By Sydney Bucksbaum
December 18, 2019 at 11:00 PM EST
The Challenge
Credit: MTV

Last week, The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 delivered karmic justice when Paulie and Cara’s handpicked Team U.S. was defeated so epically by Team U.K. in the War of the Worlds 2 final. Like Jordan said of his much-deserved win, “This was the season of karma.”

It’s also the season of drama as evidenced by all the champs and proven vets who got the early boot, the actual engagement that played out on the Proving Ground floor, and reality show friendships that crashed and burned in just a few short episodes. And while the finale aired last week, the reunion special brought us even more entertainment because these dumb-dumbs just can’t help themselves. Here’s all the biggest fights and juiciest drama to come out the War of the Worlds 2 reunion.

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Paulie’s epic failure

Ahhh, the glorious comeuppance of Paulie’s ego gets highlighted almost immediately. “The only way you bounce back is to learn from your experience, and you can’t really train for certain types of finals,” Paulie says when asked about gassing out during the first stage of the final. “I trained running all the time and then all of a sudden I get hit with carrying.”

“I’m just hearing excuses,” Bananas interrupts, to which he gets told that he wasn’t even there long enough to have an opinion. But he rightfully points out that Paulie’s “accomplished nothing” and “cost Team U.S.A. the f—ing win this time.”

Cara then takes the blame for costing their team the win because of the final tangram puzzle, and the discussion shifts to whom to blame for not carrying their weight (literally) during the gurney run — lots of fingers get pointed at Ninja and Cara for not doing their part.

And you’ve got to hand it to Josh for his burn on Paulie when Paulie tries to make fun of him for crying: “Who’s going to choke in a final three times in a row? Who’s going to lose Big Brother and not win a f—ing bag of money? Who’s going to ride their girlfriend’s coattails? Who’s going to date a girl for their fanbase? I’m crying to the bank, you can’t relate, bitch!” And then Laurel’s later burn was piping hot, calling out Paulie for being a “green player,” who’s constantly running his mouth. That hits Paulie deep because all he wants is to be known as a legendary Challenge player and he’s getting the reputation for constantly choking instead. He doesn’t even have a comeback. The look of hurt on his face is real.

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Bananas and… Jenny?

According to Paulie, Bananas and Jenny secretly hooked up in the bathroom during the season and it wasn’t caught on camera. “When you disappear in a bathroom for about 15, 20 minutes and then you’re cuddling for the next week afterward until he goes home, I mean, come on, what was he doing?” Paulie says. But Bananas and Jenny claim she was peeing while he just happened to be in the bathroom before going out one night and Paulie just made up a rumor to “try and destroy people who are in happy relationships.”

Nany and Cara

After going off on not liking who Cara has become on the show and on social media, Nany decides to clear things up in person. “What my issue is with Cara is she attacks me personally,” Nany says. “It has nothing to do with the game.” But Cara claims that their issues this season stemmed from Nany being on a different alliance and that all Nany did when she left her room was “to binge drink and chain smoke.” That’s when Jordan jumps to Nany’s defense, saying that regardless of drinking or smoking, every day at 7 a.m. Nany was in the gym training — and Cara and Paulie weren’t.

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Wes’ early defeat

Sporting a long, ginger, lumberjack beard, Wes video chats into the reunion. “After that super embarrassing loss to Bear, I had to grow a beard and wear glasses because all of America is making fun of me so bad,” he jokes about his new look. He openly confesses to trying to make deals and work with everyone except for Bananas. But then he gets serious and says how disappointed he is in the fandom for how much bullying Josh and Laurel have received for orchestrating his early blindside elimination.

“I think people are taking it very far and on behalf of the internet I’d like to apologize for how far they’re taking it,” Wes says. “It’s a game, it got me, and that’s where I kind of leave it.” Then Josh starts crying for how much that means to him, and Wes continues, “I know that people kind of blame Laurel and Josh for what happens, I do not, not one percent, literally zero percent, it is not their fault. It is all Bananas’ fault and he will pay.” Everyone laughs, and Wes signs off with one last “your mom” joke directed at Bananas, showing that their rivalry is still alive and well.

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Jordan and Tori’s engagement

When the issue of Cara throwing shade at Jordan and Tori’s engagement is brought up, along with her not going to their engagement party that night in the Challenge house, Cara doubles down on how they’re not friends and she gave them the best wedding present by not going and being “fake.” And then Paulie throws shade at Tori, saying something “from one cheater to another,” referencing how she and Jordan got together when she was still dating Derrick.

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Laurel’s hubris

Ahhh, who could forget the elimination that Laurel thought she won and celebrated in a gross way, only for Ninja to calmly point out how she didn’t finish and then eliminate her? Jordan reveals it was actually Theo who pointed out the hole both Laurel and Ninja missed and says it’s not a black and white case of who deserved the ultimate win. And as for her reaction, Laurel admits, “I do look a little f—ing insane but I don’t care because that’s how I felt in the moment. I was excited to f—ing win.” Ironically, Cara then starts to lecture Laurel on winning or losing with class, but didn’t Cara just ignore Team U.K. after she lost the final? Everyone else on Team U.S. congratulated and hugged Team U.K. except for her.

That prompts Cara and Laurel to each tell their side of how their friendship ended: Cara says Laurel only wanted to be her friend when she was less confident and needed Laurel. But Laurel references a bad relationship that she tried to help Cara get out of (is that… Abram?). “I exited the friendship because it was too exhausting for me,” Laurel says. Cara says “there’s no hatred there” between them, but… yeah.

