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

Allan Aguirre
11 min readApr 19, 2024


Episode 3 of The Challenge All Stars 4 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 3rd episode.

If you prefer audio/video, my podcast recap can be found above/below:

10 Tony Time Is Over

Last week’s two-episode recap went so long that I didn’t have time to mention that I thought Tony’s antics during the daily challenges were excessively corny. I don’t mind showboating or cockiness; if anything, I love someone with a bit of flair. What I don’t enjoy is Tony joining the old people’s show and trying to do unnecessary slides, dives, and jumps to look cool, only to come in 6th place? I was so happy to see Tony back on The Challenge, and that behavior felt like clownshow-shit.

Then I became excited to potentially watch an overconfident Tony lose to someone he unestimated like Kefla or Derek in elimination.

That idea is out the window too, because Tony had to leave because of a family emergency. It sucks to see Tony walk out that door so soon after being gone five years. I hope everything with his family is alright.

9 Syrus Version 5.0

First, I want to give props to Syrus for getting in the best shape of his life in his 50’s. What I appreciate about Syrus is his total commitment to his character. He’s almost like a professional wrestler who comes in, has his catchphrases, and never drops the persona, even in the face of defeat. Syrus hasn’t gone far into any Challenge season he’s done since The Inferno 1, and yet he carries himself like a Champion (which he is).

8 Everyone Find A Partner

Everyone got to pick their own partner and I’ll try to explain the social dynamic of the partnerships for those reading. Before I do, I will note that Kam & Leroy’s decision to split up was a good theoretical plan as it helped them quite a bit on Double Agents. Splitting up gave them two shots to win/be in power, and they could help each other/team up during dailies. Except if you’re going to split up, you should make sure the partner you’re getting is much better than Flora or Ryan.

Jay & Nicole partnered up as friends/co-workers.

Adam & Averey weren’t a couple just yet, but if you’ve seen social media, they’re very much together now, and I’d assume we’ll see the showmance soon.

Laurel & Brandon did Fresh Meat 2 together.

Syrus didn’t know anything Ayanna had done yet.

Brad & Rachel tried to form a power duo.

Cara & Ace partnered as they were friends outside the show from when Cara dated Abram (he & Ace are close).

Veronica & Derek, Tina & Kefla, and Jasmine & Steve were the leftovers.

7 The Domino Effect

The daily challenge felt repetitive in that it was just like the first daily, where was heavy cardio/strength with a mental aspect.

Adam & Averey each finished 2nd in the first daily challenge of the season individually, and together, they beat everyone. If there was any thought their performances in Episode 1 was a fluke, they squashed it this episode. Coming into this season, I was worried about Averey facing a stacked women’s cast, and she’s now holding her own. Meanwhile, Adam now looks like the biggest threat to win on the male side of the cast. Especially when you have supposed threats like Rachel & Brad not being able to use their brains despite having the muscle and fitness to outpace everyone.

From this daily, the two non-winners who impressed me the most were Cara & Jay. Straight up, Ace is not a great player, except with Cara leading the way, they finished a very close 2nd. With a slightly better partner, Cara could have easily won. Cara is clearly on another level right now — Rachel can’t match her mentally, and Kam & Laurel aren’t near her fitness-wise. Jay impressed me because I know Nicole has no brain cells, so their coming in 3rd is due to his brain, also his cardio/engine seems solid. Within two weeks, Jay has gone from the biggest punch-line in Challenge history to now I’m watching, and I think to myself, “Man, I’d rather be partners with Jay than more than half the guys here, and it’s not close.”

6 Ayanna vs. Kam

After hearing the rumors that Ayanna was saying that Kam & Leroy needed to get targeted, Kam confronted Ayanna. Kam went at Ayanna directly and stood firm in a way Janelle was unwilling to. In turn, we saw Ayanna loudly try to deflect, play victim, and try to paint Kam as an aggressor. Getting into any verbal confrontation with Ayanna is tough because she will go low, she will play dirty, and will selectively hear whatever she needs to assert a narrative that she believes in. Ayanna referencing Jasmine’s divorce during the middle of their debacle was a prime example of her getting caught red-handed in a lie and trying to distract the crowd. Her tears on the balcony with Tina &Rachel consoling her was exactly what she said Janelle was trying to do last week.

Of course, Ayanna swearing on her kids’ lives… was a tough moment to watch… Except I don’t think Ayanna even knows she was lying because she lives in her own delusional world.

Overall, Kam did a decent job confronting Ayanna. She wasn’t a pushover, yet she also didn’t stoop to her level.

5 Rachel & Cara “Alliance”

Rachel is in a curious position in this game. While she has Veronica & Tina as her alliance, they might be more of a liability to her game. Tina has finished in the bottom in all three daily challenges, while Veronica has been in it 2/3 times. Their numbers don’t mean anything if they’re not even getting a vote as part of the middle group. On top of all that, men are unlikely to be as friendly with Rachel as they have been in past seasons, as there’s only one winner. Typically, the men want to keep Rachel in the game in case they have to work with a partner in the Final. In a game where only one person can win and when Rachel has crossed a finish line before men in a Final (including Brad, who is here), they’ll feel no guilt tossing her into elimination.

