The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines may be finished and its winners crowned, but the drama surrounding the relationships – some strained, some spicy – shows no signs of dying down any time soon.
PEOPLE was on the scene of the Bloodlines reunion to see not only what was really going on between exes Cara Maria Sorbello and Abram Boise but also what hookups, meltdowns, blackouts and more went down behind the scenes.
Spoiler alert: Stop reading now if you want to avoid spoilers from Wednesday night’s The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines finale and reunion.
Cara Maria and Abram’s Gut-Wrenching Confrontation
The tension between Bloodlines winner Cara Maria and her ex Abram, on whom she cheated this season despite their six-year relationship, was certainly not all for show.
Throughout the multi-hour taping, the exes barely glanced at each other – though Abram pointedly looked at Cara Maria when fellow competitor Cory Wharton copped to being unfaithful to his off-again girlfriend during the season. In fact, Abram even took Cory to task for implying that “real-life rules don’t apply” when you’re competing on The Challenge.
Cara Maria admitted to PEOPLE during her exclusive post-win interview with cousin Jamie Banks that she dreading this reunion. During the taping, she was literally biting her nails when it was time to face Abram, whose most visceral objection, surprisingly, was the characterization of him as possessive: “I don’t believe in sexual ownership of a person,” he said. “I’m disappointed you think I’m jealous.”
Cara Maria told PEOPLE that, going into the taping, “I didn’t want to cry. … But no matter what he and I have gone through, we still have the last six years together. We’ve had plenty of ups and downs and on and offs, but I still love him, I still think of him. If I could take an eraser and start all over with him, I would.”
Of her decision to stand up, walk across the room and apologize to Abram on bended knee, she said in her postmortem interview: “I wanted to give him just a personal talk to let him know how I was feeling and just to let him know that I was sorry.”
Despite a conciliatory hug during the taping and Abram’s promise that he still loves Cara Maria like family and will always be there for her “day or night,” she continued to cry – so much so that Abram walked over to comfort her several times, telling her empathetically: “I can see you’re in a lot of pain.”
He had less kind words for Thomas Buell, the fellow Challenger with whom Cara Maria cheated. “Find something to pray to in case my brothers find you before I do,” he warned. “I will come find you, and I will get my respect back by taking it. Sleep well.”
And he didn’t stop there. Before storming out, Abram reemed out the franchise, saying he was “disappointed” that “young, influential minds are being “f—ed” by reality TV.
“This is not how you act in the real world,” he vented. “For the love of God, these are not role models!”
Speaking of Non-Role Modelesque Behavior
• Cara Maria and Abram weren’t the only ones on the hot seat during the reunion – nor was she the only one who sustained some emotional damage after Bloodlines – longtime competitor Aneesa Ferreira admitted at one point that the show “really f—ed me up.” She says she withdrew from life several months, adding, “alcohol is a f—in’ demon.”
• One person who became well-aware of the risks of too much drinking was vet Nany Gonzalez’s cousin Nicole Ramos, a first-timer. Though Nicole compared herself to “a silent assassin” for keeping her escapades off camera, something did come out at the reunion. Apparently Nicole got so #TurntUpInTurkey that she sleep-walked into the kitchen, urinated in a trash can, left her underwear behind and woke up naked in the bed of Cory’s cousin Mitch Reid. “My soul left my body,” she explained. “I was just ratchet, I had to own it. … He didn’t touch me. He did not see my area.” Joked Mitch: “Best day of my life!”
• Should Aneesa’s cousin Rianna Polin be offended by that comment? After all, she infamously fed deli meats to Mitch in his top bunk (never forget!) as some sort of protein-laden mating dance. Leave it to Challenge super competitor and perennial dirty mind John “Johnny Bananas” Devenanzio to ask Mitch of the encounter: “Did she put turkey on your 6-inch?”
• Bananas was much less playful during an interrogation about his real-world girlfriend. The conversation, which followed Cara Maria and Abram’s anxious reconciliation, became so tense that Bananas actually hijacked the interview from reunion host Nessa, reading her questions from the teleprompter to move things along.
• In her exclusive interview with PEOPLE, both Cara Maria and Jamie struck back at her Challenge nemesis. “He’s no saint either,” Jamie said of Bananas, adding that he was comforting his cousin when they weren’t in the spotlight because “I just wanted to point it out [to Johnny] and be like, ‘You know what? You’ve made your mistakes, too. You’ve done stuff and at the same time you’ve had a girlfriend, so you have no one to judge.’ ”
• Cara Maria takes the indictment a step further, saying, “My biggest aggravation with Bananas is he’s the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever met in my entire life,” she told PEOPLE. “Even that night of the reunion, people know things. And the thing that’s frustrating is that I’m getting yelled at. I admit that I’m wrong – I take full responsibility – but I don’t need to be told that I’m wrong from a hypocrite who is doing the exact same thing but way worse. A million times worse.”
• Amid all this, it was fresh-eyed, party-loving Rianna (who sought out, but didn’t find, cocktails during breaks from the reunion filming) that summed up the nature of interpersonal interactions on the show best: “A relationship in The Challenge house is like a relationship in an insane asylum.”