The Challenge All Stars 4 Episodes 1 and 2 Super Recap: 15 Biggest Takeaways

Allan Aguirre
16 min readApr 11, 2024


The two-episode premiere 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 15 Biggest moments/takeaways from the two episodes.

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

15 The Vibes Are Immaculate

One of the best things about The All-Stars franchise is the comfort level while watching. These days, on the MTV version of the show, we get bombarded with faces and names we aren’t familiar with, some of which aren’t the most charismatic…and some don’t even have English as their first/second language.

On All Stars, almost every face that pops up on our screen is one we are familiar with, who knows how to talk on camera, and those we aren’t familiar with…are often pleasant surprises.

When discussing vibes, it must be hammered home that the soundtrack on these All-Star seasons elevates the show so much.

14 Game Format

If you read my blogs during Season 39, you’ll know I’m not a fan of 1-winner formats as it’s tough to create a truly equal game. Just have 1 male and 1 female winner. It’s not rocket science. I will say, if there is a season for a 1-winner format, this is the type of cast to do it with as the top of the female cast is overwhemingly stronger than the male side other than a few key players. Additionally, I think the format of this game/season is super fascinating and will allow for creative and unique gameplay.

The Stars twist is not perfect, and it does feel like the players who won them to begin the game are getting a bit punished as it puts an immediate target on their back. At the same time, the dynamic of finding ways to earn a Star, maintain it, and also sabotage others is deeply fascinating. While I’m typically not a fan of any format that pushes or requires players to go into elimination, I do think the potential chess maneuvers players can do if they win sets this season apart.

Something immediate that All Stars 4 gets right is that if you finish at the bottom during a daily challenge, you can get voted into elimination. Stakes matter, and now everyone must give 100% during every daily challenge to avoid elimination. Except there’s another wrinkle because…I do think that at a certain point…we might see players throwing the daily challenges to guarantee themselves a chance to compete in elimination for a Star. Likewise, you’ll have players with Stars giving 110% to win the daily to maintain their Stars, along with players winning to pick the best possible opponent to face in elimination. Hell, we might even see players with Stars volunteering themselves for elimination if they see a game in which they know for certain they can beat a specific opponent in.

Theoretically, if someone like Laurel already had a Star, then won the daily challenge, and then two players in elimination were Jasmine & Veronica when it was a Pole Wrestle…I think Laurel should take one of their spots to get the easy elimination win, where she could then take away a Star from one of the biggest house threats (Brad, Cara, Rachel) and give it to someone she thinks will be less of a threat in the Final. I don’t know if something like that will happen this season; it’s just an example of the gameplay we could see. If I were a woman in this game and I already had a Star, my biggest priority would be making sure Brad & Leroy don’t have Stars — likewise, if I were a man in this game, I’d be trying to make sure Cara, Laurel, and Rachel don’t either.

13 Prize Pool

250k dollars for one sole winner seems preposterously low for this day and age. The players did not seem impressed at all when TJ revealed the prize pool, and with them knowing that only 1 out of 24 people could win, some probably mentally checked out right there.

With how many seasons and spinoffs we’ve been getting, it makes sense that they can’t do a million dollars at the prize for every season, but a 300k dollar total prize pool is less than what was getting doled out a decade ago, and I think we all know that 300k dollars in 2024 is not what it is 2014.

12 Daily Challenge Thoughts & Losers

I thought the daily challenge was great because it was a healthy mix of endurance with a slight puzzle/mental aspect. It felt like it tested how much heart each player has and rewarded those with the best drive. Not to mention, there was an actual rhythm to figuring out which star/puzzle piece goes where that equalized the comp a bit. If it had been a pure foot race, people like Tony & Nicole probably would’ve been in the winner’s circle, but you needed some strategy!

Let’s talk about the losers. None of the female losers caught me by surprise. If you asked me which women in the house had the worst cardio, I’d say Jasmine, Veronica, Tina, and Flora. Tyri at the bottom was no shock either. It was hysterical hearing Tyri mention being a personal trainer and then dropping all the facets of fitness he’s improved on…except for cardio…which is such a big part of this game…Never change Tyri. While I like Derek, I wasn’t stunned to see him at the bottom.

I was shocked by Leroy and Steve at the bottom. Leroy is a big contender to win, and Steve is a smart guy who is coming into this season in much better shape.

11 Daily Challenge Winners & Standouts

When it came to the winners…Man, Cara fucking crushed the daily challenge. While other people were gassing out, it looked like Cara had an infinite gas tank. Cara put everyone in the game on notice as to why she’s regarded as one of the best to ever compete for a reason and should be looked at as the biggest threat to win, regardless of gender. Brad was the top guy, which I think would be expected after how he competed on All Stars 3.

