RECAP: "Split Decision"-The Challenge: Rivals 3 Finale

The finale of The Challenge: Rivals 3 aired last night, and I'm still reeling from the ending! Picking up from last week, the rivals move on to finish the rest of the Final. They have to now race all the way down the road to their next checkpoint! Vince and Jenna take the lead with the run, but this next checkpoint is actually over a cliff! The teams have to rappel down 250 feet to make to Wine and Mine. It's a simple memory game for each team member to flip over pieces and find the matches like we did when we were kids. It's crazy though, because these are all still individual events, so everyone is working separately first, and then going back to help their partner. With Bananas finishing first for this game, Sarah brings up splitting the money if they win. Bananas swears that they're a team and that they don't need to be worried about that right now! Mmhmm.

At the next checkpoint, Mine The Gap, the teams first have to go deep into a mine to find items that they will need to finish this point of the game. In the mines, it's cold, the teams can barely see anything, and the canisters that hold their items are pretty heavy. However, it's a pretty simple task. Afterwards, the teams have to run to complete another puzzle, using the sticks in their canisters to create a mining company logo. It's definitely more challenging than the memory game, but everyone seems to finish this in decent time.

Now, here comes some more endurance in the game. All of the teams have to run a kind of rough trail along the base of the mountain they'll be climbing. They all try to move as fast as they can, and fly down on a zipline to coast over a canyon to head to their basecamp for the night. At this point, the teams are pretty neck and neck when it comes to overall time, so it could be anyone's game!

T.J. congratulates them on getting this far, and introduces their next checkpoint, Sleep or Stump. The rivals will take turns with his or her partner in either resting in a luxurious tent or standing on a stump throughout the night. The team member who log the most time on the stump time will win two points towards this game within the game nonsense. Fairly simple, and the teams get through it, though no one is told who actually had the most hours on any of the teams!

The next morning, T.J. gives the teams their gemstones for making it through the night, and and even has a nice "breakfast" prepped for them. Of course, it's the nastiest crap ever, but the teams have to finish in a certain amount of time. Plus, each plate is worth points towards each individual score! Green plates worth 5, yellow plates get 10, and red are 11 points.  Any plate not finished when time runs out will be added a time penalty towards the team over all. No surprise, Vince absolutely kills the food which is lucky for Jenna, who is the pickiest eater on the planet! Of course, people get sick, but no one struggles more than Devin and Cheyenne, who end up getting a 20 minute penalty for not finishing in time.

Now, after eating all that nasty stuff, the teams then have to climb mountain La Cadenita, which is 14,000 feet, the highest in Challenge history! In the climb, Vince and Jenna start to really slow down, especially since Vince starts sitting down and losing momentum. The height and altitude gets to everyone, but starts to really shake Cheyenne, who is really afraid of heights. However, Devin refuses to let her quit and encourages her to push through!

In the end, Bananas and Sarah get to the top first, followed by Vince and Jenna, and then Devin and Cheyenne! However, since this is a timed event, there is no telling who the winners really are!
The teams go to meet TJ, who congratulates them all on getting through the Final, which, to me, was relatively easy compared to Finals past. But maybe that's just me. Of course, Devin and Cheyenne come in third place, taking home a respectable $25,000, and becoming the first folks from Are You The One to not only make it to the Final, but win money as well! Separated by 4 minutes, the winning team is Bananas and Sarah, winning $275,000, while Vince and Jenna win second with $50,000.

However, this ain't over people! Since the rivals were also competing as individuals, the team member who got the most points is ultimately able to decide if he or she will split the money with their partner or take the money and run! Devin and Vince got the most points, and it's no question for either of them that they'll split it! However, when it is announced that Bananas won over Sarah, he commits the GRIMIEST move EVER, and takes the entire $275,000 for himself, leaving Sarah with NOTHING. After all that work she put in. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Here's where I have a major problem. First, with MTV, for even making this an option. These challenges are rough! Just watching at home, I always think to myself, "There is just no way that I could do this." I get wanting to build drama, and make all these twists or whatever, but taking away someone's money that they rightfully earned is too much!

Now, Johnny Bananas. I root for this dude EVERY SINGLE TIME he's on a challenge. Say what you will, but he's one of, if not the best competitor in the history of this show. He plays the game well--mentally and physically. He's done some grimy things, but last night, he lost me for good. Sarah is a good part of the reason why they won as many challenges as they did, and she gave her absolute all. Though Bananas claimed in the reunion show that it really had everything to do with making his own life better and that he really had forgiven Sarah, to me, this was a petty move to get back at her for throwing him elimination on Exes II. And THEN he had the nerve to say that what he did was basically the same thing as Sarah betraying him back then. SIR. No, it wasn't. You were on two different teams on Exes II. Sarah wasn't working alongside you this entire time, helping you guys get to the Final as partners. Second of all, she sent you into an ELIMINATION ROUND, where you had a 50-50 chance of coming back. She didn't yank money completely away from you after you earned it through the Final! I lost ALL respect for him in this game in seconds, and many other fans did too. Bananas would probably say different, but there's no amount of money in the world that could make up for peace of mind. For him to think that this was okay, shows his character, and I feel extremely bad for Sarah.

So that's it for The Challenge: Rivals 3! I'll definitely be back watching and recapping the next season, and all of the drama that ensues. Filming is supposed to begin in October reportedly, so we'll see what's next soon. Personally, I would love to see another Duel where it's everyone for themselves, or Fresh Meat to get some new blood in!

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