The Challenge: All Stars 2 recap: It's a legend vs. legend elimination showdown
With all these The Challenge legends under one roof on The Challenge: All Stars 2, the odds of seeing two icons go against each other is always high. But damn, this week's episode really delivered with one of the most epic elimination matchups — as well as some amazing nostalgic callbacks and full circle moments. Plus, we end the episode with clear divides between major alliances after a big move sent home a true Challenge beast. It's really getting good! Let's recap.
For as much of a beast as we know her to be based on her two Challenge wins, last week's victory is actually Jodi's first-ever elimination win, so she's celebrating her well-deserved victory back at the house. Derrick's celebrating, too, because now that Jodi and Cohutta both have Life Shields and are his main allies, he's feeling pretty safe this week. Meanwhile, MJ wants to solidify his alliance with Darrell, Cohutta, Derrick, and Brad, but Nehemiah overhears him and runs to tell his own alliance of Laterrian, Teck, Steve, and Melinda. The lines are being drawn! No more of this kumbaya, everyone's friends with everyone BS, and I love it.
Derrick tries to smooth over his fledgling rivalry with Nehemiah, but Nehemiah shuts him down and says that Derrick can't pull off the manipulation game because his reputation has always been about how he's a Challenge beast, not a strategic player. Something tells me we're going to see this new vendetta come to a head sooner than we think.
The Challenge: Bright Skies
Everyone is greeted by the sight of a large setup hanging off the roof of a very tall building, a true Challenge staple. TJ gives the infamous "fear of heights" players — namely Darrell, Katie, and of course, Casey — some s---. They all pretend like they're not freaking out. And I totally believe them.
LOL just kidding, we're definitely going to see some meltdowns, especially because this week is TRIVIA! If players can't answer a question correctly, they'll be dropped 10 stories off a ledge. No strikes, just one wrong answer and you're out. Last man and woman standing win, and the first ones out are going straight into elimination. Simple premise, but peak entertainment. My favorite kind of daily. Let's go!
The women are up first, and Katie's already shaking before it even begins. She's not making eye contact with TJ and after she gets harnessed up, she yells, "I don't want to do it! It's not worth it to me, sorry. Get me off of here, right now. I'm refusing to do it." TJ and other players try to calm her down, but she freaks out and starts screaming more. "I'm f---ing going to lose my s---, please!" Even Jasmine is like, if I can do it, you can do it. But then Kendal's like, if she wants off, get her off, so Katie is brought back from the ledge in tears. Katie's automatically DQed and is going into elimination. Who didn't see that coming? I expected to see her answer at least one question, though. Her meltdown came a lot quicker than I thought.
After some ladies answer some questions correctly, Ayanna is the first to be wrong, so she's sent flying. But at least she's not in last place, because that honor goes to Katie. Jasmine repeats someone's Britney Spears song answer, so she drops next. Kendal doesn't know what the SEC is, so she's out next. Tina can't name a single past individual winner of The Challenge, so she drops, yelling about her camel toe on the way down. It comes down to Jonna, Casey, and Melinda, and eventually Melinda drops. So it's Jonna vs. Casey, in a heights challenge! That's a wild turn of events. The final question is naming every Harry Potter book and Jonna can't remember the fifth title so she drops, crowning Casey the female winner. It's her first solo daily win and it involves heights, too! Big day for Casey.
In the men's round, Brad is the first to fall because he thought Katie won multiple seasons. Yikes! And Southern boy MJ thought New Orleans is a state, so he drops, majorly embarrassed at his own stupidity there. Nehemiah thought there was a Mission: Impossible 4, so he's out next, then Derrick, Cohutta, Tyler, Teck, and Darrell all drop in a wonderful montage set to the appropriate song, "It's Rainin' Men." Now it's Laterrian vs. Steve, but Laterrian drops for thinking zebras are one of the fastest land mammals. So, hand model Steve wins.
Steve and Casey have now gone from chopping block to champions, and Brad and Katie are going straight into elimination. My, how the tables have turned. Back at the house, Steve wants to eliminate one of the "three-headed monster": Brad, Derrick, and Darrell. Nehemiah strategizes a way to make sure Jodi and Cohutta can't use the Life Shields to protect those guys — by forcing them use it on themselves instead. Meanwhile, Katie is happy Steve won because he's her ally, and all she wants is for him to make sure she doesn't go against Kendal again. That leaves a ton of other options for Steve to pick. Easy enough, right?
