‘The Challenge’ Field Study, Entry 11: The Finalists Are Thrown For A Pacific Loop

In addition to the cameras, this season of “The Challenge” was documented in print. Check out the latest behavioral analysis, straight from our anthropologist-at-large’s Thailand field notes!

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I have begun preparing myself for a speedy exit from this place as the herd’s nesting season nears its end. My food supply is virtually non-existent and I have not slept soundly in months, yet despite their wretched blood thirst, my connection to this specific herd remains strong. Spiritual leader T.J. has gone against the Jungle forces and staked out a new locale for his “Rivals II” puppets to battle one another for complete nest dominion, and I’ve followed close behind. But first, it took one last Jungle round to bring the final six teams to the end.

Camila and Jemmye were cast into The Jungle to take on veteran rivals Aneesa and Diem for a chance to be in the final nest games. Each team was forced to hang upside-down above a pool of sacred mud water, while using their warrior hand saws to cut through two ropes that kept their opponents suspended. The first team to fall would admit defeat. Still unhinged from the herd turning against her, Diem seemed paralyzed by anxiety, exclaiming that she was not tall enough to reach the rope. However, this was proven untrue as Camila, who’s actually smaller than most other “Challengers,” was able to use the warrior tool without issue, thanks to the help of her partner, Jemmye.

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Indeed, this challenge was entirely about trust between the rivals, and despite their claims of unity, Diem and Aneesa could not act as one, and fell to the frigid depths below. The bittersweet nature of their exit was apparent: On one hand, Cooke was thrilled to see the elders defeated, while CT, for all his bravado, seemed genuinely distraught to see his former mate begin her long trek back to their homeland.

With the final teams decided, they began their cleansing ritual made up of training and strict dietary regimes. The Thailand heat was becoming unbearable at this time — I myself was forced to sleep with my lower body submerged in a marsh one night to stay cool — and the herd feared the extreme temperatures would impede their chances of winning. Spiritual guide T.J. heard the rivals’ collective prayer, and assured them they’d be vacating the nest for a cooler region: Tokyo. However, the Jungle forces were vengeful of T.J.’s disobedience in wishing to move the herd, and they unleashed a host of ancient ninjas draped in blessed black cloth to disguise their faces. The powerful creatures, led by T.J., ambushed the herd and made sure they remained in Thailand as the Jungle forces originally intended.

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To begin the final, teams were required to swim a great distance to an island beach, construct monuments to pay homage to the Jungle forces and kayak to a blessed vessel anchored in the ocean. CT and Wes were the first of the males to finish this mentally strenuous challenge, and arrived at the vessel to enjoy fresh bounty to fuel up for the next leg. Underdogs-turned-superwomenCara Maria and Cooke, were next on board T.J.’s sacred anchored space, despite Cara’s lack of strength in the water. Jemmye and Camila were the first team exiled from the finals, and were doomed to live out their existence on the lonely island with only their incomplete monument and $15,000 to keep them company.

The remaining two male teams were next and neck in the block building, but Marlon‘s weak swimming ability put the rookies a hair behind Frank and Johnny. Jordan and Marlon’s sprightly youth eventually helped them gain some ground on the elder and his Twitter rival, but unfortunately, as I was documenting their race to the sacred vessel, I was ambushed by a wild boar that discovered my campground. Amid all the chaos I became distracted from the task at hand, and will have to report back in my next and final journal. Spiritual Leader T.J., help me! Help us all.

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