The Challenge All Stars 3 Episode 10 FINALE Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways
Episode 10 of Challenge All Stars S3 is in the books. You probably have some thoughts, so let’s compare. Instead of giving a simple summary, I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the 10th episode
If you prefer audio/video, my podcast recap can be found above/below.
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10 Kayaking and King of the Mountain (Leg 3 of the Final)
We saw Brad and Mark get their asses kicked last week during the Final; this week, we saw them march back. Meanwhile, KellyAnne finally got a 1st Place finish during the kayak portion.
1st Mark & KellyAnne
2nd Nehemiah & Kailah
3rd Brad & Jonna
4th Wes & Nia
The King of the Hill Face-Offs went as such:
Mark beat Nehemiah
Brad beat Wes
Nia beat KellyAnne
Jonna beat Kailah
Mark and Brad flung their smaller opponents into the water like a dog playing with a tennis ball. KellyAnne tried her best to get low on Nia; Nia took her momentum and directed straight into the water. The big surprise was Jonna taking down Kailah in a physical game. Kailah loves contact, and we hadn’t seen Jonna compete in anything like this in over a decade; mom strength is real.
Points After Final Leg 3:
Wes 19 Nehemiah 18 Brad 16 Mark 12
Jonna 22 Nia 19 Kailah 15 KA 9
9 Walking Up That Hill (Leg 4 of the Final)
1st Mark & Nia
2nd Wes & Kailah
3rd Brad & Jonna
4th Nehemiah & KellyAnne
Jonna pulling an Evelyn Smith and carrying more weight than her male partner during this leg was badass. I’m not sure whether Nehemiah & KellyAnne’s decision to try and make two trips with their bags was a terrible idea because they struggled mightily trying to carry all 100 lbs when they had to. They probably would have come in 4th regardless.
Nia & Mark, as the two largest competitors, had the easiest time carrying weight up a mountain, resulting in Nia’s first top finish (after being in the Bottom 2 in the first three checkpoints). Kudos to Kailah for finishing Top 2 in all four checkpoints.
Points After Leg 4:
Wes 22 Nehemiah 19 Brad 18 Mark 16
Jonna 24 Nia 23 Kailah 18 KA 10
Sidenote: The music throughout the Final was on point.
8 Why Wasn’t There a 4th Face-Off
They had 4 Checkpoints but only 3 Face-Offs. Why is that?
Maybe they were worried that Nia/Kailah would tie for 2nd, and they wouldn’t have had a tiebreaker prepared. The lack of a 4th Face-Off does somewhat affect the end-outcome. If Nehemiah/Brad had each won the 4th Face-Off, Wes would have gotten knocked down into 3rd and had to face Mark in the surprise elimination. While I think Wes would have beat Mark in a crossword, maybe he brain-farts after being seasick. All I’m saying is that if a 4th Face-Off exists, there is a path to where Wes doesn’t even get to finish the Final.
Likewise, what if KellyAnne faces Nia in the crossword on the female side? If KellyAnne beats her and the points get reset, KellyAnne suddenly becomes the favorite to win as she is a great eater with excellent cardio.
7 Yacht Night & Elimination Twist
Wes prepped his body days in advance for an overnight portion of the Final where players would have to stand on a log and not get any food. So when the players got treated to a nice dinner on a Yacht, he was hilariously pissed. To make matters worse, he got sea sick! It seemed like KellyAnne and Kailah also got a bit sick.
I did not mind the morning elimination twist between the bottom two Day 1 players. It rewards those who earned 1st/2nd Place after Day 1, and by wiping all the points off the board, it ensures someone won’t win or lose due to the Stars advantage. Had the 5 Point Star advantage not existed, the only difference would have been Nehemiah facing Mark in this crossword elimination, which likely doesn’t change who finishes in 1st/2nd, in my opinion.
6 My 3 Favorite Countries are California, Cancun, and Tyland.
The crossword elimination was some excellent comedy for a Final that was a bit boring.
On the women’s side, I think Kailah is much brighter than she gives herself credit, and she pulled off a shocking upset of KellyAnne in their elimination. It was a bad loss for KellyAnne as she studied the locations of Finals, had studied the map in the house, and Kailah is not known for mental comps. Overall, the All-Stars 3 Final was a mess from start to finish for KellyAnne; an oddly terrible performance by a good competitor.
Brad spelling out Thailand as “Tyland” and opening his board with the country of California were tough looks, making the fact that he beat Mark even more incredible. Mark had a great season with two massive eliminations; ultimately, I think Mark knew Brad had a much better shot of winning the Final. I hope the Godfather is proud of his season.
