The Challenge All Stars Episode 3 Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways
Episode 3 of the Challenge All Stars is in the books, you have likely watched it and have some thoughts. It was another fantastic episode and I am here to break down some of the biggest storylines, moments, and production choices.
10 Real World Hawaii Lives
The Real World Hawaii came out in 1999, and in the first episode of that season, Teck Holmes and Ruthie Alcaide made a literal splash by jumping into the house pool naked. Fast-forward to 2021, and they are opening Episode 3 of the Challenge All Stars with Teck and Ruthie dipping into the lake naked. The Challenge All Stars embraces the past in a way that rewards long-time fans and makes newer fans want to rewatch old seasons; sadly, neither Real World Hawaii nor Challenge 2000 (Teck’s original seasons exist on Paramount Plus).
As someone who did not get into reality television until the mid 2010s, there was a sitcom over a decade ago (I think How I Met Your Mouther) that once had a joke about how Hawaii was the turning point in Real World where people stopped having jobs and social consciences. It is a hilarious reference looking back as modern Challenge fans always talk about where the franchise/universe went wrong. First, it was the cancelation of Road Rules, then it was Real World having weird twists, then it was Are You The One? joining the Challenge, and now it’s about how Big Brother is ruining the show. The Challenge never dies; it simply evolves, whether it be for better or worse. In ten years, fans will be hyped to watch Kyle Christie and Da’Vonne Rogers on Challenge All Stars Season 13.
9 Best Friends Beth and Syrus
Beth and Syrus were the older people in the Challenge house back in the early ’00s, so for these lifelong friends to be competing together in their late 40's/early 50’s is super cool. Watching them talk about the players in the house they like was so simple yet so fun. What I found exceptionally interesting was Beth referring to Jemmye as a daughter for her, and when I interviewed Beth before the season, she mentioned how she is old enough to be Jemmye & Jonna’s mom!
It is an incredibly fascinating bond as Beth, in one of the preview clips for this season, said Jemmye was one of the people she was least excited to see this season, and we know those got recorded after the filming for All Stars was over. Was this Beth misdirecting us, or is Jemmye going to stab her mom in the back?
8 Jemmye & Nehemiah Sitting in a Tree
I just realized while writing this recap that Beth is calling Jemmye her daughter, Nehemiah is her former cuddle buddy and Tenderoni, and now, Nehemiah and Jemmye are hooking up. That’s all types of weird — it gives me the same vibes as Jasmine calling Tyrie a big brother after hooking up with him on Rivals 1.
It is a hookup that makes sense for each other’s games. Nehemiah does not enjoy playing politics, and Jemmye likes to talk about how she’s a master politician.
7 Ice Breakers
If MTV wanted these players to break this ice with their bodies, they should have made this a two-team challenge and given them a thinner block of ice. When they did this daily challenge on Battle of the Sexes 2, it was 15 players versus 15 players, not five teams of four. Even with it being 15 on 15, it took a hell of a long time. Nonetheless, we got some fascinating and intimate looks of certain players as they did whatever they could to make a dent in the ice. Mark and Beth made a sandwich that Jemmye referred to as watching her mom and dad have sex. Arissa tried to call on mother nature to bring out stronger sunlight to melt the ice — to which Teck, completely respectful of Arissa’s spirituality, noted that she probably should have put out those vibes before the daily challenge started. There were also players who quite literally peed on the ice.
Other intriguing images included Aneesa very lazily riding directly on top of Laterrian. Katie, Nehemiah, and Jisela had a triple sandwich that was very ineffective, although I do commend them for being on top of each other’s backs rather than the straddling we saw with Aneesa and LT. Not going to lie; KellyAnne looked like an absolute pro grinding the ice. If OnlyFans existed in 2009, KellyAnne would have cleaned the fuck up, like multiple millions annually (she probably would still do well now). Her politely thirsting after Married Father Alton was hilarious.
6 Hammer Time
TJ put a kybosh on all the grinding, humping, bumping, and peeing and gave the players hammers to break the ice. The only caveat was if the players broke the shields they were trying to get in the ice for, they would get a time penalty. Players then had to take those shields that had Challenge seasons on them and put them in chronological order. Mark/Beth/Jemmye/Alton was the first group to finish as Jemmye is a massive superfan and knows the seasons like the back of her hand. However, due to some shield breaks, the second team to finish, Darrell/Kendal/KellyAnne/Syrus, got the win, and Darrell smartly memorized the order of all the seasons before he left to film All Stars. The team captains won immunity and the lifesaver, respectively, Darrell and Kendal.
