By Cara Maria Sorbello
September 18, 2018 10:01 PM
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The Challenge: Final ReckoningCara Maria SorbelloCredit: MTV

After winning MTV’s The Challenge: Vendettas earlier this year, Cara Maria Sorbello is back in action for her 12th season, The Challenge: Final Reckoning. As she vies for the $1 million prize alongside rival and partner Marie Roda, she’s blogging about it exclusively on PEOPLE! Follow Cara Maria on Twitter at @CaraMariaMTV.

During our most recent purge cliffhanger, Hunter destroyed the competition, winning his team an advantage for the next challenge. Meanwhile, on opposite ends of the table, Kam and I were the last two competitors remaining, quite literally trying to “hold it down” for the ladies. Surviving this purge means we could continue on to the main house and keep playing for that $1 million prize.

Race to avoid Redemption

In the first stage of this challenge, Kayleigh was able to fetch nine plates for Kam while Marie came up with six for me. When it comes to food challenges, I’ll eat anything. The hardest part isn’t what’s on the plate. The hardest part is just the sheer number of plates you have and the lack of time you have to eat it all. The stomach can only hold so much! The food itself is usually just a bunch of random and hard to chew animal parts that all taste and smell the same. It might not be seasoned, but at least it’s cooked! I mean, it’s basically what’s ground up in your chicken nuggets anyway. While I’m going to do my job here today, I will remain Pescatarian for the rest of the year.

I lick my sixth plate clean when TJ blows the horn. Kam is still picking at her third plate. During this whole last half of the challenge, Kyle is cheering alongside me while Marie is vomiting in the lake. It’s such a typical Challenge family moment.
Marie and I get to fight another day while Kam and Kayleigh earn a spot in Redemption where their biggest vendetta awaits.

But for now, it’s a party at Bojangles

Johnny and Tony are feeling the pressure as the Lavenders seem to control the game with their numbers. Shane believes if he can get everyone to vote Johnny and Tony on the next challenge, he will be safe because Johnny will surely pick a team he believes he can beat in Armageddon. So many “what ifs” to gamble on in this game…

So it’s time to go out and get drunk enough to tolerate my housemates. At this point, Ashley had slept with Kyle knowing full well about our history. She then continued to hang out with Marie and me in Shane’s room to play games and girl chat. She never told me what she had done while we spent time together. Even after her and Kyle’s lie was blasted at the last Armageddon, she continued to lie, deny, and pretend nothing ever happened. I was left feeling like a joke. Ashley was someone I was excited to see join the house because I genuinely liked and supported her outside of the game. My hurt does not come from her hooking up with Kyle; it comes from her doing what she did and then lying and smiling to my face while I poured my heart out to her in our girl chats. If she had been straight with me on day one, I would have dealt with it. Yet on the bus ride to the main house when she entered the game, she told me that Kyle was not her type and she would never go there.

Now in the club, I decide that if she’s not going to say a word to me about the elephant in the room, I’m going to approach her like an adult and let her know how I feel so that at least it’s off my chest. Instead of simply saying she was sorry or that there was a miscommunication, she goes off. There’s no love lost here.

Here’s what you didn’t see when we got home

This scene happened completely differently from how it aired… But first, a PSA: Please DO NOT take a shot every time you hear a Lavender say “NO ONE LIKES YOU.” You WILL go home in a body bag.

After the bar, I went outside to play around on the muscle up rings alone. As I was swinging upside down channeling my inner Harley Quinn, someone poured water on me from the deck above. I didn’t know who it was or why they did it but I was annoyed and went inside to change my clothes. As I sat on my bed, I heard the Lavenders screaming Marie and Kyle’s names. Clearly hoping that I would hear them, they loudly taunted for Marie to hook up with Kyle and get in his bed. I was just over the drama so I went back outside to be even more alone.

Unfortunately, there’s nowhere far enough to escape these girls’ screams. I hear my name being yelled over and over along with more taunting. Marie comes out to let me know that Ashley was trying to get in Kyle’s bed so she stopped it from happening by hopping in it herself. Marie literally risked contracting the ABCs of the STDs by touching those sheets for me. She then sat down and tried to get my mind off things. However, I had been dealing with side comments, eye rolls, taunting, and cattiness on overdrive lately. Tonight was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I graduated high school over a decade ago. I had enough of it back then and I’ve had enough of it now. I left Marie and went in to let them say whatever they wanted to say to my face.

