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

Allan Aguirre
11 min readApr 25, 2024

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Episode 4 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 4th episode.

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

10 All Tied Up

The daily challenge rocked. It paid homage to a daily challenge from the past, required actual teamwork, communication, a strategy, simultaneously needed both patience & speed, and it felt like anyone could win.

The Cara/Ace/Flora/Veronica/Brad team struggled because they lacked a true leader or strategy. Veronica and Flora weren’t moving well at all, either.

The team of Adam/Rachel/Kefla/Leroy/Nicole sucked because you had too many people trying to take the lead without communicating. Specifically, Adam and Nicole were massive nuisances to their teams. I would honestly unhook myself off the moving semi-truck if I had to listen to Nicole’s voice yelling me at from that close up.

While the grouping of Jay/Averey/Brandon/Jasmine/Tina looked mediocre on paper, they worked and communicated well. Averey, Brandon, and Jay have consistently been solid in these daily challenges.

The Laurel/Kam/Ryan/Derek/Steve grouping crushed it. I’m giving 30% of the credit to Kam for being a good communicator & mind, and then 70% to Laurel for taking charge as a captain and figuring out how to tackle the daily challenge. This daily challenge specifically was a great reminder of why Laurel is one of the best competitors this show has ever seen. When it comes to these carnival game challenges that take problem-solves, Laurel figures out a strategy and takes them apart with ease. In the two big team daily challenges this season, Laurel has carried her teams to victories in truly impressive fashion. It was awesome to see this version of Laurel because, if we’re being honest, we’ve not seen her be a true high-level competitor since Invasion. Unfortunately, the version of Laurel we saw after the daily challenge was highly disappointing.

9 Laurel & Nicole’s Toxic Tornado

If you look at Laurel’s showmance history on The Challenge; besides Horacio, she is consistently attracted to the most self-absorbed and egotistical people the show has ever seen: Kenny, Jordan, Bear, Fessy, and Nicole. Why does that matter? Well, because something I know as a certainty is that Laurel is always a competitor at all times in every regard of life. And when it comes to relationships, the highest level of competition for Laurel is to earn the attention of someone who only cares about themselves. Which is why she’s back on this Nicole train yet again.

Meanwhile, Nicole treats relationships and partners the same way a bratty child treats their toys. If they see something shiny and impressive, they get excited and do whatever it takes to have it, then they break it or drop it the second they’re bored. They might pick up the toy again if there’s an upgrade or if, for some reason, it provides value. Well, after Laurel’s dominant daily challenge performance, she had the new toy look again.

The toxic cycle between them is in full form.

8 The Two Sides of Kam Williams

Right now, there are two Kam’s playing the game. There is the calculated strategic game player we’ve seen on multiple seasons…and I think we’re currently seeing a really emotional person letting their feelings blend into the game.

Kam was heavily leaning on the Middle Group players to force a Rachel and Cara elimination because that is the best move on paper. That is the strategic Kam. We’re also seeing her relationship with Cara Maria become completely frayed, and Kam’s comments regarding Cara go deeper than the game itself. The stuff with Ayanna last week hurt Kam, and she’s not moving on from it.

I don’t blame Kam for being emotional — she’s going through so much being away from her child, still pumping milk, and then competing & socializing on this show. She is giving it 110%. Although I don’t agree with all of Kam’s thoughts and moves right now, I respect her and am intrigued to see whether a more emotional game may prove fruitful, where playing high-risk can lead to a high reward for her or Leroy.

7 Taking A Big Swing

The point of the game is to win, and only one person can win in this format. With Rachel & Cara both being eligible for elimination, I love Brandon, Averey, and Jasmine not being afraid to take a big swing. Brandon said it multiple times in confessionals — between him & Cara in any Final, Cara is likely winning. Now, Brandon likely should have given Cara a stronger indication before the vote that it would be her and Rachel. Then again, had he told her, there’s a possibility he could’ve gotten convinced not to make the move.

This vote makes sense for Jasmine and gives her a sense of importance as she gets to say the names of strong players who will get her more camera time.

Averey is the biggest winner of the vote as she needs to find a way to earn and maintain a Star, and it will be much easier to do so with one of the biggest threats out of the game.

6 Is Jay a Chicken or an Opportunist?

While everyone else was excited to throw Cara into elimination as she’s their biggest threat in the Final, Jay was unwilling to do so because he wanted her as an ally and was afraid of her becoming a foe.

Does this make Jay delusional or cowardly? Truthfully, it’s in line with the game he played on Exes 2, where he was coasting by as a lay-up while playing against elite competitors like Wes, Bananas, and Jordan. One would assume that if Jay actually wanted to win, he’d take a shot at Cara like everyone else.