The team of Teck/Ruthie/Arissa/Yes not coming in last place was maybe the most impressive feat as Ruthie was the only one in the bunch to appear in anything after the 9th season of the Challenge. Katie/Nehemiah/Big Easy/Jisela came in last place, and as team captain, Nehemiah got directly sent in, which is bad luck for someone who had been the best male performer thus far.
5 A Night Out!!!
Holy crap, we got to see actual Challenge competitors go to a bar and restaurant. I have not been to a bar since January of 2020. This pandemic has taught me that drinking alone at home can get depressing quickly, so much so that you need a drink so that you aren’t alone with your depression. While the world is definitely not normal again yet and won’t be quite a bit of time, getting to watch these people enjoy nightlife makes me optimistic I will be able to again soon (I even got my first vaccination this week!).
This scene also made me realize I hate the party igloo from Double Agents. The igloo was a cute choice by production to allow the players to drink and party as if a pandemic is not impacting the world — at the same time, the igloo is also one big reminder that the world is a bit fucked up, and I watch this comfort show as an escape. Thank you, Challenge All Stars.
4 Kendal’s Lifesaver
Kendal wants to play the game, compete in the challenges, and experience every aspect of the show. She is dealing with the fact that in a Challenge house when one or two players decide they do not like you, their distaste will snowball into hate, and that snowball may cling onto other people, and once that happens, you are stuck playing a role you probably do not deserve.
Her experience thus far on All Stars has been rocky. She is public enemy #1 after only a week, and the fact she won the lifesaver did not make her game easier. At the bar, different players pitched the idea for Kendal to use it. Players were lobbying her to save Teck, and Jemmye was pitching for Kendal to throw down Big Easy. We know from Kendal’s preseason video that she’s not a fan of Big Easy. Had Teck not volunteered for the elimination and had Nehemiah (the person who could have saved her last week with the lifesaver) not been the other person in elimination, I think Kendal would have used it to shake up the game.
3 Ruthie vs. Aneesa
This was one of the first times all season where I was not too fond of the editing. The Ruthie/Aneesa fight was rushed and not built up in a way that made coherent sense. It made more sense than most Double Agents arguments, and they even included a flashback to the Duel 2 of Ruthie & Aneesa, yet, I can’t help feeling wanting more. During their fight, Ruthie had a telling confessional about how Aneesa is someone who will ignore you/talk over you when in a group conversation. Amber Martinez and Gabby Allen on Double Agents had the same issue with Aneesa (and her BFF Tori), and that’s why they threw her into elimination. When you have a 44-year-old woman and a 24-year-old woman saying the same thing about a person, you begin to realize that the person in question might be the issue.
Jonna also wins the award for mom of the year award for being there for Ruthie as open arms to hug and comfort her.
2 Scorching Hot Elimination
Teck and Nehemiah competed in a very cool altered wrecking-wall type elimination. Before they got to break down some wall panels, they had to eat some Carolina Reaper chilis, which must have been hell-like. As a millennial, I have a vast amount of experience watching videos of people eat hot foods, and whenever people eat Reapers, they usually have milk and white bread on standby for the cool down. Nehemiah and Teck had to take down two of them raw and then run, climb, and break panels.
Both players kicked ass in this elimination; Nehemiah was quicker on his feet, while Teck had the height and reach advantages for the highest panels. In the end, it came down to a dead-sprint in which Teck threw a courageous leap at the last second; unfortunately for him, Nehemiah still pulled out the win. This elimination was a lose-lose scenario. Teck is the best confessional in the entire house, and losing him right now is gutting. Meanwhile, Nehemiah has a hookup going on and has a legitimate shot at winning this season. In all honesty, I can’t believe that Nehemiah is not on the cast for Season 37 of the Challenge; after watching All Stars, I feel he could bring something to the table.
Teck’s 3 episode return after a twenty-year lay-off is iconic. If Paramount chooses to invest in more content, Teck is someone I would enjoy seeing as a host or judge.
1 Overall Episode Grade
Another 10/10 episode. The ice challenge was super fun to watch, even if production had to bring out hammers. The music choices were fantastic again, and we got some partying, hookups, and a fight! I will say again this week, I am getting nervous that we will get an awful purge at some point, as we have 6 episodes left, 19 players are still around, and there is only going to be one winner. The main Challenge seasons have taught me to expect the worst when in reality, I should just be enjoying the greatness we have in front of us. Also, if you want some basic information on the Challenge Season 37 cast, check my video at the bottom of this article.