Steve tells Casey about the plan to nominate Jodi and Cohutta so they burn the Life Shields on themselves, and then they can throw Derrick in as a replacement to make sure he's on the board. It's brilliant and Casey loves it. Steve wants the second guy option to be Tyler, since he thinks the majority of the women and his room wouldn't vote for Tyler, ensuring Derrick is voted in. For the women, Casey immediately wants to throw Kendal in, even though Katie didn't want that, because Kendal is close with Derrick. Casey wants to make a big move with the women just like they're doing with the men, but Steve's priority is to save Katie, so Casey's getting frustrated. They leave Kendal on the board and decide to choose Ayanna as the other option (after Jodi saves herself).
The board starts off with Cohutta and Tyler for the men, Jodi and Kendal for the women. Jodi and Cohutta immediately understand what's happening after walking in and use their Life Shields to save themselves. Steve and Casey swap in Derrick and Ayanna. Jodi and Cohutta are impressed with the big move, but they're not happy about it. The rest of the house is absolutely shocked, because this is a massive shot to take, no matter how it shakes out. Katie's pissed that Kendal's even on the board when that's the one name she asked to keep off, but Steve tries to make her feel better by saying that the votes are going to land on Ayanna instead. But Katie's still pissed because that means she now has to go against Ayanna! It's not looking good for Katie, and Steve doesn't see why. He's been out of the game for too long.
Casey explains to the house that she thought it was only fair to put Ayanna in because she was the first woman to drop, and that she and Steve both wanted to put in Derrick. She even calls out Kendal, saying she's on the board because she's a vote for Derrick. Savage! Then Katie lets everyone know she asked Steve for anyone but Kendal, and begs them to vote for Ayanna. Ayanna stands up and says she came ready to play … and then strips off her clothes to reveal her elimination uniform underneath. What an incredible callback to her iconic Battle of the Sexes 2 moment where she slept in her uniform. Moments like this prove why All Stars is the best!
For the male vote, Derrick calls out Casey and Steve for their "dirty" move to burn "his" Life Shields and Casey fires back, "Your Life Shields? Or Jodi and Cohutta's?" I love seeing Casey with power! Derrick threatens anyone who votes for him, and things get intense, especially between him and Nehemiah. Ayanna gets all the votes (per Katie's wish), and Derrick gets the majority against Tyler, so he barks at Nehemiah as he puts his own name on the board.
That means it's Ayanna vs. Katie and Derrick vs. Brad, two Challenge GOATs, in an epic rematch after Derrick beat him in Gauntlet 2.
In "Weight There's More," players must reveal a puzzle by moving 1,000 lbs. across The Arena and dropping the weights into their ramp. The first player to solve the puzzle wins. So once again, it's a combination of physical and mental, which evens out the playing field. It's actually pretty even between Brad and Derrick, since they're both extremely strong and have crazy endurance skills but … well, let's just say they're lacking when it comes to puzzles.
The women go first, and Katie starts to struggle with the weights almost immediately while — no surprise here — Ayanna absolutely beasts it. Eventually, Ayanna transfers her last weight and reveals her puzzle, only to realize it's the kind of puzzle she does all the time. That's not good news for Katie! After a bit, Katie reveals her puzzle, too, and it becomes a race. Ayanna is moving through quickly while Katie struggles, and ends up winning her second elimination of the season, while Katie gets sent home.
Now it's the battle of the century: Brad vs. Derrick. They both know it's going to come down to the puzzle, and they crush the weights portion like it's nothing. Brad barely beats Derrick to the puzzle, but his tiny lead doesn't matter. They both get to work on the puzzle, and Derrick can hear everyone cheering for Brad and not him. Eventually, Brad finishes his puzzle and pays Derrick back for eliminating him all those years ago. Derrick exits the game earlier than he ever has before.
Derrick flips everyone off as he walks out, while Steve is feeling foolish for setting Katie up to fail. Now, Brad and Ayanna have Life Shields, and a fire has been set inside the house. The lines have been drawn between the two major alliances, and the heavy hitters have revenge in their eyes for losing one of their own. I cannot wait to see it all explode.
Challenger of the week: Nehemiah for coming up with the plan to neutralize the Life Shields, because no one has ever been able to figure that out before. Will we now see that happen every week?
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