Challenge Episode 4 “Four Tickets To Paradise” Recap

Allan Aguirre
8 min readFeb 22, 2017


There is a small elephant in the room for this episode. This episode was highly edited and the cut was far different from the promo and what was scheduled in the tv guide listing. Apparently, the episode was supposed to show a verbal fight/argument between old man Shane Landrum and Nicole, the two gay cast members. Shane lashes out at Nicole who is acting cocky as she already as her Oasis ticket punched, and Shane does not yet. Plus shelter life is tough when you actually are competing in Challenges. As you could tell with the romance, the challenge, the Burger King, and the elimination, it was a packed episode that needed to get done in order for them to introduce the Oasis and for the Champs to walk in for the “to be continued”. It sucks that we did not get to see the Shane and Nicole fight, and it hurts me a lot as I have him on my season long fantasy team. Now let’s get to the recap:

The episode opens with a review of who does not have their Oasis tickets, and then we get a good shot of Jenna and Kailah in their bikinis. Pretty solid opening to say the least. After we get a conversation of Nelson and Amanda walking and talking on the beach, we find out that Amanda’s father is in a little bit worse health since she was on Rivals 3. She helps take care of him and her nursing degree probably makes her a good caregiver. Amanda is a pop-off queen, so it feels good to know that she has a somewhat good heart when comes to her intentions and the person she is at home. Maybe going on the show is not the best choice, and maybe she should be with her father, but I respect her coming on to win money and that she already does a lot for her family most likely.

Cory and Kailah have been jumping each other’s bones like crazy, and while Cory is definitely interested in her, I feel Kailah’s affection is 50–50 towards him. She does like him somewhat and has shown interest, but you could see her going for Cory as a power move and as Polidicking more than anything. On the other side, LaToya shows her first interest in Nelson, which is a surprise as she has never really dated anyone in the Challenge universe before. Nelson is seen as pretty lame, and he kinda is, so it is cool to see him getting his hook-up on. I get the vibe they fully met each other in the biblical sense, and that may not be the best decision before a daily challenge. That will tire you out when you’re not living in the best conditions and are fatigued.

The daily challenge is one of the best I have ever seen. It involves technique and size in order to win. The cages benefit people with more mass as they can easily knock the cage a couple rolls a lot easier, while some of the smaller people are ability to play with the momentum and get some longer rolls, though it is much tougher for them to get the roll going in the first place. Adding to that, they must perfect where the cage lands in order to bring the rope and key in to unlock yourself. This reminds me of the elimination in Cutthroat where the person had to get a giant dice(die) into a square to win, but this Challenge required much more endurance, technique, and actual strength.

LaToya takes off fast as she gets the motion down quick using her butt, but this takes too much energy and she gases out. She just dies out and takes a break for way too long in order to catch her breath; she doesn’t realize that once you stop and lose your momentum it is so much tougher for your body to start up again and even come close to the same amount of energy as before. It is great to see Shane yelling at her to keep going, that’s a good friend.

All of this happens while Amanda makes a great comeback as she figures out the motion of the cage. She holds onto top end of one of the bars, while her feet hold down to the bottom of the bar on the other side. Amanda then pushes off and clings to the wall of the cage as her small body creates momentum and removes a backward recoil in order to get rolls of 2 or 3 spins. She gets to the key first by a decent margin and wins her first daily challenge ever. Congrats to Amanda, and I am glad she will be in the Oasis.

For the men’s round, Shane just watched Amanda, and he gets motion done from the start. Except the difference between him and Amanda, is that he has about 70+ pounds on her and is able to put his hips into it to create his own speed and momentum, while Amanda needed the cage itself create some of that same movement and hope it doesn’t topple over. Shane is very much here for a redemption story. When he came on Road Rules and the Challenges in the past, he was the scrawny gay kid who used to get by just through making friends. While he is still here to make friends and for us his “lavender ladies”(Ashley, Amanda, Sylvia), he is now here to show that he is on the Challenge to actually compete and test himself. Nelson and Anthony are struggling with the motion of it all, and Nelson’s giant biceps and thighs are getting in the way of how he moves in the cage. Shane meanwhile gets to the key while the others are basically still at the starting line. The problem for Shane is that his cage is in the wrong position to get the key and Anthony gets the motion and charges down with lightspeed. Anthony is the first one to pull in his rope, but his cage cannot get the coconut with the key in, so Shane at the last second gets it, opens the cage and punches his ticket into the Oasis. Feels bad for Anthony to lose, he was so close, but he still has an elimination with Nelson. In dead last, Nelson feels terrible about his performance as he takes pride in himself as a competitor, which I respect, because if you are coming on the Challenge, I want good competitors, and Nelson is one.

