Broadway, Baby!: 6/10
Slap Slap Revolution: 8/10
The Am-AH-Zon Race: 6/10
Newf Kids on the Rock: 7/10
Jamaica Me Sweat: 7/10
I See London...: 9/10
Greece's Pieces: 9/10
The EX-Files: 4/10
Picnic at Hanging Dork: 3/10
Sweden Sour: 8/10
Niagara Brawls: 7/10
Chinese Fake-Out: 7/10
African Lying Safari: 6/10
Rapa Phooey!: 8/10
Awwwwww, Drumheller: 9/10
Hawaiian Punch: 9/10
- Heather - 7
- Alejandro - 4
- Sierra - 4
- Lindsay -2
- Tyler - 2
- Cody - 1
- DJ - 1
- Gwen - 1
- Owen - 1
- Sierra - 5
- Cody - 3
- Noah - 3
- Alejandro - 2
- Courtney - 2
- Izzy - 2
- Gwen - 2
- Blaineley - 1
- Bridgette - 1
- DJ - 1
- Duncan - 1
- Harold - 1
Location: Giza, Egypt
Challenge explanation: "Pyramid Under Over": Walk through or climb over the Giza Pyramid.
So, this is the challenge we have that kicks off Total Drama World Tour. One can easily divide this challenge into two parts; the "Under" portion and the "Over" portion. At first glance, this challenge just seems like a choice between what you specialize in; walking around until you find an exit, or climbing. Obviously, the more athletic contestants (such as Alejandro, Bridgette and Tyler) will choose the Over path. Some contestants who also pride themselves on thinking of strategies, like Courtney's belaying strategy, would also choose this. Continuing with "first glance", the "Under" option also seems like the easier option that requires less work. This means contestants like unathletic Owen and lazy Noah would choose it. Since it seems easier, and this is a race, it's quite obvious most contestants would choose Under, and Chris obviously knew this. However, a very clever plot twist that Chris throws in is making the under portion MUCH more difficult than what meets the eye. There's three paths to choose from, making the challenge much harder and confusing the contestants. We see many paths from those with mummies, to scarab traps, and so on. I'm particularly fond of this, since it brings about many possible outcomes and interesting performances.
As for the Over part, it doesn't slack in the entertainment department either. Pyramids are huge; like, VERY huge. It's quite unbelievable how big they are actually, considering the lack of advanced technology back in those times. My point is, such a large pyramid, and such funny contestants. You're bound to have some wacky outcomes, that's for certain. I feel like the sheer difficulty of climbing a pyramid without any additional help (except for Courtney, Duncan and Gwen helping each other obviously) balances out well with the complex maze of the inner pyramid. However, I feel like the odds are tipped a bit in favor of this part of the challenge. Like I said earlier, the athletic contestants are the ones who are going to choose this type of challenge if they have a choice, and thus they are going to win. However, I won't deduct points for that because the athletic contestants would be using their skill to win, rather than relying on any sort of skill that the challenge provides. Also, yes, you can argue that Courtney, Duncan and Gwen ended up in last place but you're forgetting how dysfunctional they were as a team. Anyway, that's irrelevant. Coming down to the matter at hand, I think this challenge is a really solid premiere challenge that allows for interactions and to help us watch the contestants in action well.
Best Performer: Alejandro, obviously. Like Lindsay pointed out, he's like the world's cutest mountain goat.
Worst Performer: A lot of contestants messed up in this challenge, but the worst case was probably Izzy's, mostly because she felt the need to cosplay as Frankenstein's Bride rather than focusing on the challenge. And yes, I know that she's crazy but I never complained about Izzy as a character. I was originally going to choose Tyler, but he actually was focused on the challenge (because he wanted to impress Lindsay). No, I'm not biased. ...Really.
Overall Rating: 9/10. This challenge tested the skill of the more athletically inclined contestants and the amount of different outcomes for the other portion of the challenge made things interesting. Also, solely by having an Either/Or choice it gives the challenge extra points.
Location: The Nile, Egypt
Challenge explanation: Transport your prize from the previous challenge to the Nile River, then weave a canoe and row across the Nile to the finish line.
This challenge kicks off right where the Walk Like An Egyptian - Part 1 ends. Each team has received a prize from it as well; the last place team receives a camel, the second place team receives a goat, and the first place team receives a stick. This seems to be flipped; why would the winning team get a lousy stick, and the winning team gets a great big camel? Well, there's a surprise twist that the contestants don't find out about until later – if at all! The stick is actually a divining rod. It's...a divining rod. That's like Chris rewarding them with a psychic who will "see into the future" and find out where the water is. But whatever, this show has done curses and similar things before so it's no real big deal. Anyway, the contestants have to transport their rewards from the Great Pyramid of Giza to the Egypt's most famous waterway, the Nile River. This challenge makes good use of the three-teams concept, introducing it well since this is the second part of the first episode. However, transporting the prizes from the pyramids to the Nile is VERY far-fetched; my main issue is that the contestants have no way of knowing where the Nile is, meaning they could wander around forever without finding it, that too in the scorching hot desert of Egypt, which averages at about 91 degrees, and can reach up to 114.
Additionally, the distance between the two places is approximately five miles (5.2 to be exact), meaning there's plenty of way to get lost. And the teams could possibly never find their way back. I suppose that's where the stick comes in handy, since it makes the winning team the only one guaranteed to make it to the river. So, IF your teams do reach the Nile, the next challenge is to weave a Reed boat out of grass, and row it across it across the river to the finish line, all while managing your prize and making sure it stays there, and goes with you to on the boat. Then, just cross the finish line and you're golden. Reed boat weaving is a unique, yet mildly dull challenge (unless you're Sierra). It also takes much longer than one would think. The rowing portion of the challenge is less so, however this is probably due to the Nile crocodiles (which, fun fact, actually do attack anything that crosses its path, so it's not cartoon violence at play there) and the song. Although in my opinion, they could have done a song during the canoe weaving portion to pick up the pace there, but they do compensate with some good interactions. Another thing about the race is that it tends to be one of those challenges that flip-flops between who is winning frequently; similar to You Regatta Be Kidding Me, which gives added tension. The challenge ends on a positive note with the winning team finishing up the song after crossing the finish line.
Best Performer: Sierra, for displaying her mad basket-weaving skills.
Worst Performer: Harold, who, while he did discover that the stick was a divining rod, gave Ezekiel the clue to hit the Nile crocodile with it. Also, Harold trusted Ezekiel with the stick. And finally, when Harold jumped into the boat, he also broke two holes into it with his legs. Sorry Harold, World Tour just wasn't your season.
Overall Rating: 5/10. While the challenge does provide chances for interactions and thrill at times, it doesn't quite measure up to Part 1's challenge. Additionally, there are some holes in the challenge which makes it appear rather strange (such as the aforementioned endless desert trip). Not a bad challenge, just not a good one.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Challenge explanation: Play a human-sized game of pinball, then shoot a commercial that advertises Chef's new Candy Fish Tails.
If you have a challenge in Japan, it's pretty obvious that there's going to be something related to video games, or in this case, just games. This challenge plays that role, and adds something very unique and pretty cool (in my opinion) to it: a giant pinball machine. It's just so ridiculous, so cartoony, and so over-the-top that it ends up being very enjoyable to watch. You can tell that the gamer characters are gonna enjoy that (and one of them does). One contestant from each team goes inside a giant pinball, and the others have to score as many points as possible. Here's the issue with this challenge; if Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot and Team Victory receive panda bears, why does Team Amazon's volunteer go in with Sierra? What if Sierra herself volunteered? I get the joke, Sierra is crazy, blah blah blah, but this just very heavily comes off as if the challenge is rigged in Team Amazon's favor. Had Cody not volunteered, Sierra would have focused on the challenge with Courtney, Gwen or Heather and the odds would be heavily stacked in Team Amazon's favor. Maybe Chris wouldn't make one of the other girls go in with Sierra, but I guess we can't be sure. And finally, I'd also like to point out that this challenge is pretty luck-based, but I suppose that's not that much of an issue.
