The Challenge took one major step forward in fixing a problem that's been happening a lot in recent seasons, only to take two steps back in how producers let it affect the game on All Stars 2. Let's recap!

At the start of this week's episode, the Kings Palace alliance is still whole, and they've added Jasmine and Ayanna to their ranks now that they're partnered up with Laterrian and Teck. They're all feeling on top of the world, with Teck singing a new theme song they made up while they dance around their room. It's a loud celebration that everyone else can hear all throughout the house, earning them a lot of eye rolls and loud sighs. The only people happy about this Kings Palace alliance is... the Kings Palace. And they're just getting louder and louder about it. This won't end well for them.

Jonna is also worried about Jasmine getting pulled into the Kings Palace and away from their original alliance, but she also knows Jasmine won't vote her into elimination at the end of the day. And Jasmine reveals she's just going along with the Kings Palace to keep the peace right now, but she doesn't actually believe in it.

Meanwhile, Janelle and Brad know that they can't work with Nehemiah because of how he's placed himself in the house with his Kings Palace alliance. Brad wants to have a conversation with Nehemiah, asking if he'd vote for him, and Janelle knows that's a bad idea. No need to start planting seeds of doubt and making an enemy prematurely. But he's feeling increasingly uneasy about his real-world friendship with Nehemiah conflicting with their opposing alliances in the game.

'The Challenge: All Stars 2'
| Credit: Jesus Paz/Paramount+

The Challenge: Steer Clear

TJ rolls up in a super cool car to lay out the rules for this week's challenge, and it's a fun one! One player will be hanging from a 20-foot boom off the back of a monster truck while their teammate swings them back and forth as cars drive past, and the player who is hanging must grab the flags off the cars and stuff them in a bag before they cross the finish line. The team with the most flags recovered wins, and the team with the fewest flags goes straight into elimination.

Nehemiah and Melinda go first, with Nehemiah singing the Kings Palace theme song before swinging Melinda. She's grabbing a bunch of flags, but it's hard to gauge how well they did until other teams go. They end up with 20 flags.

Teck and Ayanna go next, with Teck swinging a screaming Ayanna. Literally. She doesn't stop screaming at the top of her lungs the entire run and only grabs 11 flags. When Laterrian and Jasmine go, Latterian struggles with swinging Jasmine, and she can't reach a lot of the flags. They only get 10, bumping Teck and Ayanna out of last place. But since they have the Life Shield, they know they won't go into elimination.

Darrell also struggles with getting Janelle close enough to the flags at first, but they make up for lost time and end up getting 17. Cohutta and Casey get 16, MJ and Jonna get 19, and Brad and Jodi go last, impressing everyone by hardly missing any flags. They end up with 21, beating Nehemiah and Melinda by one and winning the whole thing. As for last place? With Laterrian and Jasmine safe, that means Teck and Ayanna are going into elimination instead. The Kings Palace is in trouble!

'The Challenge: All Stars 2'
| Credit: Jesus Paz/Paramount+

Back at the house, Nehemiah knows he and Melinda are on the chopping block despite his friendship with Brad. He's still hoping to escape elimination somehow, but Brad and Jodi don't hesitate to put Nehemiah and Melinda on the board as the guaranteed pick. Nehemiah chose to draw this line in the sand this season, and now he's facing the consequences. As for the smokescreen second choice, Jodi wants to put up Darrell and Janelle, but Brad wants to show loyalty to the one team that has their back 100 percent. He'd rather put up Cohutta and Casey, so he convinces her to go with that plan instead.

Nehemiah is somehow shocked to see his name on the board, and Brad offers up a half-hearted "I tried to push a different plan" apology, but Nehemiah isn't hearing it. He is absolutely pissed. Cohutta is also a little upset at being the decoy team but understands his alliance will protect him when it's time to vote. His partner Casey is less okay with this plan because she's tired of being a pawn during the vote.

Then Janelle sits down with Melinda to have the conversation she told Brad not to have, telling Melinda that the way the Kings Palace celebrates every win has been "over the top," and they chose to divide the house — everyone else is just responding to their move. Melinda says she would have never voted for Janelle, and then Nehemiah says he would have never voted for Brad, and I just don't believe that at all. If the situation was reversed and the Kings Palace had the power here, they'd be gunning for the other teams not in their self-named alliance. They just didn't plan for the long term. Parading your alliance in front of the whole house makes it loud and clear to everyone that they're not in your alliance and therefore are your enemy. You can't expect the people outside your alliance to also want to protect you if they're not getting that same protection back.

