September 25, 2018 10:01 PM

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.

When we last left off, Johnny and Tony got a clutch win with the Sky Bridge challenge. Oh, and Amanda let the world know that she wished my horse would die. To which Garnett would like her to know:


Cara Maria Sorbello

…Now buck off!

Ashley’s meltdown

Nelson asks for a heads-up from Tony, as he has valid reasons to suspect his team will be thrown in. At the other end of the bar, Ashley is starting to feel the repercussions of her Kyle hookup. She confides to Jozea that Hunter is upset with her lies. Hunter is rightfully frustrated that in a game for a million dollars, he has a partner who constantly lies and freaks out. Hunter is here to make a comeback from his injury that cost him a final on Dirty 30. He is here to play to win, but his partner is not making it easy.


Here’s what happened when we got back to the main house (the true story mixed with what little you got to see in the edit): Ashley’s had quite a bit to drink. She had a blow-up with Johnny outside earlier that didn’t make it to air. It led her to a screaming fit that lasted for hours. People tried to have Hunter calm her down but instead, she cursed him out and bashed him and threatened to quit. She regretted her hook-up with Kyle and felt like a joke because he doesn’t even acknowledge her in the house. So now, after who knows how many tequila shots and all that screaming, we see her in bed crying. She’s in full victim mode to try to save face. Instead of owning her actions and apologizing for any hurt she has caused anyone, she tries to paint a new bad guy in the house to ease her conscience. After a full night of bashing, Hunter says things that are completely out of character for him. He says if she costs him $1 million, he’ll come for her family. I’m sure this won’t be the last we’ll hear of this.

Burn votes are burning


There is a full plan of burn votes in action, so Johnny and Tony wind up holding all the cards… and chose Shane and Nelson to play in Armageddon.

And those snakes in an Armageddon (it takes one to know one!) end up choosing Kyle and Brad for elimination since they boldly want to challenge the strongest team on Johnny’s alliance. Kyle is absolutely shaken. He assumed that because he was on a team that was considered strong, no one would ever challenge them in an elimination. Always the first person to make fun of other players in elimination, Kyle himself is now in the driver’s seat, and he is clearly terrified.


At first, all the male aggression ends up being for naught. This treadmill terror of an elimination quickly turns into a comical nut-cracking circus ballet act. Eventually, Nelson and Shane get their teamwork together and deposit ball after ball. As much as I have my issues with Kyle, I’m rooting for him to win because it’s better for my game. Shane and Nelson are too tied into the power alliance of the “those who name their friend groups,” and we all know where Marie and I stand with them. However, Kyle and Brad cannot get in sync. Nelson and Shane take a dominant win and send Kyle and Brad off to Redemption House.

Caged In… in more ways than one

As the only all-female team left in the game, I have to run against all the boys and chop wood to toss a branch into a super high cage. This is my chance to play with the boys. Let it be known that Marie and I are placed in the cage farthest away from the woods and the puzzles, so we are already starting off with a disadvantage. Can us ladies get a break, please? When the game starts, I run into the woods and try to get as many branches as I can so that I have more to toss up and over to Marie so she has options with which to make a long rod to knock the key. One huge stick would be difficult for me to throw high enough to drop in the tank without falling sideways and laying on top. So, I opt for a bundle of firewood to smoke the witch out of her cage! It takes me a few tries to get branches in for Marie, but what she does have does not seem to be working for her.

At the other end of the field, challengers who make it to the puzzle find out that the answers are back in our cages. Every cage has a different key. Marie and I are still stuck at our cage when we see people sprinting back. Now we know that we have to memorize our cage while we are here. Marie yells at me to run to Johnny’s open cage and steal his stick to throw in for her. I assume it’s against the rules so I hesitate, but at this point, we have nothing to lose. I get the stick to her and Marie frees herself. We run to our puzzle and Marie does a great job keeping up with my pace. However, when we get there, we discover that Zach and Amanda already won and now we were just fighting to not be last.


Unfortunately, today is not our day. So not only are we the last all-female team left in the game with the least amount of power in terms of politics and numbers, we also get a handicap for the next challenge. Do we not already look handicapped enough, TJ? Marie and I both failed today. I should have thought faster and stolen sticks from the other cages to throw to Marie, and Marie should have taken that time to memorize what was inside her cage. Even as a vet, that cage writing should have jumped out to me and I should have told Marie to memorize it while I got sticks. I take full responsibility for the loss which is why I was so frustrated when TJ laid into our team again. We did try, we just came up short, much like the sticks I tried to throw in Marie’s cage.

Marie ends up turning my frown upside down when she says that maybe the handicap will work in our favor. Maybe no one will vote for us to go straight into elimination this round because they are hoping that in the next challenge, we’ll be an even easier team to beat because we’ll be handicapped. Why throw us in now? YES, MARIE! WORK THIS ANGLE!

Regardless, at this point I’m ready to face elimination. We’ve come in last for two challenges in a row. If we get voted in, we deserve it. I’m ready to play since if it were any other game I’d be going in already. So, let the chips fall where they may. I’m sick of fighting.

Time will tell…

But back at Redemption House

Kyle talks a huge game in his confessionals about coming into Redemption and facing Paulie. However, when he finally sees Paulie, he greets him with smiles and glosses over his night. Remembering the gameplay CT taught him before he left, Paulie reins in his emotions and decides to play cool. You need all the mind games and politics you can get in Redemption to give yourself the best chances at getting picked to go into Armageddon if you don’t end up pulling the double-cross. Now is not the time for a face-off.

When that day arrives though, I’ll be front and center for that show. Things are just heating up in the Challenge house.

Stay weird, my friends.

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

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