I've been thinking about the different finalists from each season and how people reacted to them when they were announced to be finalists. We have the classic Owen vs Gwen final, the controversial Duncan vs Beth finale, the intense Heather vs Alejandro volcano brawl, the brain against brawn shown in the Cameron vs Lightning finale, the hated lovers finale from TDAS and the mostly acceptable Shawn vs Sky from TDPI. But what other contestants could have been finalists for each season? Keep in mind that all of this is regarding my own thoughts and opinions, probably some of you won't agree with most of them.
Total Drama Island
What We Got: Gwen vs Owen
Owen, the nicest guy from Total Drama Island. The comic relief and, for many people, a floater that got an undeserved position in the finale.
Against him we find Gwen, the goth, the loner, kind of this season's protagonist. She was the normal one, the one who would react accordingly to Izzy's antics, to Heather's evil tactics and so on.
We have grown to love this final two, and I kinda agree that this was a good choice. The bad guy (girl?) got her comeuppance and we got two nice characters who deserved to take the price. But... There are characters that played a better game than these two.
A Better Option: Leshawna vs Duncan
The sistah and the tough guy. Duncan played an amazing game in TDI and he wasn't derailed at all as a character at that point in time. He had his relationship with Courtney, two good friends (DJ and Geoff) and he eliminated some of the best players, like Harold and Bridgette. The only thing that I don't like is that he deserved some punishment for treating Harold so badly, but oh well, Harold did have his sweet revenge eliminating Courtney.
Leshawna... What can we say about her? She was amazing. She got eliminated in a stupid way because the writers couldn't think of a credible situation in which the other campers would prefer to vote her off over Duncan or Heather. She's cool, she's loveable and she has a lot of good friends in the show. This was Leshawna's season, she deserved a spot in the finale.
An Alternate Option: Geoff vs Gwen
I like Gwen as a finalist. I would prefer to see Leshawna getting the money in this season, but Gwen also deserved it. She played an amazing game, she got rid of Heather and she made some good friends and even started a relationship with Trent. So, we can keep her as a finalist, no problem. But, what about Owen? Yeah, it was nice to have two "good" characters battling for the 100,000 bucks. But which nice boy deserved the spot in the finale more than Owen...?
Geoff! That's right, the party boy. He was a fan favorite in this season, everyone loved him because of his cool vibe and his good intentions. He was kinda dumb but adorable and he was the exact opposite of Gwen: Gwen was a loner and Geoff was extremely sociable. Having two opposites battling each other and still stay in good terms would have been great.
A Crazy Option: Katie vs Sadie
Just imagine this finale: the two BFFFFFs confronting the other. No more sweet talk, no more "oh my gosh!", just blood and drama.
Well, out of all the possible options that we could think of, I think that this would be the lamest. But some tiny part of me, in the inside, would secretly love to see this happen. Just for the lulz. Call it a guilty pleasure, I don't know... but yes, it would be a stupid idea.
Total Drama Action
What We Got: Duncan vs Beth
Let's be clear: I HATE these guys as the final two contestants, at least in Action. Yeah, Duncan played an amazing game in TDI, but he was kinda off in Action, especially after Courtney returned to the competition. His only character traits this season were loving/hating Courtney and making fun of Harold. Quite good traits for a finalist, don't you think? Yeah, I was being sarcastic.
What about Beth? For more than the first half of TDA she was... just there. Yeah, she made some contributions (I guess), but it wasn't until Lindsay got eliminated in the most stupid way possible that Beth started to do something with her life. She confronted Heather (kinda), she beat Courtney (kinda), she flirted with Harold (kinda), aaaand... that's it.
Wow. Amazing final two. Thank you, guys.
A Better Option: Lindsay vs Harold
Yeah, you were expecting these two. Let's face it: Harold and Lindsay were the true deserving winners in Total Drama Action. Harold got eliminated after playing an AMAZING season only to make way for a lame Duncan vs Beth finale. Even a Harold vs Beth finale would have been more interesting! Well, maybe I went too far. But the point stands still: Harold was the right choice for the finale.
And then we have Lindsay. She has a similar case to Leshawna's in TDI: she was so loveable and liked by everyone that the writers had to think of a stupid way to get rid of her, in this case she voting herself off accidentally. I think that this was one of the problems that Action had: they had amazing characters that got eliminated in the most stupid and anticlimatic ways possible. And in the end it was for nothing, because the finale was boring and predictable.
An Alternate Option: Duncan vs Courtney
So, I get it: they wanted Duncan to be in the finale. They wasted a great opportunity back in Wawanakwa Island, but whatever, now it's his time. Why, why would they choose Beth to be his opponent!? I guess they wanted to show us that even a loser like Beth can have a chance at winning the game (only without her braces on, mind you), but she's as interesting as Duncan's tarantula. Even Duncan's pet showed a wider range of emotions than Beth in the few seconds that it appeared before being brutally murdered by Harold.
