The first leg of this “Challenge” season’s final mission shook Cara Maria and Jamie’s family tree to it roots, but after buckling down on the game’s remaining four installments, the cousins proved to carry the competition’s superior bloodline. The question is: Did they deserve first place?
On tonight’s season finale, which began with a feast of traditional German dishes (blood soup, pig lard and tongue, among them), Jamie’s iron stomach helped his team to earn a decisive part-two victory. Jenna and Brianna, who sat down to the meal with a commanding lead, struggled to contend with their finicky gag reflexes and wound up falling to third place. Finally, Cory and Mitch, who came into the mini-game trailing their competition, placed second and slowly chipped away at their deficit.
And the players’ reward for spending the afternoon speckling each other’s outfits with vomit? Being forced to spend the night standing upright in a cold, abandoned train station (“The Challenge” will hardly do favors for area tourism). As Brianna patiently waited for daybreak as part of the finale’s third heat, she hoped she and Jenna hadn’t done irreparable damage to their chances at a win and reflected on all that they’d been through.
“This is probably gonna be the only time that I ever do something like this,” she said. “And I really want it to be worth it. If I come in first, that would be so awesome. Me and Jenna had a rocky start in the beginning. We want it so bad.”
But wanting it wasn’t quite enough for the lone remaining girl-girl team, which settled for another last-place finish in the game’s fourth heat: a leisurely 10-mile canoe journey up the Spree River. Again, Cara Maria and Jamie placed first, while Cory and Mitch continued to hover in the middle.
Finally, as part of the game’s fifth and final heat, TJ tasked the teams with completing a numbers puzzle, at which point they’d enter Berlin’s famed Olympiastadion and run two miles around its track. Then, each team’s cumulative time across the mission’s five heats would be added up, and a winner would be named.
After flying under the radar through the game’s preceding jobs, Mitch and Cory tore through the end of “Bloodlines” in a blaze of glory, blowing the other two teams out of the water.
“There was never a time where I thought I’d be sharing this moment with my cousin,” Cory said, as he remembered his team’s highs in the game and his and Mitch’s near-elimination. “You cannot beat that.”
Unfortunately, one team could beat that, and they did. The lead Jamie and Cara Maria had garnered through Heat 4 was so marked that they still managed to take the game’s gold medal -- Cara’s first victory in eight tries and across five years as a “Challenge” contestant.
“I’m in complete disbelief,” Cara said. “Having this moment in this arena, and being surrounded by all these people in such an epic place. You can do literally whatever you want to do if you put in the work.”
So, Cara finally got the W with her cousin by her side, but should it have been hers? Or did second-place finishers Cory and Mitch or third-place finishers Brianna and Jenna deserve it more? Share your thoughts on the “Bloodlines” finale below!