Also, the daily challenge was sponsored by Burger King, where Shane and Amanda won free Burger King for a year by winning the daily challenge. They then go back to the shelter where it is stocked with Burger King. These people are fed decently well portioned, but the food is not very good, so fast food is actually a luxury for them. As much as BK sucks, it was a delicious treat for them. Cory was stocking up on Whoppers for the rest of the day, and my favorite tweet was that Anthony ate like 5 whoppers as a pick-me-up from the Challenge loss.

Before the elimination everyone is saying that Sylvia is going to lose as she is mentally checked out. Editing does a great job to show and open eyed Sylvia looking mentally checked out from the game. A giant stair race in high altitude is an incredible elimination. They have had a ton of bad endurance based eliminations in the past that were really more about speed, but this is about speed and endurance. For the guys round, Nelson vs Anthony is a great match-up of two solid competitors. Nelson is a career (1–1) in eliminations while this is the first one for Anthony. Nelson is in better shape, but Anthony has more of a runner’s body — a lot more fit for endurance too. Between the girls, LaToya(elimination record of 1–1) and Sylvia(first elimination) it is more about who is worse than who is better. Being mentally tough matters more.

Along the path, LaToya gets scared as she encounters a monkey and loses some time. Sylvia out of fatigue drinks dirty rain step water which she might get dysentery from. Dumb decision on her part. From the guy race it looks like Anthony gets up the steps much quicker than Nelson, but Nelson runs the stairs on the way down taking the momentum with him in hopes of not falling down the stairs. Anthony played it safe and walked down, but this is probably why he lost as it was only a 2 minute margin. If he had to choose again, I think Anthony would have run down instead. Sucks that his pretty face won’t be in the Oasis. Sylvia makes it to the Oasis winning her first ever elimination against Toya. LaToya gives good interviews and it makes me sad that we will be losing out on her commentary.

Back at the shelter, Amanda is pacing back and forth hoping that Nelson comes back so she could have one of her good friends back. It is nice to see their friendship after Rivals 3. Nelson comes in and hypes everyone to pack up their stuff as they are going to the Oasis. They then arrive in the Oasis and go wild. They begin picking rooms and touring the house, Kailah and Jenna get hyped about a shower with a ledge to place their alcohol on — like most of us. Dario is outside with Nelson and Cory hyping up all the amenities of the Oasis: soap, Jacuzzis, cold cuts, toilets, and best of all clean towels. Everyone in the house is getting incredibly drunk, it’s almost like it is the first night in the house again, except they have a Challenge again soon. We get another bikini shot of Kailah and Jenna. At this point I think the camera guys get a bonus in their weekly pay for every shot they get of those two girls butts. As comedy, Shane toasts to Jenna not having an ex on the season…Oh the irony…

Ashley and Hunter get very drunk and begin making out hard in the pool. Hunter states that he is “old fashioned” and thus he would never sleep with Ashley unless he truly cared about her…And obviously he cares a lot abut Ashley. Even better is that they have sex on the top bunk! I love the top bunk hook up, it’s one of the most rude and difficult moves to pull off. Amanda right under them is sleeping, and apparently did not even wake up the whole time(Amanda confirmed on Twitter that she was knocked the fuck out from drinking so much). The love session is interrupted by a hammered Dario and Nelson who yell at them to just finish. The Oasis is magical.

They then do the cheesy intro where the Champ walk in and it is a to be continued moment. Overall it was a great episode with a good elimination, good daily challenge, and fun hook-ups. Next weeks episode looks even better with a really tough hands on rugby type daily challenge between the champs and underdogs.



Allan Aguirre

27 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.