MTV's longest running franchise, The Challenge, completed another stellar season on Wednesday. While the past few outings of the reality show have ended with controversy, the absolute best player of War of the Worlds walked away with the big prize. The jaw-dropping part of it all is that the winner was a prospect.
Fan-favorite Turkish dominator Turbo rose to the occasion and walked away with $750,000 after winning the most brutal final in The Challenge history. The course was over 50 miles long and tested each player's physical, mental, and emotional strength. Theo, the Olympic hopeful, came in second place ($200,000) thanks to his astonishing performance in the first leg of the race, which lasted 24 miles and included five puzzles. Wes took third place ($50,000) after almost passing out in the desert multiple times, and Ninja pulled off an impressive fourth place. Hunter and Cara Maria were both eliminated before making it to the end of the final.
It's important to remember that War of the Worlds began with one of the most stacked casts of all time. Wes, Bananas, CT, Cara Maria, and Zack were all present on Day 1, with impressive newer vets Paulie, Kyle, Hunter, and Cam also in the mix. However, MTV threw in a curveball by stacking the rookie side with impressive people as well, including the 6-foot-tall Mattie, American Ninja Warrior Natalie, and feisty brit Georgia -- each of whom made it to the final. However, it was Turbo, the quiet Turkish man with the broken English, who quickly became a standout player.
For the first half of the season, Turbo was partnered with Nany and endeared himself to the audience by constantly asking if she was proud of him. He made it clear that he was devoted to his partner, which was a refreshing breath of fresh of air compared to the rampant toxic masculinity that usually pervades The Challenge house.
But Turbo truly cemented his place in our hearts after a fight with Hunter revealed that in another life, the Turkish teddy bear could easily have been a serial killer in his spare time. This was the turning point where everyone realized that Turbo is great until you cross him, and then he's terrifying.
What's also great about Turbo is that he played a pretty straightforward game. The only time he strayed from his word was when he sent Dee into the final elimination after hinting that he might spare her after their giant fight. The man holds grudges, but otherwise he was a good dude who worked really hard, took advantage of every opportunity, and came out on top. Even Wes, who believes he is God's gift to this show, couldn't hate the fact that Turbo pulled off a momentous win.
Turbo's win is not only great because he's a fan favorite, but because it proves MTV can continue the franchise as older vets are less and less able to compete in such grueling competitions. If you had told me at the start of War of the Worlds that this season, which saw Bananas, Zack, CT, and Leroy all eliminated before the halfway mark, would be my favorite so far, I would have laughed in your face. Yet this season proved that there is a solid stable of newcomers that not only make for entertaining television, but can compete and take the show's daunting physical demands to the next level.
Good job, Turbo. I can't wait to watch more.