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HomeArts & Entertainment‘The Challenge’ Under Criticism From Champ: ‘Absolute Shock’

‘The Challenge’ Under Criticism From Champ: ‘Absolute Shock’


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The Challenge’s TJ Lavin

Some controversy about the final of “The Challenge: All Stars” season two has been circulating after a couple of competitors addressed issues with production at the final challenge. Janelle Casanave and winners MJ Garrett and Jonna Mannion have all spoken about issues they had with the locks on the safes in the last section of the final.

Janelle said there was a huge problem with their lockbox and it never opened even though they followed all the steps on the board and had the right combination. MJ and Jonna revealed that even though they arrived at the safes first, they also couldn’t get it open so production told them they got the right numbers and to just run to the jet. However, halfway there, they were told to go back to the locks because they hadn’t done it right.

Since then, Janelle opened up about a “fourth step” involving the lock combination that they were never told about but MJ said the fourth step was essential for opening the safe. Janelle was also asked about MJ and Jonna not finishing one of their checkpoints in the first phase of the final and she said they should have had to finish it.

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After the Final, Janelle Said She Thought MJ & Jonna Should Have Had to Finish Their Checkpoint

Janelle first spoke about the final in an Instagram Q&A, where she said the first-place team after the first phase of the final, Nehemiah Clark and Melinda Collins, got a one-minute head start on the eating portion, while the second-place team, Darrell Taylor and Janelle, got a 30-minute head start.

The lead was very small for as much work as we put in on that first leg of the race, especially the fact that Nehemiah, Melinda, me and Darrell were like neck-and-neck the entire time and we were the only two teams to actually finish our puzzle boards. I wish there would have been a better advantage but… it is what it is.

She also said she wasn’t annoyed about MJ and Jonna not finishing their puzzle board but does think they should have had to do it. “I don’t think third place should have been given, I think that with any sport you have to cross the finish line,” she said in an Instagram Q&A. “But a lot has changed since I’ve played the game and this is definitely one of them.”

In regards to the issues with the lockbox, Janelle posted on Instagram that she was shocked to hear about what happened at the safes with Jonna and MJ because she hadn’t known about it before. She said the “fourth step” to unlock the safe was “new knowledge and not in the instructions.” She wrote:

I never thought I would find out what actually happened to the lock but today I did and more is surfacing… I’m deciding to keep the details to myself. I’m sharing this information to respectively clear the air as many of you have wanted to know what happened to the box or thought we ‘gave up.’

Despite that, she said, “Congrats to the winners… I’m now ready to focus on the things that really matter, my family and health.”


MJ & Jonna Said They Wanted to Finish Their Puzzle But Producers Wouldn’t Let Them

The fourth step was initially brought up by MJ and Jonna in an Entertainment Weekly interview, where MJ said, “There were instructions on how to open the safe and there was one extra step that we had to do that normally you don’t do on a safe. Because everybody’s opened up a safe before where you’ve got to twist it three times past zero then back past the number, that whole gag, but they added in a fourth step. So that’s what everybody was struggling with.”

They also spoke about comments from fans and cast members about the fact that they didn’t finish one of the checkpoints. “Even the people that we ran the final against were very confused by it, and there was a little bit of animosity,” MJ said. Jonna agreed, “There’s still tension because of what actually happened.” She added:

A couple of people on the other teams were like, ‘Jonna and M.J. didn’t even really finish the memory portion, so they don’t deserve to move on.’ Well, what they didn’t see is that there was a production error, and that ended up costing us a lot of time while we were doing the memory portion. I don’t know how much we’re allowed to say about it.

The winners told EW that producers told them someone had quit and they had to move on to the next step because the sun was setting and they needed to start the second phase of the final. “I argued with him,” Jonna said. “I was like, ‘No, I’m going to finish, I’m not quitting, I will finish this puzzle if it’s the death of me.’ They were like, ‘No.’ … So to answer your question, we did not finish; we tried to finish the memory portion of it but we were not allowed to.”

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