The third 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 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the third episode.
10 Slow Cooker
This week’s episode was the aftermath of KellyAnne & Jonna’s tense conversation from last week as Jonna decided who would go into elimination and the actual elimination itself.
Most first eliminations of the season are simple/easy picks. One would’ve expected this vote to be easy as Jonna & KellyAnne are supposedly friends. It wasn’t. Thus we saw a lot of different movie pieces throughout the episode. The point of this episode was to set up the chessboard to give us a better perspective of what we are to expect in the weeks going forward.
It makes sense if this game format remains the same from this point on as we expect 4 men and 4 women to make the Final, and thus we will only have 8 dailies and eliminations. Numbers will be getting chopped down quickly, and the game will be running at a much faster pace soon.
9 KellyAnne and Jonna’s Partnerships
The relationship between KellyAnne and Tristan is hilarious because a new viewer would assume he’s the veteran. He’s trying to keep calm and assure KellyAnne as she refuses to stop talking, worrying, and putting a target on their back. There’s no need for KellyAnne to whine to Ben about the way people are playing the game or about her friendship with Jonna. KellyAnne, don’t look so paranoid, talk about the weather or your dogs or Emily in Paris, literally anything else.
Sometimes KellyAnne feels like a character in a horror movie who is in danger, but she isn’t the invincible protagonist.
On the other side, you have Jonna and Grant, whereas Grant has inherent trust in Jonna. Grant sees what Jonna brings to the table and will ultimately listen to her. What’s funny is Grant saw some red flags regarding Jonna’s relationship with KellyAnne and had to point them out. Although Jonna played excellently in her three All-Star seasons, she rarely had the unanimous power to vote someone into elimination. In this first vote, that inexperience somewhat came into play.
8 Ben’s House Cleaning
Sometimes I think I want to live in a Challenge house. Then I get reminded each season that these people live like absolute slobs. We saw Ben doing some serious cleaning as everyone was sleeping.
The funniest part of this scene with Ben was when he revealed his hiding place for a clean cup and dishes is just the regular cupboard where cups and plates are supposed to be.
7 No Vacation Alliance
During the episode, Tori mentioned that when you play the game, you must constantly think about how your moves will affect you in future seasons. I couldn’t help rolling my eyes as she said this.
While burning bridges will alter the way you play future seasons — playing the game in fear of how it may hurt you the next season is precisely why the MTV show feels so dull. Only one person (pair) can win, which should be your focus in any season. Getting to compete on this show is a privilege people would kill for; treat every season as though the franchise could get canceled tomorrow. Or, in the case of some challengers, their social media posts could get them canceled day.
I love that every vet is paired with an international player because now there aren’t clear rookies to team up on. As I say this, there are players less connected than others (Amber, Nia, Yes, Jodi). And there is clearly an alliance of Tori, Jordan, and Kaycee. Though, it’s not as overwhelming as what we just dealt with on Spies Lies & Allies or Ride or Dies.
6 Sarah Lacina is a smart rat
Anyone who followed my Challenge USA recaps knows I have a sharp disdain for Sarah Lacina. It dates back to Survivor, along with who she is as a human being. To me, Sarah’s always played a rat-like two-faced social/political game.
As I say this, I got to give Sarah props because she sees the shadiness of some of these MTV veterans and is working to potentially combat/blindside them. Sarah wants to win, and thus she isn’t caring about what happens in a future season down the line because she doesn’t even know if she’ll ever be on another season. Her personality rubs me the wrong way, but man, I wish more people actively played the game like Sarah.
I’m not saying Sarah is as smart/gifted as Remy the Rat from Ratatouille. Sarah is as smart as the rat from the movie Flushed Away (an underrated film) or Templeton from Charlotte’s Web.
5 Ex on the Beach
We saw the dynamic between two sets of exes in this episode. Jordan and Tori were very flirty and physical. Watching them, I felt like barfing because I’m so over their storyline after dealing with it for the 18 months Ride or Dies aired. I’m happy they’re in a good place — I am simply over the storyline. Unless suddenly they become a thruple with Nia, that might spark my interest.