Despite how flawed the previous challenge is, this next one is a really good one. The teams have to create a commercial for Chef Hatchet's Total Drama Yum Yum Happy Go Time Candy Fish Tails (that title is a mouthful). This challenge tests out the contestants' creativity, their organization, and even their acting skills. Basically, anything to do with show biz, this challenge has got it covered. It allows so much room for customization and letting the contestants make the commercial their own; they can use anything from the Total Drama Jumbo Jet's cargo hold, which apparently has a LOT of things inside, so that even if you're the last team to go in, like Team Amazon, there's still a lot left for you. This challenge is all-around a really enjoyable challenge, it lets you see the chemistry between the contestants as they brainstorm ideas and act them out, and the best part is the payoff you receive from this challenge: three commercials, all unique, just like the teams themselves. You have the serious "A Samurai's Lament", the parody of "Godzilla", and then the cartoonish and goofy "Uhh", which gets you hooked. This challenge is great, because it's very unique, and has endless possibilities and outcomes, each entertaining to watch.
Best Performer: Cody. The guy had knowledge about something, in this case Japanese culture, and he used it. It's no wonder he won for his team, his commercial is the type that captures your attention and it's great that Cody was able to use his limited skillset to his advantage.
Worst Performer: You'd think Harold would receive it for his terrible idea that cost his team the win, but it actually goes to DJ, for having an average performance in the first challenge and zoning out in the second during the commercial. After this episode, he just becomes pathetic.
Overall Rating: 7/10. The first challenge, while luck-based, is still thrilling to watch and exciting. The second challenge is miles better, being one of the few challenges that test out the contestants mentally, and I appreciate such challenges.
Location: Yukon, Canada
Challenge explanation: Hop on ice flows that cross a waterway, then dogsled to the finish with one of your teammates as dogs, while picking up other teammates at various meeting points along the way.
So here's a really cool challenge. Get it? Cool? Because they're in the Yukon? ...Never mind. Basically, this challenge is divided into two parts, with the first one directly leading into the second one. The first one is ice flow jumping, which is actually a pretty good challenge that relies on the skill of the contestants (but the type of shoes they're wearing matters too I guess). Some contestants are graceful and have it easy, such as Leshawna, and others...not so much. It's still a pretty fun and well-thought pre-challenge. An unfair addition to this challenge is the fact that the first contestant to finish on each team – in this case, Courtney, Tyler and DJ – have to pull the sled. That's highly unfair, especially since they were the first ones to clear the challenge, therefore giving the latecomers an advantage, which isn't right. Basically, if you perform badly, you get to relax in a sled for the rest of the challenge? What kind of logic is that? That leads to my second point – this best performer is also SINGLED OUT from each team. The aforementioned contestants basically do all the work, while the others relax (Lindsay and Leshawna literally start gossiping in the middle of the challenge just because they can). Also, there's a song in the middle of the challenge. I don't even...that's just so unfair and such a disadvantage. I have nothing more to say about this challenge.
I have been waiting to do this since I began the blog. The best performer is Tyler. Not only did he win the first portion of the challenge for his team, but he tried very hard in the challenge all the way through. He put in the real effort for both himself, his team and his fans (see his confessional), and in the end he came out on top. On top of that, he had the grief of his girlfriend forgetting him, and still played hard for his team. Then in the second part of the challenge, Tyler pulled the sled for his team, facing the risk of elimination for not performing well enough, and he even saved his team from falling off the cliff and dying. Also, don't forget the significant development that Tyler went through in this challenge. Unlike his incredible klutziness in Dodgebrawl, Tyler has improved his skill in challenges and it shows in this episode. Tyler went beyond the call of duty and deserves Best Performer more than any other contestant in the whole episode.
Worst Performer: I'm going to give this one to Bridgette. She ignored direct orders from Leshawna, who told her teammates not to stop at the checkpoints and head straight to the finish line. Furthermore, Bridgette wasted time by making out with Alejandro, a pole, and possibly Alejandro's pole rather than focusing on the challenge. Due to all this, she made her team lose.
Overall Rating: 3/10. A highly unfair challenge that is simply a generic race with not many special additions in it. The only reason it scores a 3 is because the first challenge was decent.
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Challenge explanation: Climb the Statue of Liberty and collect a baby carriage; drive a boat through the sewers to Central Park; use the baby carriage to race through Central Park; Bob for apples in Turtle Pond; Race to the finish line.
Yay, another multi-part episode! Not to mention that it's in one of my favorite cities, New York City. Unlike many episodes (such as Picnic at Hanging Dork), this episode uses New York's challenge potential to it's fullest, and pulls it off well. The first part is my favorite: Climbing Lady Liberty and getting a baby carriage. This is just such a fun challenge, and I love the metaphor (or symbolism?) of using steel wool because it's tough and hard; just like the Big Apple. Nice extra touch. Anyway, I'm quite sure Chris knew that they would pass by Lady Liberty's breasts and he knew, well...this would happen. He's dealing with teenage boys, so...yeah it's pretty predictable. Anyway, Chris trolling the contestants is pretty funny in this case. Next, we have the basic boat driving one. They have to drive through the sewers, which is bound to get some hilarious reactions from the contestants. There's also the added dangers of the sewer gators, by the way. Love it. Anyway, I like the idea of one contestant having to be the "baby" of the carriage, but wouldn't this make that contestant sort of a target for elimination? One can easily say that the baby teammate contributed less to the team (in which case, Lindsay, Noah or Cody would have huge targets on their back).
Moving on, the Turtle Pond portion of the challenge was interesting I suppose. There's not much team involvement here since only one contestant does the challenge. What's with this episode and singling out teammates? I'll never understand this lol. So this challenge is obviously more dangerous than having to relax in a baby carriage so that still puts a target on the baby's back
(omg baby got back don't kill me), since the team will obviously vote off someone who contributed nothing over someone who contributed nothing as well, but still participated in a challenge that was significantly tougher. Also, if something like what happened to Noah happened to the baby for the losing team, then they're a total goner. I don't mean to nitpick but these little things in a challenge matter to me since if they're team challenges, then they should be for the team rather than the individual contestants. It kinda defeats the purpose. As for the final portion of the challenge...well what can I say? It's a basic race. I'm not complaining, by the way. There's been plenty of action in the rest of the episode but it is kind of a lame way to end a challenge. Also, I'd like to point out that I'm glad it was a reward challenge because it would be unfair to have an elimination in it.
Best Performer: It's a hard tie between Heather and Tyler. The former tried really hard to prove herself to her team, and got the baby carriage for them, whereas the latter competed and won a challenge that singled out the teammates (the Turtle Pond one).
Worst Performer: This one has to go to Noah for being useless, and falling asleep during the challenge thus costing his team the win. Noah regressed into a baby, and slept like one too.
Overall Rating: 6/10 since two portions of the challenge singled out teammates, however the overall tone of the challenge is pretty upbeat and exciting so I won't give it too many points off.
Location: The German Alps, Germany
Challenge explanation: Shut Up and Stuff It; Dance Your Lederhosen Off
This is one of those few challenges that give one team a big advantage. In this case, it's the team that receives a meat grinder as a prize in Broadway, Baby! That's a pretty big advantage, and even though the team that received it didn't get to use it, it would still be a major game changer had it been properly utilized. So the first challenge is to stuff a giant sausage
insert dirty joke here. So, this challenge overall is pretty good, it's entertaining enough with all the potential hijinks (and we do get lots of fun stuff, like "Meat Cody"). This is also one of those challenges where everyone on the team can contribute something, since the meat grinders are huge and everyone needs to play a part in it; like turning the lever, padding down the meat, holding the sausage or shoveling the sausage into the grinder. It's a pretty creative and unique challenge, especially since they have to use the sausage to ride down a dangerous mountain. That's the token race of this episode, I suppose. The race itself is pretty thrilling; the teams are speeding and there's obstacles everywhere. Also, one member of the losing team has to wear the "penalty hosen", which is always something to look forward to.