‘I hope your horse dies!’

The Challenge: Final ReckoningAmanda GarciaCredit: MTV
Credit: MTV

By the time I finally walked in, things had quieted down, but I quickly turned everything back to full volume. I was so fed up that I threw my arms up and said, “Alright, you keep screaming my name so here I am! What is your problem with me?” As you can see from the clip, we still don’t know anything other than “no one likes you, you ugly weirdo loser.”

Things escalate further when Ashley jumps on an ottoman to back up the claim that “no one likes” me and that I’m a loser who should go home. These girls possess some sort of delusion where they believe that their group of four friends speaks for everyone in the world. As Ashley is spastically bouncing up and down screaming at me, her boob falls out on the security guard’s head. At this point, Marie jumps to my defense against Amanda and Ashley while I am ushered out of the room.

Security brings me into my room and I sit alone to decompress with Jozea and Da’Vonne. As I try to breathe in a little peace, Amanda storms in to tell me that I am nothing compared to her. Apparently, my life sucks and all I have is kickboxing and horses. I can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous this girl is. It is true that I love teaching kickboxing and it is true that my entire heart is filled when I’m with my beautiful horse Garnett. I really don’t understand what she’s trying to do here. She then proceeds to again tell me that (wait for it) NO ONE LIKES me. Joss finally tries to pull Amanda out of the room, but not before her parting words to me fire from her mouth: “I HOPE YOUR HORSE DIES!”

By the way, Wes was the first one to use this line back on Rivals I. Apparently wanting people’s pets to die is nothing new in The Challenge world.

But… HOLD UP…WHOA!

Call me whatever you want. I do not CARE because I know who I am. Her problems with me are exactly that: her problems. Just because she says something about me, it doesn’t make it true. However, do not come for my animals. Amanda is a nurse. She’s supposed to heal. What kind of nurse wishes death on a pet just because they think the owner is ugly or weird? Do you think she tells patients that she doesn’t like that she hopes their dog gets run over by a car, too?
I do not hate Amanda. I feel badly for her. There’s something seriously wrong with her to have that much unfounded hate inside. I hope that whatever is causing her this much pain and anger leaves her heart.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the life that I love with the people that I love outside of these Challenges. I surround myself with genuine friends who prefer to bring people up to their level rather than drag people down. We will continue to kickbox, ride our horses, hike the Montana mountains, float the wild rivers, play old video games, crossfit, and eat all the candy as we struggle to breathe from the thin mountain air between fits of laughter. Whether I win this Challenge or not, what I have at home invaluable. I wouldn’t trade my life for all the prize money TJ could ever offer.

Marie to the rescue

Marie is NOT playing. It takes a lot of guts to stand up for something you believe in and to tell your own friends when you think they are wrong. Marie is a lion as she stands alone against all three Lavenders. I am currently in my room trying to sleep so this whole scene is news to me. Throwback to when Laurel had my back against the group coming at me for being a “weird loser” on Rivals I. That’s when Laurel and I had a turning point and started working together for the win. Could this be a turning point for #TeamCaraMarieeeeeee-A?

Skybridge Challenge

The Challenge: Final ReckoningJohnny BananasTony RainesCredit: MTV

Players have to move across ropes and mend a bridge 1,000 feet in the air. Ashley and Hunter have the previous challenge winner’s advantage and get to choose where they want to go in the lineup. They choose last so they can see everyone else’s times and strategies for getting across.

Kyle & Brad and Marie & Me: We don’t get to see anyone go, so we decide to try to watch what Kyle and Brad do before we make a move. With their long bodies, they slither across slow and steady and start to mend the bridge. Marie and I have zero clue how to move our bodies across this thing. I ask her if she has any ideas and she says she’s just going to straddle it like a pony. I say, “OK, Marie, go for it.” Marie bravely makes the first leap and gets stuck immediately spread eagle butt up in the air. I give it a try and also get stuck but in a full leaping ballerina position instead. Both of us actually do try despite what TJ says. However, we truly cannot, for the life of us, figure out how to move our body forward. We are stuck in an awkward position… which is basically the tag line to my life.

Johnny & Tony and Shane & Nelson: Johnny and Tony absolutely destroy this as the lavenders s–t-talk them from below. They become the first team to actually finish the challenge. Nelson and Tony give them a run for their money but come up just short.

