Before the ‘rivals ii’ finale, check out the most grueling ‘challenge’ game-enders ever

So, you bypassed the politics, made it through an elimination round or two and successfully survived the regular “Challenge” season. Well done, you plucky thing! Sadly, that end marks the beginning of something way, way worse than anything that came before it, and you are in for a world of pain, friend.

Ever since former “Challenge” host and current “Challenge After Show” host Jonny Moseley told “The Gauntlet” competitors that the game’s end was miles deep in the Colorado Rockies, the series’ casts have come to expect that the final leg will be at least a little slice of hell. There’s been a puke-fest in Patagonia, foot races through two separate deserts and, of course, that famous ascent up a glacier. SERIOUSLY, A GLACIER?

Before the “Rivals II” kings and queens are crowned Wednesday night, we decided to take a little trip back through final mission memory lane. Check out the toughest game-enders so far, and be sure to tune in to the finale Wednesday night at 10e/7p to see how the chips fall in Thailand!

Battle Of The Seasons

Let’s put our cards on the table: Trekking through the African desert is simply insane. IT’S SIMPLY INSANE. But that $250,000 during “BOTS” was certainly no mirage, and the remaining teams had no qualms with sinking in sand and suffering through the sweltering heat to make it to TJ and the final flag. Celebratory canteen swig!

Battle Of The Exes

If sand as far as the eye can see isn’t really your bag, maybe you would prefer snowy tundras? After battling it out in the balmy Dominican Republic, TJ sent the crop of ex-lovers off to Iceland to finish the game out on a glacier. Throw in a vial of animal’s blood, a night with only a thin tent as shelter and a near-nude dip in Arctic waters, and you’ve got an insanely difficult finale. “Viking Quest,” indeed!

Fresh Meat 2

Yes, the “Exes” cast had to suffer through nearly incomparable cold, but at least they didn’t have to do it with a 100 pound bag strapped to their sides. Up in Canada, the final four teams spent an entire day crawling up a 45-degree angle — at one point, they were completely inverted — and the final horn didn’t sound until Landon and Carley could see the better part of the country from the British Columbia peak.


Patagonia’s a beautiful place, but not when you’re too busy puking up your guts to notice its sweeping views. As if battling alongside an enemy wasn’t bad enough, TJ forced some sort of perverse slumber party on the Challengers during the “Rivals” final, in which they had to stand up until sunrise, and then continue onward and upward to the top of a rock formation. How fun.

“Battle of the Sexes 2”

If you’re afraid of heights, there’s nothing worse than being forced to jump out of a plane — unless, of course, you have to skydive into the barren New Mexic0 desert and race for miles to civilization. Throw in some barbed wire, a few cow pies and some brain teasers, and you’ve got one hell of a workout!

The Duel

The hang-gliding session at the end of “The Duel” was poetry in motion, but what led up to that moment was physical torture. In what seems to be a “Challenge” trend, the final four competitors were instructed to collect their prize…at the top of a mountain, and some came so close to its edges throughout the climb that they feared a wrong step could spell disaster.