Paulie had "one more day of work" at the War of the Worlds mission Judgement Day -- and even though the Big Brother alum was extremely confident entering the complex course, he couldn't complete the obstacles in the allotted time frame. Ultimately, he was upset by the three competing guys (Wes, Hunter and Theo) since he was the only one unable to finish and purged from the game right before the final (along with the lowest-finishing female Da'Vonne).

"All I needed was for one more person to fall. Dude, it's f*cking bad," he stated in an interview, while crying. "After everything we've been through, all season, I rushed it. F*ck that, I'm so mad. I've eliminated all of my enemies, I've protected my girlfriend, I made it here. The $750K was right there -- I tasted it. I failed."

And no one was more upset than his love Cara Maria (the two-time champ advanced straight to the final along with Turbo during last week's installment).

"I wanted to have that rivalry back and forth, and I've come this far with him and now I have to continue without him," she sadly admitted.

Unfortunately for Paulie, this isn't the first time he's come up short at the end of a dominant Challenge run: He came in third place on Final Reckoning with partner Natalie, missing the $1 million by a mere two-minute differential. But which outcome -- getting the bronze or narrowly missing a final -- was tougher to swallow?

"This loss in 33 was a hundred times harder of a hit [than 32]," he told MTV News. "I prepared myself so much in the off season. I trained every single day for hours -- not just physically, but mentally. I came into this season, and I dominated. I dominated every single challenge; I dominated any elimination I had to go into. I had the most Tribunal and challenge wins out of everyone in the house, and I was a heavy favorite to win the final -- or at least place in the top three. I was the best runner in the house when it comes to distance, I can solve puzzles, and I can basically do everything."

He concluded: "To lose in a purge challenge, right before the final, knowing you're that close to guaranteed money, that was a very big and bitter pill to swallow. But I'm the kind of person where every loss is a learning experience, so I was humbled by it. I learned from it, and I will be better for it."

Are you surprised that Paulie couldn't get the job done? Or did you expect him to go home at the 11th hour? Sound off with your thoughts, then get ready for the final to begin on Wednesday at 9/8c.