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S34.E15: A Tale of Two Countries

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The daunting Final begins, with both teams evenly matched. Endurance, puzzles, and math put Team USA and Team UK to the ultimate test. One player has a shocking and disastrous gas-out that threatens to sink their team.

Airs December 4, 2019.

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Tonight's biggest winner: Zach Nichols. For years, I have made fun of him gassing out at the worst moment, unable to get that second title. I have made so many jokes centering on him passed out on top of Jenna. leaving her staring at the ceiling and evaluating her life. But I think the title can be safely passed to Paulie. Oh, and Cara takes Jenna's place on the bed.

The finale is as big of a clusterfuck as it always is. Natalie and Cara Maria don't have to live through another death march, but it isn't as stupid a course as, say, Final Reckoning. Leroy comes off the best here, because he's tired of getting tripped before the finish line. Zach makes good points about how the US team could have been stronger, but he's still a Neandrathal. Jordan earns his quips, but he's approaching Johnny's level of obnoxiousness. CT's dick moment could have cost the UK team their lead . . . but it didn't matter. And Paulie decides that he needs to constantly carry the weight, so it's no surprise that he's stumbling around in a dramatic fashion. And it would be tragic if he wasn't such a frickin' choad.

Natalie is still getting roasted. With the teams being pared down to four apiece, there's still a chance she could get a big payday with fewer annoying people joining her. I'm not in love with her, but I really want her haters (the really hardcore bunch) to choke on her success. I'm the same about Karishma over on Survivor. Yeah, she's a sad sack, but so am I. Natalie's biggest crime is coming from a series where social warfare isn't required.

Hey, Ex On The Beach is on a mountain! And Nicole has to face Laurel! Apparently, Killbots can snowboard, but they can't sit on inflatable birds. Good to remember on Judgement Day.

ETA the Tweet of the Night:

Edited by Lantern7
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Oh man a purge is coming. I hope Tori and Jordan in the top 4 for team UK.  So team USA is going to get a penalty for carrying the bags by hand, right? Team USA falling apart is funny.

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33 minutes ago, falltime said:

Oh man a purge is coming. I hope Tori and Jordan in the top 4 for team UK.  So team USA is going to get a penalty for carrying the bags by hand, right? Team USA falling apart is funny.

That's what I'm thinking. I could've have sworn that TJ told the teams that the bags and idol had to be carried on the gurney at all times. There has to be a penalty assessed at the beginning of the next episode.

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2 hours ago, Michichick said:

Wow, Paulie sucks at finals. Two years in a row that he’s embarrassed himself.

2 hours ago, angelamh66 said:

Oh show, please don’t toy with me. Paulie going out in a blaze of suck would just be too satisfying. 

What happened in his previous Final?  I'm forgetting these things and it was only last year!

Last week, he was talking about his legacy.

This week, he was saying he was peaking while the other challengers peaked too soon and were going to gas out.

Problem is he decided to burn himself out carrying the gurney in the back mostly by himself and doing double-duty in the first two legs.

Otherwise the girls would have had to carry more weight and USA might not have kept pace.

 I vaguely remember him jumping ahead without thinking in the previous Final and getting injured or something.  Obviously he didn't think strategically in the first two legs of this Final or during the seasons.

USA has a team of 4 women and 3 men.  But it's 20 pounds for each of them so it's tougher.  Maybe if they only put 10 pounds for each woman, their numbers would still be an advantage.

Cara and Paulie must have thought that the Final would break up into male-female pairs so that only two people would share the top prize?  Though Zach and others told them they should be keeping their best players.  But who knows what the producers told them during the season.

The extra numbers slow them down, like all of them have to do the math and the eating challenges.  

Ashley has no gag reflex!  But Zach is right about them swallowing a live thing like that.

Funny she said the scorpions tasted good!

OK, so if Paulie can't even finish Stage 1, he can't continue right?  So the first 4 to solve the puzzle on the US team continue and one of the UK team gets left behind.

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49 minutes ago, mattman1624 said:

 There has to be a penalty assessed at the beginning of the next episode.

That was what I was thinking as well.  They have not finished the leg yet so it will probably happen when they get to the next pit stop (for lack of a better term).

I think the producers screwed over the Americans.  Why should the team that did the best in the season be penalized?  They should have made the weights equal for both teams, it might not have helped USA out but it would not have put them at a huge disadvantage right out of the gate.

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18 minutes ago, scrb said:

What happened in his previous Final?  I'm forgetting these things and it was only last year!

I forgot lots that happened last season. season 33. I didn't remember that he almost made it to the finals last season. On season 32 he did make it to the finals and got 3rd place with Natalie after they spent the majority of the time in the redemption house.

