The Challenge World Championship Episode 5 Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways

Allan Aguirre
8 min readMar 30, 2023

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The 5th 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 5th episode.

10 Thoughts on Last Week

I didn’t write a blog recapping last week. I straight up did not have the time to write a full recap, and honestly, there wasn’t much to get inspired about. Last week we saw the weakest pair (Nia & Rodrigo) go in against the least connected pair politically (Jodi & Benja). The better team won.

Zara proved to be a beast. That’s all that happened last week.

9 Wes is Completely Lost

Let me start by saying that Wes is an absolute Challenge legend and one of the greatest competitors the show has ever seen. As I say this, if you look back at every season Wes has ever done, it’s hard to say he was ever the biggest all-around threat on any season. Obviously, Wes is always a threat, but Wes gets targeted most seasons mainly because of his rivalries, gameplay, and the enemies he’s made in past seasons. At the same time, a major reason why I respect Wes is that he plays to take down those top dogs so he can give himself the best shot to win.

Typically, when Wes goes on a season, he corrals players to go after the person everyone sees as the biggest Final threat in the game: Jordan, Bananas, Darrell, Yes, CT, etc. Last season was an absolute masterpiece where his political influence and moves led to Jordan, Darrell, and Yes all getting eliminated before the Final that he then crushed to win.

Except because most of the cast on this either watched All Stars 3 or was on the show, Wes walks into this show as the guy he often tries to take out. Thus, we are watching him deal with the existential dilemma of trying to figure out what to do on the other side of the table. Even worse is the format itself doesn’t give much power to the daily challenge winners. Wes would’ve loved to make a unilateral strategic move with his daily win and instead had to pick A or B between the nominations everyone else gave him. Right now, Wes’s ego is validated as he was the #1 pick and is getting viewed in the house as the biggest threat (alongside Jordan). I can’t help getting the sense though, that he hates that he has to play a boring/straightforward game because of his current standing in the house.

8 Survivor Strong

Sarah and Danny from Survivor are the players filling the Wes role. They want to go after Jordan and Wes as the biggest threats because they watched the show and understand those two have experience when it comes to Finals they don’t have.

I respect that they’re bringing a Survivor mindset of playing the game you’re in now, and you play to win. Danny is fucking awesome — he’s not here for bullshit, wants to compete, and is willing to speak his mind.

My personal distaste for Sarah Lacina remains the same; however, every week, I enjoy watching her poke fun at the boring gameplay style of the repeat MTV competitors. When I see Sarah, all I think is the meme headline: “The worst person you know just made a great point.”

7 The Daily Challenge: A Classic Wes misfire

Wes is a clever strategist sometimes. Other times, Wes feels like a kid who is good at 4th Grade math and thinks he can jump straight into a High School class. We saw him make a massive miscalculation from the onset of the daily, choosing not to drink his juice with Zara, instead taking a penalty that immediately put them in last.

It was an unnecessary risk to make going first in the daily because the moment they failed, everyone else knew all they had to do was finish their drinks to beat Wes & Zara.

6 Amber is definitely pregnant

She mentioned she’s been feeling sick since getting to the house, and the timeline of her pregnancy adds up. Also, Amber has a pregnancy glow to her; then again, she’s always glowing.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, going on The Challenge is the most surefire way to guarantee it.

5 Kiki is a Boss

Kiki drank her gross juice like it was nothing and then was hurling Darrell perfect passes like she was Patrick Mahomes. She is an absolute natural when it comes to everything on this show and is a great partner alongside Darrell. They earned their win.

What I love about Kiki is she carries herself like a Champion (because she is one). While turning on Grant & Emily could potentially be a bad game move, I wouldn’t hate seeing it because they don’t talk about her as a player with enough respect when she’s already beaten them before. They treat Kiki’s win like a fluke when she’s repeatedly proven herself.

4 Nomination Ceremony

The votes went as such:

(Nominees — Voting Teams)

Jordan/Kaz, Sarah/Theo — Jonna & Grant
Emily/Yes, Grant/Jonna — Jordan & Kaz
Emily/Yes, Grant/Jonna — KellyAnne & Tristan
Emily/Yes, Grant/Jonna — Bananas & Justine
Troy/Amber, Grant/Jonna — Sarah & Theo
Jordan/Kaz, Grant/Jonna — Benja & Jodi
Emily/Yes, Grant/Jonna — Ben & Kaycee
Jordan/Kaz, Ben/Kaycee — Emily & Yes
Jordan/Kaz, Grant/Jonna — Troy & Amber
KellyAnne/Tristan, Benja/Jodi — Danny & Tori

The nomination ceremony was stellar television. There were so many votes on the table, yet we ended up with a stalemate.

Players went in with the gameplan to nominate Grant & Jonna as the team that Kiki & Darrell would save, and they would make a big play against Jordan & Kaz. The plan fell apart after Yes & Emily and Jordan & Kaz tied for the second-most votes.

Watching the way certain people operated was fascinating. The MTV veterans like Jordan and Tori got loud for no reason and spoke generically about the game as a way to intimidate other people. In reality, they’re pissed people are playing the actual game.

The funniest part of all the votes/alliances in this episode is that KellyAnne and Jodi, two outsiders, had a real shot to swing the vote if they got on the same page but couldn’t.

3 Ben has to be frustrating to play with

Ben seems like a nice guy and is always a supportive partner during daily challenges. However, I can’t imagine playing a social/strategic game with him. Ben is so emotional, paranoid, and wishy-washy that trying to talk game with him sounds like a nightmare. On Winners at War, many of the former winners didn’t like Ben for this exact reason. He portrays this character of being very straight-laced and honor bound. Then suddenly, he turns on a dime and makes a move that only a snake really would. And even then, he never changes his demeanor. Ben continues to live in his realm where he thinks he is in the right whatever he chooses to do. It’s maddening.

2 If You Like It, Then You Should Have Kept a Ring On It

Tori asking Danny during the nomination ceremony what he would do if his ex-fiancé were there was such a ridiculous comment. First, Danny likely isn’t signing on to do a show with his ex-fiancé as that’s probably too much baggage, and second, he signed up for this show to compete, not for Tori’s baggage. Even then, Danny comes from Survivor, a game where a daughter has voted out her own mom — tossing in an ex doesn’t seem like a big deal when that person stands between you and winning.

On Ride or Dies, it wasn’t as big of a deal because Jordan was playing with Aneesa, who can’t win a Final. This time around, Jordan has Kaz, who is an absolute force cardio-wise; where even though he might be an ally to Tori & Jordan, facing them in a Final is scary.

Although I got a chuckle at Sarah’s fake engagement proposal to Emily, I think we have to call her out for not letting Theo vote Kaz into elimination, either! Their vote could’ve made the difference in sending Jordan in, as was the plan.

1 Another Cliffhanger

This week’s episode was pretty dull, so the fact we ended on a cliffhanger is endlessly disappointing. As a whole, this season needs a spark of life. There have been bright spots here and there; sadly, this season has been underwhelming so far.

Darrell & Kiki have the power to throw in anyone to face Wes & Zara, and I’d love to see them swing big.

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Allan Aguirre

28 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.