It took 19 episodes full of drama, game strategy, grueling daily missions, and brutal eliminations, but viewers finally got to see who won The Challenge 2021.
Season 36 was Double Agents, complete with spy-themed daily challenges, backstabbing, lies, and deceit. TJ Lavin’s final also required gold Skulls to qualify, and only 10 were available for 30 players.
Competitors earned them by doing battle at The Crater in an elimination and weren’t safe from going back in again.
Two competitors emerged ahead of the rest by Episode 19, and they were veteran Chris “CT” Tamburello and rookie Amber Borzotra. Following their big win and tough season, the teammates appeared on the Official Challenge Podcast to reflect on the victory.
CT Tamburello, Amber Borzotra win Double Agents final
It all came down to four teams to run TJ’s final in Double Agents. However, only one was going to leave with the top prize of $900,000.
While editing may have made it seem other teams were close, 40-year-old CT and 33-year-old Amber dominated the final. Amber proved herself to easily be Challenge rookie of the year, while the veteran CT made the wise move to stick with her en route to his fourth final win.
They defeated each checkpoint ahead of their fellow competitors, leaving them behind. The opposing players included Kam Williams, Cory Wharton, Nany Gonzalez, Leroy Garrett, Kaycee Clark, and Fessy Shafaat.
Checkpoints featured rewinds of previous daily challenge elements from Season 36. So there was more disgusting food to eat, assembling a totem puzzle, completing a tangram, figuring out math equations, and of course, lots of running across Iceland’s terrain.
By the end of Double Agents Episode 19, it was an emotional moment as the winners reached the finish spot. CT rushed up to hug Challenge host TJ Lavin and then Amber B. joined for a group hug.
It made for CT’s fourth win during his Challenge career, tying him with castmate Darrell Taylor. Amber became the first Big Brother star to win a season of The Challenge and one of the first rookies in recent memory.
The Challenge champs reflect on Season 36
Season 36 champs CT and Amber were the special guests on the latest MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast episode hosted by Aneesa Ferreira and Tori Deal. They were asked how it feels to be the Double Agents winners and look back on the season.
CT said it was the most intense season he’s been involved with so far and was surprised he didn’t have more grey hairs or hadn’t suffered a stroke from it. His rookie teammate was on board with those sentiments that it was no easy feat.
“It feels great. Honestly, I can co-sign with CT on that. I think this was- it was literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Just starting from Day 1, you know what I mean, up until the finals? So, at the end of the day, I feel like, I’m like, ‘Ok, I earned it,’” Amber shared.
“It was a bummer—things I had to do, moves I had to make to get there, but it was like, you didn’t win it, you earned it, so it feels really good,” Amber added.
Tori asked CT if his experience from multiple seasons of The Challenge gave him an advantage in this one.
“Obviously, it gives me a better idea of what to expect because I’ve been there before,” CT said. Season 36 marked the veteran’s 18th regular-season appearance on the series.
He also called Double Agents his “best performance in a final,” in his opinion, adding he was first in every checkpoint of this one, except the color code station that Amber won.
CT said he was ‘lucky’ to get Amber as partner
Throughout the season, CT was teamed up with Ashley Mitchell, Kam Williams, and Tula “Big T” Fazakerley. During the podcast, CT called himself “lucky” that Fessy decided to throw himself back into elimination.
It was a bold move by Fessy to secure Kaycee Clark as his partner in the final.
As viewers saw, Kaycee suffered a costly injury during part of the run in the final as she blew out her knee. After that, she and Fessy had no chance to keep up with the other teams and were eliminated before the next leg of the final.
Meanwhile, Amber seemed to outpace her fellow competitors, thanks to her athletic background.
During the podcast, CT said he first noticed during the daily mission where competitors had to keep swimming out in the water to ice blocks that Amber kept going and going. That’s when he realized she could do well and had heart.
“It’s like yeah, it’s good to be big and fast and strong, and all that, but in the end, if you don’t have that willpower to keep going even though you feel like you got nothing left, it doesn’t matter if you have anything else,” CT said of being able to run the final.
The Challenge fans will now be anticipating when they’ll see rookie Amber Borzotra return to try to claim another win at the final and if CT continues with the regular season or rides off into the sunset.
As of right now, most viewers would love to see them both back to defend their title of Challenge champs.
The Challenge: Double Agents reunion airs Wednesday, April 28 at 8/7c on MTV.