The Challenge: All Stars recap: The elimination upset of the season!
Who was eliminated in episode 7, "What About Your Friends?"
With all these double eliminations coming each week on The Challenge: All Stars, there have been multiple shocking exits every episode. But this week featured the biggest upset of the season and I've got to say, I did not see it coming at all. Let's recap the action!
After Mark and Kendal's victory last week, Mark's back in the house, and his beef with Kendal is officially squashed. Nehemiah's feeling safe and confident like never before, and Derrick is really starting to feel the pressure to prove himself since it's been so long since he's won a Challenge (2008, to be exact). Meanwhile, Aneesa and Jisela are just happy to have each other in the house since they're so close in real life. And we get a nice montage of all the men working out outside while Jemmye, KellyAnne, and Jisela watch from the couch. In this situation, I'd be with the other ladies on the couch, if we're being totally honest. They're getting the real show.
But enough playing around — it's challenge time! And when TJ makes a grand entrance on top of a large semi-truck, you just know this is going to be a good one.
The Challenge: Rib Cage Pass
Fantastic news: it's finally an individual challenge! We've been waiting way too long to get one of these, and it's clearly been hurting a lot of people's games. So now it's time to put up or shut up.
Players must move across large beams hanging off the side of a moving truck, get a ball from one end of the course, and dunk it in the net on the other end. The male and female players who get the most balls in the net fastest win and are safe from elimination. The worst two go straight into elimination.
The first round is Aneesa and Jisela, and it's slow going for Jisela since her legs aren't long enough to touch the beams. Aneesa struggles with one jump and decides to just stay there since she's farther along than Jisela, automatically making her safe from going straight into elimination. They both end with zero points. Not a great start to the challenge!
The next round is Derrick vs. Nehemiah, and now we've got a challenge. Derrick also proves once again that height doesn't matter as long as you've got the heart as he gets three, and Nehemiah gets two. When it's Jemmye vs. Ruthie, Jemmye makes it as far as Aneesa and calls it quits, while Ruthie makes it to get a ball but can't complete the run, so they both end with zero. In Big Easy vs. Yes' round, they both start strong, but Yes misses a jump and can't get back on. They end the round with two each.
During Darrell vs. Alton's round, Darrell's fear of heights doesn't hold him back and they both get two. In Jonna vs. KellyAnne, Jonna gets a ball and goes far but falls and can't get back up. KellyAnne gets one. The last round is Mark vs. Kendal. Mark gets all four balls quickly while Kendal can't score one.
So we know that Mark obviously won for the guys with four balls, but the rest all comes down to timing. And after the challenge ends, TJ drops the bomb that the winners are Mark and KellyAnne — and they are going straight to the final. The final! That was really fast. We're only seven episodes in and I've really been in denial about how short this season is. But I can't think of two more deserving, strong players to punch their ticket to the final. Meanwhile, the losers of the challenge are … Jisela and Big Easy. They are automatically paired up for the elimination, against whoever the house votes in for the guy, and whichever female that guy picks.
Big Easy immediately says he wants Nehemiah as the house vote, and already Aneesa is feeling uneasy about getting chosen as the female partner because of how proven she is in eliminations. She always seems to find herself in the elimination right before the final and ends up getting sent home at the worst possible time, so she doesn't want to see a repeat performance. But Jisela isn't cool with seeing Nehemiah go into elimination again — she wants someone who hasn't been in elimination yet to make it fair. So this is a house (and team) divided.
Aneesa kicks it off by announcing Jisela's wishes to have someone new be voted into elimination, aside from Derrick and Alton since Derrick came second in the challenge and Alton is her Challenge bae at the moment. She wants either Darrell or Yes to be voted in, so Yes gets a vote from Nehemiah. But Yes gives an amazing speech about how he puts in the work to make relationships with everyone in the house every day and isn't playing this game built on relationships from decades ago. So Nehemiah, Alton, and Derrick start to get some votes instead, but Aneesa casts the deciding vote to send Nehemiah in against Easy/Jisela. It really was Yes' speech that saved him and swayed Aneesa.