This next challenge is divided into two parts. The contestants have to perform a traditional German slap dance, while on a dance floor. If they do it wrong, they get shocked. That seems a little extra, but I suppose it does keep the contestants motivated. Then, each team chooses a preset amount of contestants to fight another contestant in a German slap dance fight. That's actually pretty exciting to see. It works tournament style – the winner proceeds, the loser gets to taste snow. It gets even better, since the contestants fight on raised platforms that resemble the platforms for Dance Dance Revolution (the video game, which this episode's title is based off of as well). I'd say one of the few flaws with this challenge is that contestants are forced to sit out, meaning they either get an easier ride than other contestants that compete, or don't get to contribute to their team. Also, the rules of the challenge appear to be quite flexible; aside from slapping, it seems the contestants can also kick, like what Sierra does to Alejandro. Anyway, aside from the main portions of the challenge, the music that plays in the background provides a pleasant change from the usual Total Drama soundtrack. It also gives a contestant their moment to shine, which is cool.
Best Performer: While Leshawna, Heather, Alejandro and Sierra all performed quite well, I'm going to give this one to Sierra. Leshawna ruined her chances by choosing to lay the smackdown on Heather rather than following the (already flexible) rules of the challenge. Heather worked quite hard, but got taken down by Leshawna. She also ruined her team's chances of a definite victory in the first challenge by throwing away the meat grinder. Finally, Alejandro threw the challenge by his own decision, which automatically disqualifies him.
Worst Performer: Izzy and Noah tie for this. Both performed poorly in both challenges, and neither of them competed in the first one. And then Noah berates Alejandro for losing which is...just weird?
Overall Rating: 8/10 for having unique elements, fun music and matching up the contestants against each other.
Location: The Amazon, Peru
Challenge explanation: The Am-AH-Zon Race
Because the name of the challenge explains it so well, allow me to elaborate on WHAT the challenge actually is. It's a race through the Amazon from the starting point to Machu Picchu. Basically, it's almost every World Tour challenge; a race. Except this time there's nothing else to the challenge besides a race. Fortunately, there's different parts to it which keep the race exciting. Let's start with the fork in the road; you may be wondering, why is a fork in the road interesting? Because apparently there's some tribe called the Zing-Zings who have never interacted with humans, and thus automatically making them bloodthirsty because white people logic. So yeah, pick the correct route or you're done. And with three teams, chances are at least ONE team will pick the wrong one. Maybe they'll ALL pick the wrong route! It'll be Total Drama World Tour versus Zing-Zings. That'd be fun to watch. Next, they have to cross a lake full of angry piranhas through a zipline. There is one T-Bar, and it's first come, first serve, which means you're going to get some VERY funny and iconic methods to cross that lake. Trust me, this game can get crazy and it's even crazier when you give these teens some rope and piranhas.
After that, the teams have to camp out in the middle of the jungle since the hike spans about two days. The team in the lead also receives a crate of a LOT of bananas, which attracts cute, tiny little monkeys. They're not really harmful though, unless you provoke them. I can't say the same for the giant caterpillars though. The campout also gives a sense of realism to the challenge (unlike another challenge which has no breaks despite spanning a VERY long time, similar to this challenge). Even though it's a race, they add just enough interesting things to the race to keep you hooked. After the first night, it's a short walk to Machu Picchu, where the contestants have to find a golden (NOT olden) treasure to secure victory for their team. It would be nice if they elaborated on the ONE part of the entire challenge that, you know, wasn't a race. Sadly, they do not. Once they reach that part, we don't see much aside from a goof-up from Owen and Tyler, then Lindsay finding the actual one. I mean, I don't want them to give a tour of the entire area but a little more exploration, maybe some more interactions would be nice. That said, this challenge is above average for being JUST a race, and I have to give credit where credit is due.
Best Performer: This is an easy one. The choice is clear that the one who performed best is Lindsay, who won for her team very successfully despite her partner derailing her at times.
Worst Performer: I'd say it was most of Team Amazon, but let's face it, Gwen screwed up the biggest.
Overall Rating: 6/10. Don't let the six fool you – this was above average for the type of challenge it is. It's completely a race, and the one part that isn't a race wasn't shown at all. However, it's definitely the best race in the season, complete with a violent tribe, angry animals and a camp-out.
Challenge explanation: Now Museum, Now You Don't; Fashion Walk-Off
There's not really much to say about this challenge. It's creative for sure, and I love seeing classic pieces of art utilized in a challenge. Some of the pieces are hidden in hilarious places, such as one of Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot's pieces that is stashed behind a bunch of lasers (think Dial M for Merger). I guess the challenge itself isn't bad, but there's not much to say. I suppose it doesn't matter that much since some episodes are simply meant to prioritize interactions over the challenge. Releasing Sasquatchanakwa, the bear and an angry baby seal was highly unnecessary and didn't contribute much to this challenge, though. It's clear they were only brought back to fuel DJ's lame animal curse plot. Actually, the tiebreaker is much better than the actual challenge. It's what the contestants had to do originally in Haute Camp-ture, so it's great that we actually get to see this challenge in action eventually. I won't get into what happened in it (because if you know me then you know I was NOT happy with it) because this is challenge review. This tiebreaker is an excellent idea, well timed and very well picked due to the location they decide to use it in: Paris, the fashion capital of the world! It matches the theme and I think it was an above decent tiebreaker choice.
Best Performer: There is no doubt in my mind that Lindsay receives this title. She was a complete One-Woman Show in this episode and while everyone else had to work in teams, Lindsay was basically doing the entire thing alone. And also note that she did make an effort in the tiebreaker (but because of bad writing she lost) while DJ did not.
Worst Performer: It's a hard decision between Owen, Izzy and Sierra. The first two goofed off with the paintings, Owen wanting to eat them and Izzy wanting to...break her head through them. However, I have to give the Worst Performer to Sierra, because she spent the entire episode moping around to take advantage of Cody and make him give her attention. Sierra, I HIGHLY admire you for thinking of that brilliant strategy but keep strategy in the game, not to your crushes.
Overall Rating: 6/10 for being an average challenge with unnecessary animal elements. The tiebreaker does raise it a couple points though.
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland - Canada
Challenge explanation: Row, Row, Row Your Boats; Screeching-In Relay
From what I've seen, this episode is generally popular for it's interactions and funny moments (more like a B-I-T-C) but let's see if the challenge is as good as the rest of the episode is. One thing about the World Tour challenges is that almost all of them contain some sort of a race, and that's bound to get bland and generic fast. But a very clever move by the writers involves them incorporating a song into the race, in this case Sea Shanty Mix. This is an excellent way to get through a challenge that has to be repeated several times in a season, especially if there's not much else going on during the challenge. No one likes a boring challenge, but find me one person who didn't like any of the Total Drama World Tour songs, I'll wait. The race itself is in water, the contestants ride boats (and DJ's is equipped with a motor, making the challenge more fair). Along the way, there's boulders and other obstacles on the path (and oddly one that's shaped like Duncan), providing extra challenge. The contestants also have to fish during the challenge, although this does not gain them any extra reward (unless watching Heather clean them up counts as a reward).
