The Challenge All Stars 3 Episode 4 Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways

Episode 4 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 4th episode.

Above and Below is the podcast recap in case you prefer to watch/listen.

10 Pool Day and Brad vs. MJ

Opening with a pool day BBQ was a fun way to start the episode until it took a dramatic turn from two unlikely foes. Of all the rivalries on this show, I wasn’t expecting beef between Brad and MJ. We see a flashback of the previous week where Brad was unwilling to vote Syrus into elimination, and MJ essentially told him to fuck off because his vote is irrelevant. There have been rumors from certain people that MJ can be a bit rude/have a bit of an ego, and we are seeing it now in 4k.

It’s crazy because of all the people to come to odds; I never expected these two. There is history between them as they were aligned on All-Stars 2 together, and way back in the day, MJ called Brad into elimination with him on the Duel, viewing Brad as the weakest player left, to which Brad sent him home packing. It wasn’t fake Big Brother animosity either because Brad used his sabotage on MJ, rather than Yes, the person he was planning to vote into elimination the previous week. Sidenote: Kailah used her sabotage on Kendal, which makes sense as she voted Kendal into elimination last episode.

9 The Wicked Witch of the West Lands

With Tina & Jemmye out due to medical/personal reasons, they decided to bring Beth out of the retirement home. Beth is one of the iconic villains of Challenge history; she loves to push people’s buttons and then try to play victim right after. It doesn’t help Beth’s case that she has one of the most evil-sounding laughs imaginable.

I have to say, adding Beth at this point in the season just doesn’t feel right. When Beth enters a show, it becomes the Beth show, which isn’t super necessary as we have a literal All-Star cast. Bringing in Beth feels like someone made a hot fudge sundae the third course in an eight-course meal. All we need is a spoonful or two of Beth at most; anything more than that could spoil the entire dinner.

8 Playing the Odds

Here are the groups and outcomes:

Men’s Heat 1: Mark wins and knocks out Yes before Derrick.

Men’s Heat 2: MJ wins despite the sabotage and knocks out Jordan, with Darrell taking an auto DQ.

Men’s Heat 3: Brad wins and knocks out Wes before Nehemiah.

Women’s Heat 1: Kailah wins and knocks out KellyAnne before Sylvia.

Women’s Heat 2: Jonna wins and knocks out Roni. Beth takes an auto DQ.

Women’s Heat 3: Veronica wins and knocks out a sabotaged Kendal before Nia.

Let’s kick off with Darrell and Beth’s DQs. Beth coming into the game late and immediately putting herself in elimination is so on brand that I couldn’t help laughing. I genuinely felt terrible for Darrell because you can tell his fear of heights is becoming worse and worse to the point where he’d rather go into elimination.

My favorite part about this “math daily challenge” is it didn’t matter how good you were at addition and multiplication. The three best men when it comes to math: Yes, Wes, and Jordan, all didn’t win. What it came down to was half-luck and half-strategy. If you happened to stumble into a correct equation, you won. Or you could play it like Kailah, where she wasn’t even trying to solve the math; she was just playing the odds, going for stray checks hoping one would hit until it did. There was no rule saying you could only get one check, so she played the challenge to the best of her abilities. It was an absolute masterclass from Kailah and not something she would have figured out years ago.

Kailah Casillas is in the zone as it is now three consecutive Authority appearances and her second straight individual win. Brad achieved the same feat as Kailah, three Authorities in a row and back-to-back wins. Jonna is in her third straight Authority well, Veronica and MJ qualified for their second Authority of the season, and Mark finally made it into his first. The players who have not qualified for the Authority at this point: Nehemiah, Darrell, Nia, Roni, and Beth.

7 Jordan & Nia Sitting in a Tree

It’s now official: Jordan and Nia are fucking. All these years later, the two are finally an item of some sort, and it feels right. The Challenge is a long-running sitcom where the writers have gotten bored and decided to turn these former mortal enemies into now a romantic pair. Nia and Jordan look at each other with such awe and adoration that I hope to find in my life. Or maybe not, because they look so attracted to one another that it could lead to their biggest blow-up if things go south.

Also, shout-out to Ja Rule.

6 Sour KellyAnne and Kendal? New Gen vs. OGs

I was ready to be biased and go to bat for Kendal and KellyAnne because they are two of my favorite competitors and actual humans who have been kind to me in the past. Yet, I couldn’t help feeling like they were too jaded and catty when talking about Kailah and the new school girls running the game. Kendal and KellyAnne play their game based on their heart and emotions, and what they don’t realize in doing so is that it leads to a much messier game that affects friendships and relationships. Meanwhile, Kailah and Sylvia play a cold, emotionless game where they define the lines of separation not based on personality but strategy. Kailah and Sylvia can be rude at times; however, they aren’t bad people.

The issue is that Kendal is taking their straightforward game as a personal attack, not realizing her style of gameplay is hurting more people, including those she cares about. I don’t want to say that Kendal has to learn to disconnect from her emotions because so many people root for her because she’s a kind, good-hearted player. She just needs to acknowledge that her gameplay style is going to be an uphill battle and that nobody owes anyone anything on the Challenge. It’s not Kailah and Sylvia’s fault that they came to play cutthroat. We are watching an evolution of gameplay on All-Stars that is a healthy jump because this show can’t be pure nostalgia, as we already got that in the first two seasons.

