Whelp, it’s over, it’s done. And it could’ve been much, MUCH better.
Player of the Week
- CT — 107
- Tori — 13
- Kaycee — 5
- Kyle — 4
- Emy & Nelson — 3
Well this is going to be the most CT-centric week of these write-ups, huh. “You know how that thrills me.”
CT won his fifth season, or seventh if you count the spin-offs, after just snatching his fourth win on Double Agents. He somehow went all season without being thrown into the Lair. The Veteran Truce was a large part of this, but I’m sure his intimidation factor also played a role. The veteran men are idiots for not trying to toss him in against Kelz or Fessy. People like Kyle, Cory, Nelson, and especially Devin and Josh will never win against CT in a final — so why won’t you try to eliminate him before he reaches the endgame? Idiotic.
In the final, CT was solid AF. Never gassed out, encouraged his team (sometimes rudely so, like with Devin), and figured out the puzzle in ten seconds flat. He deserved the W.
Tori killed the final too, finishing first of the women in all checkpoints but the last one. She and Emy comfortably won the first day and therefore escaped the mid-final elimination — which, sidenote, is something I HATE that they do. Just let everyone run the final! There’s no need for purges or eliminations once they’ve actually made it to the end! Ridiculous! Jordan/Marlon on Rivals 2, Cara on War of the Worlds 1, Tori on War of the Worlds 2, and Rogan on Total Madness deserved to continue!
Because Tori and Emy beat the Orange Cell the first day, they didn’t have to compete in the elimination — but that also means they didn’t get first choice of their partner for the second day. Oh, and all the leads evaporated, and it all came down to running up a mountain, memorizing 10 digits (the same as a phone number), descending, and punching them into a keypad. LITERALLY I could’ve done this as fast as any of them. This was the most laughable final since Gauntlet II and Vendettas.
Yes, SLA’s was worse than Final Reckoning’s, because at least that one had an up-all-night part and an eating section and the times each team took to finish each portion were calculated together to get the winners. Instead, Day 1 only mattered to avoid elimination, but going into the elim gave you a massive advantage for Day 2, which is the only one that mattered. I am BOTHERED.
But whatever. Kaycee did well this week and earned her win. It’s not her fault that the final design was bogus. Kaycee’s body of work over three seasons is impressive AF, so I am happy she’s the winner. I just wish the original Cells (Em, Sapph, Rube) got to run the final together, or failing that, that Purple and Orange would’ve stayed as the teams.
I am sick to death of a one man and one woman winner — we had that on the last three seasons in a row, and excepting War of the Worlds 2, we’ve had only one or two winners for every season since Battle of the Seasons 2 — NINE YEARS AGO. Yup — Rivals 2, Free Agents, Exes 2, Bloodlines, Rivals 3, Invasion, Dirty 30, War of the Worlds, Total Madness, Double Agents, All Stars, and now Spies Lies and Allies. Ridiculous.
Moving on. Kaycee didn’t shit the bed in any part of this final after the world map. She wasn’t the weak link on her team (that was Nelson for Orange and Devin for Purple), and she beat at least Tori up and down the mountain on Day 2 despite having a broken toe and probably feeling the effects of her knee injury from the previous season. Kudos to Kaycee.
Also kudos to Kyle for decisively winning the elimination against strong-as-an-ox Nelson and getting a third second place in his career! #LaurelVibes. And he and Tori were this close to snatching the win. How much better and more exciting would DA and SLA have been if Cory/Kam won the former and Kyle/Tori the latter? Instead of CT + a boring Big Brother woman? UGH if only! Reminds me of how preferable it’d have been for Wes/Kenny to win Rivals 1 and CT/Diem to win Exes 1… Instead of Johnny for both 🥱
Finally, Emy slayed her first final without really breaking a sweat. Love her and all I see is potential for the future! 🤩
And then Nelson had a tonne of hustle and heart, but was like a bull in a china shop. He doesn’t deserve PotW votes — because he held his team back in the swim and the hamster ball and lost the elimination — but I really loved what I saw. What a hard break, going against someone like 5 inches taller than him (5' 8" versus 6' 1") in a size-based elimination during a final. Nelly deserves better — but I am pleased he made another final, at long last.