The second part of the challenge is when things get really good. It's split up into three parts; drinking a jug of apple cider vinegar (it'll put hair on yer chest!), translating a phrase from Chris's cousin Jerd McLean, and finally kissing a cod (which is definitely the most, uh, unique part of the challenge). It's pretty cool to have a cameo, especially Chris's relative, since we don't really know much about Chris's family. This helps the writers use the "Newfoundland is Chris's home" to it's full potential. The first part of the challenge resembles an eating challenge, but it's much shorter. The second part is pretty luck based, since it's extremely hard to understand with Jerd's odd dialect. However, I won't take points off since it's not impossible to understand. You just need to listen carefully. Besides, the phrases are kinda fun to listen to. And finally, we have the last portion of the relay – kissing a cod. My God, this show gets out of control sometimes. At least this challenge is REALISTIC. Also, having to kiss a cod is so cartoony, so ridiculous and so amazingly hilarious that it makes up for how disgusting the challenge is. It ends the challenge on a funny note, which is a great way to end the challenge.
Best Performer: Heather, because she basically did the challenge for two people.
Worst Performer: This one easily goes to Gwen and Courtney for ditching the challenge in favor of Duncan.
Overall Rating: 7/10. An incredibly fun and kooky challenge that does not fail to entertain.
Location: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Challenge explanation: The Treasure Hunt of Death; The Bobsled of Death
This episode loves to use the word "death", doesn't it? So the first challenge – Treasure Hunt (of Death, somehow) – involves the contestants jumping from a cliff, into the water, and finding Chef Hatchet's bling. Well at least we know Chef is still alive and carrying more swag than the rest of us, per the norm. So in there, there's also a bunch of other stuff like a grandfather clock and electric eels (both of which Tyler picks up effortlessly because Tyler logic). It's like it was custom-ordered just for Tyler. The gag items themselves are pretty funny, except for the eels in my opinion. But it does make sense, since you can actually find eels in Jamaica. Isn't that a "shocking" fun fact? HAHAHA get it?? "Shocking"? Okay fine. Stop. That is a rude hand gesture. I'll stop. Okay so whoever finds the gold first wins (I'm ignoring what actually happened since it's irrelevant to the challenge). I hope I'm not the only one who noticed the callback to Not So Happy Campers - Part 2 with the whole cliff-diving thing. Another thing I noticed about this challenge is that it also greatly resembles those pool games you can play, like when you throw something in the water and whoever finds it first wins. Had the challenge overall been a little more tame, it would have resembled something from Total Drama Island.
Then there's challenge number two, "The Bobsled of Death". Is the word "Death" even necessary in there? Like...really. What is this? Total Drama All-Stars? The funny thing is that the challenge actually isn't all that deadly by Total Drama standards. You've got your basic risk of head injury but that's basically present in every challenge. As for things in the title that are actually relevant in the title, we have an overcomplicated waterslide, no water, and a bobsled. Also, the contestants work in pairs, as opposed to the last challenge where they worked alone. By the way, I'd like to point out that this challenge is pretty unique to the other World Tour challenges – there's no race, for example. The challenge is a little unfair since, as Alejandro shows, the track can be easily broken and thus rigged against another team. This robs the opposing teams of having a fair chance of winning the challenge, which is especially frustrating if the contestants actually do have the skill to beat it. But who ever said reality TV was fair, am I right? So the final feature of that challenge is that they're timed for each performance, and best time wins. They kind of number-dump on you while the challenge is still going, but it's not that noticeable since the challenge itself is pretty exciting to watch.
Best Performer: I'm not really sure who to give this to. The closest contestant to Best Performer is Alejandro, but the issue with giving it to him is that he let Heather take the gold in the first challenge, after he stole it from Gwen, and he only won the second challenge because he rigged it for DJ to lose. DJ himself also performed pretty well in the second challenge had he not been sabotaged, so he gets Best Performer. Nice work DJ, you're the best performer right before your elimination. Tyler's effort in the first challenge also made him a contender, along with Gwen snatching the gold in the first one. The problem is that both never actually accomplished anything.
Worst Performer: No one really had "terrible" performance in this challenge, it was mostly middle of the road for most of them. But overall, Noah and Owen performed worse than the others. Noah displayed his usual laziness by giving all the work to Tyler in the first challenge, and Owen's "size" didn't let him perform well in the second one. Since the latter isn't really Owen's fault for the most part, I'm giving it to Noah.
Overall Rating: 7/10. A pretty neat and nicely executed challenge with some funny gags.
Challenge explanation: Find and capture Jack the Ripper.
If you know me at all, you'll know I find this to be the worst of the horror challenges in Total Drama, for personal reasons (which you can ask me about here, since this blog is not an episode review blog. Although if you know me at all, you'll have a basic idea of why). However, when I review challenges I am impartial to the content of the episode. This challenge is one objective split up into several parts divided by CLUES! I just absolutely ADORE that. It tests the mental power of the contestants and that is one of the BEST things you can do in a comedy show like Total Drama, get serious once in a while! Starting off, Jack the Ripper is left loose on the streets of London, and the contestants have to capture him. The first challenge is to strip a guard, and find a clue hidden somewhere in his clothes. This is so funny, and the fact that Chris wanted them to sing a song about it only adds to the comedic value. However, aside from comedic value there isn't much to this challenge until they find the clue, which states that they must go to Anne Boleyn's torture chamber. This gives the setting of the challenge, coupled with the night time, a very eerie and mysterious vibe, which makes the impact of the clues even better. What's better than a murder mystery challenge?
Continuing, now that the clues are in play, the mental capacity of the contestants is tested, which is just simply amazing. The torture rack challenge involves one contestant from each team to be singled out, but not in a bad way like Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better. I suppose it would be unfair if the one on the rack had to do the stripping challenge as well, which does end up being the case for one team. Anyway, the next location is a banquet hall, guarded by guard dogs. The suspense of the teams having to find the clue before the dogs can attack them is fun, and prevents this portion of the challenge from becoming dull. The final part of the challenge is in a double decker bus, which is where Jack the Ripper can be found. There's actually something great about using the bus; it's small, meaning the contestants can't escape Jack the Ripper – it's either do or die, and the stakes are high. Anyway, I have some additional notes I'd like to share. First, I REALLY enjoyed the use of London's culture (the bus and the references to ancient history). Second, the suspenseful nature of having Jack the Ripper actually go around and capture the contestants is VERY exciting, especially since the contestants actually do get captured. And finally, I'm a sucker for horror challenges.
Best Performer: While Tyler was a strong contender for this due to completing half of the challenges for his team, ultimate Best Performer victory goes to Owen for the following reasons. Not only did Owen capture Jack the Ripper, which was the objective of the challenge, but he also showed that he can be clever when he tries to be, such as when he figured out that clue that even "smart" Noah couldn't figure out. Good for you, Owen!
Worst Performer: This one is tough, because in horror challenges you could just give it to the first contestant captured but in this case it's Alejandro, who never even participated. If I was considering every contestant, it would be Alejandro. However, since I have to consider them all, it's gotta be him. My second choice would be Sierra, but she actually won the first challenge for her team so that wouldn't be fair.
Overall Rating: 9/10. An exceptional challenge with many great things about it to love. I only removed one point because of the fact that contestants could be captured before the challenge even began, putting them at an unfair disadvantage.
Location: Athens, Greece
Challenge explanation: Compete in several "Old School" Olympics challenges; capture a gold medal from an Erymanthian Boar; fight the other team; hurdles race with each hurdle getting higher; fly to the top of a pillar and catch a gold medal.