Zach & Amanda and Joss & Sylvia: Sylvia quietly works her way forward with Joss inch by inch but can’t finish in the time limit. Zach charges forward while Amanda hits her breaking point and says over and over “I can’t.” She decides that rather than working with Zach, she would rather jump off the bridge.

Ashley & Hunter and Jozea & Da’Vonne: Jozea and Da’Vonne NEED this win to secure their safety. They proceed calm and steadily but cannot finish in time. On the opposite side, Hunter is almost more bothered that Ashley lied to him than I am. Their tension slides into this game as Ashley has a breakdown on the bridge. After crying and screaming that she “can’t,” she touches the side of the bridge and DQs her team.

The End: Despite TJ making fun of all of our performances today, this challenge has proven to be extremely difficult. Even if this challenge were five feet off of the ground, the mechanics of it still would have proven a challenge for everyone today. As the only team to complete the course, Johnny and Tony take their much-needed win and power vote.

However, something drastic needs to be done with this vote because the numbers are against me and Marie and Da’Vonne and Jozea. Hopefully Bananas pulls a Kam with this vote. He needs us to maintain his safety.

What happens next? Guess you will have to tune in next week to find out. You can bet things are going to get even more tricky this time around.

But before we go…

Back at Redemption House

The Challenge: Final ReckoningNatalie NegrottCredit: MTV

Kam and Kayleigh are greeted by a surprised and unhappy Natalie. She lets Paulie take over the housewarming and runs to her room to process this arrival alone. It’s looking like this is going to be an awkward Redemption House for a few more days. Neither lady wants to break out the Twister and rosé just yet. However, in a stunning turn of events, Paulie is the rational voice of reason. If he can bring Kayleigh and Natalie together to talk it out, he can do anything. The two girls finally come face to face and let it all out.

There are so many old enemies and new enemies in this game you might need clarification on this particular anti-love story:

Why Kayleigh hates Natalie: After a drunken party night on Vendettas, Natalie was present and giggling when Jemmye, Kailah, and Britni threw Kayleigh’s suitcase over the balcony as an act of bullying to get her to quit the game. Natalie didn’t stop it from happening so Kayleigh and Kam believe she was guilty by association.

Why Natalie hates Kayleigh: Natalie found out that Kayleigh made out with Johnny at the very start of the game, but never told her. Kayleigh did not think it was a big deal since she believed Natalie was only attracted to women. When Kayleigh’s comments aired, Natalie was extremely upset as she had not yet opened up to her family and friends about her sexuality. Kayleigh then went online and elaborated further. Natalie believed she was unfairly outed.

At first, the girls seem to be civil. Then, the bombs start dropping. Being close friends with Natalie in real life, I know her to be one of the kindest humans I know. She’s always reaching out to help other girls get ahead. I’ve never seen her this fired up. I’m proud of her for standing her ground. I am also a friend of firecracker Kayleigh and rooted for her on Vendettas when she was being bullied. I remember there was a night on Vendettas when Kailah had her in the kitchen screaming in her face that no one liked her and that she should just go home. It’s frustrating when you have a personal problem with someone but make it seem as if the entire world shares your views. Kayleigh is repeating to Natalie what has been said and done to her in this game. It’s hard to watch since I can see points to each girl’s original argument. However, the things Kayleigh says about Natalie being calculated and faking tears is false. Natalie really is a sensitive and kind human. She has never been vicious or cruel to me. She never speaks badly about other people to me. I know her as the glittery and beautiful soul that she is.

These girls just cannot see eye-to-eye. The night ends in screaming and tears as the girls go their own ways. It looks like nothing is getting solved tonight. This vendetta has more layers than a rainbow cake. No pun intended.

Tune in next week to watch another explosive episode. We are just getting warmed up now! In the meantime, I’m not the only one with thoughts to share on this episode. I think it’s time I share a “bit” of this spotlight. Check out my interview with my horse, Garnett, in a special little clip I like to call “Straight from the Horse’s Mouth.” And remember kids, if “nobody likes you” and “everybody hates you”… well, I would rather be a nobody. ‘Cuz being a hateful bitter “everybody” has really got to suck!

Also, I teamed up with a local horse rescue organization and Cameo. For the entire week leading up to the next Challenge, I will donate 100 percent of my video proceeds to the Equis Save Foundation in Amanda’s name. Check them out here and book a cameo here.

The Challenge: Final Reckoning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on MTV.