Rogan’s betrayal of Dee

Rogan is a straight-up d-bag for how he treated Dee, and the audience at the reunion feels the same. As they played back the montage of Dee and Rogan’s relationship and his betrayal, the boos got so loud that you could barely hear the audio. Georgia and Dee reveal that Rogan immediately “swerved” Dee after filming wrapped, and then Kyle drops the bomb that Rogan tried to get with Nany immediately after the season ended. Nany also reveals that before the season began, Rogan slid into her DMs, “and then the very first night, he hooked up with Dee.” Since Nany and Dee are friends, that effectively ended any potential hookup for her and Rogan.

And then a deleted scene from the season is shown where Rogan tells Paulie and Joss that he’s “bored” with Dee and how he “f—ed himself” by getting with Dee so quickly. He wanted to be single and have fun with “all the new Americans” he just met. And then Paulie says that Dee is a good number for them so Rogan has “got to keep f—ing her.” It’s all so gross. Dee keeps a great attitude about it all, cracking jokes at Rogan’s expense and how the No. 1 rule in life is “don’t fall in love with a stripper.” She eventually does start crying, and it’s totally justified. She also rightly calls out Paulie too for talking about her behind her back like that when they were working together as an alliance. But she ends it by saying that she still has Rogan’s back and they’re still friends after all that. Sigh.

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Nany and… Paulie?

Somehow a fight breaks out between Cara and Nany about… how Nany secretly wants to hook up with Paulie? Uh, what? And then Nany makes a comment about how Paulie’s said bad things about Cara to her that she won’t repeat. There’s a lot of innuendo and vagueness about this whole thing, which means there is a lot not being said.

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Turbo promises to return

Despite getting kicked off the show this season for his aggressive and violent behavior towards cast and crew members, Turbo sent in a highly produced video message promising to return. Jordan says, “Turbo, I truly hope you come back because it will be so fun competing against each other. It truly is.”

Kam and Leroy

After starting off the season as bitter exes/enemies, Kam and Leroy reunited romantically about midway through, ending the season together. Where do they stand now? “I would say we’re really good friends right now,” Kam says. And Leroy says they have not hooked up since the season ended. But the door is not closed.

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Georgia and Kayleigh

After an entire segment was devoted to Bear trying to get with a ton of women this season (and throughout his whole life), the conversation shifts to Kayleigh and Georgia’s beef. Both of them say their issues stemmed from hearing that the other was trash-talking, and things just escalated after Bear got involved and Kayleigh voted Georgia into elimination, resulting in her going home. But Georgia says that after the show finished filming, she went through a difficult time and Kayleigh sent her a long message that helped make her feel a little better. This vendetta is officially squashed.

Georgia and Josh

Georgia and Josh’s flirtations from this season have continued after filming! Georgia says, “I definitely fancy Josh and on and off the show, we’ve gotten together,” and while they haven’t had sex yet, they did try once. “We almost did but then Josh was too drunk,” she admits. But then Kayleigh drops the bomb that Josh tried to kiss her “loads of times,” and Josh says that Kayleigh actually kissed him. But Georgia and Josh are the more recent coupling — they made out the night before the reunion and Josh is “for sure” going to try to pursue her more.

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Jordan’s attitude

A major complaint about Jordan has always been his attitude, so the dedication of an entire segment to how people hate his attitude is not surprising. What is surprising is how Bananas of all people comes to Jordan’s defense. “Here’s the thing about Jordan … what everyone finds most annoying [is] when he gets loud, that’s why he is such an intense f—ing competitor and that’s why he’s so good,” Bananas says.

But Jordan says an offhand comment about how American Ninja Warrior is a show and not a sport, and Tori jumps in to tell him he can’t say that if he also says The Challenge should be called a sport, and Ninja starts crying about how she’s glad Tori is in Jordan’s life to bring “softness” to him and that there shouldn’t be so much “hate” on this show. Bananas says Ninja’s “on the wrong show” if she thinks that and Jordan objects to anyone saying he spews hate when he really just says “work out harder.” Kam clarifies that it’s less of what he says and more how he says things and he should be more sensitive. Very valid point!

The entire discussion ends with Jordan explaining it’s how he competes and he never means anything personal by what he says or how he says things and others like Dee jump in to defend him by saying they all just tell him to “f— off” whenever he says something negative to them. So Ninja just shouts “f— off, Jordan!” And it’s all happily ever after as Jordan and Ninja hug it out.

Cara and Paulie’s “cult”

Of course, we’re saving one of this season’s biggest issues for last. Cara and Paulie’s alliance “cult” dominated this season because its structure put power in numbers. The winning team’s Tribunal was almost always Team U.S., and Paulie and Cara usually had some of their alliance in that as well as the losing team who would vote someone from their own team in to elimination. So both players going into eliminations were essentially hand-picked by Cara and Paulie. It made for an annoyingly predictable trend that ended up screwing over Cara and Paulie in the final because they brought weaker players with them to the end instead of the stronger players they eliminated prior.

Leroy and CT admitted they joined the alliance later in the season because they knew it was the only way to save themselves. Bananas doesn’t fault Leroy for joining up with Paulie, knowing that sometimes Bananas is a detriment to Leroy’s game and he wanted to see his friend make it to the final.

When Cara points out that Jordan calling them all layups was wrong, he says that the term layup applies to someone you take to the final, knowing you can beat them. Cara and Paulie’s team was beaten in the final, so Jordan stands by the name. And then Nany and Josh reveal that Ashley and Paulie would constantly talk s–t about Cara’s performances during this season, revealing their alliance “family” maybe isn’t as happy and loving as they all claim it to be. How shocking.

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