The Challenge Ride or Dies Official Trailer Breakdown
I will be breaking down the Trailer of the Challenge Ride or Dies as I do every season. There are no spoilers in this article that you won’t figure out by watching the trailer super slowly. YES, there are spoilers, but they are spoilers via inference and analysis. Essentially, if I see something with my eyes, I’m going to point it out. Above is the trailer in video form.
The trailer opens with a shadowed outline of TJ walking superimposed across a group shot of players walking to a daily challenge with a sunset behind them. They wanted it look cool, but all I can think is of the Elmo Bomb reaction meme.
They jump right into the action with an extreme-looking daily challenge. There is a semi-truck with a platform where one player jumps off onto moving cars driving alongside them. Meanwhile, their teammates start the challenge inside one of the cars and have to work their way up to the roof via the window. From there, they either complete the challenge once they meet up, or there is an additional checkpoint they have to do together. It looks hardcore.
Based on the hair/body types, I believe it is rookies Horacio Gutierrez and Olivia competing.
I’m going to pull all these generic screens of text together. TJ and the trailers tell you this game is a Ride or Die (co-ed allies) theme. They play up the friendships, the love, and potential tension & heartbreak.
We get a shot of TJ and some of the pairs displaying camaraderie. Rookies Johnny & Ravyn flex their guns, rookie Jakk Maddox put his shoulder over the legendary Laurel, and then OGs Darrell & Veronica hit a fist bump. I love the purple color on the logo/jersey names because purple is my favorite.
Nothing better than a classic trailer shot of a mass of players walking towards a daily challenge with no other context clues.
Then we get an actual action shot of a player running and leaping off a platform/beam over heights towards their partner, who looks to be dropping down to catch them before they fall. It seems like a more difficult version of the opening challenge from Rivals 2. When you look at the close-up shot, it is Fessy and his rookie partner, Moriah, competing. It looks like she hits him low; not sure whether he will be able to hoist her up before she slips.
Horacio embraces Olivia with a big hug. That’s two decent looks at them before we are even twenty seconds into the trailer!!!
The Bird family pops up as they’ve chosen to nest in Argentina for a couple of months. Kailah is coming off a strong All-Stars 3 season, and now she gets to compete with her husband!
Coming off back-to-back Final appearances, Nany is excited to have 7x Champ Johnny Bananas as her partner again. While they didn’t win the last time they were partners, they proved to be a strong duo winning four exiles to re-enter the game and came up one elimination short of the Final. Looking at this cast, I don’t think there’s a pair as strong as Jordan & Sarah or Wes & Theresa, so Nany & Bananas should have more clear sailing this time around.
Laurel has a confessional here saying: “Not Bananas & Nany!” with a joyful tone of slight shock because Bananas & Nany get brought in after the first elimination as a mercenary-type surprise. Usually, I wouldn’t reveal something like this in my trailer breakdown, except you know from watching this trailer that Bananas & Nany will be on this season together and how it gets portrayed in this trailer is simply confusing.
TJ welcomes us to The Challenge Ride or Dies. We get a night-time panned-out shot of what might be the external view of the elimination arena, which seems to be a mini-dome built inside the middle of a grass field.
Then we see maybe the most unnecessary explosion ever as a bus driving 12 miles an hour dings a car that wasn’t even moving. Why would that even explode? To distract us from wondering why that exploded, they flicker the screen on and off as Big Brother rookie Tommy does some crowd surfing during the opening night house party.
Insert: Corny Nelly T confessional saying: “The game has begun!”
Back to the action, there is Go-Pro/Helmet Cam footage of a player jumping & swinging with a rope off a tilted storage container towards a platform about 10–20 feet over the water. We saw a similar challenge during The Challenge USA, and a bit reminiscent of the final purge from War of the Worlds 1. It does not look like the player is going to make the dismount.
Players race into a mud/tar pit filled with balls. If I had to guess, these balls have numbers or letters on them. The players likely have to decode or spell something because, typically, they wouldn’t let both men and women into a pit where they might have to get extra physical.
They give us a healthy few seconds of Survivor duo Jay & Michele. Jay is back after getting left off SLA, and Michele is looking to improve upon last season. While they might be a bit undersized, Jay & Michele should be a killer duo in any comp that requires swimming, puzzles, or balance. In a combo confessional, Michele says not only does she want the win for herself, but for Jay too. Not only are they friends, Jay & Michele dated for a bit, and looked to be quite close in the trailers.
The combo confessionals are cute.
