One of the most stacked seasons of The Challengein history has come to an end, and the $1 million prize should actually go to anyone who accurately predicted the winners at the start of War of the Worlds 2. This iteration of the MTV reality show started with some of the most talented players on Team U.S.A., including Bananas, Wes, CT, Jordan, Zach, Laurel, and Paulie, among others. The U.K. team also had a stellar set of standouts, including Joss, Kyle, Theo, and last season finalist Georgia.
However, a complicated political game quickly turned the teams into factions and it wasn’t long before it was apparent that Paulie and Cara Maria were puppeteering their way to the final. The couple made it to Wednesday’s finale with a large chunk of their alliance intact, but not without some serious casualties on both sides — including sending two of Team U.S.A.’s strongest players, Jordan and Tori, to the other side. In the end, their master plan did not pan out though.
Team U.S.A. began to struggle in the first leg of the final challenge when their gurney fell apart due to the extra weight they had to carry thanks to having three extra members. Paulie collapsed at the end of the first phase of the final after going over eight miles with the gurney on his back. He was able to recoup though and helped his team get to the second leg — an all night sleepover in a pit of snakes.
The second phase of the final challenge forced both teams to trim their numbers, though, as only four members from each team were allowed to progress to the final leg of the trial. Everyone had to complete an individual puzzle and then row out to a boat that would take them to their final obstacle. Team U.S.A. lost Ashley, Kam, and Leroy in the purge round, which was devastating because Leroy fought so hard to bring home the win on his 11th challenge and Team U.S.A. definitely wouldn’t have survived without him. Meanwhile, Team U.K. had to ditch Tori on the beach after she was the last to complete the puzzle.
In the end, Team U.S.A. was never able to overcome the substantial lead that Team U.K. built up in the first leg of the challenge. Rogan, Dee, CT, and Jordan were the first four people to make it to the final boat and claim the $1 million dollar prize to be split among the four of them. The most talented U.S. team in Challenge history lost to one of their own, the guy they rejected during the first challenge of the season, an Australian, and a Brit who previously flamed out on Episode 1 of Final Reckoning.
TV Guide got to speak to Jordan about his roller coaster season after getting engaged to Tori following an elimination, battling with his home team, and then having to bring home the money without his girl. He reveals the exact moment he had to turn on Team U.S.A., and no, he’s not surprised how Cara Maria reacted to the engagement.
Did you and Tori have any alliance plans besides each other coming into this game?
Jordan Wiseley: No one. From my very first game, I really like no one knowing that I’m even going to be in the game. I love showing up to the airport and then people are like, “Yo, Jordan’s playing?” Then it kind of throws a wrench in people’s alliances… So Tori and I played that way. We have friends, obviously, in the house that will come in and we’ll just kind of know. “Hey I bet we can count on Bananas. I bet we can count on Kyle. So, let’s just see what happens.” In my opinion, you cannot make alliance promises early if you don’t even know the teams. You’ll end up getting yourself caught in a promise and then have to lie to somebody.
It’s kind of crazy for you to say “I bet we can count on Bananas” considering how you and Bananas started out on this show. At what point did you start considering Bananas to be a friend of yours?
Wiseley: I came in hot with my Challenge stuff — made it to a final, made big moves, did elimination, all of that. I put in his best friend in elimination. Then [on] Free Agents, I kind of got out of line a little bit, a little too early. I was a little too fresh to be coming for for the big dogs like that. Free Agents was a big learning experience for me, so I learned the mental and the political side of the game with that one. When I came back, it was like I just kind of made the mental note of you have to put your pride aside if you want to make it to the end. That’s the only thing that matters, making it to the end. I realized real quickly you don’t get paid for elimination. You don’t get paid for daily wins. You get paid to win finals.
From then on, I just kind of looked at Bananas and we kind of had this mutual respect. So, when we played together I had some chances to come for him and I didn’t. I think that that kind of showed him, “OK, we can play this game together,” because I’d much rather see Bananas in a final than go tit-for-tat with him, and he’s got a lot of friends.
Speaking of “not friends,” at what point in the game did you and Tori realize you had to turn on Paulie and Cara/Team U.S.A.?