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Popping in to show an even meaner tweet:

Hey, I’m just glad nobody seems to be throwing in pics of Coral from The Gauntlet finale.

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Something I've noticed about these challenges over the past few weeks is that I bet they're cool (or strenuous/interesting) to compete in, but they make for bad television. Watching people racing through a jungle carrying a gurney with sandbags on it for ... nearly the entire hour is almost as scintillating as watching these Mensa candidates do math.

At least with the first part of last year's final in the desert (on bikes!), there was this sense of vast, open space and it made for some epic shots. But the team final is confusing. When the two teams were jostling each other, I lost all sense of perspective. And even the challenges at the checkpoints were just people screaming at each other to finish. If someone struggles at a checkpoint, and someone else passes them -- I get that. Two people crying over not being able to do math versus one person on the other team and ... yeah, you lose me.

I thought the Ashley vs Nany "super-elimination" through the jungle last week was great -- there was a sense of urgency and it allowed us a look at each of them as competitors. This is a mess. If they're gonna do teams, put them on a field and have them settle it in a game. But "teams carry some stuff together and then do individual challenges" is so odd. And kind of boring.

Hope it gets better next week. ::yawns::

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Dee really surprised me.  She held up her end (literally) of the challenge.

That grub worm 😓

At least the scorpion was crunchy!

The math board would have been confusing but to actually cry over it was a bit much, Cara.  I do like Ashley's feedback on Cara's eating though.  She's a 9 time finalist, you know eating it a part of it, suck it up!

The US girls were all "let Paulie rest, he's carried the gurney 2 rounds" & Leroy is looking at them like "HELLO, so did I" LOL

There is a lot to be said about people who will follow you into a final & people who will work with you to get to a final.  I think maybe Paulie is realizing that now since Zach quite literally screamed it in his face!

They even the teams out to 4 each.  Is this by vote or a challenge elimination?

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It's so satisfying to see Paulie take a dive after bragging himself up all season. Still, why do I have a sinking feeling that most of these idiots will blindly follow Paulie and Cara in the next challenge and we'll have the same stupid result.

Edited by xhoipolloix
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I wonder if they chose to have them run through the forested areas to give them shade and lessen the effects of the heat and humidity.

If they ran all that distance out in the sun, it would be more difficult.

But that means not easy to get overhead shots.  They had overhead (probably from a drone) of the trucks taking them to the Final but then when they actually started running, there was always tree cover so no overhead shots.

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Ashley: “Paulie, think of what Jordan will say about this!”

😂 

I don’t care what anyone says, Smashley is a champ. Cara embarrassed herself. Paulie is a try hard idiot doing too much yet again. I hope he’s removed from the final. He’s alive, so we know he’s fine. 
 

If the purge is a puzzle, bye bye Rogan. Team US is more difficult to predict. I’d say Ashley and Zach are definitely going to advance. Cara is decent at puzzles too. If Paulie somehow survives he’d probably finish in top 4. 

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13 hours ago, Lantern7 said:

Zach makes good points about how the US team could have been stronger,

Not really because Nany was in his alliance. Sure the US team is sucking now but they would have sucked if the other alliance won. Both alliances had weaker players in their alliance. If they really wanted a strong team they would have stopped with the bullshit alliances and actually taken out their weak players . While the US team has more weight they also got more players so they could have switched out three of their players each round while the Brits could only switch out one.

This challenge reminds me of Inferno 2 where the bad guys were beating the good guys all the time but in the end the four good guys left were a better core team than the bad guys. 

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Well that was just hilarious. 

Love how Paulie freaks out when anyone brings up his smaller stature, but is quick to use it as his own defense when he’s struggling with something. His failure is wonderful to watch. It couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Unfortunately, he’s far too narcissistic to own the fact that he wasn’t fit enough for this and will somehow twist this into something that was unfair or where he had to work harder than everyone else. He’ll never admit the problem was that he couldn’t hack it. 

Cara is also ridiculous. The crying over math? Good lord. Then more crying over an eating task. Ashley looked like she was ready to punch her. People need to toss Cara into eliminations more. If it’s anything other than a pure physical task, she’s done. I don’t know where she got this reputation for being a dominating force in elimination rounds. I would much rather take her on than Tori, Ashley, OR Kam. 

While I see Zach’s point about needing a stronger team, the weakest links in the USA team are Paulie and Cara themselves. And Ninja, which to be fair, Zach did highlight from early on. I agree that it’s a bit hypocritical of him when he would have preferred Nany, but he’s not wrong overall that having Wes, Laurel, Jordan, Tori, or Johnny would have made this a much better team. 

