The Challenge World Championship Episode 11 Recap: 5 Biggest Takeaways
The 11th episode of The Challenge World Championship 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 5 biggest moments/takeaways from the 11th episode.
5 Production Needs To Re-Evaluate How They Tackle Daily Challenges
I need to open with an admission: Daily challenges interest me the least on the show. What gets my engine going is intense eliminations, messy drama, chaotic hookups, and cutthroat strategic gameplay.
I still care about daily challenges being good because they take up a large part of the show, and I want to enjoy it all. Daily challenges are important and often indicate who some of the best players are because the winners are beating 4–12 other players/pairs in any competition. As cool as eliminations are, you’re only beating one person at one thing. Winning dailies usually allow players to wield power and make big political/strategic moves.
However, the daily challenges seem more dull and contrived than ever right now. They’ve jumped the shark with the extreme/sports aspect of the show, where everything feels and looks the same. I would describe modern-day daily challenges as music at a club that is playing so loudly that you can’t even hear the music. There’s no fun and soul in these challenges.
As impressive as it is to watch Emily swim or Theo sprint, there’s part of me who would much rather watch them try to walk on stilts as they try to squeeze some juice out of oranges. Theo would be 18 feet tall on stilts, which would be a funny visual worth his appearance check alone.
4 Theo’s done a whole lot of nothing
I didn’t blog last week, but something that bothered me was Theo saying Kiki & Darrell weren’t much of a threat, which I found ridiculous as they had won a daily and an elimination as pair, she’d won 2 eliminations, and they had 5 Championships between. Kiki & Darrell were a good strong team, and they’re both badasses. Meanwhile, prior to this episode, Theo hadn’t won a daily challenge (or an elimination), and he hadn’t been close either.
Of course, I expected Theo to shut me up with a stupendous performance where he and Sarah dominated everyone to win the final daily challenge. Well, they did win the daily challenge; it just wasn’t impressive at all. After all the bad tedious daily challenges, this week was especially brutal as teams were able to collude/work together. The most exciting potential storyline was Troy & Kaycee pulling off an upset win and thus forcing the rest of the house to cannibalize each other. Then Troy & Kaycee got knocked out immediately and thrown directly into elimination. From there, we saw Yes & Emily and Danny & Tori get knocked out, followed up by a sad display as we watched Theo & Sarah get gifted a win because Jordan & Kaz made a deal with Yes & Emily the previous week that they would not vote them in, and to ensure that, they refused to win.
Good for Theo and Sarah, at least. I can’t help feeling underwhelmed watching Theo this season.
3 Stalemate? More like a stale season
Right after we had to watch Theo & Sarah struggle to win a daily challenge gifted to them, we got a nomination ceremony where everyone chose to stalemate. Theo & Sarah had the power to vote a team in, and even though she’s close friends with Emily, Kaz is Theo’s ex, and Danny is her #1.
So she had a heartfelt cry with her friend. Then they get to the arena, and TJ reveals a twist that because it’s the 3rd stalemate of the season, he’s going to let Troy & Kaycee pick their opponents. Looking to get revenge on Emily & Yes for tossing them in, Troy & Kaycee choose them. The elimination was also a Hall Brawl, and going against Danny or Jordan would’ve been tough for Troy.
2 Hall Brawl
Before the elimination, Troy said he was 60 kilos. Let’s say I misheard, and he said 69 kg (nice). That means Troy is 152 lbs at max. If I heard him correctly, that means he’s 132 lbs. While it’s obvious that Troy is the smallest guy there, I’m shocked he weighs that little considering all he does strength-wise. We saw him win a headbanger/Pole Wrestle type elimination on Challenge Australia against a massive dude. He’s consistently lifting heavy objects and running with ease. I have more respect for Troy now than ever.
Then we watched Troy go against Yes in this Hall Brawl, and he pulled off another win! Yes is not the biggest guy, he’s a bit older, and he’d never been in a headbanger elimination before. Nonetheless, Troy took down a dude with a decent height and weight advantage over him (plus Yes has a wrestling background). You have to tip your cap to him.
The female rounds were great. It was a dream match-up as you had the experienced Challenge Champion and former football player in Kaycee, and then you had Emily, a 6’0 athletic Olympic swimmer. In that first round, I thought Kaycee would take it, and then Emily got low and pushed through her to gain an advantage and tie it up. Emily got that point by playing smart, strategically, and then letting her size/strength take Kaycee over. In the overtime round, Kaycee’s athleticism swung things. Kaycee sprinted fast and through Emily. Emily never had a moment where she was solid, and she tried to drag Kaycee back at the last minute. Instead, Kaycee was able to earn the team’s win. It pisses me off we didn’t get these two women in a Best of 3.
Seeing the emotion on Emily’s face after her loss was one of the few bright spots in the episode. Emily put her heart into the game, she wanted to win, and that’s something I can attach myself/relate to as a human. It’s also a testament to the quality of The Challenge itself, as this Olympian has now played in two seasons and been unable to make a Final. Had Emily gotten to the Final, Yes would have been the perfect partner. Yes would have gotten the puzzles done for them, and he knows how to pace for a Final. They would have been a real threat.
Kudos to Troy & Kaycee for pulling off their third elimination win as a pair and making the Final. After coasting for much of her MTV Challenge career, we saw Kaycee actually go in and fight. Kaycee had 4 elimination wins this season!
1 Ranking the Pairs for the Final
4 Kaycee & Troy
Kaycee’s cardio in Finals has never been elite. I think Kaycee’s cardio is fine compared to the competition in a typical season. This isn’t a typical season, though — she’s running against three women who have won Challenge Finals and are ready to run. She and Troy aren’t likely to be the strongest duo when it comes to puzzles, either.
3 Danny & Tori
These two have not communicated well all season. They have never won a daily challenge or an elimination together. At no point have I watched them compete and thought they were a strong pair together.
Yet, I saw Danny come out of the woodwork and beat Tyson in the Final after laying low on The Challenge USA. Likewise, from a physical standpoint, Tori crushed the Ride or Dies, SLA, and War of the Worlds 2 Finals. So if they do well, I wouldn’t be completely shocked.
2 Theo & Sarah
The same feelings I have about Danny & Tori, I have about Theo & Sarah; they’ve never wowed me as a partnership and have never truly won anything together.
What they have on their side is pure endurance. Sarah is a marathon runner, and we saw Theo finish 2nd in that crazy War of the Worlds 1. Sarah & Theo is a pair built to run a Final. The question is can they work together?
1 Jordan & Kaz
We know Jordan is one of the best to ever compete on this show, and he’s a monster in Finals. Kaz is incredibly fit, has excellent cardio, and has the heart and desire to win. These two have been killing it all season, and they’re battle tested. They won a daily, they won an elimination, and they’ve finished 2nd Place in 4 dailies this season. Jordan & Kaz have been consistently at the top the entire season and recently worked through some growing pains as a pair. The Final could come down to one last-minute sudoku puzzle, and then everything gets thrown up in the air. If not, I expect these two to come out on top.