5 The Final Race
After dealing with partnerships and twists, the Final, in the end, was nice and straightforward. Everyone got to compete as individuals during a Final portion that consisted of running, eating, and puzzles.
Wes and Jonna both dominated the individual portion from the jump. They outpaced their opponents in the run, and Wes finished the eating portion with a significant lead over all other competitors. What’s funny is that historically, Wes has struggled with the eating portions of Finals, except because everyone else there was so inexperienced in comparison, he looked like a top eater. Likewise, Jonna not only outpaced all the women, but she also beat every man who wasn’t Wes as well.
We have become so conditioned to screwy final finishes that it’s bizarre seeing the two people who finish 1st Place on Day 1 then go on to dominate Day 2 just as much, if not more. Wes and Jonna earned their wins.
4 Nehemiah and Nia Didn’t Give Up
Nehemiah and Nia started the individual part of the Final poorly as they were in each 3rd during the opening running. Then the eating portion sunk their chances completely. Regardless, I respect Nehemiah for keeping Nia from quitting after coming so far in the game. Nehemiah’s All-Stars 3 season and Final wasn’t anywhere near his All-Stars 2 season; still, he got to walk away with a Pole Wrestle, which solidified his place in Challenge history. Not to mention, Nehemiah owns the record for most eliminations in the All-Stars Franchise. Nia’s Final performance was super up and down. She dominated the face-offs, which are essentially mini eliminations, and eliminations are Nia’s strong suit. Nia didn’t perform well when it came to the actual running, kayaking, and eating parts.
3 Silver Medalists: Brad and Kailah
As I mentioned above, we as fans have become so conditioned to seeing people lose via screwy means that Brad and Kailah’s 2nd Place Finish feels weird. I kept waiting for the moment that a twist screwed them over. In reality, they got outpaced through no fault other than their opponents playing better than them.
Bionic Brad had a stellar season physically, where he killed the daily challenges and got to the Final without ever getting called out or voted into elimination. Kailah was on her A-game from Day 1, winning challenges, strategically playing the game alongside the treehouse, and had a killer instinct others were lacking. In the end, Brad and Kailah both put up seasons worthy of a Championship; they just came up short to equally worthy foes.
2 Jonna Makes History
Even after this win, many will still doubt Jonna’s abilities because she isn’t someone who jumps off the screen with dominant performances. Except in Challenge Finals, sometimes it’s not necessarily about having an outstanding strength. No, Challenge Finals attack the weaknesses of competitors where if you have one major flaw (cardio, eating, puzzles), it can set you so far back that you’ll have no shot of winning. Jonna didn’t have a perfect Final on All-Stars 3; she finished 3rd/4th in a couple of partner legs and lost a Face-Off to Nia. Yet, Jonna kept a calm demeanor the entire time. When she had to compete by herself, Jonna was more than capable at every checkpoint. Jonna is not an unstoppable player, nor does she claim to be; just stop sleeping on her at this point if you are.
With this win, Jonna is the first female competitor to win two straight appearances since Sarah Rice (Exes 2-Rivals 3) and the first to do it in consecutively airing seasons since Veronica Portillo in 2004 (Gauntlet 1-Inferno 1). Before All-Stars, Jonna had never been to a Final and had a career 2–5 elimination record in five seasons. Since All-Stars, it’s been 3 Seasons, 3 Finals, 2 Championships (solo & paired), and a 2–0 elimination record. Without a doubt, Jonna has become the face of the Challenge All-Stars franchise.
1 Wes Fucking Did It
The men’s results of this season look like Wes Bergmann Fan Fiction written by Wes Bergmann. Wes went into the game with a massive target. Despite having a big target on him, he manages to get rid of three massive end-game threats (Yes, Jordan, Darrell) prior to the Final, takes one out himself in the elimination arena (Yes), makes it to the Final, and then proceeds to win the Final with his two best friends (Brad and Nehemiah) coming in 2nd and 3rd. You can’t write a better season/ending for Wes.
From Day 1, Wes played the game to give himself the best shot at winning the Final and was physically/mentally prepared for whatever could get thrown at him. It is a well-deserved win and a masterful performance by one of the Challenge’s all-time great competitors. The craziest thing about Wes becoming a 3x Champion is that his wins have come in 2006, 2013, and 2022. It’s such a wide gap between Championships, and each reflects a different part of his Challenge career and the player he was when winning them. Wes is one of the greats due to how he’s been able to adapt and change the way he’s played, all while having the same massive ego and remaining a great Reality TV character. It’s a win we should cherish as we don’t know if we’ll ever get one again.