I agree that this final isn’t very interesting to watch, but I believe it’s the third of its kind. Both Bloodlines and WOTW 1 had finals that had to be completed in “circuits” with a challenge of some kind at the end of each circuit. I do think the gurneys were clearly poorly designed, and it’s not really fair to team USA that theirs is falling apart. The challenge is supposed to be carrying the extra weight, not having a gurney that is broken due to that extra weight. For that reason, I wouldn’t have a problem with no penalty for carrying the bags. 

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Those grubs, omg. I felt badly for them, struggling to get out of those little shot glasses 😞  I think I would have cried if I had to eat those nasty things too, tbh. However, the scorpions actually looked tasty to me.

What was with TJ's speech at the start of the final? "I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS OF YOUR POLITICKING!" He never said that shit to John, (or Evan, or Kenny) when they were pulling shady ass moves all season long back in the day. Gee, I wonder if he has his favorites?

 I don't hate Paulie the way everybody else does, but I was still shaking my head at him the entire time for being such a braggart all season long, only to gas out so miserably during the final. 

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Team USA mishandled the gurney. They continually dropped it from shoulder and hip height. Keeping the gurney intact was part of the challenge. I don’t think it was unfair for the US to be punished with extra weight. The US chose to keep sending their strong players in. They blindly followed Cara and Paulie. Part of the advantage of winning most of the dailies was being able to mold the teams. Cara became obsessed with getting Jordan out of the game. Team USA’s grand plan was predicated on Kayleigh being in the final and Jordan and Tori being eliminated. None of those things happened and now they are the underdogs. 
 

If team US loses this final, I can’t imagine people wanting to work with Cara and Paulie moving forward. They controlled the game and now they are the two weakest competitors in the final. Paulie would have broken down in two straight challenges and Cara proves Jordan right that she is a liability. She freaks out on anything relating to water,eating,math, and heights. Her biggest strengths are endurance and puzzles. That’s it. I’d take Ashley in a final any day over Cara. 

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4 minutes ago, Zima said:

Those grubs, omg. I felt badly for them, struggling to get out of those little shot glasses 😞  I think I would have cried if I had to eat those nasty things too, tbh. However, the scorpions actually looked tasty to me.

What was with TJ's speech at the start of the final? "I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS OF YOUR POLITICKING!" He never said that shit to John, (or Evan, or Kenny) when they were pulling shady ass moves all season long back in the day. Gee, I wonder if he has his favorites?

 I don't hate Paulie the way everybody else does, but I was still shaking my head at him the entire time for being such a braggart all season long, only to gas out so miserably during the final. 


I don’t know about TJ but you can tell the producers don’t view Paulie and Cara very positively. I can’t say that I blame them. 

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3 hours ago, Jillibean said:

Zach did highlight from early on. I agree that it’s a bit hypocritical of him when he would have preferred Nany, but he’s not wrong overall that having Wes, Laurel, Jordan, Tori, or Johnny would have made this a much better team. 

But his alliance got rid of Wes.

His alliance was the one that threw their own strong player in first. So every time he says that it's Paul and Cara fault that the team is weak I tell his tv self to shut up because he was part of the alliance that started it. 

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5 hours ago, ImpinAintEasy said:

If team US loses this final, I can’t imagine people wanting to work with Cara and Paulie moving forward. They controlled the game and now they are the two weakest competitors in the final. Paulie would have broken down in two straight challenges and Cara proves Jordan right that she is a liability. She freaks out on anything relating to water,eating,math, and heights. Her biggest strengths are endurance and puzzles. That’s it. I’d take Ashley in a final any day over Cara. 

Don't forget her fear of needles.

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Paulie sucks, he cried over having to make apple pies on Big Brother.  He cried and said he was freaked out over butterflies on Big Brother.  He has a massive Napoleon complex and he is hot headed. 

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Why has every damn episode of this season been 90 minutes, but the finale episodes are only an hour each???

On 12/4/2019 at 10:59 PM, BK1978 said:

I think the producers screwed over the Americans.  Why should the team that did the best in the season be penalized?  They should have made the weights equal for both teams, it might not have helped USA out but it would not have put them at a huge disadvantage right out of the gate.

I agree. The only way for this to not be a disadvantage was for them to have all but one person helping to carry the weight, same as the UK.  But limiting them to 4 people carrying the weight of 8, while UK only carries the weight of 5?  It either wasn't planned well or it was planned specifically to screw the US so that the "underdogs" could emerge victorious.  

17 hours ago, xfuse said:

While the US team has more weight they also got more players so they could have switched out three of their players each round while the Brits could only switch out one.

Very true.  