And the divide in the house couldn't be more apparent than when everyone goes out to a restaurant and the Kings Palace sit together on one side, and everyone else sits together on the other side. Nehemiah and Laterrian complain that Darrell hasn't gone into elimination while they've all had to this season. They really don't get that they did this to themselves by announcing their alliance so early in the game. They start getting louder and louder, yelling insults about the other players and making the night super uncomfortable for everyone trying to have a good time.   

The next morning, Nehemiah and Brad finally sit down to talk. Brad tells Nehemiah this isn't sitting right with him — he explains how their friendship means more to him than the game, but their games just didn't line up this season. That makes sense; good job, Brad! But Nehemiah thought their friendship would save him despite never talking game with Brad. Brad apologizes anyways, and Nehemiah accepts it, so they're good. But they also know they're not working together this season.

Meanwhile, after a video call with her fiancé, during which she jokes about being emotional even though she's not on her period, Casey takes a pregnancy test. And then two more. And they're all positive! She and her fiancé are excited about this new chapter of their lives, but she doesn't plan on telling anyone in the house because she doesn't want to ruin Cohutta's chances at winning. I'm proud of her for not immediately quitting here, but I'm also worried that it's not medically safe for her to continue. There have been a ton of other female players who were pregnant during filming and didn't know until after they were eliminated, and it's a major safety issue. How is production not testing for this before the season begins?

'The Challenge: All Stars 2'
| Credit: Jesus Paz/Paramount+


After Brad, Jodi, Cohutta, Casey, and Melinda make some emotional but simple speeches, Nehemiah finally explains why he made the Kings Palace alliance — and it's actually way more moving than I expected. "I created Kings Palace, and when I created that, it was bigger than us. I use the term king when referencing minorities," Nehemiah says. "I use the term king to be a reminder that they come from royalty. That's for all of the people who don't ever feel like they have representation, making it far in the game, making it to the end. I created that, and there was backlash to it. At the end of the day, it ended up putting a target on my back which I don't mind, and I represent it proudly. If I've got to go in, I've got to go in."

That's powerful. I wish we had heard more about his reasoning earlier because it helps explain why they were riding so hard for this alliance and celebrating it so loudly. It's still not going to make people outside the alliance want to protect them, but it would be less annoying for everyone else in the house to hear them sing and dance and celebrate every win, knowing it comes from a much deeper and more meaningful place!

Despite Nehemiah's speech, everyone explains that, for the game, they still have to vote him in. Jonna says she's playing smart this season and not based on emotion, and Janelle points out how if she were up for the vote against any of Nehemiah's alliance members, she'd be in trouble. Nehemiah's reasoning behind forming this alliance really is incredible, but he went about it the wrong way by shouting it from the rooftops, alerting everyone else that they're not in his circle.

So now the elimination is Nehemiah and Melinda vs. Teck and Ayanna. The Kings Palace is definitely losing someone tonight.

'The Challenge: All Stars 2'
| Credit: Jesus Paz/Paramount+


After the two teams come out, TJ drops a bomb… or rather, Casey's bomb. She's no longer medically fit to compete, so all four teams in the sand are safe. Everyone immediately gets worried about Casey, but she smiles and tearfully tells them that she's pregnant, and everyone celebrates for her. Good on the producers for making this call and putting Casey's safety first. That's absolutely a step in the right direction when it comes to pregnant cast members.

But then TJ reveals that Cohutta also has to leave the game because they're a team, and that is BS. When Kendal had to leave on a medical DQ, her partner Laterrian was allowed to stay and compete and get a new partner. Why does Cohutta have to leave without getting the chance to fight for his spot too?!

This is a brutal outcome for Cohutta. For the first time, he was doing so well in a season, he was in the majority alliance, and wasn't at risk of being eliminated before making his first final ever. And it's not Casey's fault; this is fully on the producers making a bad call. This is incredibly unfair, especially given the precedent they set just last week with Laterrian. The Challenge has always had consistency issues, but this is the most blatant example yet.

Plus, this completely shakes up the rest of the game now that the Kings Palace is given a get out of jail free card, and the other half of the house just lost the numbers. Teck and Nehemiah celebrate having this game handed back to them as the Kings Palace theme song plays in the background. They know they just got a miracle. And the rest of the season has been impacted irrevocably.

Challenger of the week: Cohutta for keeping his head held high and taking this horrible call like a true gentleman, never once blaming Casey or lashing out at producers for taking away his shot at half a million dollars. I really feel for this man right now.

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