Then they showed us Theo & Kaz getting along. Their relationship intrigued me going into the season. Theo is a great instigator, and the break-up was serious; the fact we aren’t getting anything juicy truly upsets the messy Reality TV Fan in me.
Do you know who doesn’t care for these pairs of exes? Danny McCray. He said these relationships only spread you thin, and you should focus on the game/competing. His irreverence for these TV storylines was refreshing.
4 Benja & Jodi
The contrast between Jodi and Benja as partners is hysterical. Jodi is a true legend of the game, one of the best physical competitors ever, and despite this, she always carries so much self-doubt/worriness. Meanwhile, Benja’s never won a daily challenge or an elimination and has little to no experience competing on Reality TV. Nonetheless, Benja is supremely confident things will work out in his favor.
Pairs like this are why I love The Challenge. Jodi’s got to chill bit and he has to be less naïve, maybe they can meet somewhere in the middle.
3 THE PROMISE
I’m a long-time Jonna fan who takes every opportunity to champion her that I can. Jonna voting KellyAnne into elimination maybe wasn’t the worst move ever on paper.
However, taking the time to sit on a lawn with KellyAnne and telling her that she is your best friend in the house, you want to be allies in the game, and that you’re going to save them, only to then toss them in once in the arena is unnecessarily messy and fucked up. After the elimination, Amber commented, asking how can someone trust Jonna when she just tossed in her “best friend.” For many people in the house, this is their first taste of Jonna, and as unhinged/paranoid as KellyAnne can be, the move does not reflect super well on Jonna.
There were a few significant factors that played into Jonna’s vote. I think Jonna has a pre-game alliance with Wes (likely Bananas, too), where even though KellyAnne might be her “best friend,” they had no game relationship going into this season. Along with that, I think Jonna was focused on fostering a potential deal/alliance with Tori & Kaycee. As loyal as KellyAnne is, I believe Jonna saw her as a liability and didn’t want to get treated as an item, the same as KellyAnne did with Kendal on All Stars 3. For these reasons, I don’t think voting KellyAnne into elimination was the worst move ever. Except if you’re going to do it, don’t make a strong heartfelt promise on the lawn. That’s the only caveat.
2 Peter Pan Elimination
It was a rough elimination for Nelson & Jujuy. It’s never great having to hear your fellow competitors laugh at you as you fail in the elimination arena. Even worse, the crowd was mostly on their side and was actively trying to help them. Sadly, Nelson didn’t understand the strategy or physics and, for some reason, didn’t look over to see what KellyAnne & Tristan were doing. It was a bit outrageous that Nelson called Jujuy heavy when she likely doesn’t weigh more than 120 lbs. I will note that the way Jujuy laid on her board during the elimination also played a factor in why they struggled to gain/maintain momentum — that’s not her fault, though; she is the “rookie” in the pairing.
On the other side of the elimination, KellyAnne and Tristan DOMINATED. KellyAnne immediately understood that she had to keep her body as flat as possible to keep momentum and make it easier for Tristan to push her. Tristan’s height put him at a distinct advantage in this elimination, where he was mostly able to remain standing still as he pushed KellyAnne forward from above. They worked incredibly well as a team, and as erratic as KellyAnne can be, this elimination demonstrated why people view her as a strong player.
Jujuy had such a fun, vibrant energy to her. She had a good soul, looked amazing, and never got upset with Nelson. Together, they had good chemistry and kind of made a cute couple. As much as it sucks to see them go, they were definitely the weakest pair in the game. I hope to see Jujuy on a future show and wish Nelson a speedy and full recovery.
This week’s episode ended exactly like last week’s — a tense conversation between KellyAnne and Jonna. I loved it. In two episodes, these ladies went from “friends” to being embroiled in a legitimate rivalry. From here on out, their goal is to eliminate the other first.
Both women are strong competitors; they’re each messy in different ways, and there have likely been underlying issues dating back to All Stars 1. Now there’s a genuine conflict/beef that’s captured our attention and has taken over the show. Going into this season, most probably expected this to be the Wes show or the Bananas show. Fuck them; it’s the Jonna and KellyAnne show right now, baby.