Averey & Adam were the 2nd Place Men & Women; each was awesome for separate reasons. I’ve been clamoring online publicly for Averey’s return to The Challenge for 7 years based on her theortically and then once she got cast… I immediately got struck with fear that I might’ve hyped her up too much, and she might suck. Well, in the first daily, Averey came in 2nd among a very strong group of women! I was thoroughly impressed by Averey’s cardio, drive, and passion. Then you had Adam walk onto the show for the first time in roughly two decades and crush a daily physical challenge where he even said he had more left in the tank. What stood out about Adam in these two episodes is how he carries himself. Although Adam hasn’t competed in over a decade, he still thinks of himself as a top competitor and a real contender to win. Confidence is key, and to me, this win and the away Adam acts will attract allies, specifically strong ones. It might also put a target on his back, which, in my opinion, you’d rather get targeted for being strong than get thrown in as an outsider with no friends.

Rachel & Brandon came in 3rd. Everyone knows Rachel is a power player; her getting a Star early on feels right. Brandon, on the other hand, hasn’t had much individual/pair daily challenge success in his career, so watching him get a win here was nice.

10 KamRoy is Back

I was shocked when Leroy finished in the bottom group during the first daily, as when this cast dropped, I thought he was the male favorite to win. Luckily, he had Kam playing the social game hard and allies who had his back. Kam returning to the show so soon after giving birth and fully thrusting herself into the game is remarkable. Even more impressive is Kam’s awareness of adapting and focusing on the social/mental side now that she isn’t the same player she was physically pre-baby. I think we’ll see some high-level strategic gameplay from Kam, where I think she’ll go to extreme lengths, not for herself, but to further Leroy’s game, as I think he likely has a better shot at winning.

They’re a dynamic duo, and I’m glad to see them back. I also loved that Leroy crushed a bunch of math problems during the second daily challenge. On Double Agents, Leroy showed a crazy amount of improvement when it came to swimming & puzzles — if he continues to round out the other parts of his game, then he might finally become a Champion.

9 First Vote

Leroy wasn’t going to get voted in as nobody wanted to anger Kam, and he has longstanding relationships with so many people on this cast. Derek got saved because Ryan, Jasmine, and Averey stuck their necks out for him in the deliberation, which was sweet to see, as Derek is someone who always seems to draw the short end of the stick.

Unfortunately, for Steve and Tyri, they didn’t have people who could do the same for them.

Now, I will say that the concept of everyone in the middle group having to vote in 2 out of 4 and then later 2 out of 3 people into elimination excites me because players immediately got put in tough positions where they had to pick sides. Once the easy votes are out, this game will get messy. On top of that, as I noted in the game format section, there could end up being a politicking element where players will be campaigning to get voted in! At that point,

8 Steve vs. Tyri

Tyri has lost so many eliminations during his Challenge career, and I don’t think any has ever been as painful as this one. When he took a 3–5 ball lead on Steve, he and everyone in the crowd thought the elimination was his. Steve started slowly but then collected himself, played smart, and pulled out the win. It’s not that Tyri isn’t used to losing — it’s what he’s best at. It’s the fact that he had real optimism and hope that, finally, this was going to be his first win. So when Steve jumped out of the pool and saluted Tyri before placing the final ball, Tyri looked like a kid who just got pranked on Prom Night.

I think Steve is super charismatic and has the potential to shake things up; his staying is better for the game. Meanwhile, Tyri adds to his legacy as he’s now lost the first male elimination on four different seasons, and his elimination record is a pristine 0–6.

Steve took Brandon’s Star, which made sense as it was the move that would cause the fewest waves in the game.

7 Math is Harder For Some Than Others

Watching adults struggle with basic math is always good for a laugh. I didn’t mind it as the second daily challenge and must tip my hat to production for the very “random” teams. We got Laurel & Nicole paired together, friends like Derek & Ryan on a team, Kam & Leroy on a team, and so on.

The daily itself was fine. The Derek/Ryan/Jasmine/Janelle squad were clear losers, and Tina/Adam/Steve got hampered by being one person down (I think).

6 Jay Mitchell Challenge Beast

Jay lied about his last name and DJ career and was able to charm his way onto the Real World. He landed Jenna before even gaining Z-list Reality fame. On Exes 2, he got through all the daily challenges without coming in last, won the trivia comp, and made it to the Final. Look, I’m not calling Jay a genius, but he’s a half-decent con man, which has to count for something in a game like this, and today, he proved to be good with numbers. He and Laurel carried their team to victory.

