The finale of The Challenge: USA was plagued by controversy and criticism from fans and competitors over inconsistencies in the show’s rules, particularly regarding checkpoint timeouts.
An explosive interview with Tyson Apostol was released by Entertainment Weekly following the finale, which saw the four-time Survivor star go into production. Tyson claimed a lack of direction during the final, inconsistent rules regarding time-outs and an unfair system for the women who had to compete without a partner. He also accused the producers of having the wrong answer to his math equation and also not being honest with the prize money.
Fans also had mixed reactions to the finale, with many slamming Angela Rummans’ disqualification for a strategic move without warning and the cast members being unable to complete the Sudoku puzzle while they were able to complete other puzzles. There were also many complaints about Desi Williams’ immediate disqualification after Enzo Palumbo’s elimination in the first leg of the final.
After the finale and Tyson’s interview, many “Challenge” OGs spoke out about the finale and criticized the production. Rachel Robinson tweeted, “1. missed opportunity by #TheChallengeCBS and those involved in not letting the women get together after this guy left Enzo for the first 5 minutes. We actually had a fair final. That finale made absolutely no sense and @BunimMurray should do better so far in the series. Serious.”
Janelle Casanave replied, “#dobetter #justiceforthewomen.” Rachel added, “I mean enough already.” Melinda Collins said, “I haven’t seen the @TheChallenge finals but I think it has some serious fairness questions and thrown up by the rules. What’s your opinion on that?” Janelle replied that it was “[All Stars 2] vibrations.”
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Trishelle Cannatella also shared her support for Tyson, tweet, “Yes for the people who ask. I saw this article. I agree Tyson. He’s a real competitor and I felt terrible for him and Angela for not understanding the challenge format. They won’t tell you anything, you have to find out for yourself.”
Tina Bart commented, “Right now I’ve narrowed it down to 2 big mistakes that I haven’t found any reasonable explanations for #TheChallengeCBS finals. 1) The women got f*****, especially 2. 2) Saying the math was wrong when it wasn’t. Both are production errors.”
Tek Holmes wrote“Call 2 @TysonApostol & [Entertainment Weekly writer] @SydneyBucksbaum 4 keep it real. The next season of @thechallenge should be called “Lies, Lies, & More Lies” because there’s definitely a lot coming out of the production! #Facts #DoBetter.” He too said Melinda, “It was a *** show Melly Mel AS *** SHOW. But it proved the point I was trying to make to the rest of the All Stars. We got screwed, they got screwed, so I say screw the challenge.”
In response to Nehemiah Clark’s letter, “So was there a vegan option????” Referring to the food challenge, Teck wrote, “You’re not a cute white girl. They don’t care about you!!! I should make a song about it. #SaveThePalace.” During the All Stars 3 finale, Nehemiah had a lot of trouble with food portioning as they were plates of meat and he hadn’t eaten meat in 15 years.
KellyAnne Judd also spoke about the finale, Write, “If we are asked to risk our lives to become a champion, then we should have firm rules that we know before we compete. In a challenge, in an elimination and in a final. What else are we doing here? #TheChallengeUSA.”
Derek Chavez tweeted, “Why do I feel like they just told Sara to continue with both puzzles because they knew everyone had stopped?” As if she was having the most difficult time and suddenly she was just bestial? Her acting wasn’t very convincing when she said, has everyone made this up? #unimpressed.”
While the majority of the “Challenge” veterans’ comments seemed to agree that mistakes were made, a few stars defended the finale. Wes Bergman tweeted, “It would mean a lot if the fans of the OG Challenge didn’t take this opportunity to jump their throats. The challenge final is designed to break you. So we can’t be mad when beginners break; or make strategic missteps.”
Devin Walker wrote, “Seriously, that’s pathetic. You should all be embarrassed. Especially you @TysonApostol.” He then added, “A sudoku eliminated half of the finalists and they think they can match us…? HAHAHA! CBS cast makes @_nelsonthomas and @CoryWharton look like nuclear physicists.”
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