This challenge is very similar to one of the episodes I reviewed in my All-Stars blog; The Obsta-Kill Kourse, in the sense that it has many parts to it which compensate for the weaker portions of the challenge. Just the fact that the challenges are based off of the Olympics is already exciting enough; who doesn't love to watch the Olympics? Let's start with the first challenge. The contestants had to wander around a maze of pillars, which has an Erymanthian Boar (that is REALLY hard to spell) guarding it. The boar is actually just the bear with a medal around it's neck, but I do not know what an Erymanthian Boar is anyway, so it didn't matter to me. I looked it up, and here's how an Erymanthian Boar is depicted in artwork. I guess using the bear isn't that far off, and it doesn't really decrease the tension since the bear has horrified many contestants and caused an elimination before. The contestants having to walk around really adds to the tension, and it just makes you wait for the climax when they finally encounter the boar and the battle begins. This is definitely the most difficult of all the challenges, which kind of rigs the odds against the contestants competing – it's entirely possible that no one could get the medal, which is impossible in the other challenges.
Moving on, we have the wrestling match next. Here's just a basic wrestling match, nothing special to it. If you're a wrestling fan like me, then you'll enjoy it. Now when you look deeper into it, we've never really had a one on one between the contestants. I suppose you could say that Million Dollar Babies's wrestling match could count, but this one has no outside influence; it's just a simple fight. Also, this is against teens who've known each other for years now, things are bound to get personal which makes this more interesting no matter what the matchup is. Then, there's the hurdles race. What makes this better than a normal race is that it's VERY relatable, since hurdles is something almost every kid has done at least once in their life. Another thing is that the hurdles get higher and higher, and you expect someone to goof up. That makes this already relatable race hyped and exciting. Then we've got the final one: the tiebreaker. The tiebreaker puts the contestants into some new costumes (which are fun to see, lol) and makes them use wings made of feathers and wax to catch a gold medal. This gives a really good literal meaning to "fight your way to the top" in this challenge, which I appreciate. Also, the challenge itself, while epic, is also pretty humorous with the wings and costumes combined. Although it gives a significant disadvantage to heavier contestants, like Tyler who is obviously much bulkier than Cody.
Best Performer: Heather. Her performance in this episode actually depicts her story in World Tour quite well; she's constantly trying hard, but is one-upped by Alejandro. However, in the end, her determination and will to win helps her win. Cody was close to winning as well, if he didn't mess up so badly in the first challenge (although his lack of physical strength is to blame here).
Worst Performer: Sierra, for attacking her own teammate in the wrestling challenge. Alejandro is a close second, due to getting too cocky and running backwards in the hurdles.
Overall Rating: If we consider each challenge to contribute 2 points maximum, and then 2 points for the overall challenge (which it receives), it gets a 2 for the boar challenge, a 2 for the wrestling challenge, a 2 for the hurdles and a 1 for the tiebreaker, this challenge receives a 9/10 because it was simply a fantastic challenge.
Location: Area 51, 52, Nevada, USA
Challenge explanation: Area 51 Break-In; Finding alien artifacts.
I really feel like someone is going to accuse me of bias when this review is done. Yes, I don't like this episode. Why? I think it's obvious. That said, this challenge is NOT A GOOD CHALLENGE, and it has nothing to do with aforementioned character. I already feel like Area 51 is a location which really doesn't have a lot of potential – what do most people even know about Area 51 aside from aliens? Not really anything, if we're being honest. So it's no shock that all the writers knew about Area 51 was, well, aliens. The first challenge involves walking through a mine field to the blackbox warehouse. I mean, I can't bash this part of the challenge much but I can't praise it either. It's the usual World Tour race, with a mine field twist.
Bland and generic with an mine field twist. So anyway, there are lasers at the end of the race that the contestants have to somehow avoid. There's some at the beginning of the race as well, as seen when Duncan gets shocked. But here's my question – why does Duncan get shot when he's basically at the border of Area 51 and Area 52, yet no one else gets shocked throughout the entirety of the race? You'd think that the government would have tighter security than just a simple mine field, and the lasers would stretch out throughout the field.
Moving on, here's the part of the challenge that I have a big problem with. Once the race is complete, the contestants enter the actual blackbox warehouse. It's this HUGE warehouse filled with boxes and crates and other crazy stuff. Basically, the contestants have to find an intact alien artifact and return it to Chris, obviously through that same mine field. And nothing is fake like you'd expect (except for a trap that Owen falls into). It's all real aliens and stuff. I guess that's kinda cool, if it wasn't such an obvious way to shoehorn in movie references. In fact, that's pretty much the deal with this entire challenge (and most of the episode) – it's all movie references. They reference so many movies that it actually gets tiring: Alien, E.T., Fringe, The Dark Knight, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stargate, The Thing, and the list goes on. Do you see what I mean? There's no originality here. Everything is ripped off from some other media. Even the title of the episode of based off of "The X Files". Most of the episode itself is simply movie references (or love triangle drama), and it's because of this challenge. I don't see the appeal in cramming so many references to random things. Sure, a random one here or there could be a fun easter egg, but this challenge takes it too far, and as a result it comes off as lazy, unoriginal and suffering from a lack of creativity.
Best Performer: Gwen because she won and I don't care to analyze this lame challenge any further.
Worst Performer: Courtney, for trying to lose on purpose. Honestly, it was hard for anyone to perform well in this challenge because of all the ENDLESS REFERENCES.
Overall Rating: 4/10. A highly bland, unrealistic and unoriginal challenge with few redeeming qualities.
Location: The Outback, Australia
Challenge explanation: Marathon of Death (Race to Hanging Rock on an emu); Bungee Sheep Shearing (bungee jump off of Hanging Rock, catch a sheep, shear it and find your team's logo).
There's not a lot to say about this episode's challenge, but that's never stopped me before I suppose. So we've got two parts to this challenge, the first one being the emu race. The problem with this challenge is that it's nothing we haven't seen before. Almost every challenge in this season features some sort of race, but the other episodes make it more interesting. Broadway, Baby! and Newf Kids on the Rock for example did it during a song, Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better had the race on ice, I See London... had clues and a mysterious killer on the loose, you get what I mean? There's just nothing that makes this challenge distinct from the other ones, aside from the use of emus which doesn't really help. Overall, this ends up being pretty average. As for the second part which involves bungee jumping, that one is a little more exciting than this part. There's not much to say about it, the challenge description does most of the work for me. As for the tiebreaker, I thought it was needlessly sadistic and a poor way of breaking a tie since it relied completely on luck and not much on skill (because let's face it, one koala WILL be angrier than another). Sorry to disappoint. But meh, not every challenge can be a winner.
Best Performer: Heather. Correct me if I'm wrong because I haven't seen this episode a lot (I don't like it), but Heather made the most effort in this challenge, especially with the knowledge that Courtney was trying to sabotage the team.
Worst Performer: Sierra for literally...forgetting her bungee cord.
Overall Rating: 3/10 for being remarkably average with a terrible tiebreaker. Usually a score of 1-3 means the episode was bad, 4-6 means it was average or had bad qualities, and a score of 7 or above means it was a good challenge.
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Challenge explanation: I-build-a Mystery Assembly; Viking Ship Battle
The first part of this challenge is actually a pretty funny parody of IKEA, and the indirect jokes they make about it make me crack up every time. I feel like more challenges should incorporate clever humor such as this challenge has done (WAY better than MOVIE REFERENCES everywhere...). As for the challenge itself, it's a good one guys. So, you're surrounded by ice – no water in sight. You're given all this random materials, with no instruction manual because it was shredded when put through a shredder (illogical af!!). What do you do? Well, you build your crush's face, of course! Jokes aside, you're kind of clueless on what to do. In the case of this challenge, it is both a good thing, and a bad thing. Since I believe in positivity, let's start with the good. So, everyone's on an equal playing field – you have the same parts, and no one knows what they're doing, since at this point you can't see the water. This creates definite variety in the results (imo this challenge would have been fantastic with three teams in play), similar to Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan. As for the bad parts, there's no lead to follow, unlike I See London... or the aforementioned Japan episode, which means teams may end up with nothing. Although, it is a good test of creativity.