Wiseley: After Bananas got eliminated… You can imagine we’re all kind of up in arms because people didn’t see it coming. The whole time Paulie and Cara had been spouting off, “Oh Team U.S.A.’s never going to vote for Team U.S.A. stuff.” Then they put in Bananas, all that jazz, and he gets on the bus and [Paulie] makes an announcement to everybody: “I do what I do. We had to get rid of a rat, and now I’m turning over the team to Jordan, Zach and Leroy.” After he did that whole charade thing, I was [like], “Man, I think Paulie’s up to something.” Sure enough, a couple of days later, we found out really how deeply Paulie was in bed with the U.K. When we found out that we’d lost Leroy to Paulie, that’s when I knew that we were done. You know what I mean? We lost the numbers.
Were you surprised at all about Cara’s reaction to your engagement and sort of how vitriolic she was about it?
Wiseley: No. I wish I could say that I am or was surprised, but no. I won’t speak too much on Cara just because there’s just so much bad blood there and I don’t want to beat a proverbial dead horse. But, no I was not surprised.
There were moments outside of the game, whether it was the after show or whatever, where you and Paulie at least seemed to have an agreement that what happened on the show was the game and outside the show was different. Do you have that same agreement with Cara or is there no chance of friendship there?
Wiseley: Since Dirty 30 [Cara and I] kind of butted heads and I really, honestly, I think that she was just upset that I didn’t align with her and kind of bow down to her on Dirty 30. It just kind of grew over time. I have a great respect for [Paulie]. I think we have a really nice, mutual, respect for each other because we like to play, we’re competitors. We like to come in the game, like to play hard and make big moves, so I can respect that. When real life stuff happens, we can come out of the game and say, “Hey man, congratulations. I may want to send you home, but congratulations. Happy for you. I always root for love.” He was able to do that and huge respect to that guy.
Now talking about this final — that was so grueling. What was your mindset going into it, knowing that you and Team U.K. had an uphill battle to climb?
Wiseley: My biggest worry was the overall shape of the team. I know how long and hard the finals are and I don’t care how good your muscles look when hour 48 and 60 hit and you’ve got no food, barely any water, and no sleep. Your body doesn’t really care what it looks like, it just starts to shut down. So I was scared. I knew Tori was ready, but we have to go with the pace of our team. I’d say I could not be more proud of the way everyone, every single team member on the U.K., the way everyone performed — it was incredible. They gave everything they had when we had to do it. So, I was so thoroughly surprised, so happily surprised, I couldn’t say enough good things about Dee, CT, Rogan, and Tori.
How do you feel that you brought home this win for Team U.K. instead of Team U.S.A.?
Wiseley: In the beginning of the game I really, really wanted to do this Team U.S.A. thing. I love United States. I love everything we’re about. When they went dirty, when they came for my girl, I [said], “All right, gloves are off.” It doesn’t matter. We’re just taking the check away from them no matter what team. I don’t care what team gets it, it’s just they are not getting it.
Obviously you winning is a win for you and Tori, but what was it like having to get on that boat and watch her have to stay on the beach knowing that you guys weren’t going to win the whole thing together?
Wiseley: The most heartbreaking part of this entire experience was, coming in, leaving that puzzle, coming around, and seeing that Dee, CT and Rogan were already there. That’s when I knew that wow, I just took Tori’s spot to continue, and I didn’t even want to go. I was like, “I want to give it to her. I want to let her go on and do this thing.” And she pulled a big baller move and just said, “Hey, you have a better chance of winning this thing. So go win for us.”
Is the money going toward a house or the wedding?
Wiseley: Probably be a little bit of both, I’d say… We’ve discussed it together and I think we’re going to agree. We’re going to go after a couple more checks, so we can let this one be the wedding and then go get another check and let that be house.
What are you personally most excited for people to see in the reunion?
Wiseley: Oh my goodness… it’s the Wild West up there on the stage and I dress for it for sure. I’m from Oklahoma. I grew up in a small town. We did rodeo growing up, and so I came with my boots on and I watched as these people went at it and it’s great. I think it’s going to be a wonderful reunion. I think people are going to love the fireworks.
The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 reunion special airs Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 9/8c on MTV.
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