What was the obvious option? Picking Courtney as Duncan's opponent. She's not only his girlfriend, she's also his enemy. Courtney would pick the price over Duncan a million times, so it wouldn't be a lovey lovey it-doesn't-matter-who-wins-because-they-are-going-to-share-the-money situation like we saw in All-Stars. And they were planning to break this couple at some point anyway, so it would have been a better option to break them up in a climatic finale.
Urgh, it hurts so much to think about all the things they could have done and what we got in the end! Sorry, I digress, moving on.
A Crazy Option: Justin vs Izzy
A crazy option indeed! Yeah, Izzy is that kind of character that works better in small doses, so having her in a finale would suppose a real challenge for the writers. Bu this is the crazy option, after all.
Izzy hates Justin because he is a liar (they had a relationship or something, it was never really explained because God forbid the writers of giving the characters some juicy backstory); Justin hates Izzy because she thinks that he is not that attractive. So having these two as the finalists of Action, the only season in which Justin had any kind of relevance, would be crazy, but in the end I think that something like this can work if the writers know what they are getting into.
Total Drama: World Tour
What We Got: Heather vs Alejandro
The best final two that I remember. It was great to have Heather, the bad diva who eliminated all of our favorite characters in the island, becoming the good guy whom we had to root for because her opponent was the bad (male) diva who eliminated all of our favorite characters in the plane.
Heather was AMAZING in World Tour. She was snarky, she was a team player, she knew how to play along with both Courtney and Gwen, she knew when to step aside and let Courtney, Duncan and Gwen get all the focus, in the end having all three of them eliminated before her. Her biggest contender: Alejandro. A conniving, intelligent man with no qualms. Even Heather says that they are "the greatest adversaries this game has ever seen" at some point. And Heather's ending is so satisfactory, at least until the part where everything goes to hell and all the characters nearly die. Yeah, they had some extreme ideas back then.
A Better Option: ---
Yeah, I've got no clue. These two are the best option, I can't think of any pairing that would feel as satisfactory as Heather and Alejandro battling each other.
So, for the first and only time, I have to leave a section blank. But here, have some Mr. Coconut love. Enjoy him.
An Alternate Option: Noah vs Alejandro
So, Heather is the greatest option as Alejandro's adversary. But if we couldn't choose her for whatever reason, who should we pick? Courtney? Nah, she will get her chance later (not in our universe though). Gwen? Already a finalist. Sierra? Are you crazy? So... Owen? Not again, please. Blaineley? Well, wait a bit for this one.
No! The second greatest option is actually Noah! Yeah, he got eliminated in the 13th episode of the season (yeah, I can't believe it either) so he was far, far away from the finale when he got the boot. But imagine a perfect world where Duncan never came back and Chris Is Reallyx4 Hot won the Jack the ripper challenge. Noah could have stayed and started an intellectual battle with Alejandro that could have been extended until the finale, where we would get our satisfying ending with Noah crushing Alejandro and all the volcano stuff again and... Actually, the finale could be in another place other than Hawaii. For our beloved contestants' safety.
The Crazy Option: Blaineley vs Heather
Well, we stick with one of the original finalists again. But instead of Alejandro, what if Blaineley turned out to be an amazing player and she made all her way to the finale to confront Heather?
Blaineley and Heather got like four interactions before Blaineley got booted after only two episodes in the competition, but those interactions were gold. Heather calling her diva and she replying with a bitchy 'thank you!', Blaineley karate-punching Heather, Blaineley getting fed up of Heather and Alejandro's will-they-won't-they relationship and asking them to make out already... I don't know why people hate Blaineley so much, she was a refreshing breath of air in a season full of Courtney's whining and Sierra's insanity.
So, in the end, a finale between these two gals would be simply a gold mine of snarky insults and comebacks between the two. It is more satisfying to watch Alejandro get crushed by Heather, but a cat fight between Heather and Blaineley could be an interesting ending too.
Total Drama: Revenge of the Island
What We Got: Cameron vs Lightning
Revenge of the Island's cast was... interesting, to say the least. We got a compulsive liar, a Paris Hilton parody, a Luna Lovegood parody, a Snooki parody, a Sue Sylvester parody, a Harold parody... Wow, most of the cast were parodies of someone, now that I think of it. But we also got some interesting characters, like Multiple Mike (before he turned offensive to a point of no return), team saboteur Scott and, yes, bubble boy Cameron.
Yeah, Cameron was interesting enough to get the focus for some episodes, but was he interesting enough to be a finalist? The answer is... Well, yes and no. He had some story, this season was his coming out of age story. He was like Ezekiel, raised by his parents away from the modern world, but he also had some character traits aside from "greedy" and "kinda misogynist".
