So, Uh This Is My Team?: 8/10
I Love You, Grease Pig!: 5/10
A Blast from the Past: 5/10
Mo Monkey Mo Problems: 9/10
This Is The Pits!: 7/10
Three Zones and A Baby: 4/10
Hurl and Go Seek: 7/10
Scarlett Fever: 9/10
Sky Fall: 5/10
Pahk'd With Talent: 9.5/10
- Jasmine - 3
- Shawn - 3
- Scarlett - 2
- Sugar - 2
- Ella - 1
- Sky - 1
- Topher - 1
- Dave - 2
- Max - 2
- Rodney - 2
- Shawn - 2
- Sugar - 2
- Beardo - 1
- Ella - 1
- Leonard - 1
Challenge explanation: Gather materials and use them to build a shelter.
So, Uh This Is My Team? kicks off the season by introducing the new cast to Pahkitew Island, which is going to be their home during their stay in the competition. Pahkitew Island's various features are shown; and trust me, it's nothing like Camp Wawanakwa. No showers, no communal bathroom, no canoes, no mess hall and biggest of all: no CABINS. Meaning the contestants have no where to stay. All that remains from Wawanakwa is the confessional. This means that the contestants' first challenge is to build shelter for themselves, to protect against the harsh and seemingly normal elements of Pahkitew Island. Fortunately, the teams aren't just forced to endlessly roam around until they find something. Everything they need is in a giant junk pile in the middle of the challenge site. The first part of the challenge is to get the materials you need, and the second is to actually build the shelter. This is a pretty solid challenge overall. It's a good idea to have the contestants literally create their own reward, and it displays the hardships of living on Pahkitew Island well. I also like how well it displays each team's mechanics, and it does a good job of showing who's good at what...if they're good at anything at all.
Best Performer: Jasmine, who takes charge of her team and has them work hard.
Worst Performer: Beardo, who actually doesn't do anything useful other than make sound effects, which doesn't help anyway.
Overall Rating: 8/10. It introduces the cast well, and is a balanced challenge. Having the moose stampede through the grounds was unfair, though.
Challenge explanation: Go through a greasy obstacle course with a grease pig.
So this challenge is your basic obstacle course challenge. We've all seen it before – it's a Total Drama staple challenge, like the eating challenges. But this one is...different. It's not sadistic like The Obsta-Kill Kourse or hosted by Chef Hatchet like Basic Straining, but rather when competing in your part of the obstacle course (it's a relay race, like Truth or Laser Shark) you have to carry a GREASE PIG with you. Also, the ENTIRE obstacle course is greased. There's a whole bunch of parts: a log slide, a zip-line, pipes, tires, a grease pit, and a large wall that they have to climb. And through all of this, rather than using a baton, they use a grease pig as I said earlier. This challenge, while..."interesting", is also pretty weird. Like, there's so many parts, which I get because there's still a minimum of six contestants left on each team, but the issue with this is that there are so many parts, and none really gets that much focus. This is understandable, but really this challenge feels fit for a later episode. Some parts, such as Ella's scene, are given much more attention than others. Again, I see why this happens and I understand it but it just makes the challenge come off as messy and forgettable.
Best Performer: Once again, it's Jasmine who wins best performer.
Worst Performer: Leonard. He tries to use magic to win, which doesn't help.
Overall Rating: 5/10. By far one of the most average Pahkitew Island challenges.
Challenge explanation: Doom Balloons.
