The Challenge: All Stars 2 recap: The new Pole Wrestle king emerges in a brutal showdown
Dear The Challenge gods, I would like to humbly apologize for all my complaints about not getting any kind of physical headbanger eliminations on The Challenge: All Stars 2. Because you finally delivered — and then some! — with this week's elimination, which saw a brutal showdown between two of the biggest, strongest threats in the house. It was painful, it was shocking, and it was downright epic. This might be the "Bananas Backpack" moment of All Stars. Let's recap how we got here and who came out on top!
Now that Teck and Melinda are both back in the house, the King's Palace alliance is still whole. The group is dancing around their room and just letting loose to celebrate. Even Laterrian is dancing, and he'll be the first to tell you he doesn't dance! He also renames their alliance the Four Horsemen, or the Three Kings and the Queen, so Melinda can be included. All this loud celebrating, however, is rubbing Brad the wrong way since he and Nehemiah are close but clearly on opposite sides of the battle that is brewing in the house.
Outside the house, things are more serious. Tyler's worried about how his name has been up on the board twice now — and even though it was always to make sure someone else got voted in, his position in this game is still being risked each time. After coming close to winning the dailies, he's determined to pull out a real win so he can solidify his safety for the first time all season.
The Challenge: Deep Dive
TJ announces this daily will be played in pairs of their choosing, leading to an awkward moment when Tyler tries to pair up with Casey after seeing Janelle go with Darrell. But after Casey agrees, Cohutta walks up and steals her away. Not going to lie, seeing Cohutta go full aggro in stealing Casey was seriously … hot? I've never seen that side of Cohutta before! But now I'm worried for Tyler, because he ends up with Jasmine when they're the only two left. Other pairings make sense, like Nehemiah and Melinda, but Ayanna picks Teck because she likes "to look at him." Bold strategy, let's see if it pays off.
Down in the cenote, there are four buoys with treasure chests chained 15 feet deep with bags of puzzle pieces. Pairs must dive down to retrieve all four bags, bring them to shore, and then solve the puzzle. Pairs can either jump in from the 30-ft. platform into the cenote or take up precious time to climb down a ladder to the 15-ft. platform and jump from there. Fastest pair wins and the slowest pair goes straight into elimination.
Laterrian and Kendal go first. Kendal jumps from the 30-ft. platform and lands wrong, struggling for air when she comes up. She's in a ton of pain. Laterrian follows her and gets the first bag while Kendal still can't get a breath. But she thinks of her son and pushes through the pain, dives down, and gets her first bag. They get all their pieces and joke around while building their puzzle, finishing strong despite Kendal's struggles.
Tyler and Jasmine go next, and while he ungracefully plops into the water from 30 feet, she decides to climb down to the lower platform and jumps in. Tyler absolutely beasts the swim and gets both of his bags while Jasmine struggles with getting hers. They solve the puzzle but take a really long time, and Jasmine ends in tears, knowing she held Tyler back.
Nehemiah and Melinda go next and they put in a strong performance throughout the entire run. Brad and Jodi are next, jump from 30 feet like they're pros, and Brad literally throws his bag in a perfect arc into their bucket. Everyone is impressed and intimidated by both Brad and Jodi's performance and they finish in what seems to be the quickest time yet. While Cohutta jumps from 30 feet, Casey climbs down to the lower platform and struggles with her diving and swimming, and Cohutta ends up completing the whole puzzle. When Teck jumps in, he does it from 30 feet — right on top of his partner Ayanna. Thankfully, he doesn't hurt her, and they finish strong. Darrell and Janelle put in a strong performance, and so do MJ and Jonna. Both of these pairs loved working together on this daily.
That's good for them — and terrible for others like Tyler and Jasmine — because TJ drops a bomb after everyone has finished: These are now going to be everyone's permanent partners for the rest of the season. What?! I absolutely hate that for two reasons. 1. We're going to lose out on the drama that comes with picking pairs/teams for each daily. And 2. This screws over someone like Tyler, who was just standing in the wrong spot at the beginning of this daily and didn't actually pick someone. How is that fair?
Tyler and Jasmine are being thrown right into the fire, too, since they were the slowest pair in the daily. They're going straight into elimination to really test their new partnership. Jasmine feels horrible because her one job was to handle the puzzle and she didn't perform on that or the swim, so she now feels responsible for Tyler's fate. Hopefully, she can pull something big out in the elimination, or else they're both going home.