At the same time…Jay going against the grain by not voting for Cara shows some courage, loyalty, and free thinking. Jay needs a Star to make the Final, and even though he’s performed well in daily challenges, his skill set is not the most tailor-made for eliminations. I think Jay knows his limitations, and because of that, loyalty to someone like Cara could be his best chance to get a Star/make the Final. Cara is likely to see many eliminations this season, and if she already has a Star, she might remember his vote and gift one to him. Is that likely to happen? No. However, I have to give credit to Jay for trying to play the game from all angles.

The fact I have to talk about Jay as a serious competitor on this show is something I never expected. Also, his streak of never finishing in the bottom for a daily challenge is still intact…and he’s one of only two men to do so this season (the other is Brandon)!

5 Cara “Bananas” Maria

Cara’s gameplay this season has reminded me so much of Prime Johnny Bananas. Her pitch to Rachel last week about how Star holders should look out for another made me think of how Bananas would politic and manipulate people on seasons like Bloodlines and Rivals 3. Likewise, how Cara reacted to getting voted into elimination in this episode was the same type of fit that I’d expect from Johnny Bananas…Which bear with me…I thought it was good gameplay.

While Cara’s loud and sour reaction evoked a sense of entitlement, I feel as though her showing will intimidate some of the weaker-minded players, created healthy lines of division politically, and showed everyone that Cara won’t be a pushover in this game. At the very least, Cara knew what she was doing would make her the star of the show. There’s a method to the madness.

Overall, Cara’s game has a healthy selfishness that I wish everyone played with. I did want to note as well that this was the first time Cara had been voted into elimination since Final Reckoning, and she had only got voted in once in her last five seasons!! She hasn’t dealt with the feeling of getting thrown into elimination in a long time.

4 Tina, Tina, Tina

First off, there was absolutely zero reason for Tina to vote for Rachel during the deliberation. She could have easily burned her votes on Nicole & Flora and avoided voting for any of Rachel, Veronica, and Cara like the majority. Although Tina’s vote did not matter, I completely get why Rachel got pissed that a lifelong friend said her name.

That said, this episode will be tough for Tina to watch at home. We watched Rachel and Ryan laugh at her for finishing in the bottom of three straight daily challenges. Then we had confessionals from Veronica and Rachel in which they completely dogged her gameplay, called her dumb, and just did not respect her in any way. Tina feels like the jester/punching bag of their alliance. After this episode, I’m unsure if I’ll ever look at the “Mean Girls” trio the same way again.

3 Worst Elimination Ever

I would say that forcing two of the strongest physical female competitors in Challenge history, who are facing off in a potentially once-in-a-lifetime elimination matchup, to play one of the jankiest carnival game eliminations we’ve ever seen is completely unimaginable. Then I remember, oh wait, we just went through Season 39, where mercenaries like CT, Laurel, and Darrell weren’t allowed to get physical…and then I also remembered production has fucked up this badly with big elimination matchups in the past. The big one being Wes vs. Bananas… Which they fucked up by having them face-off in a Carnival Game or Game of Luck…not once…but twice!

Whether it had been Pole Wrestle, Balls In, Spli-Splunk, Knot So Fast, or a Hall Brawl, Cara vs. Rachel had the makings for one of the greatest eliminations ever. Instead, we got a game that made two of the strongest women this show has ever seen look like clowns. I’m cool with fun carnival game eliminations, just not when you get a special matchup between two icons like this one.

2 Cara vs. Rachel

The actual elimination between Cara and Rachel was reminiscent of Nelson vs. Cory on Vendettas. Two physical beasts who were out of their depth in a carnival game that wasn’t particularly easy due to the way production designed the elimination. While Cara & Rachel’s throwing skills were poor, the ax/throwing star they were tossing was so weirdly shaped that it wasn’t easy to pick up.

Cara got the win, and she technically made 4 hits on the board compared to Rachel’s 1 . The only reason it ended up close was that she hilariously hit her own target.

We waited over a decade for Rachel Robinson’s return to The Challenge, so to see her go out on an elimination like this feels dirty. Between her and Cara, though, I am glad that Cara is staying because Cara is bringing more entertainment-wise and has impressed me more in the daily challenges.

1 Cara “gifting” Jasmine a Star

Even though I’m not ready to call Cara giving Jasmine a Star a genius move, Kam calling it a poor strategic play comes from pure emotion and haterade. Cara giving it to a strong player doesn’t make sense because if that strong player wins the daily challenge, they can’t get their Star stolen, but Cara’s can get taken. By having two weak players with Stars alongside her, Cara is less likely to get her Star stolen, as people won’t want to make her their enemy. Additionally, as Cara said, the house is clearly trying to set the strong players up against each other, and giving that person a Star will only give the house extra incentive.

At the end of the day, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cara from here on out. Both men and women are targeting her as the biggest threat in the game, where if Cara can fight and claw her way to that Final, this will be her best season to date. Her giving the Star to Jasmine was an outside-the-box move, and I’m excited to see whether it will pay off.

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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.