This challenge is another in a line of classic "TDPI-creative" challenges. Most Total Drama: Pahkitew Island episodes fall into this category. This one concerns a water balloon challenge taken to a huge extreme. First, the contestants are given a few seconds to collect "Doom Balloons", which are in crates in front of the contestants. Then, they run into the forest. The contestants have to use these to attack the other contestants, and the last remaining contestants win for their team. Basically, it's Saving Private Leechball but with less horrendous projectiles. Okay, so, here's my question...why didn't the contestants just hit each other as soon as they got the balloons? Why bother running into the forest and separating at all? It proves to be a huge flaw in this challenge and proving this challenge to not make much sense right from the start. If one ignores this, the challenge still does provide a sense of randomness and creativity due to us not knowing what could possibly come out of those balloons. It's a fun way to test the contestants on their skills of accuracy, aim and endurance – because there's some nasty stuff in those balloons (bee stings, itching powder, other assorted fluids which Sugar could not identify...) so, if you can survive this challenge, then you're ready for whatever the rest of the season has in store for you.
Best Performer: Jasmine. Not only did she skillfully nail both Sugar and Ella, but she even went as far as trying to motivate other team members.
Worst Performer: Rodney. He never hit anyone, and spent the majority of the challenge worrying about his "girlfriends" and crying about Amy.
Overall Rating: 4/10. Right from the start, the challenge doesn't really make sense. Furthermore, it's a rip-off of a previous challenge, and that one is a terrible challenge to begin with.
Challenge explanation: Truth or Scare
Alright, so this challenge is an extreme version of the classic "Truth or Dare". I like when challenges resemble real life games or challenges; for example, the Hide and Seek challenge from Hide and Be Sneaky. So it's truth or dare, except there's two major twists. For the truth portion: Chris hired a CIA agent. A trained specialist who seeks out lies. A chicken. Clucky. The sheer ridiculousness of having a super cool agent chicken spot out lies is hilarious. It does make you think of why Chris didn't reuse the lie detector from Awwwwww, Drumheller, though. The questions are really personal too. There are questions like "If your team was in a burning house, which one of your teammates would you save?" or "Which one of your teammates is the most attractive?" (the correct answers are Topher for both, obviously). You have to remember that social game is an important part of a game like Total Drama – it always has been. So the fact that you have to choose between your teammates, show obvious favoritism, and not be able to lie? Imagine peeving off the main antagonist on your team. You'd be gone! I love a challenge like this. It tests the contestants and sees how well they manage something social-game related that Chris gives them. It's also quite different from the usual physical challenges we get.
Speaking of typical physical challenges, that's the Scare portion. It somewhat resembles No Pain, No Game's challenge. There are challenges like "beautify a bear", or "put braces on a beaver". While I did compare it to No Pain, No Game, these challenges are far more brutal. They're also much more cartoony. Not all the challenges are super brutal though. There's some disgusting ones, like, "pick your nose and put it on the person next to you", "Kiss the person beside you", "finish a jug of mineral water in thirty seconds". So, how is it determined? Will you put your social game to the test, or your challenge game? Well, it's randomized. If you can complete your challenge, your team receives a point. Also, if you lie in a truth, then Clucky sniffs out the lies and shocks your entire team. So if you mess up, you're gonna get heat from your entire team. Good luck with that. There's even a tiebreaker planned! Both of the remotes used to shock the teams are tied up in a really good knot (seriously, they should teach that in boy scouts or something). One member from each team has to untie it, take the remote from inside, and shock the opposing team. Since it's in a bag, it's not hard for the contestants to shock the opposing team anyway, but that's just a minor nitpick. Also, this challenge can be pretty unbalanced due to the varying ranges of difficulty.
Clucky Ella. She actually had a really good, solid performance until she decided not to shock the other team.
Worst Performer: Rodney. He didn't manage to do a single challenge, not even the tiebreaker. All hail Clucky.
Overall Rating: 7/10. Though it had flaws, it's overall a good challenge which tested social game for once, and we did get some interesting results. Also, as some users tend to point out a lot, some points were given to the wrong team, which makes it lose some points as well (even if that was the fault of the writers, not the challenge itself).
Challenge explanation: Smash, Splash, 1-2-3 X-Dash.
