The Challenge fans blast Emanuel Neagu after winning Battle for a New Champion

emanuel neagu face shot during the challenge season 39
Emanuel Neagu won The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion, but many fans weren’t too happy about it. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge officially crowned Emanuel Neagu as its newest champion during a season appropriately called Battle For a New Champion.

It was Emanuel’s second season of the MTV competition series after his debut as a rookie on Spies, Lies & Allies, where he was eliminated just before the final.

However, many of The Challenge fans were displeased with the final result since Emanuel had been part of Michele Fitzgerald and Jay Starrett’s large alliance throughout the season, allowing him to avoid eliminations.

There was also only one Season 39 winner, instead of a man and a woman crowned as champions for the first time.

If the latter had been the case, Nurys Mateo would’ve also won her first Challenge, completing a thrilling season full of backstabbing, betrayal, and elimination wins.

Following the season finale, many fans criticized the winner for how he got to the final, indicating he wasn’t the real champion.

Emanuel wins Battle For a New Champion

The Battle For a New Champion final consisted of multiple miles, legs, and checkpoints before one individual could reach the finish line.

Among the tasks they had to perform were drinking a disgusting energy drink, solving various puzzles, defeating obstacle courses, swimming, running, rappeling down a steep rock hill, and a few more eliminations. In the end, one competitor finished ahead of the rest.

“And the newest Challenge champion, taking home $250,000, Emanuel,” host TJ Lavin said near the end of the season finale.

Emanuel celebrated with fellow finalists at the finish line, including second-place competitor Nurys and third-place competitor Colleen Schneider. Also reaching the finish line were Corey Lay and Berna Canbeldek.

Emanuel shared a highlight video on Instagram to show his big win on The Challenge Season 39.

“I believe a champion is born. You can try and make one, but they won’t end up champions if they don’t have it in them. A champion is fearless, is never afraid from the unknown, is always up for something new, and a champion will always find a way,” his voiceover said during the video.

An on-screen graphic showed Emanuel’s picture joined photos of the 10 returning Challenge champions participating in Season 39, including Cara Maria Sorbello, Chris “CT” Tamburello, Jordan Wiseley, and Tori Deal.

“AAAAND NEEWW CHALLENGE CHAMPION,” he wrote in his caption.

Challenge fans blast Season 39 winner

After Emanuel shared the clip of him winning The Challenge on Instagram, he had more than a few critics stopping by the comments to call out his win.

“NOT well deserved. You’re a lay up that was carried the whole game,” one commenter wrote.

Another called Emanuel the “Most undeserved champion ever!” and said his castmates Jay and Michele should’ve received most of his prize money for carrying him through the season.

“Sad thing is I believe you could of won it playing a good game not a scummy shameful way,” the commenter wrote.

A fan said those criticizing Emanuel are “haters” because he was “in a good position the entire game.”

“You don’t gotta go into elimination to deserve the W you earned that win,” the fan wrote.

screenshot shows critics calling out emanuel in instagram comments about his season 39 win on the challenge
Challenge fans weigh in.Pic credit: @emanuel.neagu/Instagram

“Got carried the whole game so you were fresh for the final,” a commenter wrote with a laughing face emoji.

“In order to be a champ you have to beat a champ…. Why does TJ lie,” another commenter said, referring to TJ’s phrase throughout the season.

“We all know who actually won this season!” the commenter wrote.

instagram screenshot of comments for emanuel neagu criticizing his win on the challenge
Some Challenges fans were frustrated by the results. Pic credit: @emanuel.neagu/Instagram

Many fans believe that Nurys deserved a win, so The Challenge production may have made a serious misstep by choosing to have just one winner for Battle For a New Champion.

In addition, some may feel the season’s format was lacking due to multiple competitors being able to avoid eliminations so easily en route to the final. With each good and bad season of The Challenge, things will present themselves that can be improved upon for the future.

Even so, Emanuel earned his win by performing better than the other finalists and crossing the finish line first to become a Challenge champ!

The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion reunion airs Wednesday, February 28 at 8/7c on MTV.

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