The Challenge Ride or Dies Episode 2 Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways

The 2nd Episode of The Challenge Ride or Dies 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 second episode.


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

10 Nany Es Preparado Para Guerra

Nany comes in prepared for war. I went in expecting to hate her & Bananas’ introduction because I thought it was an unnecessary and unfair twist that they got to skip the opening daily. Throw that out the window because I fucking loved them opening the episode. The montage of them over the years, where we got to reminisce about seasons like Free Agents & Exes 2, felt like a reminder of why we’re Challenge fans. The show has a rich history, and Bananas & Nany are two significant figures in it. They put them on the pedestal to start.

Nany looked phenomenal in her confessional dress and was truly focused on the game. She saw Tori & Laurel, and it wasn’t “I’m happy to see you two”; it was “What are the alliances? What are we going to do?” Nany then talking about losing her mom and dedicating her season to her tore at my heartstrings. I’ve always been a Nany fan, but in recent years the concept of winning just felt less and less real; now I’m buying as much Nany stock as humanly possible because her winning after all this time would be a great story.

9 Wes Bergmann’s Pre-Gaming

While I’m a notorious Bananas hater, I’m so glad he’s back on this season because he feels like an old dance partner I’m comfortable. This season has so many new players and uncertain variables that having a big presence we can rely on to carry a storyline or give key confessionals is massive. It’s like the first day of school, and your mom buys you a Jansport backpack, just something simple and reliable that you know it will get good mileage.

What I wasn’t a fan of is Wes Bergmann’s heavy pre-gaming and relationship with Bananas seeping into this game where Devin is now Bananas’ #1 guy. These two had legitimate angst for the years, and the fact it got worked over off-camera is so unsatisfying. Not to mention, it puts Devin in a place where by aligning with Bananas, it now feels like Devin is a Bananas lackey, which is not a good place to be as Devin was climbing his way up the ladder to be a potential face of the franchise. Tony was in a similar boat on Final Reckoning following Vendettas.

8 Tori’s Refreshing Openess

Half Takeaway:

Tori openly talking about being on anti-depressants was so vulnerable, honest, and such an important Reality TV moment. If I hadn’t spent all my money buying Nany stock, I’d be spending on Tori. While Tori has always been a prominent character, she doesn’t reveal much about herself often, and a scene like this was refreshing.

7 Jay & Michele’s Playing The Middle or Getting Target On Both Sides?

Michele and Jay had a very split-tribe Survivor strategy where she should schmooze the vets, and he would work the rookies to ensure they wouldn’t get targeted on either side. Too bad Jay’s ties to Johnny were apparent to everyone; if anything, they opened themselves to be on the bottom of each side. I think these two had a good mindset; unfortunately, The Challenge is much more straightforward than Survivor, so overtly strategic gameplay usually doesn’t translate.

I love Michele, but it felt so awkward watching her somewhat misread her relationship relative to other people. So I genuinely believe that Nany LOVES Michele and considers her a good friend. However, Nany loves many people and has a more extended history with other people like Laurel, Tori, and Bananas; that’s not even taking into account people who were supposed to be in the house, such as Kailah and her literal girlfriend, Kaycee. It’s tough when you consider someone your best friend, and you’re not their best friend. I think we’ve all been there at some point in life — incredible work by the cameraman when Michele was crying to catch the tears falling out of her eyes.

6 Horacio and Olivia Are The Real Deal

Seeing Olivia & Horacio standing next to each other before the daily, you knew they would be a good team. They are physically stacked and look like they got cast to be the leads of an ABC Family show about two adopted siblings who went on to become collegiate track & field runners. Then you watch them compete, and Horacio was a fucking monster — TJ’s reaction spoke volumes. I haven’t seen TJ react to anyone like that since maybe Alton on The Gauntlet 2. It wasn’t just that Horacio was physically dominating; he was the first to go and immediately understood what to do in the strategy in terms of how to stand on the platform to give Olivia the best shot at landing.

Olivia being one of only four women to complete the jump is so impressive as the other three who did were all people who have been to multiple Finals. Olivia has so much personality and a real presence to her. She’s a star, and he’s a stud.

5.5 The Producers Won’t Get Off Nelson’s Neck

Two of Nelson’s biggest weaknesses are swimming and balance (heights). Going into this daily, Scuba Nelly knew he wasn’t going to win, so production asking him when the last time he won a daily was when he knew he wasn’t going win this one was cruel. I fully appreciate Nelson going out there and having fun, knowing it wouldn’t be his day.

5.25 Nam Out, Kaycee In

Nam did not supply MTV with a Ride or Die partner, so they gave him Emmy after her agent signed her up. Emmy did not know what the show was and decided to leave. I don’t feel bad for Nam at all. The good thing is he was silent, so we had the perfect pair to replace him; straight out of the Home Depot wallpaper department, it’s a 2-for-1 special on the Clark family.

5 The Daily Was Awesome

The daily was great because it had a high degree of difficulty, which made any team who accomplished it look strong. Horacio wrote up the blueprint, and almost every guy didn’t pick up from it, except for the veterans: Tori & Devin and Bananas & Nany. Then to no surprise, Kaycee & Kenny could do it because she’s historically one of the best daily competitors ever.

Bananas & Nany getting the win was rad — coincidentally, they also won the second daily challenge of Exes 2. Strategically, they went after Johnny after his move last week and put his two friends up (Jay & Horacio), along with Turbo…

4 Turbo Stinks

On War of the Worlds, Turbo called Nany “mom” not because he loved, but because it was he needed to get babied like a child. When Nany speaks to him like an adult, he throws a hissy fit. All he needed to tell Nany was, “No, I don’t want to go into elimination,” and he’d be fine. Instead, he played victim, hoping Nany would baby him, and if she didn’t, he’d play the aggressor.

When someone like Nurys was commenting on how angry Turbo was to everyone says a lot; based on what I’ve heard, we are seeing “The Good Side.” Tamara’s body language next to him the entire episode wasn’t great either. Nany didn’t throw him into elimination; he did.

3 Laurel’s Elite Exes Group

Laurel is a sneaky hookup Queen. She’s had a showmance or hookup five seasons in a row and it’s a stacked group of athletes: Jordan, CT, Nicole Z, and now Horacio.

Olivia’s reaction to Laurel making a move on her partner was perfection.

2.5 Jay keeps his boy safe

Michele wanted to go after Johnny to appease the vets, and the moment Jay showed doubt, she tried to twist the knife. She pulled a very Survivor move. Jay stood firm in the end, and I think he made a good point saying that if he turned against his #1, nobody would trust him going forward in this game or future seasons.

2 Turbo got his wish

On that boat, Turbo said he would see them all in the arena, and he got his wish as everyone and their mom was working against him in their elimination against Horacio & Olivia.

The crowd interfering and affecting eliminations has always been part of The Challenge, and I’m accustomed to it at this point. It’s not the first time, and it was probably the most overwhelming there’s been in a while. Ultimately, there is a social game element, and Turbo got on the bad side of everyone. Had Turbo been quiet and randomly ended up in this same match-up, Nany would have had her friends on his side helping him out. Simple life rule: Don’t be a dick.

1 Jordan’s Here

Jordan was a hell of a “surprise” to end the episode. What I don’t understand is why they are bringing out Aneesa after him… Feel like it would have been a bigger shock had he come out second. Idk.



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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.