Alright, so this challenge can be a little confusing. Allow me to explain it. There is a dock on Lake Pahkitew. Both teams will stand on opposite sides of the dock. They will receive six dueling sticks. Then, when Chris gives the signal, one member from each team must run across the dock to the other side with their dueling stick. They can use the dueling stick to hit their opponent and slow down the other team. Then, once the contestant reaches the end of the dock, they place their stick on the stand. The six sticks they transport must form three "X" shapes. The last part seems kinda pointless, but whatever. It doesn't really matter in the long run anyway. Oh yeah, and Chris looks super freakish the whole time, so bonus. As for the actual challenge, I guess this is the token "fighting challenge" of the season, like Greece's Pieces in World Tour, or Million Dollar Babies in Total Drama Action. Some seasons don't even have this appealing and iconic challenge so that's a shame. What's even bigger shame is that this challenge takes place entirely on the lake, yet the writers don't use it as a chance to implement a swimsuit scene. Remember when the first generation cast had as many swimsuit scenes as they could input? It made it more realistic and therefore better. All things considered, this still isn't a bad challenge, just a mediocre one.
Best Performer: Sugar, for having some sort of super pageant girl rage.
Worst Performer: Ella. Poor, sweet, perfect Ella. Too sweet to hurt her fellow competitors.
Overall Rating: 5/10. Lack of swimsuits AND the challenge being mediocre overall? Sad. It almost got a 6 though, to be fair.
Challenge explanation: Snack Attack
So, this is definitely one of the more unique challenges in the season. Heck, it might just be the most unique challenge in the entire show! Here's how it works: There's a vending machine filled with Chef Hatchet's Total Drama Yum Yum Happy Go Time Candy Fish Tails (which is a great call back to Total Drama World Tour's Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan, in my opinion). The only way to access the machine is by getting a gold coin held by a monkey; one for each team. Can I just say that this is always the challenge that comes to mind whenever someone mentions the Total Drama: Pahkitew Island challenges. It's so unique and so much fun as a challenge that I can't help but love it. Why is it so great, you may be wondering. Well, let's start with the fact that the monkeys get to roam free throughout the island. Keep in mind that we're still rather early into the season; almost the halfway point. We're on a brand new, fresh island that's unexplored for the most part. This challenge sets up a wonderful opportunity for the writers to explore more parts of the island, give it development, and show where and how the contestants live. The free-terrain nature of this challenge allows for the contestants to interact, which is always a plus as well.
Aside from the stuff I just explained, this is a very unique challenge in the sense that it incorporates animals; in this case, monkeys. Not very many challenges incorporate animals; Total Drama Action has huge involvement from animals in Top Dog, but animals otherwise are not this relevant. Anyway, I like how many different strategies there are that the contestants can implement in the challenge. The contestants can chase the monkey down, hunt it from afar, corner it...so many possibilities. As Scarlett shows, there's even a possibility to outsmart the monkeys. I just love challenges where there's no set formula, because it makes the challenge unpredictable and you'll never know the turnout. In the case of this challenge, a monkey eats the coin for one team. These strategic implements in the challenge also allows characters to develop; when they can think of their own plan in a free-exploration, free-terrain challenge, there's no telling what these crazy characters will think of. After they reclaim the coin, they have to race to the vending machine and insert the coin into the machine before the other team. So in summary, this challenge is good because it introduces a unique concept in the vending machine, allows for interactions, and even puts animals into the mix.
Best Performer: Like I said earlier, Scarlett thought of a brilliant strategy to reclaim her team's coin from the monkey, and that's why she receives this award, for using her brains to her advantage.
Worst Performer: Max, for trapping his own team.
Overall Rating: 9/10, for every reason stated above.
Challenge explanation: Traverse an underground cave filled with obstacles and cross the finish line before the other team.
Challenge won by: None
This episode is a very special episode in the series. It's not a total game changer like a merger episode or something, but this is the only episode in the series where we don't actually see the entire challenge. I guess it's a bit similar to Chinese Fake-Out's first challenge in that sense. But this is way more extreme than Chinese Fake-Out; we don't even see the entire challenge. Because of that, I'm forced to talk about the parts I actually know about. First off, the contestants are forced to get into huge hamster balls.