What about his rival? For some reason, they decided to pick Lightning instead of a more logical option (that we'll see later) to be his opponent. Lightning was funny, I suppose. He had this annoying verbal tic where he would add "sha-" to the beginning of some words, and he was quite dumb. Yeah, he was a lame choice all the way to the final episode, where they tried to give us some motivation to root for him showing us his daddy issues... that didn't convince anyone. Next.
A Better Option: Scott vs Zoey
Let's be real, Zoey was the main character in Revenge of the Island. You were supposed to root for her, you were supposed to cheer when she finally started a relationship with Mike, you were supposed to feel as angry as she was when Mike got eliminated by Scott, you were supposed to feel sadness when Zoey couldn't take the game anymore and then feel admiration when she became Commando Zoey and eliminated Scott.
And then she gets eliminated in the next episode. Okay, bye Zoey, see you in next derailment. I mean, season.
Yeah, Zoey's season was this one and not All-Stars, where she basically was Gullible Zoey for twelve episodes. Zoey had a great season, many saw a lot of similarities between her and Gwen in TDI. Maybe that's why they chose to eliminate her and I have to admit that it was indeed very shocking. But a shocking scene for the sake of being shocking has no point. She gained her spot in the finale, and she would have been a better finalist than Cameron and Lightning even with her eyes closed.
So, let's think about an appropriate adversary for Zoey. Cameron? A friendship finale? Lame. Lightning? They had almost no interactions together, what would be the point? So... Mike? Hahahaha! Can you even imagine a finale so lame? Yeah, me neither.
Scott is the obvious choice! They had bad blood because all of the "eliminating my prince in blue" extravaganzza from Grand Chef Auto. Yeah, having another bad guy in the finale would feel like a rehash of TDWT's finale... but the finale that we actually got is also a rehash of that idea! So if I had to choose, I would pick Zoey and Scott without even thinking about it.
An Alternate Option: Cameron vs Jo
Okay, they wanted a brain vs brawn themed finale. I can accept that. So why would they pick Lightning over Jo!? Jo was Cameron's antagonist up until her elimination, while Cameron and Lightning barely interacted at all.
I have to say, Jo's elimination was well done. Cameron demonstrated that even if he was a tiny maggot he could outrank her with no problem and Jo accepted her defeat like a gentleman, er... gentlewoman.
But that could have been done in a finale (at least in Cameron's ending, obviously). Jo was funnier and better developped than Lightning, and she could have been a formidable opponent for Cameron. So, again, why pick Lightning? Shocking swerve? Need of a male on male finale? I can't understand it!
A Crazy Option: Staci vs B
Imagine this: a finale where a character doesn't talk, either because he can't or because he doesn't want to... against a character who doesn't stop talking.
And you thought Staci was annoying in 'Bigger, Badder, Brutal-er!'. Imagine her in a finale, where she's one of the two characters who get the episode's focus... but the other character decides to stay silent! Staci would talk for 17 of the 22 minutes that the episode lasts. We could even say that Christmas started early that year, because I can't think of a better gift than that!
It would be so, so annoying. But please, if you find some obscure fanfiction where this happens, please send it to me. I would love to read it.
Total Drama: All-Stars
What We Got: Mike vs Zoey
I'm still so mad at the writers for this. I mean, look at the picture I put right there. What's the point in having a great confrontation between a lovely couple?
"But, Flynn!", no one will say, trying to defend All-Stars, "What about Mal? He was antagonistic!".
Yeah, don't get me started with Mal. Anyway, Mal only made worse the fact that Mike won in some countries. So basically Mike won after wandering in his brain for all the season and then pushing a button in the most offensive moment in Total Drama history. There shouldn't be a Mike ending, there should be an Alejandro and Heather ending. It would be more satisfactory.
Because, yes, even the writers must have gotten to the point where they thought "wait, if we have two lovers as the final two wouldn't it be... I dunno, anticlimatic?", so they made Chris announce mid-episode that the helpers (Gwen, Cameron, Alejandro and Heather) could also win the price if they beat Mike and Zoey.
To understand how lame this is, imagine if in World Tour Chris would have announced that Harold, Cody, Lindsay and Courtney could also win the price if they got to the top of the volcano first. You would have shouted: "what!? No! I want to see Heather and Alejandro tearing eachother apart!". In All-Stars, your thoughts (or at least mine) were something more like "Go Heather! Destroy those two uninteresting jokes and win the price!". Even if she didn't participate for half of the season, I was rooting for Heather. Yeah, that was the All-Stars finale to me.