Which is why Cara Maria reaching out to Rachel is crucial. Despite being each other’s biggest hurdle to victory, as long as the other exists in the game, they both avoid being the biggest obvious target. Additionally, if they win stuff, they can look out for each other, something they each need. As we know, Rachel’s alliance isn’t likely to win much, and Cara seems to be playing her own game. Yet again, I found myself impressed by Cara because her proactiveness in seeking out Rachel and saying that Star holders should look out for each other is the type of smart gameplay that Cara’s always lacked. Cara’s playing a selfish game in the best way possible — she’s making moves with whoever will further her chances of winning and is relying on herself. Johnny Bananas talked shit on the Vacation Alliance as a podcaster, and then on Ride or Dies, he was a boring Vacation Alliancer. Cara is walking the walk; she is not playing a Vacation Alliance game, she is not playing a Paulie & Cara game, and she is playing a purely individual Cara Maria game.

4 Meeting of the OG’s

Watching the conversation between Syrus and Kefla was a fun, wholesome moment. It was the opposite of all the toxicity we’ve dealt with via the Laurel & Nicole and Ayanna storylines. Kefla was the first black male Champion in Challenge history and Syrus is the first black Real World male Champion. In terms of Reality History, these are two historic humans competing on this show in 2024 in a way they never thought they’d be doing 25 years ago.

With Kefla having the least connections and Syrus coming in late, they knew they were going on and were at peace with it — respect to each of them.

3 Cara’s “Controversial” Vote

Before the vote, we got a confessional from Ayanna saying she had real friends in this game, not social media friends or pregame alliance friends. When it came to the vote, people explicitly announced they would not be voting in their friends like Rachel or Flora, etc. Nobody went to bat for Ayanna; everyone in the house threw a vote on her, and to me, that says what you need to know.

Hell, the fact that so many people voted for Rachel is a testament to how much people wanted Ayanna gone because they knew she had a good shot of beating Veronica, Flora, or Tina in any elimination. So Rachel had to be the one to do the deed. As Kam said before the deliberation, that’s precisely what she wanted, and most people went along with it.

Except Cara, who remained loyal to her deal with Rachel, didn’t go with what Kam wanted. This led to an issue between them, where I think Kam overreacted to Cara making a pure game move for herself. At the same time, Kam has been friends with Cara for years, and together with Paulie, they ran War of the Worlds 2. It’s such an early vote in the season that for Kam, Cara going with the majority felt like a no-brainer. There are more layers to the story where I believe Kam was somewhat looking for a riff to find a reason to target Cara as there can only be one winner, and Cara’s clearly the biggest overall threat right now. Not to mention, Kam & Leroy are a unit, and Cara has a history of leaving her friend Leroy out to dry. On Vendettas, Cara saved Kyle over Leroy for the final elimination. More notably, though, Cara was friends with Camila after Dirty 30, only ditching her when Camila got officially banned (there was also a rumor that they made a deal to split the 1st Place winnings, which Camila didn’t do, leading to the end of their friendship).

Again, there are so many layers to all of this, and we’re still only seeing part of the picture.

2 Kefla vs. Syrus

We got a physical elimination between two contestants who are a combined 101 years old. That’s fucking crazy and why I love The Challenge.

When Kefla was last on The Challenge, we were still multiple seasons away from eliminations even existing. It’s so cool to see him go into an elimination for the first time at 49 years old and crush it. The cramp-up and hump immediately after his win was also hysterical and relatable. Kefla seems like the coolest dude on earth, and him being completely unafraid of stealing Brad’s Star because Brad is the biggest threat was awesome.

Brad took it well and smartly mentioned that having a Star right now might not be the best for his game.

1 Rachel vs. Ayanna

With all the controversy surrounding Ayanna, it’s easy to forget that she’s a former collegiate athlete. On All Stars 2, even when she was out of shape, her athleticism shined in short-distance events, which is why she was able to give Rachel a run for her money to start.

Rachel got caught by surprise by Ayanna’s natural strength and had to dig deep. Ayanna’s biggest downfall was Ayanna’s antics in the elimination. While her calling out Kam from the crowd & chanting her kid’s names made for a more dramatic performance, I can’t help thinking that the energy she was expensing should’ve been more focused on her breathing for endurance and figuring out an actual strategy. It pissed me off watching Ayanna because she was tackling the ball high, where if she got low for leverage, she could have put her strong legs into the ball and gained momentum. Rachel won the elimination because she’s one of the fittest women on the planet, but she also played smart — she got low and tired Ayanna out.

I’m not saying that Ayanna would have won with a better strategy, but it could have been a much closer match. From here, I want to wish Ayanna the best on her recovery. My heart goes out to her and her family.

Now, Rachel’s choice to shift Tina’s Star to Veronica was a perfectly safe move. Kam’s statement that it’s a scared game is misguided. Rachel and her alliance already made a move against Averey last week; making a move against Cara would then put two of the strongest girls in the house against them. Rachel doesn’t need enemies when everyone already thinks she’s one of the biggest threats.



Allan Aguirre

28 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.