Those balls are huge, btw. When the teams are thrown in, they're dropped into an underground cave. This is a good change from the usual scenery we're presented with; after six episodes of the same scenery, it's great to see a completely different side of Pahkitew Island. There's lots of different exits too; there's a fancy hotel-style elevator, an exit from the sewers, and then one from an opening in the ground. But the main exit is the one we never see; apparently there were dozens of traps throughout the cave that Chris set up that the contestants have to cross. It would've been interesting to see the several traps, but I suppose it wouldn't be something we haven't seen before in episodes like Basic Straining or The Obsta-Kill Kourse. But, Scuba Bear was part of them, and we see him! This time as Bling Bear. This challenge still manages to keep things fresh, even if we don't see the full thing.
Best Performer: Since no one actually wins the challenge, it's hard to say for sure. But Topher's move of using Chris's cell phone's reception to find his way out for both him and Jasmine was pretty clever.
Worst Performer: Shawn, for swiping a crystal, triggering Bling Bear. I'll admit, that was a cute moment from Shawn ("shiny!"), but a reckless one.
Overall Rating: 7/10. I'd give it higher, because it was an entertaining challenge in a good episode, but we don't see the full thing so I really can't. Also, the challenge was kind of all over the place.
Challenge explanation: Hush or Die
Yikes, just that challenge name makes the episode sound rather...interesting. Anyway, unlike the two episodes I've already reviewed (So, Uh This Is My Team? and A Blast from the Past), this challenge has multiple parts to it. Or should I say, zones. As the episode title suggests, there are three zones. The first zone is called "The Lion's Lunch", the second is called "The Pasta Blaster", and finally we have "The Avalanche Zone". There's one more element to this challenge, but before I get to it I'd like to state that it apparently wasn't planned originally and was implemented because Topher is a big mouth. A hot big mouth, but a big mouth nonetheless. Although, if we're being honest here, Chris probably would have implemented it anyway and Topher butting in just made Chris pin it on Topher since, well, he hates him. So anyway, the big twist that Chris implements is that the contestants all have to carry, and I am NOT making up this twisted element, babies. Yes, real live babies. Not dolls, not fakes, not even that sack of flour you had to take care of for that dumb Health class assignment. An actual, living, newborn baby. Each contestant gets their own. Even Sky questions if that's legal, and I completely agree. That is incredibly messed up and not okay at all.
One can compare this baby situation to the balloons in The Final Wreck-ening – one HUGE element throwing off a rather solid and pretty good challenge. It just gets uncomfortable while watching because, well, they're babies. If you've ever held a baby in your arms and you can't relate, then you have no soul. But anyway, I can't dwell on the horrid lack of morality any longer, I should get to the actual challenge. So let's start with "The Lion's Lunch". Okay, so right off the bat, they're putting both the contestants and the babies in serious danger. The Lion's Lunch zone is filled with several sleeping lions, along with obstacles like rattlesnakes and noisy toys that can potentially wake the lions about. That's actually horrifying – one misstep and you're, as the name suggests, a lion's lunch. You have to be careful, not just for this zone but the entire challenge actually. The next zone is the "Pasta Blaster", which features the return of Scuba Bear with a pasta gun and a blindfold. What's with these two seasons and the pasta gun? Anyway, Scuba Bear returns! Yay! He may not be given much attention but I still like that cray-cray robot bear. Also, this is the second episode in a row where we see him, so that's a bonus.