14 hours ago, Zima said:

Those grubs, omg. I felt badly for them, struggling to get out of those little shot glasses 😞  I think I would have cried if I had to eat those nasty things too, tbh. However, the scorpions actually looked tasty to me.

I've had fried scorpions before and they were delicious.  They tasted like crispy chicken skin.  Those grubs looked disgusting and I defintiely wouldn't have been able to swallow them live.  And I don't even want to think of the goo that would pop out when you bite into one.  

tenor.gif

11 hours ago, xfuse said:

But his alliance got rid of Wes.

His alliance was the one that threw their own strong player in first. So every time he says that it's Paul and Cara fault that the team is weak I tell his tv self to shut up because he was part of the alliance that started it. 

Exactly.  They keep bitching about a strategy that their team/alliance initiated.  But the underhandedness is always okay when Johnny is the mastermind.  Whatever Zach.  (Although he did make me chuckle when he finished the math problem with lightning speed and shouted out his college.)

I hate Paulie, but when someone says they can't see or stand and that they need water, don't take away the camelpak filled with water!  Also, what in the hell has he don't to Cara?  I don't remember her crying over things like this before. She would definitely get frustrated and mad at herself, but she would keep working at whatever it was until she figured it out or time was called.  This whole "I can't do it; whaaa, whaaa, whaaa!" business is different.  It's as if it's a way to let Paulie know she needs him or can't do things on her own unless he's there to "guide" her.  I've never been a huge Cara fan, but I've always had a small (tiny) amount of respect for her (never when it came to her taste in men though).  Something about this just doesn't sit well with me.  

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Well if it’s a disadvantage having too many challengers on the team whose fault is that for keeping too many around?

Looks like stage 2 finishes in the water.  Imagine if there was a long swim involved and USA got rid of Wes and drove Jordan and Tori to the U.K. tam.

As for them getting rid of Wes, he was trying to make the biggest alliance so he would have been a threat to everyone on the US team not in his alliance.  If Wes had won, he was going to have most of the UK players that Cara and Paulie picked up.

Maybe the producers stacked the US team and encouraged them to form alliances, if not outright scripted it.  In fact it seemed suspicious how people found out about Wes trying to grab the U.K. players.

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Is 40 more pounds spread out over 4 people really that much of a disadvantage? I think the bigger problem was the difference in height between Paulie/Ninja/Cara and Zach/LeRoy. The unevenness made it more difficult to carry the gurney on their shoulders.
 

I don’t know, but if there is a big swimming portion in the second part of the final then I think you can start believing the producers want UK to win. The extra weight wasn’t a big deal, IMO. 

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Ah sweet schadenfreude, watching Paulie and Cara fail in the final was all kinds of good tv. I do feel bad for Paulie because he looked completely out of it by the end, I've had heatstroke and dehydration before and being screamed at to keep going (with no water) must have been rough. Cara, however, acted like a baby...crying over a math problem and then the eating challenge.

Zach had the right idea killing the worm first. I want to throw up just thinking about having to swallow a living thing and it slowly dying in me. Bleh!

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I just gotta believe that Cara was depressed or burnt out before starting on this season. We heard from Paulie that she wanted to skip the season. And the way she is acting reminds me of myself when I went through a depression: I expressed mostly through anger and bitterness at other people and completely doubted my own abilities, getting overly frustrated at mistakes I would make. I am just glad I did not have cameras following me around. I hope she gets the time off and therapy that I think she needs. 

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There is no way that Team USA will win . Team UK is just too far ahead and Team USA is falling apart. Not even with that penalty that CT caused, have they been able to catch up. Plus, I think they’ll get penalized for carrying the bags.

If Team UK wins, I’ll be happy for CT and Dee, but ugh, as much as Tori and Jordan deserve to win, they are just so annoying that I don’t want them to win. Jordan is turning into Bananas Jr and I can’t even imagine how much worse he will get if he wins this season.

My predictions for final four for each team:

Team UK - Tori, CT, Dee and Jordan. 

Team USA - Zach, Ashley, Cara (depending on what kind of puzzle it is), and Ninja. I don’t think Paulie will make it. Kam could be a wild card. Leroy has so much heart and I would love for him to win, but I don’t know how he will fare with the puzzle.

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11 hours ago, Steph619 said:

My predictions for final four for each team:

Team UK - Tori, CT, Dee and Jordan. 

Team USA - Zach, Ashley, Cara (depending on what kind of puzzle it is), and Ninja. I don’t think Paulie will make it. Kam could be a wild card. Leroy has so much heart and I would love for him to win, but I don’t know how he will fare with the puzzle.

These are my thoughts as well.

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