As for the second challenge, it turns out they were supposed to build a boat after all. The second part itself involves sailing to the other end of the lake, and choosing a captain. The choosing of the captain is like choosing a captain for a school project, in a way – you either go with who will genuinely be the most responsible, or whoever is the most popular in the group. You have to listen to this person, since after all, they are the captain. That, in a way, singles out one person. The captain has to make almost all of the major decisions, and if they screw up then they are a target for elimination. However, this portion also fuels interactions and it will no doubt be interesting to see the thought and choosing processes of the teams, and how they handle having to basically declare one team member as their leader. Then, they receive rock hard Swedish meatballs (those balls were really big and hard, btw!) which they have to use to sink the other team's ship with flints (or in the case of the losing team, whatever they can get). This Viking-war-sudden death theme is always exciting and provides a fantastic thrill to the show. And with only three ammo provided to the winning team, the challenge will most likely end in a stalemate, which will force unconventional winning methods. That's obviously exactly what Chris and the producers want.
Best Performer: Alejandro. It was his idea to build the boat, and he was the first one who took the initiative to push the boat into the water (ripping off his shirt and distracting every viewer whilst doing so). Furthermore, Alejandro made clever moves throughout the challenge, his only poor decision being listening to Owen, but even that was strategy. Speaking of Owen, he was quite close to winning this, had he not been an idiot for most of the challenge. However, he deserves the credit of being the one who won for the team.
Worst Performer: I'm honestly not completely sure who to give this to. Cody deserves it for building Gwen's face, but no one was even doing anything until he stepped up, and he redeems himself further by successfully finding a way to use the cannons. Sierra was distracted for most of it, but in the end she makes a sacrifice and takes a cannonball to the gut for a fellow teammate. So due to the contestants doing generally well, I'm going to go with Duncan who honestly didn't really do that much.
Overall Rating: 8/10. A clever challenge which relied on the creativity of the contestants. It's also one of the few challenges where nearly everyone had a shining moment.
Location: Niagara Falls - Canada/USA
Challenge explanation: Love is Blind Obstacle Course; Till Death Do You Part.
So this is one of the more unique challenges in the season. This challenge has the rare distinction of dealing with the topic of love (or lack thereof) and marriage. And knowing the contestants we have this season, like Courtney and Duncan, things are bound to get interesting. I'm pretty sure that casino machine thing was rigged. Also, there was no point in putting a bear in there. It just seems unnecessary, the challenge was enough on it's own. Anyway, it's simply an amazing concept to pair up boys and girls, especially since at this point there is an equal amount of both (although let's face it, some Ho Yay or Les Yay would have been awesome in this episode). So the boys are put into a slot machine ("Slots-o-fun for me, not so much for you"), and the girls have to pull the lever
Kronk. Wow sexist much? Just kidding. So the first challenge is for the females reclaim a wedding dress. And they're blindfolded. Also, the "husbands" have to give them directions. AND there are obstacles like mud, sandboxes...and a giant wedding cake. Interesting obstacles you've got there, not to mention the other things they piled on. Whoever cannot reclaim a wedding dress in time is out. I like how the last person to claim a wedding dress isn't eliminated, since it's more fair that way, and makes the next challenge more interesting (and deadly).
The next and final challenge is to walk on a tightrope across Niagara Falls to the customs office (which is being managed by Chef Hatchet), with sharks in the water below (surprise, surprise). And to add the cherry on top of the
wedding cake, the "groom" has to carry the "bride". Alejandro and Heather get a headstart because they won the first challenge. Here's a flaw with the challenge; how is anyone supposed to get ahead of another team unless the team ahead of them falls? I guess that's the idea – get the teams to fight. But it seems risky nonetheless, and the headstart team would simply keep the lead and win (which would have happened with Alejandro and Heather if Alejandro didn't purposefully fall). The fact that the team has to walk back if they can't make it through customs makes it problematic; they can simply sabotage the other teams, which can end up making this challenge pretty impossible if we didn't have such ridiculously cartoonish characters like Sierra. Maybe if they all had different tightropes it would make sense. Anyway, here's the best part of the challenge: a trivia game all about Canada! That's an interesting part, even if they don't show the trivia quiz entirely (which would have been fun). Still, it's nice that they test the contestants intellectually too.
Best Performer: Alejandro. Not only was he able to lead his own bride to the dress, but another bride as well. I know that should be detrimental to his chances of winning this, but it shows how skilled he is at that challenge. As for the second challenge, no one except Alejandro seemed to show any exceptional skill at tightrope walking except Sierra, but she, as usual, was too crazy to focus on the challenge.
Worst Performer: Cody. I would give it to Sierra for fighting with Blaineley, but Cody made zero effort on both challenges (obviously because he was paired with Sierra). Although I bet he'd be good at that trivia portion.
Overall Rating: 7/10. The overall concept was very interesting and unique, and served to be a big part of the episode, focusing on one-on-one interactions which is unlike many other challenges. It reminds one of Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon. However, it loses points for relying too much on one partner (the male in this case) and for having a strange and possibly un-winnable second portion.
Location: Beijing, China
Challenge explanation: Great Wall Race; Chinese Buffet
When one thinks of Chinese Fake-Out, they remember the cheating involved in the challenge (among the usual of course; the characters, the drama, etc. but I'm talking about challenge-wise here). Because of all the cheating that goes on during both parts of the challenge, we never get a full feel of the challenge itself like we do in other episodes. Kinda sucks, huh? Not really since the cheating made the episode pretty unique in my opinion, but that's subjective. On that note, there actually still IS a challenge existing to analyze, whether it was filled with cheating or not. The first part is the Great Wall Race, which is your typical Total Drama World Tour race. However I really love the distinction that this episode gives; the use of several different methods of transportation. We have a rickshaw, a bike, a skateboard, a tricycle, a donkey, a pogo stick, and wooden sandals. Each of these adds something unique to the race overall, and things like the rickshaw and the wooden sandals give such a big advantage or disadvantage to their user that it's actually funny. It's quite obvious that if someone has you pull their rickshaw, you will win (and that actually is the case here). On the flipside, if you're wearing those sandals...good luck is all I can say.
Then we have the generic transportation methods. I don't mean "generic" in a bad way, since they really spice up the challenge as opposed to making it an average footrace. I'm glad that the writers didn't think it was enough to just have the Great Wall there; they wanted to include something else, and that shows effort. By the way, I can't technically review this episode accurately since Chris didn't get to finish explaining the challenge before everyone ran off. Either way, it still turned out pretty well. Then there's the second part of the challenge. It's nothing we haven't seen before in Brunch of Disgustingness or The Chefshank Redemption. Per the norm, a song plays during the challenge, but it's not really that enjoyable since they kept cutting it off. Although I did enjoy the Chinese references (like the Yangtze River reference, which is the longest river in Asia, third longest in the world, and runs exclusively in China). As for the dishes themselves, eating donkey meat was honestly not that bad, live mealworms is disgusting, starfish on a skewer...I don't know. As for whatever creature that last dish was...I have no comment. How Courtney and Sierra managed to choke it down is beyond me.
Best Performer: Sierra. While her performance was rather poor in the first challenge, it's because she gave her donkey to Cody. That's not an excuse, but her performance in the second challenge was exceptional. And just when you thought she'd be this season's Cameron too :P.
Worst Performer: Blaineley gets this, although Alejandro nearly tied with her. The reason Blaineley received it over Alejandro is because Blaineley cheated in both the second challenge (with Alejandro) AND part 2 of the first challenge (because Chef Hatchet was pulling her rickshaw). Although this one was pretty obvious.