Where was I? Oh right...Scuba Bear is the king of Total Drama: Pahkitew Island. He's so amazing...he's basically my role model, you know. I can't wait for Scuba Bear to return and win the next season. In fact, he should receive his own spin-off: The World According to Scuba Bear! It'll be a gossip show where Scuba Bear spills all the tea. MUCH better than watching babies fall to their potential doom. At such a young age, too. They haven't even experienced the joys of school examinations yet. So anyway, getting back to the actual topic, the Pasta Blaster is yet another zone where the contestants must tread lightly in fear of an animal. This is comparatively much better and much safer than the previous zone; it's not SAFE by any means, but far safer than that atrocious previous round. The last zone, "The Avalanche Zone" sucks because it doesn't have a creative name. You're getting old, Chris. No wonder Don took over the world of reality TV! Anyway, the contestants have to navigate through an avalanche. This challenge makes good use of the island being mechanical, and still keeps the risk of losing due to the mass of overhead snow. Also, as a bonus to this round, the babies are taken away, which means they can't potentially be crushed by a mountain of snow. So this is one of those challenges that goes from awful, to okay, to better to great.
Best Performer: I feel like Shawn deserves this, since he had a solid performance throughout the challenge and even tried to give Dave a pep talk rather than carrying him, showing Shawn's efforts to create teamwork.
Worst Performer: Dave, who gives up the challenge just because Sky won't talk to him or something. How middle school. I'd give it to Topher for making his team lose but...the Topher experience...
Overall Rating: 4/10. Yeah...I don't like seeing traumatized babies. This challenge is morally terrible and even though the challenge itself wasn't that bad, I can't help but have my mind lurk on that aspect which was present for two-thirds of it. It was so unnecessary and cruel.
Challenge explanation: Be the first to finish a "Juggy Chunk"; Group Hide and Go Seek.
So, this pre-challenge is actually two major Total Drama customary challenge categories combined into one. It's both the merge challenge, and the "disgusting food eating" challenge. If the writers' contract said that they had to write at least one disgusting eating challenge per season, this challenge would hit two birds with one stone. Anyway, the contestants have to eat "Juggy Chunks"; which is some sort of...well...uh... honestly, I'm not even sure. Sugar says that they have horse meat, and taste like a skunk and brine, so you can only imagine. I pray you can ONLY imagine. I wouldn't want my worst enemy to eat something like that. Anyway, this seems to take the disgusting thing to a new level. Apparently, the Food and Drug Administration warned people against eating it. They have their own poison hotline. Yikes. So either way, this stuff isn't good at all. And to top it off, the Juggy Chunks that the contestants eat are apparently poisoned. Whoever finishes their Juggy Chunks first wins immunity for the rest of the challenge, and gets to be "it" for the next challenge. What is "it", you ask? Well, the contestants have to play hide-and-seek after they finish their gross-out meal. Well, if they finish. You don't have to keep eating after someone finishes.
However, here's the two twists to the challenge. One, it's midnight. That means the contestants are tired, having been woken up in the middle of the night like that. As Scarlett says, cognitive function is dependent on REM sleep. If you're not a complete nerd like me and don't know what that means, it basically means if you don't get proper rest, you can't function. On top of that, and guys, this one is really good...the contestants have been poisoned. The Juggy Chunks were expired, and this causes the contestants to have food poisoning. Even the person who's finding everyone has food poisoning (well, unless you're Sugar)! There are two arguments to this challenge. The first is the "morally wrong" argument. It's terrible to willingly poison a bunch of teenagers, and STILL make them defy their sleep schedule, and run around a dangerous island. The effects are really bad too, with Max throwing up, and almost everyone acting like a zombie by the end of it. On the other hand, this is still a reality show, it's still a cartoon, and the idea that they're poisoned actually ends up making the challenge WAY more interesting. It definitely adds that unique kick to an otherwise great challenge that had a lot going for it. So I suppose this challenge is a mixed, "love it or hate it" type of thing.
Best Performer: Good job, Sugar. Your gross habits finally got you somewhere in life.
Worst Performer: Dave, for the same reasons as the previous episode. He lets a girl get in the way of his gameplay, and doesn't even realize that it was his fault.
Overall Rating: 7/10.