As for the winners, apologies to the King's Palace/Four Horsemen because the top two pairs are actually Brad/Jodi and Darrell/Janelle, with Jodi earning yet another daily win alongside Brad. She really is the one to beat this season from the women, and with a partner like Brad, it's hard to imagine that she doesn't get another championship.
Because there are still two Life Shields in play, there's another twist — now, if a Life Shield is used, it saves both members of the pair. In other words, its power is doubled to save two people. With so few teams left in the game, there will only be a few people who can end up voting if both Life Shields are used. It's now going to be much easier to control the vote between the two big alliances.
Brad and Jodi immediately decide to burn the Life Shields by nominating Teck/Ayanna and Nehemiah/Melinda. So while those four will be safe, they also won't be able to vote, ensuring that Laterrian/Kendal will go in (Brad and Jodi put MJ/Jonna up as the second replacement choice, knowing they won't get votes).
Upstairs, Kendal reveals she's still struggling from her bad fall earlier in the day and is having a hard time taking deep breaths. She explains that she has a connective tissue disorder, and says she frequently dislocates joints and her ribs often get displaced. She's worried there's a bigger issue going on here, so she goes to the hospital to get it checked out.
Everyone's worried because Kendal doesn't show up to the deliberation the next day — which never means anything good on The Challenge — but Laterrian and Kendal get most of the votes anyway (Darrell is the only one who votes for MJ/Jonna because he knows it's a burn vote and doesn't want to vote for his fellow Road Rules fam).
Laterrian is already getting fired up, and Tyler knows he's going to be sore after this battle, whatever it may be. No matter what happens with the women — if Kendal returns and she and Jonna compete, or if Kendal is gone and Jonna is safe — we know we're in for at least one hell of a battle between these two guys.
Unfortunately, we learn immediately that Kendal is medically unable to continue, and TJ reveals she's out for the rest of the season. That's great news for Jasmine — it's her lucky day, and she's safe. But there's still an elimination happening between Tyler and Laterrian, and her partner will be whoever wins.
We're in for a real show tonight, because this elimination is a beast vs. beast matchup: Pole Wrestle. This is what we should have seen for Derrick vs. Brad earlier this season! But this is the perfect pair to take on this elimination; Laterrian and Tyler are as close to the same size as you can get with these heavyweight competitors. Tyler might have a slight edge being a bit bigger, but we've seen Laterrian go full beast in Pole Wrestle before. This could be anyone's game!
We learn very quickly, however, that it's not. Laterrian bursts into the first round with high energy, and throws Tyler around like a rag doll. Tyler hangs on with everything he's got, and Laterrian pulls him out of bounds so they have to reset. This is a rough start for Tyler, and it looked like it rattled him a lot. The second round is more of a fight, but eventually Laterrian gets the first point.
Both men are exhausted at the start of the second round, visibly breathing hard and moving slower. But Laterrian jackhammers Tyler's head and chest into the ground sideways, multiple times, and people on the sidelines literally have to turn away. Laterrian keeps ramming Tyler into the ground, throwing him around while Tyler desperately tries to weather the storm. When we see Tyler talking in an interview, his wrist is wrapped, so you know it's a done deal. Laterrian eventually gets the second point, wins, and sends Tyler home.
At this point, Laterrian has solidified his reputation as the new Pole Wrestle king after both All Stars elimination performances. To go up against Tyler and toss him around like he's Teck? I mean, Tyler put up a fight and held on for a while, which is impressive, but that was a bone-chilling, jaw-dropping show of absolute strength from Laterrian. And his intensity after his win was terrifyingly awesome — and hilarious when he hears a goat in the distance while giving his intimidating victory speech.
But now that Laterrian is shackled to Jasmine instead of partnered with Kendal, it makes him an easier target going forward. Thankfully, he and Jasmine now have a Life Shield, so they're at least safe for one more week. But Laterrian's position in this game is now at risk, just like Tyler's was.
Challenger of the week: Laterrian for dominating Pole Wrestle yet again, taking out the two-time champion Tyler and showing everyone why he's such a massive threat in this game. But can he keep up that intimidating persona with Jasmine as his partner?
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