Who Is Going To Be The First Solo Winner In Challenge History?

It's a close one between Cara Maria and Zach, but it’s still anyone’s game

Twenty-eight became eight, eight has become four, and soon, four will become one — by the time The Challenge names its newest winner, the series will have made history by crowning its first solo victor ever. So, now that it’s down to Zach, Cara Maria, Kyle and Kailah, on whom do you place your bets?

On tonight’s finale (or, sort-of finale…sorry for that cliffhanger, guys), the game’s remaining players squared off at Prague’s Kost Castle to see who’d wind up with some of the biggest prize money in the game’s history. Still, TJ immediately hit the eight finalists with an unfortunate twist — only four players would ultimately play for the big money, and after a first leg, the other four would be cut, and be sent home with nothing.

The first stage of the game, which challenged players to transport individual tokens across a series of long-distance runs (one lap was performed while players were chained up, another found them jogging while sporting suits of armor), was punctuated by a series of checkpoints. And Torch’er proved to be an equalizer: The game tasked players with shuttling a collection of their own respective torches back and forth across a field while trying to stop fellow competitors from undoing their own work.

By the time the game was over, Nicole was forced to withdraw from the finale for a sprained ankle, while underdog Kyle — whom everyone had seen as one of the game’s most beatable contestants — found himself way out in first place.

“I can’t believe it, I’m winning The Challenge as it stands,” he said incredulously.

Still, if players wanted to go any further, they’d have to survive the game’s final storming of The Mercenaries (this time it was Johnny and Melissa), who’d challenge each player to a game of High/Low. If players beat The Mercenaries, they could carry on to the next game: Backstabber. But if The House won, Johnny and Melissa could throw a grenade the loser’s way, and sadly for Kam — the checkpoint’s lone loser — she was forced to bury a giant log before advancing, effectively ending any lead she’d had over Kailah.

And after Backstabber, a puzzle played in heats of two, was over, the finalists were officially named, and Kam, Tony and Leroy were forced to join Nicole with empty bank accounts and dashed dreams.

“I didn’t make it, it sucks,” Leroy lamented. “I started with no money, I leave with no money. The lesson in this game is: If you’re not first, you’re last.”

And finally, at long last, TJ informed the game’s official four finalists that they’d each battle out in a final memory game to see who’d win the very first Challenge solo title, and how the remaining money would be split between the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers. Zach and Cara Maria, who’d completed the first leg before their respective same-sex competitors, got a head start, and quickly, it looked like the first-place finish would be one of theirs for the taking.

“I don’t know who’s ahead, Cara or I, but I do know that we’re close,” Zach said. “I’m really confident that I’m gonna win.”

But are you, or do you think another player’s got the Vendettas championship in the bag?

What do you think — will Zach or Cara Maria take home the big prize, or is there still hope for Kyle or Kailah? Share your thoughts, and see who manages a first-place finish next Tuesday at 9/8c.