Challenge explanation: Disable the island's self-destruct sequence; stop Scarlett.
This challenge is, by far, one of the most famous Total Drama challenges there are. It's definitely the most creative, the most unique, and it's highly possible that no other season could duplicate this challenge. It's the only challenge where a competing contestant causes it. We've had contestants directly influence challenges before; Heather in Up, Up And Away In My Pitiful Balloon for example, but...never, ever like this. This is crazy, this is out of this world, this is...well, it's Total Drama: Pahkitew Island. The island begins to go crazy thanks to Max, and so Chris, directly after Dave's elimination, has everyone shut down a self-destruct sequence that begins on the island. This means that the challenge wasn't even Chris's idea – had Max not goofed up, it never would have happened. Although to be fair, Chris did influence it by poisoning the contestants with the Juggy Chunks from the previous episode. It still wasn't planned though. The fact that there is an unplanned challenge that was caused by the events of the previous episode make this a sort of "Part 1", "Part 2" continuity deal which really makes the episode more exciting. In fact, you can't deny that this entire challenge is VERY exciting. I've said in the past that a challenge is exciting, but never this much.
So, the first part of the challenge is to find a way into the underground control room. Chris provides a map on a tablet as well, to aid the contestants. There are three entrances: at the bottom of a lake, some holes in the ground in the forest, and the last secret passage is under a rock. Due to this, the six remaining contestants are split into teams of two. They each must find a way in, and only one team can win immunity (kind of like Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon). The lake portion is one that we haven't really seen before on Pahkitew Island. I love when the challenge makes an attempt to explore the island. In order to enter the underground tunnels, you'll either need wits or dumb luck. Also, you could die. A lot. Anyway, once the contestants are in, they need to navigate the tunnels using the tablet map that Chris gave them (unless of course, you let a pure evil contestant take it without questions). There are a lot of crazy, trap-filled rooms there, the most notable one being a room full of "Chris Promo-Bots". These serve as an excellent obstacle to the contestants, and even give some insight into how crazy Chris is. Furthermore, it also provides a great fight scene, especially when a contestant thinks that the Promo-Bots are zombies.
Other than the room full of freaky Chris robots, there's also a really sensitive security system, which unleashes all of the psychotic robot animals we've seen in previous episodes; including everyone's favorite Scuba Bear. After that long, painful break from Scuba Bear (ONE ENTIRE EPISODE) it's great to see him again. All hail Scuba Bear! Anyway, there's also obstacles like navigating a room full of dangerous gears, and a laser cat-bot (which is a great pet, btw, don't let your parents tell you otherwise). Anyway, the most important room is the Control Room, where the contestants just have to switch off the self-destruct sequence and save the day. Unfortunately, Scarlett reaches first, and refuses to shut it off. She reveals herself to be evil, forcing the contestants to defeat her. They're locked out, and tricked by Scarlett, forced to escape the Promo-Bots. There are many ways to defeat Scarlett, but also many ways to fail. The thing is, even though it's five against one, and there's STILL a chance of Scarlett winning immunity, they're dealing with an evil genius here. Scarlett is not only smarter than all of them (let's face it, it's not hard to be smarter than Max, Sugar and Shawn), but she also holds all the power. This challenge is a great test of mental ability, and I appreciate a challenge that does so.
Best Performer: This one definitely goes to Scarlett, even though she lost. Think about it – she was clever enough to take Chris's tablet, and take over the island. Everything was actually going in her favor until she was hoisted by her own petard due to forcing the contestants into Chris's promo bots room.
Worst Performer: Every character goofed up multiple times, such as Jasmine and Shawn setting off the security due to make-out time, Max's...everything...I'd say Sky and Sugar are the only ones who didn't make any sort of crucial mistake. So I'll go ahead and give it to Max, although even he contributed well to Scarlett's defeat.
