The Challenge spoilers: Season 39 final begins and TJ sends a competitor home

nurys mateo face shot from the challenge season 39 episode 18
Nurys Mateo at The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion final. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion final officially started in Episode 18, with host TJ Lavin welcoming seven competitors to the season’s main event.

Competitors included Moriah Jadea, Jay Starrett, Corey Lay, Colleen Schneider, Berna Canbeldek, and Emanuel Neagu.

“You’re the only contender who faced any elimination and took out four beasts in the game,” TJ said when he praised the seventh finalist, Nurys Mateo.

At the final, TJ hyped up the other six, talking about what they did strategy-wise and how they navigated alliances, friendships, or showmances in the house.

From there, they began the grueling final, consisting of three phases and at least one early surprise.

This report will contain spoilers for the first part of The Challenge Season 39 final.

TJ introduces The Challenge Season 39 final

The start of Episode 18 featured the seven finalists celebrating at their club. TJ arrived to surprise them, but he told them they’d all reached the final, which brought hugs and further celebration.

In a confessional interview, Nurys said she was the only one who had to fight for her spot in the final – and the rest didn’t.

“They’re not my friends,” Nuryd said, admitting she wouldn’t be mad if she beat the rest of them at the final.

At The Challenge House, a countdown clock was shown, counting down until it was time for the final. The group enjoyed a special meal the next day, and each finalist received a letter from a loved one, bringing some emotional moments.

Once TJ had met them all at the final’s starting point, it was time for him to reveal the specifics. He announced that the final would be 26 miles long and feature the same phases as the season: Control, Chaos, and Conquest.

For the final’s prize money breakdown, TJ shared that third place would receive $36,000, second place would get $70,000, and the winner would receive $250,000.

In the first part of the final, Control, they all worked together on a task. Chaos featured them working in rotating pairs for each checkpoint, and then they competed individually in Conquest.

Final got started with the Control phase

For the Control stage, TJ revealed that the finalists had to complete a task together in under an hour, or they would lose $16,000 in prize money.

At the start, all competitors were tethered together by a rope. Before they could proceed down a long path to a fortress, they had to ingest a disgusting tuna and beet juice energy drink.

Inside the fortress, they had to find hidden trunks containing different-colored ropes. Once they found enough ropes, they could detach from one another. Each competitor grabbed a specific-colored heavy rope and carried it back to a starting point to assemble a rope puzzle.

screenshot shows the challenge season 39 final control phase in episode 18
Finalists raced against the clock in the Control phase of The Challenge 39 final. Pic credit: MTV

Corey took off ahead of everyone with his orange ropes but unfortunately dropped one on the course. His castmates noticed it on the trail and yelled for him to return.

Corey had to go way back down the path to find his dropped rope, which cost them a lot of time.

Since the group couldn’t complete the first checkpoint, they lost another $16,000. TJ said the winner would still get $250,000. Second place would get $60,000, and third place would get $30,000.

Who got sent home from the Season 39 final?

TJ then revealed it was time for an elimination and told the competitors to vote for one person. The majority of votes went against Corey since he’d messed up. Corey got to pick an opponent and called out Jay, saying Nurys had already proven herself.

Jay and Corey competed in a race to retrieve three bags of puzzle blocks and bring them back to the puzzle spot. They had to be first to build a puzzle tower with the blocks stacked on a table balanced on their legs.

Corey impressed everyone with his speed early. Both he and Jay started working on their puzzles around the same time. However, Corey got his puzzle blocks stacked and balanced first, eliminating Jay from the final.

corey lay and jay starrett elimination finish from the challenge 39 episode 18
Corey and Jay in an elimination during The Challenge 39 final. Pic credit: MTV

“The people that are left are the people that were used and abused by everyone else,” Corey said in his confessional interview.

“Nurys, you better win this s***,” a disappointed Jay told everyone before shaking TJ’s hand and leaving the game.

“I don’t mean to giggle a little bit, but karma’s a b***h,” Nurys joked in her confessional.

TJ then introduced the Chaos phase of the final, where they competed in rotating pairs for each of the five checkpoints, which included eating disgusting foods, solving puzzles, and performing physical tasks. Emanuel became the clear winner of this phase after winning multiple checkpoints.

The episode ended on a cliffhanger. Emanuel won safety from the next elimination but then had to pick another finalist to compete in it.

The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.

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