I’ve had so much fun clowning on Jay over the last decade. However, he’s not wrong when he says he’s a better player than people realize. He’s still never finished last in any daily challenge, and now there are two daily challenge wins where he led his pair/team to victory!

There’s part of me cheering for Jay because I find it so funny that he’s actually back on the show. And also, there’s part of me waiting to see him cry, crumble, chicken out, and DQ in some comical fashion a second time.

5 Laurel & Nicole Trainwreck

I’ve always called Laurel one of/if not the most intimidating player(s) in Challenge history. Except when she’s around Nicole, Laurel goes into full-on panic mode. Nicole isn’t wrong when she says Laurel is obsessed with her. At the same time, Nicole knows how to keep Laurel on a string.

The scene with Nicole shaking her protein shake in the kitchen for seemingly forever while Laurel tried to eat her breakfast felt straight out of a sitcom. It was hilariously awkward yet clearly deliberate by both Nicole and production. Nicole exists in Laurel’s brain the same way the ice in that protein shake does when it rattles.

These two are so fucking messy and toxic for one another, and we are still barely scratching the surface so far.

4 Pot Stirring or Gaslighting?

When Janelle told everyone she wanted to get voted into elimination, she thought it would create the least drama possible. Janelle did not care if Jasmine or Tina got thrown in, as neither are significant elimination threats. Even if Laurel or Nicole volunteered themselves, Janelle (with Darrell) beat Jodi & Brad on All Stars 2, so she isn’t afraid of facing a beast.

The way Ayanna twisted her words was very unncessary this early in the game. Ayanna’s statement that you aren’t going to get something out of her without giving a little was absurd, considering Janelle wasn’t making some grand request. 2 out of 3 people had to get voted into elimination, and Janelle was one of the three — she was an option regardless, and Ayanna wasn’t a winner making an executive decision. Ayanna was one player in a large group of people who didn’t come in last! Her doing so much was ludicrous…and yet…if I said I wasn’t entertained… I’d be lying.

There were two versions of me watching this episode. The human in me felt like Janelle was getting done dirty (which she was), and the messy reality TV fan in me would nervously chuckle at the chaos of Ayanna dancing in the background of Janelle crying. It was a clusterfuck that had me glued to my TV.

3 Insane Ayanna Deliberation

Ayanna going on an hour-long speech when she was 1 vote out of 12 people during a group deliberation for the second elimination of the season might be the most self-important moment in Challenge history. And this is a show where Johnny Bananas would bring his bobbleheads of himself. The most incredible part of Ayanna’s speech was her constant contradictions to the point that Leroy, who was bored of his mind yet following every word she said, snapped because nothing of what she said made any sense.

Leroy is one of the most patient men in Challenge history — he endured the bullshit with Camila. So the fact he couldn’t sit there anymore and listen to Ayanna was very telling.

It was one of the most bizarre and entertaining deliberations I’ve ever watched. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh out loud multiple times during Ayanna’s speech.

2 The Mean Girls

All Stars 4 is the reunion of the Mean Girls: Rachel, Veronica, and Tina. It’s fantastic to see them all together on a Challenge season again. Truthfully, I fully expected these three to be running the house because they’re badass game players. So when Tina got voted in over Jasmine relatively easily… I was stunned.

They tried to strongarm Averey into voting on their side, threatening that Tina would steal her Star if Tina were to win the elimination. That didn’t work at all.

Even though Rachel is a clear threat in the house, it doesn’t feel like the Mean Girls have the sway and power that they used to. If anything, it feels like they have obvious targets on them — to which it doesn’t help that Tina’s finished in the bottom twice already, and Veronica has once.

1 Janelle “Quitting”

Straight up, I was told by mutliple sources a lot about what went down that did not get shown during this episode. I’m not going to say any of it because I was not there. However, I was told by enough people that I at least feel confident in saying that what was shown to us was 1/100th of the actual situation.

I don’t blame Janelle one bit for leaving, and if you’re reading this, don’t think of her as a quitter. There’s a reason people in the house were sad about it and why TJ didn’t say anything bad about her in the elimination arena.

With Laurel & Nicole declining to go into elimination, Tina got a free Star stealing opportunity and took Averey’s, which was expected. I don’t think Averey made the wrong choice by voting Tina into elimination as she made the vote thinking Tina would actually have to win an elimination to be able to steal the Star, rather than just being gifted it.

Well, we are two episodes down, and based on the trailers, things are going to escalate fast, so you better buckle up.



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.