Overall Rating: Final notes, I'd like to say that I appreciated how Scarlett still had a chance at winning immunity if she could kill or somehow stop the other contestants. Also, this challenge was an endless thrill ride. 9/10.
Challenge explanation: Climb to the top of Mount Chrismore.
I liked how it introduced a new location.
Challenge explanation: Compete in challenges created by the contestants.
This is quite possibly the most unique challenge that Total Drama: Pahkitew Island has to offer. I know I've said that about other challenges like Scarlett Fever, but the thing that distinguishes this challenge over all the others is that the possibilities are literally endless with this one. We can't tell what these teens are going to come up with – well, we have a rough idea. Sky's is going to be something gymnastics-related, Shawn's may have something to do with zombies, and Sugar is going to use her pageant upbringing to her advantage. But exactly what are they going to do? This challenge is a perfect opportunity for the writers to explore their final three; when we see the type of challenge that these kids think of, it'll give some insight into their personality and how their minds work (or in some cases, don't). Like, take Sugar's for example. She has an entire performance (a combination of rap and country called "Craptry") ready to show everyone. This shows how dedicated she is to her "career" (or are pageants a hobby? I'm not quite sure). She actually thinks her work is good, and the great thing is that we would have never known this if this challenge wasn't invented. Sure, we could've gotten a great challenge like I Triple Dog Dare You!, but in a thirteen-episode season, I love the effort the writers make to add as much development as possible.
Let's go through each challenge in order, starting with Sky's. Sky's challenge is, as I said earlier, a gymnastics challenge. It's a classic hurdle jumping challenge, with the added twist of traps like pits, turtles under the hurdles that move them slowly, and even beehives. What's good about this challenge is, while it contains cartoony over-the-top traps like Evil Dread, it also bears a sense of realism seen in the challenges of seasons like Total Drama Island – challenges that are relatable. After all, what student hasn't done hurdles at least once in school?
Unless you're me and hate gym class with a burning passion. Then we have Shawn's – jumping from tree to tree to reach the finish line. Another good one, especially with the added rule of having to start from the beginning if you fall. There are also monkeys and other animals there, and the challenge as a whole is a good test of skill. Then there's the last one, and my personal favorite: a talent show. This challenge is amazing, and quite possibly one of the easiest challenges to develop characters in. It reminds me of Not Quite Famous, but doesn't really seem like a rehash. We see Scuba Bear return as well. Each contestant is scored out of thirty, and the lowest scoring contestant faces elimination.
Best Performer: Shawn. He has the best rankings, ranking second, second again, then first. Sky ranks first, third and second, and Sugar ranks third, first and third again. Additionally, Shawn's performances are pretty solid and enjoyable too (even if I liked Craptry more than Armpit Serenade).
Worst Performer: Sugar. See her rankings above. Furthermore, Sugar is the only contestant to get third on two challenges, and the challenge she wins was mostly dumb luck anyway.
Overall Rating: Overall, this is a solid challenge with a great concept and ideas. I adore the concept of having to compete against your fellow contestants when you're performing a challenge that's their biggest strength. If you can beat them, it truly means you deserve to win. I give it a 4 for concept, 2 for Sky's challenge, 1.5 for Shawn's challenge, and 2 for Sugar's challenge, giving the challenge a 9.5/10.
Challenge explanation: The Double Duo of Deadly Dying
Alright, here we go. The grand finale. The finale is divided into five general parts: firstly, both finalists receive a helper, who is a previously eliminated contestant. The second is skiing down a mountain using whatever junk is available, the third is navigating through an eight-foot mud pool. Then, the fourth part isn't a challenge, but rather a break. The fifth and final part is a race to the finish line. So, let's go through each of the five parts. First, the choosing of the partners. It's not like Hawaiian Punch or The Final Wreck-ening – the partner is decided randomly, through a slot machine. This serves as a good opportunity to show all the eliminated contestants, but I also would have preferred that they bring back the eliminated contestants like they used to do before Total Drama All-Stars. Anyway, the way that Shawn received Jasmine as a helper and Sky received Dave is definitely fishy. It's pretty clear that Chris rigged the choices so that a specific ex-contestant would show up on the screen. That's both good, and bad. The good part of doing that is that it creates drama, and continues on a previously built-up interaction. It doesn't force an interaction or make it appear out of thin air. The bad part is that it ruins the effect of a random helper lottery, which makes it kinda pointless. This is made a bit better by the fact that it's never confirmed on-screen, but since Sky just happens to get Dave as a helper twice, it's no mystery in all honesty.