5 Veronica’s Reunion with Beth

As I say that, let’s dive fully into nostalgia with one of the funniest interactions in Challenge history. After all these years, Veronica and Beth reunited on the Challenge. There is so much to unpack between these two, dating back to the old days, to even in 2021, when these two were bickering on social media and throwing serious allegations toward one another.

When they had the on-screen couples confessional together, I expected them to be cringingly buddy-buddy like Wes & Bananas were on Total Madness, except it went the opposite direction. They were shady, passive-aggressive, and very much not on the same terms. I laughed so hard watching them together because it went from corny to authentic quickly. It’s wild to think these two did a Playboy shoot together two decades earlier.

The cherry on top was Veronica’s perfect Beth impression.

4 Big Deliberation (Jordan vs. Wes)

It was a foregone conclusion Kendal was going into elimination after she was able to dodge it the previous week due to the removal of Tina/Jemmye. With Darrell going into elimination, the men viewed this as the opportunity to throw in Jordan or Wes as a way to guarantee one of the biggest Final threats would get taken out. When Darrell got asked who he wanted, he said he was cool with whoever got thrown in against him. Although Darrell did note in his confessional that Jordan is someone he cannot keep up with in a Final, and thus he’s got a better chance at taking him out in the arena. That’s high praise for Jordan.

Brad and Mark wanted Jordan to go in as they saw him as the biggest threat. MJ led a charge into voting Wes in, which was a tone shift as he talked about working with Wes potentially the previous week. What it came down to was MJ’s petty ass was going to go in the opposite direction of Brad, even if it wasn’t the most rational choice. Both Kailah and Veronica voiced their worries about Wes (Kailah for the 2nd or 3rd time), and still, they voted Jordan in. Wes might have something cooking with Kailah because her words and actions reflect two different things, and I don’t think she’s one to play scared, so there’s more going on there.

3 Big Beth Bowls over Kendal

I want to make this clear: Beth has never been a good player on the Challenge. She is commonly afraid to compete in particular challenges, has quit multiple seasons, and simply does not move like an athlete. In spite of it all, Beth has had one primary strength: that is that she’s a bigger/heavier woman, and when it comes to elimination, size can be the difference.

Kendal was trying her best and initially had a lead. Then size won out. A 30–40 lb difference between men and women is much different. A 110 lb woman vs. a 140 lb woman is a 27.2% body weight difference, whereas a 170 lb man vs. a 200 lb man is a 15% difference. Kendal had to overcome a 20–30% weight difference where it’s not just being able to hold up against Beth; to win, she had to push her forward. As much of a beast as Kendal, that’s a lot to overcome, and it didn’t help she went first. If Kendal had gotten to watch Jordan and then copied him, maybe there’s a chance she could have pulled out the win. Instead, Beth Stolarczyk gets an elimination win at 53 years old.

2 Jordan dismantles Darrell

Jordan beating Josh in a tug-of-war one-handed on War of the Worlds 2 was one of the most impressive feats of ingenuity I have ever seen. As remarkable as it was, it was against Josh, who is a known goof at the end of the day. This elimination against Darrell was far and away the best performance from Jordan.

The weight difference between Jordan & Darrell isn’t as big as you would assume. Regardless, Darrell not only did Darrell have the weight advantage, but he is also a powerful man with a lot of gas in the tank. When Darrell goes into elimination, if the worst comes to worst, he wears down his opponents with his excellent blend of endurance and strength. So what happened in this elimination? Jordan gave Darrell a taste of his own medicine and mixed it with his own flair of assholeness.

From the get-go, Jordan focused on spreading himself into the right spots of the circular cage and turning his body into a deadweight that would be difficult for Darrell to push. As he did this, Jordan kept talking shit, hoping for a mental lapse from Darrell, to which he would strike once the moment was right. At a certain point, it felt like Darrell was afraid to go out all and push forward in fear Jordan would pull a fast one on him. Darrell’s mistake was trying to hold down in the same position for too long against Jordan. What ended up happening is Darrell tried to do a sustained 170 lbs + the force of gravity Leg/Heck Press for close to an hour, and then like any human would, their quads blew out on them. Hell, most human legs would have given out 30 minutes earlier — Darrell he said he needed to do more squats, and in all honesty, his leg strength is probably some of the biggest in Challenge history because I’ve seen him overhead squat grown humans and run with them on his back. Actually, it could have been much worse for Darrell. Jordan didn’t win this elimination by default; he won it by playing much smarter and working Darrell to his breaking point. It just sucks Darrell got physically hurt in the process. What an elimination between two absolute legends.

1 Next Week on the Challenge

We are getting an intense episode next week based on the trailer. Next week, the daily challenge looks similar to the famous Diem mud-pit mission from Duel 1, in which players would “grab a ring” and throw it on their opponents’ totem pole to eliminate them from the competition. Wes has a bold strategy, which, if I had to guess, it’s him asking to come in last so he can go directly into elimination. It would make sense as Jordan is likely to sabotage him anyway.

Edit: I was in such a mental pretzel trying to figure out why Wes would want to go into elimination, I convinced myself Jordan had the sabotage and not Brad.

Then there is Beth accusing Jonna of cheating on her husband with MJ, something nobody on the internet has ever said before… It’s going to be must-watch TV next week.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Allan Aguirre

26 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.