaine: If say that Aneesa and Jordan are absolutely not going to win, you’re nodding along, right? Unless something insane happens, Aneesa is done as far as her ankle is concerned. Then as attitudes go, I’m really on board with where Tori and Devin are. They’re clicking even where Nany and Bananas are not. Something about Bananas’ continual nonchalance doesn’t spell out Nany’s first championship. Instead, it writes the check for Devin and Tori’s first win on The Challenge.

Blaine Duncan
Blaine Duncan
Editor-In-Chief, Host of Taking It Down
TD Wood
TD Wood
Editor and host of Takin' On Sports