So the second portion is to take your
rigged helper and race down a mountain with them. This portion is a good call-back and continuation to Scarlett Fever revealing that the island is basically whatever Chris wants it to be. Since the mechanical island is one of the major themes of the season, it's nice that they implemented it into the challenge. Anyway, the contestants aren't left all alone, they're given a few things to aid them. It's not much, but at least they don't have to run or slide or something. This isn't Sundae Muddy Sundae, the mountain is actually dangerous. Then, the contestants have a short race to the third portion as a segue. So the third portion of the challenge is having to navigate through an eight-foot mud pool to the other side. This challenge is pretty creative and reflects the spirit of the Pahkitew Island challenges; unique, creative and just...different, in all honesty. It's eight feet tall, meaning not even everyone's favorite giant, Jasmine, can stand up and be able to stick her head out. Not even on her tippy-toes, like you used to do in your friend's pool party when you were young. That means that one contestant has to ride on the shoulders of another; it doesn't matter which. Chris also supplies the finalists with a garden hose that they can use to breath. I mean, it's not a snorkel, but it works for them in the show so I guess I can't complain.
Then we come to the fourth portion of the challenge, which occurs directly after the mud pool race. The fourth portion actually isn't a challenge at all, it's a resting point. It's pretty rare for a challenge – ESPECIALLY a finale – to have a break period. However, Chris doesn't let anyone relax here. This portion is used for the purpose of creating drama. Earlier, if you questioned why the helper lottery was rigged, this part of the challenge will answer your question. Chris has the finalists hosed off, and then he brings in a TV screen in order to spill all the tea. This is used for the purpose of turning the helpers, who the finalists have already interacted with, against each other. Chris uses audition tapes, confessionals and secret moments to ensure that the finalists are portrayed in a negative light to the helpers, which leads to the next part. The helpers are given remotes which let them control Pahkitew Island, and they have ten minutes to stop the finalists from winning. If they can, they win the money and split it 50/50. This is...SUCH an amazing plot twist. In a way, it's like having someone other than Chris host for a while. You can ensure that the finalists will be in danger, and the best part is that it's a true test of endurance and survival, because at that point you're fighting against your worst enemy, who happens to possess a great amount of power. It's a great way to cap off a season, with a shocking twist and an epic ending.
Best Performer: Even if you prefer Shawn's ending, I believe Sky gets this recognition. In the mountain challenge, she was clever enough to use the robot cat to melt the ball of snow, she carried Dave on her shoulders in the mud pool, and even while Shawn had given up a little in the final portion, Sky didn't. Her tantrum actually caused the mountain they were on to collapse, causing an avalanche that carried one of the finalists to the finish line (the finalist depends on which ending you're watching).
Worst Performer: Shawn, by default. Besides, I feel like he kinda let Jasmine do more work than him.
Overall Rating: If we consider each of the five portions to account for two points, we can break up the rating. The first portion (choosing a helper) receives 1.5 points, since Chris claims it's random yet it's obviously not. The second portion receives 2 points because it's a good, thrilling challenge. The mud portion receives 2 points. The Tea Spilling portion gets 1.5 points, losing out on that 0.5 simply because the finalists had no control over what was happening, and it could easily rig things against one finalist (like, say, if one helper got angrier than another). Otherwise it wasn't bad. Anyway, the last portion receives an easy 2. So, count that up – 9/10.