There is a zoomed-out shot of a helicopter flying over water as six players hold onto ropes attached to a helicopter waiting for the right moment to drop for a swimming challenge. We see Amber’s boyfriend Chauncey and, I believe, Nelson dropping into the water.
They give us shots of different pairs. We see Fessy embrace Moriah, and I have to say, Fessy is looking significantly slimmed down. It seems as though Fessy has been training and prepping his body to be more ready to take on a Final. Don’t get it twisted; Fessy is still a big dude. However, this shift in body type shows a direct interest in Finals performances, and I have to say, Fessy and his partner look like a fierce duo. Maybe even the favorites.
Nurys Mateo gets a solo confessional sound byte saying: “You’re not really here for yourself; you’re a 2-for-1 package the entire time.” I gotta say, Nurys looks stunning. We see Amber & her boyfriend Chauncey together, and then we get a look at Turbo & his partner Tamara under what looks like elimination lighting. First off, we have never seen Turbo compete in elimination, so that is something new and unique. Second, They might need security ready on standby if anyone eliminations him and dares to copy his walk. Third, the word on the street is Tamara ghosted/ditched her real-life boyfriend of multiple years to do this show as Turbo’s significant other/GF. If true, that’s fucking crazy.
Another look at Olivia & Horcio! This time it’s in the elimination arena. Olivia is spinning as her body is attached to the outside of a wheel. Then we see Horacio running/pushing the inside of a human hamster wheel. Suppose I had to guess what they were doing: Olivia is likely the “eyes” of the operation directing Horacio on where to go as she memorizes patterns or they go through an obstacle course.
Technically back for his third season, Nam Vo tells us that he and rookie partner Emy Russ will be sticking to each other like glue. I heard these two didn’t even know each other before filming. Nam is a nice guy, and Emmy looks gorgeous; I just can’t get behind this casting when there are so many viable options out there.
We might have some editing magic going on here. There is a dramatic shot of Nelson staring at someone, and then they show rookie Olivia saying: “You think people in here are going to have your back? And now you know even I don’t have your back.” The way this got edited, I don’t know if these are the two people conversing. My guess is Olivia is talking to Johnny Middlebrooks, the only other rookie to come from Love Island, and that would make great sense considering the context of the conversation. We rarely see Nelson talk game or strategy with female competitors unless it’s asking them to join his 8000-person alliance or angrily yelling at them.
Things then heat up a bit. We see an angry Tori ask Jordan at the bar: “Are you serious?” What could they be arguing about? Maybe Tori discovered that Jordan hooked up with a girl while that girl wore Tori’s lingerie? Just kidding, no reality star would ever wear the lingerie of a person’s ex as they hooked up with them.
In all seriousness, I think there are two possible scenarios. Either Jordan was playing with the idea of throwing Tori into elimination, or she got mad at him for flirting/laying it on thick with another competitor in public right in Tori’s face. Even though Tori & Jordan split up, that was probably against their personal ground rules they made coming into this show. Jordan should have remained respectful and taken that person on vacation with Fessy.
Laurel rejects a hug from Moriah following what is probably a heated daily challenge based on Laurel’s tone/body language. Very glad to have Laurel back on The Challenge. We missed her.
Long-time best friends Jordan & Aneesa shockingly bickering before a daily challenge. Crazy as there’s never been any animosity between these two ever before.
There is a clip of Bananas saying, “well, that went well,” to Nany as they sit behind a table in what looks to be an interrogation-type room similar to Total Madness/Vendettas. I’m assuming they won the daily challenge and are interviewing teams as to why they should/shouldn’t go into elimination.
We get more TJ Lavin as he says: “Everyone knows how I feel about quitters.” He says that as it’s implied somebody chose to exit/quit the game. I must note, we have had an aggressive amount of quitting/DQs in recent seasons.
Then we see a daily challenge where players are trying to traverse what looks like a small bridge over water from one platform to another. Players seems to be coming from opposite sides. One player fails and plummets to their impending doom.
As TJ says the word quitters, we see Horacio emotionally hurl tires to the ground that he and Olivia are supposed to carry in what looks to be a mini-final type challenge. The tires have the names of major cities on them (Bangkok, Los Angeles, etc.). Once the players transfer all the tires, they probably have to organize them based on East to West direction or population or something.
My heart drops for a second because we see Nany in a neck brace. I go from hype to worried an anxious at the drop of a hat.
We see Jakk attempt the rope swing challenge from earlier in the trailer and take one of the nastiest falls ever as he smashes into the platform knocking himself head first towards the water at full speed. Even crazier is they show the crowd’s reaction to Jakk’s fall, and guess what? He’s also part of the crowd!
