With heavy gurneys, scorpion snacks and dizzying math puzzles paving the path to victory, the War of the Worlds 2 finale has already proven anything can happen across the many miles to the finish line. But one certainty? When everything is said and done, at least a few of Season 34’s competitors will have claimed their very first victories in the game.

So who will they be?

On tonight’s episode, after a season that found the Brits struggling to get on top and the Americans very eagerly cutting down their own, the warring parties set off on a race that TJ explained would begin with a 16-mile race (!!!). Oh, and through the entire thing, each team would have to carry a gurney on which one huge relic and a series of heavy sandbags — 20 pounds per player — would balance.

Players would also have to complete four total checkpoints before Part 1 of the race was over.

And as the competitors set off into the jungle, both teams felt the pressure of potential success, especially Paulie, Ninja, Leroy and Kam on Team U.S. and Dee, Tori and Rogan on Team U.K., none of whom had ever won a game before.

“I wanna win. I wanna succeed as badly as I wanna breathe,” Paulie said, while Rogan noted, “Winning is important to me, because last time [on Vendettas], I failed as miserably as you can possibly imagine. Now I feel like I really have to prove something.”

And, straight off the bat, Rogan and Team U.K did precisely that. Though they had two fewer players than Team U.S., they sailed through the first checkpoint, in which they had to successfully catapult three coconuts into a designated basket.

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Eventually, though, Team U.S. caught up during the second leg of the gurney race, found a slant in the race track and cut off Team U.K. at a pass. The two sides dueled through narrow passageways and under low-hanging branches and vines as sharp bamboo poles cut into their shoulders.

“I feel like I had a strength that I didn’t know I had in me before,” Tori, no doubt the regular season’s underdog MVP, said through the slog.

But it wasn’t just about strength, and after the second checkpoint, in which players each had to answer separate math questions, Team U.K. fell behind for the first time.

But, unwilling to throw in the towel, Team U.K. eventually caught up with Team U.S. on the third leg of the gurney race, and when CT felt like he was being edged off the course by the Americans, he pushed back and sent Team U.S.’s gurney bounding off the course.

“They can give it out, but they can’t take it,” CT said. “Don’t stand on the tracks when the train is coming through.”

Unfortunately, though, that train broke the rules, and CT’s act of aggression eventually cost the Brits a 10-minute penalty.

It was a lot — and his teammates were frustrated — but soon, it was clear that it was the Americans who were in the worst trouble.

After the third checkpoint, which found players trying to avoid a disgusting meal of scorpions, cockroaches and fat worms by individually shooting hoops, fatigue began to set in to Paulie.

As Zach pointed out, it seemed like a bit of karma that Cara and Paulie’s attempts to eliminate the strongest players from the American team ultimately amounted to a larger — but weaker — outfit.

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“This is why I didn’t want to get rid of our strong players,” Zach complained, looking back on Bananas’, Laurel’s and Wes’ untimely exits from the game. “This is a hard thing to do.”

And it would only get harder. As players set out on the fourth gurney-carry, and with Team U.S. way behind, Paulie’s body began totally shutting down, and ultimately, he fell to the ground, unable to get up.

“I’m a little worried, because I’m beginning to think that I could cost my team the final,” he said as he struggled for breath.

But can he turn things around, and will Team U.S. get the win they’ve been sure of all season? Or are the underdogs — Team U.K. — destined to come out with a win when it matters most? Plus, and maybe more importantly, who’s about to get fitted for their first Challenge crown? Share your thoughts, and be sure to tune in to conclusion of the War of the Worlds 2 finale Wednesday at 9/8c!



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