This season of The Challenge has been a really fun ride throughout and it is crazy to think that it’s already at the finals. I wish they had chosen to go with one or two more eliminations or at least a purge because going into the final with more than half the number of players that started the game will be a lot and could be potentially difficult to follow. So far what we know going into this final is that there will be only one winner, that the final will be as difficult as the main show and at points the contestants will be working as pairs or teams. In terms of liklihood to take home the money I feel that the remaining cast fall into three categories “The Long Shots”, “There’s a chance” and “The Favorites”
The Long Shots
For this whole group I do not necessarily expect them to perform badly but I also do not expect them to have a realistic chance to win. However anything can happen, maybe they get good luck with teams/ partners, maybe they shock me and absolutely kill it or maybe other people that I expect to do well underperform. Overall I would be incredily shocked if anyone from this group is the winner.
.5% chance to win
Jisela has been awesome this season performing pretty well physically in some daily challenges and winning an elimination (even if Big Easy did the majority of the work). She has also been all around be great tv both in confessionals and being involved in drama with her hook up with Alton and fight with Aneesa. However Jisela struggled in the more extreme daily challenges like the mini-final, Rib Cage Pass in the past episode or the daily On the Ropes where they used ropes to get across from platform to another. For a final, I don’t think she has the endurance to take this home with the high level of competition in the final.
Aneesa is undoubtedly a challenge icon and has some areas on The Challenge where she excels, for example she is particularly strong in physical challenges & eliminations, she is very strong at puzzles and politically she is one of the best. However there is a reason that she has still not taken home a Challenge win, she isn’t a great runner & doesn’t have great endurance and when considering the high level of competition in this final I do not see this being the time where she can finally get a long awaited win.
.5% chance to win
Even though I was not initially excited to hear that Jonna was on this season, I do like her and she showed up in possibly the best shape she has for a challenge season. Also now knowing that a lot of women declined due to timing or money Jonna has been a fine enough choice. Even though Jonna is is in arguably good shape for herself she did not win a challenge this season and I do not think she has a realistic shot against the other high level of competition in this final.
.5% chance to win
I feel similarly about Jemmye as I did with Jonna that she was a bit out of place for this season but she has been more than passable I’d even argue good on this season in terms of entertainment both in the house and in confessionals. Jemmye has come in this season in reportedly the best shape she ever has for a Challenge season even so that is not a particularly high bar since her greatest asset has always been her social and political game. If I were to pick anybody in this “Long Shots” tier that I think could overperform Jemmye would be my pick although I think it more likely she could surprisingly get around 3rd or 4th overall and not win the whole thing.
Eric “Big Easy” Banks
Big Easy will always( unfortunately for him) be best known in The Challenge for his collapse on The Gauntlet 3 costing his whole team the win however, he is in much better shape than he was in back in the day. If the final involves carrying weight (not super likely with it being unisex) and puzzles (very likely) Eric is very good at those things and he even is coming off of an elimination win. Yet there are a number of elite competitors in this final and I do not see Eric beating them. He is in good enough shape that I see him finishing the final which alone is an accomplishment, that I personally could not do, but I do not trust his running and endurance to compete at the top of this field in the final.
There’s a chance
For these competitors they all can win, in fact two of them have won in the past and the other has been in a final and performed well, but they would not be who I would put my money on if I was betting.
5% chance to win
Alton was physically elite back in the day and an absolute beast in both daily challenges and eliminations. However back in the day, even though he performed well in finals he never won a traditional final only ever taking home a victory on Gauntlet 2, which came down to an eating contest. This season he has been a bit spotty sometimes showing glimpses of him being the top competitor back in the day, other times being average to mediocre and completely falling apart in the mini final. All of that being said I could see Alton prove himself to still be elite and take the win even if I think he has less of a chance than the other strong competitors he is going up against in this final.
9% chance to win
Ruthie is one of my favorite all time Challenge competitors and she is absolutely who I am rooting for to take home her first win. She has performed pretty well this season particularly shining in a couple of daily challenges particularly winning On the Ropes, coming in a strong second to Kellyanne on Rib Cage Pass and being a part of the first team up the mountain in the Mini final before her being color blind hurt her dramatically in the puzzle. Ruthie is at minimum the second best girl left but I could see her struggle in puzzles and since she id going up against the other Challenge legends still in the game and it as beeen nearly twenty years since Ruthie ran a final.
9% chance to win
Yes feels like a bit of an underdog to me at first glance since he has not been in a Challenge final in over two decades. However, throughout the season he has performed at a minimum solid and often quite well winning 2 daily challenges. Yes seems to me like he could end up being an out of nowhere winner like Amber B on Double Agents both because he is a strong competitor and edit wise even though he has not been heavily involved in the story of the season the show has made a bit of a point to give him airtime. Yes is definitely in with a shot at the win but I do not think he is among the favorites in the crowded field of strong competitors.
All the players left have a legitimate shot to take home the money. If someone said their pick to win was any of the remaining contestants I think they would be a perfectly defensible choice.
15% chance to win
Mark Long has lived up to his reputation as an all time great this season and to to his monicker as “The Godfather,” he won 2 dailies and took out Laterrian in a grueling elimination. Previously, Mark won 2 finals and performed admirably even in Challenges like The Duel 2 where being partnered with Aneesa doomed his chances to win but he was a really supportive partner. That can be a good sign considering that there looks to be a partner portion on this final as well. The only reasons why I have Mark’s win equity below Derrick, Kellyanne and Darrell is because he is at a minimum eight years older and bigger than all of them and that can be a difference maker when the competition is this close.
18% chance to win
KellyAnne was solidly the second best woman throughout the season winning 2 dailies and only getting beat consistently by Kendal so with her now eliminated KellyAnne looks to be set up well for the final. In her only other time in a final she did really well almost upsetting an elite team of 5 Champions on The Ruins with just her and Sarah. She has almost as good of a chance as any of the men to take this down and if this season had one winner of each gender I would probably give her at least a 60% shot. I expect her to do really well in the partner portion with all of the men being pretty strong she may then be able to grow a lead and make it a two person race for the win.
19% chance to win
Darrell is an absolute Challenge legend winning four consecutive seasons back in the day and still competing at a very high level being one of the top dogs on Double Agents right before this with people half his age. This season Darrell has played his typical game of laying low but by doing this he has only won one daily challenge. Since he is the winningest player in this final he definitely comes in with the experience and the ability to take this down but I have him slightly below first. The only thing holding him back from having the highest win equity for me is that he is not a particularly great swimmer so if that comes up he could lose time to the other competitors that are in the final.
22.5% chance to win
Derrick is also an absolute Challenge legend and he has won three previous seasons. This season he has performed physically well winning the “On the ropes” daily and finishing second in both the mini final and the most recent Rib Cage Pass which were the most physical daily challenges this season. Additionally, Derrick came in a close second place to Jordan on Dirty Thirty just a few years ago in a grueling final so he has still definitely got it. In my perspective he comes in to this final the slight favorite in a field of tough competitors. His one Achilles heel could be that Derrick is not the strongest at puzzles so that could be where the others competitors are able to get ahead of him.