Which means there’s at least one other crazy ridiculous fall that happens during this daily challenge!
TJ follows up his quitters’ statement by saying: “Should have chosen a better Ride or Die. Take care. Hope to see you never!” Jay, Michele, Fessy, Nany, Nelson, and the entire crowd look stunned by TJ’s dismissal of a player. Wicked.
Besties Jordan & Aneesa get grooving in a couple of daily challenges. We see them carrying a big barrel together in what looks like a mini Final. Then there is a nighttime heights challenge where they have to balance together across a beam on top of a skyscraper, with one player having to walk backwards. Honestly, I’d be shitting bricks if I had to compete in something like this.
Nurys gets some shine. They show us her making out with Johnny inside the house’s luggage room. The two are long-time friends and seem to be having a great time. Nurys gets shown to be doing a fine job alongside her ex-boyfriend Nelson in the same mini-final tire challenge where Horacio/Olivia had issues. She had to wait 5 years after her original AYTO season to debut on the Challenge, and Nurys is taking advantage of her dream opportunity.
A tear-eyed Michele Fitzgerald scene drops where she says: “If you don’t have the one person you love riding for you the most, then what do you have?” Now, I’m a big Michele fan, yet, I can’t help feeling like that’s a jump-the-shark overreaction of a moment. We see her and Nany share an emotional hug at the bar. What’s curious is we haven’t seen Nany with Kaycee much in this trailer when those two are generally attached to the hip.
Devin & Tori team up for an extremely corny combo confessional talking about how they went from enemies to frenemies to friends to ride or dies. In reality, they’ve always been a relationship focused on creating the most TV time for themselves. Despite all the shade dripping in this paragraph, these two look fucking fantastic together — they are glowing. We get a bunch of action shots in the middle of Devin/Tori’s confessional.
They give us a panned out shot of players running during a daily challenge. Not to put anyone on blast, but it looks like some of the OGs are immediately at the back of the pack.
Earlier in the breakdown, we had a panned-out view of a player falling to their doom in a daily challenge where it looked like two people met in the middle. They give us an over-the-top view, and we can now see that it’s a king-of-the-hill challenge where players can knock off their opponent. I got frustrated over the lack of contact on The Challenge USA; seeing a daily challenge like this puts a smile on my face. They weren’t willing to let players put their hands on each other directly over water on the CBS show, whereas on the MTV show, you’re getting knocked around with a 20-foot drop to boot as God intended.
Literal fireballs get shot at players’ faces on a board during an elimination. I like Nelson and Nany’s chances in this elimination considering their ability to take down shots of fireball.
— Spoiler Warning —
We are getting some form of Double Hall Brawl this season. At the bottom level, two men meet in the middle and look to be pushing a lever/fighting over a pole. Based on the helmets, I can see Horacio is competing in this elimination. Not sure how this elimination plays out. Regardless, they have my interest.
The Europeans Colleen & Kim finally get some camera time. Colleen is shown rowing a boat for their team as Kim gives excellent moral support. I’d feel safe in the boat if I was Colleen and knew I had Kim patiently watching me like that.
Nany is having a jolly old time as Bananas carries her on a board as they fool around during a daily challenge. Meanwhile, a sole player ziplines as they get ready to descend into the water for a swimming a challenge.
And that’s our trailer. They drop the poster with the premiere date: October 12th.
Nelson & Nurys have the biggest featuring, except Nelson was the main guy on the poster/trailer for the last season, and he didn’t have a giant impact on the show outside of his early hookups with Ashley/Berna. Bananas/Nany and Amber/Chauncey get the other central billings.
The people we see most prominently in this trailer are:
- Horacio Gutierrez
- Olivia Kaiser
- Johnny Bananas
- Nany Gonzalez
- Moriah Jadea
- Fessy Shafaat
- Nelson Thomas
- Nurys Mateo
- Michele Fitzgerald
- Jordan Wiseley
People We See a Decent Amount:
- Devin Walker
- Tori Deal
- Aneesa Ferreira
- Jay Starrett
- Johnny Middlebrooks
- Amber Borzotra
- Chauncy Palmer
- Laurel Stucky
- Jakk Maddox
People We See Once:
- Darrell Taylor
- Veronico Portillo
- Ravyn Rochelle
- Kailah Bird
- Sam Bird
- Nam Vo
- Emy Russ
- Turbo Kamkiran
- Tamara Alfaro
- Tommy Bracco
- Kim Traenka
- Colleen Schneider
People We Don’t See
- Analyse Talavera
- Kaycee Clark
- Kenny Clark
If you want more, here is a video I did where I power ranked all 17 pairs in the game: