Find out who was eliminated in episode 1, "Run the World."

The battle to become The Challenge champion of champions has begun!

The Challenge: World Championship is Paramount+'s massive international crossover series where franchise legends are paired with global MVPs (a.k.a. players who won or did really well on non-flagship seasons The Challenge: USAThe Challenge: Australia, The Challenge: Argentina, and The Challenge: UK) in a battle for $500,000. The premiere focuses mainly on the MVPs, as four players from each global spin-off gather in Cape Town, South Africa to begin the season and are shocked to watch 14 Challenge legends walk into the stadium. Their path to winning the half-million dollar prize just got a lot harder. Let's recap!

The global MVPs kick off the season by competing in a qualifying challenge while the legends get to sit back and watch. The qualifier is a mini-final with multiple checkpoints to test their strength, stamina, agility, and intellect, and the last two players to finish go straight into elimination. The first checkpoint is a Challenge classic where players chug two large glasses of an unidentified (supposedly vegan) smoothie. The projectile vomiting begins immediately, but Survivor winner/Team USA's Ben ultimately finishes first and races off to checkpoint No. 2, where players use a sledgehammer to move a weighted tire down a runway. Team Australia's Grant and Troy are next to finish, and they arrive as Ben makes little progress on his tire.

Team UK's Kaz is the first woman to finish, with her fellow UK teammate Zara not far behind. At the tires, Ben finishes first with Grant right behind him, making their way to checkpoint No. 3 where players use a cement cylinder to roll their way down the track without touching the ground (or else they have to start over). Grant overtakes Ben for first place during his first attempt, and then Team Australia's Troy passes Ben as well. As for the women, Zara finishes the tires first, with Team Australia's Emily in second. But in the third checkpoint, Team Argentina's Claudia passes them both to take first place.

'The Challenge: World Championship'
'The Challenge: World Championship' episode 1
| Credit: Jonne Roriz / Paramount +

At the fourth checkpoint, players must arrange weighted objects from lightest to heaviest to reveal a code to move on. Troy is first to move on to the final checkpoint where players transport a weighted flagpole from one end of the field to another, and raise their flag to finish. Grant moves on next, with Ben in third. For the women, Sarah makes up a ton of time and moves on first, with Emily in second.

In the last checkpoint, everyone struggles with getting the flagpole planted, but eventually Grant finishes in first place for the men, with Ben in second, Nathan in third, and Danny in fourth. For the women, Zara finishes in first place, with Kaz in second, and Justine coming up from last place to finish in third, and Kiki in fourth. As for the worst players, Tristan and Claudia couldn't even finish so they're heading straight into elimination.

But enough about the action — let's get into the drama! Theo reveals that Kaz is actually his ex, and they dated for over a year. They haven't really spoken since their breakup, so that is going to be juicy. There's also some unresolved issues between the Australian women, not to mention the decades of history between all the legends, so I'm ready to see this powder keg ignite.

When the players arrive to the house, Johnny Bananas makes his traditional toast despite having little to no voice (how did he lose it already?!), and Theo makes an incredibly dark joke about making sure to pop bottles of champagne upwards — since he literally lost an eye doing that incorrectly after his last Challenge appearance. He's now partially blind but he can still beat most of these other players in an elimination, so I'm extremely grateful he's back on our TV screens.

Wes, of course, starts chatting up all the newer players (and uses his limited knowledge of Spanish to do so), while Nelson does everything he can to get to know all the global MVPs too. All the legends work the room, while the MVPs try and figure out who they'd want to partner with. And Team UK's Nathan starts scheming to form an Australian/UK alliance, with plans to target Argentina right off the bat to help save his teammate Tristan. Meanwhile Sarah wants to form a US/Australia alliance with Emily, since that's who she considers to be her biggest competition.

The next day, some players have a pool party downstairs with Bananas serenading the women with his guitar, while Rodrigo teaches a dance class upstairs, and Justine starts to consider forming an alliance with Argentina just because she loves them the most. But she's also aware that they might not be ready for what's coming in the game. Alliance lines are already starting to form.


TJ explains that the global MVPs are the only ones competing in the first elimination, and the two winners — Grant and Zara — head up to the Hall of Fame room. But TJ reveals that Nathan "has been medically separated from this game," so Tristan is safe and there will be no men's elimination. Not another unexplained early cut! We've seen a ton of these recently on The Challenge and it's so frustrating to not get a real explanation as to why Nathan's gone, especially since he was already showing a lot of political prowess. But there's no time to dwell, since the women will still be competing.

Claudia leaves for the Hall of Fame room, while the remaining MVPs nominate two women for the winners to choose from for her opponent. Ben and Jujuy announce Claudia's wish is to go against Kaz, but Kaz shoots that down since her fellow UK ally Zara won't throw her in. She makes the case to nominate Jujuy instead. Things get awkward and messy, but Team US starts the vote by nominating Kaz and Kiki (their strategy is to try and force Grant and Zara into a stalemate, revealing what would happen in that circumstance for future eliminations). Team Argentina follows suit, and while Jujuy, Justine, and Sarah get votes as well, it's The Challenge: UK winner Kaz and The Challenge: Australia winner Kiki who ultimately get nominated.

Grant and Zara immediately disagree and refuse to vote in their respective teammates, and the house is lit on fire as the legends get in on the politicking and gossip. Both Team UK and Australia feel blindsided, but Emily was actually in on it the whole time with Sarah. She knows it's a risk plotting to use her own teammate as a pawn, but she hopes the big move will pay off and Kaz or Zara will get sent in instead.

THE CHALLENGE: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP- Global MVP Nathan Henry from Team UK in THE CHALLENGE: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP episode 1, season 1 streaming on Paramount +, 2023. CREDIT: Jonne Roriz / Paramount + © 2023 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Challenge World Championship and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
Credit: Jonne Roriz / Paramount +


At The Arena, Zara votes for Kiki while Grant votes for Kaz, resulting in a tie. They're both willing to risk going in themselves to save their allies, which impresses a lot of the legends. But TJ reveals that since it's a female elimination, Zara's vote is the tiebreaker, so Kiki ends up competing against Claudia. Emily's shocked because her plan to use Kiki as a pawn failed, and now her own teammate is at risk.

The first elimination is a Challenge classic: Pole Wrestle! First woman to win three rounds wins the whole thing. The horn blows the women immediately take it the ground and wrestle for a while. Kiki throws some elbows into Claudia's face and gets the first point, and her grit, determination, and dirty tactics impress the legends on the sidelines. In the second round, Kiki does the splits and gets her second point — Wes is now a huge fan of Kiki for using moves he's never seen before to win Pole Wrestle, an elimination he knows all too well. Kiki wins the third round swiftly, and sends Claudia home.

But the drama's not over yet! TJ announces it's time to pick teammates, and the global MVPs are the ones choosing their partners in the order they finished the qualifier. But that won't be revealed until episode 2.

The Challenge: World Championship debuts new episodes Wednesdays on Paramount+.

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