Overall Rating: 7/10. While I did say mostly positive things about this episode, it was overall a fairly good challenge, but it lacked any sort of special element to really set it off (such as Walk Like An Egyptian - Part 1's Either/Or aspect).
Location: The Serengeti, Tanzania
Challenge explanation: Sock-et to Me; African Safari
This challenge has the rare distinction of being caused by an event in another episode. In this case, it is caused by Blaineley, due to her spilling the tea on some really juicy stuff, including Ezekiel turning feral, and still hiding in the cargo hold of the Total Drama Jumbo Jet. This, in turn, causes Chris to find aforementioned Gollumschool freak show and make a challenge out of him. There's actually two parts to this challenge; the "Sock-et to me" challenge, and then the African Safari hunt involving Ezekiel. In the first challenge, the contestants have to claim as many plums as they can, after which they receive cricket bats. Using these cricket bats, they have to smash gourds for their next reward, which will be explained shortly. I very much enjoy the inclusion of a local sport, in this case Cricket, into the challenge. It gives us more of a feel of African culture, and one can compare it to, for example, having a football challenge in the United States (for all of you stupid ignorant Dwayne-like North Americans. Jk, love you all). Overall, it's a pretty solid challenge that tests out the skills of contestants who may not have played the game before. In my opinion, there should be more challenges like this. Simple, yet exciting and effective.
The next challenge involves Feral Ezekiel, who, truth be told isn't very popular among the fanbase (or among the contestants, but he was never popular with the contestants). So after being horrified by Ezekiel's transformation last time we saw him in I See London..., I was not too excited to see him be..."relevant"...again. He's just creepy to look at, and in all honesty the whole feral thing, coupled with his new design, creeps me out. Of course, that's biased since not everyone may feel the same way. Anyway, this challenge does raise the primary question: What would have happened if Blaineley never revealed that Ezekiel was still playing hide-and-go-seek? What type of challenge would take place instead? Well, obvious questions put aside for a moment, remember the previous challenge? For that challenge, the reward is tranquilizer darts. The better you did in the challenge, the more darts you get. Then, you have to take down Ezekiel. Actually, I can't really berate this part of the challenge too much because it's a pretty good concept. There's one Ezekiel, meaning one immunity, they're not actually hurting him too brutally. That's not to say it's perfect – Ezekiel is completely psychotic at this stage, and it seems too dangerous to let the contestants be near him. And finally, the challenge is needlessly cruel to Ezekiel by leaving him in the Serengeti, or at least Chris attempts to do so. Ezekiel is slippery.
Best Performer: Alejandro, for obvious reasons.
Worst Performer: I would give this to Cody, but I have a rule of not giving the Worst Performer to absent contestants (since we never know, they could have done pretty well had they been given a chance to participate). It wasn't his fault anyway, he didn't choose to not play, unlike another contestant does. So in this case, I'm giving it to Sierra, who was as usual only thinking about Cody the entire time (kinda reminds me of pre-merge Sierra).
Overall Rating: 6/10. A creative yet effortlessly simple pre-challenge, but a "meh" main challenge that brings back Feral Ezekiel, and uses him as a scapegoat to be tortured as a challenge, like Zeek and Ye Shall Find and A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.
Location: Rapa Nui, Chile
Challenge explanation: Easter Island Egg Hunt; Return the eggs to the condor.
To a lot of people, this is a very special episode since this is the first episode which features the legendary World Tour final four, considered by many to be the best final four in the series so far. The location, I must say, is quite unique. Rapa Nui isn't a place I expected them to go; let's face it, we all predicted London, Paris, and New York (to name a few), but did anyone expect Easter Island? I sure didn't. Anyway, "Easter" Island has an "Easter" egg hunt. Hehehe. Puns. Anyway, here's the BEST part of the Easter egg hunt: They're found in giant Easter Island-type statues carved as the heads of the eliminated contestants!! I thought that was an awesome and really fun surprise and thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the different designs. To add to the fun, many of the moais had gags with them pertaining to their character, like Izzy's head was full of bats, a joke on her being "batty". Lindsay's head was completely empty, a joke on her being an "airhead". Owen's head had various food items stored in its mouth, a reference to Owen's over-eating. It also gives Alejandro his egg through burping. Ezekiel's head had an egg stored up its nose, a reference to his habit of nose picking in season one. After Cody found an egg in DJ's head, an angry condor appeared, which is a reference to the Curse of the Mummified Dog.
That is a fantastic touch and very well thought out by the writers. I love it. Also, the easter egg hunt reminds me of those childhood memories from Easter. Anyway, then they have to go through a cave...for some reason. Anyway, the second part of the challenge is to come out of the cave and climb a rock pillar to a giant nest, where a condor is waiting for them to return the eggs they
stole found earlier. Also, the eggs can actually hatch so things get...interesting. Anyway, the condor is actually really mad, so the challenge isn't meant to be easy (but is it ever?). There's also a song during the challenge, which obviously makes things both faster and better. I assume they climb in the same order in which they escaped from the cave. Also, for example Cody's case, if their eggs don't break then they can try again. That prevents it from being unfair. Anyway, not much else to say about the challenge. I guess overall it's a pretty solid challenge, and the first part is just absolutely perfect. It keeps the episode entertaining, something the characters have to do themselves WITH the challenge, rather than the challenge doing it for them. Implementing the song into the second challenge was a great idea. Also, bonus points for the challenge not having a race for once.
Best Performer: Heather. I feel like this episode does a great job of displaying her journey, and showing how much effort she makes in challenges.
Worst Performer: Sierra. Your kids come before challenges, I guess.
Overall Rating: 8/10. Anything I can say has already been said above.
Location: Drumheller, Alberta
Challenge explanation: Design-a-Saur-it; Find a barrel of oil somewhere in the badlands.
Winner: Sierra (For both challenges)
It should be obvious that a final four challenge should be intense and heavily engage the viewer. For example, Total Drama Island accomplishes this by pitting the boys against the girls. Total Drama Action brings in animal buddies and returns to Camp Wawanakwa. Let's see if Total Drama World Tour does something great for the Final Four. The first challenge is to explore the cargo hold of the Total Drama Jumbo Jet and see if the contestants can find something to build a dinosaur with. Also, the name of the challenge (Design-a-Saur-It) made me crack up, despite what a terrible pun it is (or is meant to be). What's great about this challenge is the incredible amount of variety in this challenge. Now, we know that there's a lot of stuff in the cargo hold of the Total Drama Jumbo Jet from episodes like Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan, so this is bound to be interesting. Also, the personalities of the final four are very different. We have plucky Cody, eccentric Sierra, skillful Alejandro, and hardworking Heather. This means each dinosaur will be unique in it's own way. That's actually a great idea, because it shows the uniqueness of each contestant without shoving it in our throats that, yes, they are indeed unique. Subtlety is always something to be appreciated in my opinion, and this challenge does it excellently.
However, the absolute BEST part of this challenge is the judging. Similar to Million Dollar Babies, Chris could have simply chosen the best dinosaur himself (obviously Heather's) but that's not the case here. In this episode, the judges are the final four themselves. It's a beautifully executed and well planned twist that I can't help but adore. And yes, there is even a lie detector to weed out alliance rigging (because it's obvious that Heather wants to fight Cody in the finale, and Sierra will vote for Cody no matter what, so Cody was totally set). It really gave some depth to the final four and to their relationships with their fellow finalists. Also, the fact that Cody got third place purely because Heather and Sierra "tried" to vote him was a nice touch, since at least he got some sort of credit (and beat Alejandro too). Then there's the second part of the challenge. The second part is to dig around Drumheller's badlands and find a hidden oil barrel, while Chef Hatchet hurls boulders. What's great about this challenge is that it's very open, meaning the contestants are free to move around and interact with one another (which leads to a VERY MAJOR interaction). Although, the last part with Chef, while I love any of Chef's involvement, seemed a bit out of place. However, the episode manages to integrate it into the plot well.