That night when everyone's out at the bar drinking, Jisela and Jemmye sit in a corner talking about how Aneesa is playing "a grimy game" for going "rogue" and voting in Nehemiah. They keep dishing out low blow after low blow, saying it's Aneesa's "own f---ing fault" for how she always gets sent home before finals and this is "shady s---." Jisela then starts talking about how she's lost her best friend and she's over it, and I really don't think the punishment is fitting the crime here. Aneesa did not "stab" Jisela in the back, but she's getting really petty about this whole situation regardless. Jisela then tries to argue that Aneesa screws over all her friends on this show, but check the tapes babe. Aneesa is one of the most loyal (to a fault!) players to ever be on this show, and the past two decades have more than enough proof of that. This whole argument is strange and just sad to see. Guess she and Aneesa weren't that close.
Meanwhile, Big Easy and Nehemiah are puffing out their chests on the other side of the bar, talking mad game about how Nehemiah's not scared of Big Easy/Nehemiah should be scared of Big Easy. There's also lots of callbacks to Big Easy eliminating Nehemiah on The Duel because of the log carry bet/bluff (remember how silly the eliminations used to be?), but somehow Nehemiah doesn't think to make fun of how Big Easy cost a ton of vets their win on Gauntlet III. Major missed opportunity!
Back at the house that night, Aneesa ends up in tears over the whole Jisela situation, but she's also still worried that she's going to be picked to go against Jisela, which makes the whole thing even more complicated. And the next morning, Nehemiah still hasn't made his decision. So it really could be her.
Immediately upon entering The Arena, TJ announces this is the final elimination of the season, so the stakes have never been higher. If you lose this elimination, you're going home right before the final begins, and that's never fun. Nehemiah knows that, so he picks who he sees as his best option for a partner: Kendal. That makes Aneesa cry again, but this time it's happy tears because she's finally made the final, after over 10 years of near-misses. And Kendal is a proven elimination beast this season, winning multiple battles in The Arena, so Nehemiah chose well.
Elimination challenge: Ring Clean. Teams must climb on each other to release 10 metal rings from a nine-foot pole, and then use those rings and the chains attached to create a ladder on a giant wall. The first team to climb their chain ladder to the top and ring the bell, wins. This is endurance and strength based, along with agility, so no one is expecting Big Easy and Jisela pull off the win against Nehemiah and Kendal. There's just no way!
Both teams start off strong, getting all the rings off the pole quickly. But Big Easy drops Jisela hard off his shoulders, and she screams in pain when she lands — something's wrong with her knee. She's rolling around on the ground, screaming "F---!" over and over in pain, but she crawls to the wall while Big Easy continues on. She eventually makes it back onto her feet to "help" out while Nehemiah and Kendal work together but struggle with how to make the chains fit into a zig-zag ladder formation. Meanwhile, Big Easy isn't making it a clean ladder shape, but it's getting him up faster. All of a sudden, Nehemiah slips and undoes some of his ladder, widening the gap between him and Easy, giving Easy the opening to ring the bell and beat Nehemiah and Kendal.
Post win, Big Easy tries to give himself the nickname "choo choo train," but we all know who the real CHOO CHOO is. You can't deny Easy this win though, because this elimination really came down to a showdown between the men. It feels kind of wrong that the women didn't also have to climb up and ring the bell, because I don't think Jisela really did much work in this. She really got lucky, especially with that injured knee. And that makes this being Kendal's first elimination loss all the more painful for her, knowing that this was kind of out of her hands. But one of the strongest women is out of this game, right before the final. No one saw that coming!
Challenger of the week: Yes for showing he can still politic with the best of them without losing any of his trademark integrity. Escaping the final elimination with a rousing speech? You absolutely love to see it.