- CT — 64
- Kaycee — 24
- Nany — 20
- Tori & Kyle — 9
Pretty much copy-paste things from above for CT, Tori, and Kyle. Emy and Nelson also got sterling edits — especially TJ’s pep talk to Nelly after he lost the elimination — but didn’t get many votes here. Which is fine, CT’s edit was also glowing (of course, he’s the fan favourite).
What I want to talk about, though, is the absolutely compelling content we got from Kaycee and Nany, particularly the latter. They were so proud to both have reached the final, together, and to be competing on the same team. The dream! And then to have to face each other, in an unnecessary elimination? DEVASTATING. Those tears were REAL, and I will admit that I also got misty-eyed during this part of the episode. Especially the confessional where Nany is talking about how she’s always been private about her sexuality, and how Kaycee makes her feel so comfortable, and her eyes are just spilling tears? 😭 OMG, it was so, so touching and significant. Reminded me of where this whole franchise started — with raw and real TV about stories we don’t usually see, about marginalized people and identities. SO heart-rending 💙
- Nelson — 68
- Devin — 25
- Nany — 13
- Emy & Tori — 3
Oh y’all got JOKES, huh? Literally the first mistake I make all season — forgetting to remove Amanda and Emanuel from this question (but I remembered for PotW and Edit) — and you jump on it? Hilarious 🙄
I already explained the reasons for Nelson’s misplaying this ep. He couldn’t swim like 50 meters without a life jacket — a bad look for someone who is a career Challenger — AND he somehow managed to push his team’s huge hamster ball off the path, and so they all had to take/waste time to get it back on track. Oh, and then he was shut-out in the elimination. Oh, and he doesn’t know what the difference between a rectangle and a square are. Poor guy. You gotta love his enthusiasm, though!
Devin looked like horseshit all final, after his first place finish in the wire puzzle. Did he really not train for endurance? Despite being in Croatia for like 10 straight weeks? Did he not expect there to be lots of running in the final? For a wise guy, he can be pretty myopic. He actively dragged his team down, had partners CT and Emy exasperated with him, and if the Cells stayed together, I think it’s a high likelihood he would’ve sunk Purple’s chances at a W. Can you imagine if Nany beat out CT and Tori for the win, all because Dev drank a few too many beers and didn’t touch a treadmill all season? I would’ve been on the FLOOR. If only >>
Then the rest didn’t really deserve votes here. Nany lost the elim, sure, but it was against literal pro athlete Kaycee, who is also her girlfriend, and they agreed that she had a better shot at winning it all — so why would Nany have fought to send her boo packing?
And then Emy and Tori didn’t misplay AT ALL in the entire final. So you can take those votes and sh….
Back or Buh-Bye?
I was REALLY interested to see what y’all thought about this! From the most requested to the least, we have:
Kyle > Emy > Tori > Nelson > CT > Devin > Kaycee > Nany
And I am shocked that CT is not #1 here, not even in the top half! Whoa 😲Maybe you’re all coming around to see the light. It’s not exciting to see the same person succeeding in the same way again and again… Thank u, next.
Also completely unexpected to have Emy so high — I see a lot of complaints about her on reddit. Same with Tori, actually, but she was “robbed” this final, so just like Kaycee on Double Agents — I’m sure it made more people want her back next season, to redeem herself after such a bitter ending.
And then y’all want Kyle on LITERALLY an eighth straight season?? LOL okay, if you’re sure. I don’t dislike him at all, mind you. He’s funny, snaky, chaotic, and a great competitor. I just think we have seen a lot of him, and if he is on 38, he would take the record for most seasons done in a row to start a career. Currently, he’s tied with Sarah and Cara Maria. That is SOMETHING.
But we’ll see whom makes it on and who does not, in March 2022 — which is when Pink said the next season will film. Can’t wait to find out details! 👀
Until then, enjoy AS2 and AS3, since it’ll likely air before 38. Thank you to all y’all who voted in the surveys and read the write-ups for the past four months. I really appreciate your support 🥰
I’m undecided if I’ll do these for next season… Time will tell. But for now, take care, happy holidays, get vaccinated, and stay safe.
[Exact votes for back or buh-bye below]
Much 🖤 from Nova
CT — 89 yes, 47 no
Tori — 97 yes, 39 no
Devin — 84 yes, 52 no
Emy — 104 back, 31 no
Nelson — 92 yes, 44 no
Kaycee — 36 yes, 100 no
Kyle — 117 yes, 19 no
Nany — 29 yes, 107 no