A Better Option: Courtney vs Anyone
Yeah, I don't even care who they choose to be Courtney's rival in the finale. Lindsay? Would have been amazing. Zoey? Yeah, fine. Scott? We could have seen some interesting moments. Sam? Even him, yes!
All-Stars was Courtney's season. She got back to her old Island persona: she was competitive but fair, she tried (emphasis on tried) to be nice to the others, and she even started some strange relationship with a bad guy. Yeah, she had some of her post-TDI's-elimination traits, she did have her nasty moments before 'Sundae Muddy Sundae' where we saw the new Courney, but overall she was cool again. But when we got to that episode and they utterly DESTROYED all her development in two scenes, only to make way for the exciting Mike vs Zoey finale... I was speechless.
Courtney deserved a spot in the finale. She didn't deserve 'Sundae Muddy Sundae'. A lot of people have complained about this episode in the past, so I won't go deeper into it, but I still can't forget how badly Courtney got robbed... once again!
An Alternate Option: Mike vs Gwen
Alright, they wanted to have Mike in the finale, for some reason. Okay, I don't mind. Maybe they wanted Mal's defeat to be the climatic point of the season and this kind of scene is more appropriate for a final episode. Yeah, whatever, works with me. Then why pick Zoey as his opponent!?
You see, even if they wanted to have Zoey in the finale at all costs, she could have been there without being a finalist. In the same way that Gwen was there as an assistant, helping Zoey, Zoey could have appeared as Gwen's or even Mike's assistant and we could have seen how Mal was defeated by the power of buttons and friendship and love and Gwen's unicorns. And when Mal disappeared, we would have gotten a climatic battle between Mike and Gwen (two characters that won't share the price because, surprise, they're not a couple!) and, yes, Mike would still had been an unfair winner because of all that wandering his brain situation, and some will say that Gwen was already a finalist so she shouldn't repeat, but I guess that she accepts to come back with the idea of winning, she's probably not thinking "well, I already have my alternate ending from the first season, so I shouldn't make it to the final two". So these two as the finalists are indeed better than what we got in the end.
A Crazy Option: Sierra vs The Mutant GopherThis rivalry is more intense than that of Alejandro and Heather. A battle for motherhood. That's something that you wouldn't expect in a Total Drama season. Sierra would have to fight Cody Jrs.'s mother in an intense finale where all the feelings would be on edge.Who would the other characters root for? Her friend Sierra, who saved these poor children and raised them as her own? Or the legitimate mother, who lost her babies because of Chris' crazy challenges? Yeah, I am out of ideas. Please forgive me about this one.
Total Drama: Pahkitew Island
What We Got: Shawn vs SkyI am not the biggest Sky fan, but I have to say: this was a nice finale. Well, up until the point where Dave turned psychotic and everything got kinda creepy (but I actually kinda enjoyed it... yeah, I'm sick I know it).
Shawn was a nice character. His relationship with Jasmine was funny and quite healthy for Total Drama standards. He got over his character joke (being terrified of zombies) and became something else. Someone who you could root for in the finale.
Sky was a meaner version of Zoey. The plot twist of she having a boyfriend who she wanted to dump before getting to the island and then flirting with Dave even though she still was in a relationship was an interesting touch. So yeah, a good idea to have these two facing each other. Buuuut...
Oh boy. Sugar was so nasty. I hate her. She's annoying, she's cruel and her voice makes me feel kinda awkward.
Better Different Option: Jasmine vs Sugar
Her elimination was very satisfying, so I can't say that having her in the finale would make anything any better. It's just a different option, because I can't think of a better finale than Sky vs Shawn.
Jasmine deserved the final spot, but I liked her final appearance in Shawn's ending. It was nice to see them getting together, so I would maintain that in this finale.
An Alternate Option: Shawn vs ScarlettIn an ideal world, Scarlett used her super intelligence to get to the finale, and ONLY THEN she revealed that she actually was an evil genius. So, Shawn would have to face an actual danger (not related to his zombi fear) and defeat Scarlett.
And it would have been GREAT to see a downer ending where the bad girl wins. Yeah, Shawn would win in most countries, but the writers would be forced to make an alternate ending where Scarlett wins. And I would love to see that. Scarlett is awesome, even if she was kinda wasted as a character. I would love to see her win and maybe even do some terrible things to Chris with the money.
A Crazy Option: Leonard vs Max
Ladies and gentleman, here we have the "Delusional Finale". A character who believes that he has magic powers facing a character who believes that he is an evil genius.
It would be so funny to watch them taking this as some kind of Lord of the Rings final battle where Leonard would try to defeat Max using his magic and Max would try to destroy Leonard with his evil antics.
And they should bring the other characters back for this. All three generations. Even Blaineley. It would be unfair to them if they missed the battle of the century. A battle that would be written down and taught to generations of Total Drama contestants.