Best Performer: Sierra, who dominated both parts of the challenge.
Worst Performer: Cody. His performance was below average in the first challenge, but still better than Alejandro. However, he does not even complete the second part, while Alejandro ties for second.
Overall Rating: 9/10. An amazing challenge to match an amazing final four.
Location: Drumheller, Mexico to Pacific Ocean, Hawaii
Challenge explanation: Race to Hawaii.
Here's the one you've all been waiting for. This episode has the rare distinction of being almost universally loved; it's a remarkable episode, for many reasons. It's very likely that the challenge is also part of this love, since it does encompass almost the entire episode. First, some background information. In Awwwwww, Drumheller, Sierra blew up the Total Drama Jumbo Jet, causing Chris to disqualify her out of rage. Now, with no Jumbo Jet remaining, how will the final three (Heather, Alejandro and Cody) get to the last challenge? How will they win the million? How will they earn that cash? Simple: They won't be guided to the money. No, that's too easy. The final three must be tested. The final three need to EARN the money. They need to FIND their way to the million...in Hawaii! The goal is to make it from the endless badlands of Drumheller, Alberta, all the way to Hawaii, USA (which is very far south of the United States). To top it off – the final three have no other assistance except for whatever they can find in the Total Drama Jumbo Jet's cargo hold, and their wits. It's truly a test of skill, determination, cleverness and ambition to outwit, outplay and outlast all the rest, and prove themselves to be number one.
Like I've stated several times before, I love challenges that allow the contestants to explore the cargo hold (such an example being Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan's second challenge). This challenge, obviously being the amazing challenge it is, allows the contestants to do that. However there's a very unique and amazing distinction that this challenge gives. Usually, challenges that involve the cargo hold require the contestants to remain in one location. This challenge does the opposite. No, they don't stay in one place. Rather, they must use these items to travel to Hawaii. That's where the wits portion comes in – can you make it to Hawaii with Chris's weak inventory? Can you scavenge around and find something useful? These are skills that the contestants have been previously tested on. And overall, the final three have been quite resourceful when it comes to using the cargo hold (Cody's commercial and Heather and Alejandro's dinosaurs anyone?), which means we're almost guaranteed to get some good results. Furthermore, the TD Jumbo Jet recently took a pretty big hit, courtesy of everyone's favorite fangirl, so finding anything useful in there will be even harder. Chris even lays out some extra options hidden around; such as joining the animals, like Alejandro does.
Continuing, once the contestants have gathered anything they may need, it's time to head off. Before leaving, Chris gives the final three walkie-talkies, which they can use to communicate with each other. They also receive GPS devices so they don't get lost, which actually perfects a concept brought in challenges like Walk Like An Egyptian - Part 2, so if the contestant gets lost, it's actually their fault. I absolutely love this idea, since it fixes a flaw of earlier challenges. Anyway, the walkie-talkies are even better than the ones from The Am-AH-Zon Race, because this time all of the walkie-talkies have battery. This ensures that the contestants will interact, they will have conflicts, which creates drama for Total Drama. Speaking of races, this challenge incorporates everything this season is about; a play on The Amazing Race. This challenge truly is an amazing race. It's definitely the most thrilling, the most exciting and interesting race this season could ever give us. In my opinion, there is no better way to conduct a race. Anyway, there's also this challenge's difficulty. It's definitely difficult, but not overly difficult. It's actually perfect, considering this is a challenge for the final three – it SHOULD be hard, no excuses, no exceptions. Test those contestants. See who deserves the money. And in the end, the best of the best will come out on top.
Best Performer: Cody contemplated quitting, believing he could never win. This is a very strong personality-defining moment for Cody. Sierra encourages Cody to not give up, and Cody eventually decides to get back in it. This challenge has significantly developed Cody, and the growth is very natural and realistic. Cody also receives help from TWO of his super fans, Sierra and the guy who works at the fireworks stand. This shows how Cody's excellent social game reflects on his performance; think Owen in The Very Last Episode, Really!, except Cody actually makes an effort. Furthermore, I found Cody's ideas (fireworks wheelchair) to be very creative, along with him taking Sierra along with him to be a disadvantage to him, yet doing it anyway, and still managing to make it right after Heather. Cody is greatly developed in this episode, and deserves to win more than anyone after this immense growth and maturity he undergoes throughout the episode.
Worst Performer: This was an incredibly difficult decision, but in the end I decided on Alejandro. He narrowly beats Heather, though. Alejandro tended to make a few strange decisions or just generally mess up in this challenge. For example, during I'm Gonna Make It, he loses to Heather, and gets thrown off the train, marking his loss against Heather. Then, the climax of his conflict with Cody arrives during their swordfish fight while driving their boats to Hawaii. While Alejandro does beat Cody, his complacency takes over, and causes him to crash into a mine, marking his loss against Cody. Despite this, he ties with Cody due to luck.
Overall Rating: For the first time in this challenge review blog's history, a challenge is going to receive a 10/10. An exciting, so well-executed, and absolutely perfect challenge.
Location: Hawaii, USA
Challenge explanation: Hawaiian Fire Dance of Death; Effigy Challenge; Heather vs. Alejandro vs. The Volcano
Loser (2nd challenge): Heather
Alright, getting to review the finale again. Here we go. So here's something interesting that doesn't happen much; they choose the tiebreaker. We don't get to see all the options, but Heather picks one. Just thought I'd point that out. Anyway, obviously I can't review a challenge I didn't see so I'll stick with the one we got: the Hawaiian Fire Dance of Death. Heather being tied up gives a good "damsel in distress" vibe, even if Heather doesn't fit that role at all. This challenge is pretty good, as it's full of tension between the finalists and pits them against each other in a deadly fight. It's action-packed, and is overall a great appetizer for the main course. This challenge also makes the competitors were these ridiculously hilarious coconut bras and grass skirts, which, I'll admit, ruins the "epic" effect of the challenge, but not by much. The platform is small as well, and they're surrounded by water, so there's no getting out of the challenge or avoiding your opponent. This is a "sink or swim" deal and it works excellently with the location and atmosphere of the episode. Next, we have the Effigy challenge, with a song included. This is a great time to include the song, and it's also a lot of fun to finally see the helpers getting involved.
Finally, there's the main course I mentioned earlier: Heather vs Alejandro vs The Volcano. Nice touch adding their names in, gotta say. So we've got the dummies from the Effigy Challenge, along with the rewards from Hawaiian Style. This challenge is split up into about four parts: The initial race, the "minor obstacle", the final race to the top of the volcano, and then throwing the dummy in (the last part obviously being the shortest). The rewards won in Hawaiian Style are made pointless by the time the initial race is finished, which kind of makes the challenge of that episode pointless. It doesn't help the finalist that receives the award, bar making them less tired then their fellow finalist. Anyway, the "minor obstacle" section is where things get really interesting, as there are booby traps (such as a cage) overhead, attached to ropes that the helpers have to cut. The only issue? No one knows which rope is connected to what! That gives an air of surprise and added tension; "should they unleash a trap? No! What if I get caught?" It requires quick (and quite possibly rash) thinking, and bad decisions will be made – but it's the finale – survival of the fittest, right? Now here's the best part: Throwing the dummy in. This is such a definitive ending, as the dummy is made to look like the other finalist. You are actually causing their "downfall", as you come out victorious. It's a wonderfully symbolic ending to an epic challenge.
Best Performer: Heather, who managed to do so well despite having physically inferior helpers, no reward from Hawaiian Style, and having to face Mr. Perfect.
Worst Performer: Cody, by default, but it's not really his fault this time. Could you beat Alejandro in a fight?
Overall Rating: 9/10. A definitive and epic finale.