The Challenge: World Championship recap: Jordan and Tori try to nominate their own teams
Real talk… what is going on on The Challenge: World Championship? The lines are getting so blurred between alliances that we're now seeing multiple veteran champs considering whether to throw their own teams into elimination. And that just makes no sense. But let's recap, shall we?
After last week's episode finally saw KellyAnne's reign of politicking end as she and Tristan were eliminated, there are now only six teams left, and it's really getting down to the nitty-gritty — which Troy says correctly (Nelson, take notes!).
Sarah outright admits that she and Danny have no intention of following through with their agreement to nominate Yes and Emily this week, despite making that deal last week with Tori and Jordan — not shocking at all. It's the classic Survivor short-term strategy of doing whatever it takes to make it to the next step of the game — but that doesn't usually work in a long-term, multiseason game like The Challenge. The only way it will work out for them this time is if Yes and Emily win this next challenge. They're all hoping for a miracle.
The Challenge: Points Break
Players must swim to six floating platforms in a massive lake to collect puzzle pieces. Once all the pieces have been collected, teams solve the puzzle and answer a question to stop their time. But they can only call for a check three times or else they're DQed. And, oh yeah, players have to do this entire thing tethered to their partners. Fun!
Right at the start, some teams pull ahead while others struggle, as per usual with long-distance swimming challenges. Darrell tries to calm Kiki down as she panics, Tori teaches Danny the "squid" swimming stroke, and Jordan pushes Kaz to keep right behind Emily and Yes because that actually makes their swim easier (I don't really understand the science behind that, but Emily knows exactly what Jordan's doing). After getting their first piece, Kiki has to use her inhaler because she has severe asthma, and Theo can barely swim.
Jordan and Kaz eventually take the lead because even though Emily is an Olympic gold medal swimmer, she has to drag Yes with her, and he's slowing her down immensely. But Jordan and Kaz lose a lot of that lead after Jordan grabs another team's puzzle piece, adding an extra lap to their swim. That helps Darrell and Kiki, since it was their puzzle piece that Jordan and Kaz grabbed, so they now have one less trip to make. (Side note: The moment when Darrell dives back into the water when Kiki isn't paying attention is absolutely hilarious. She gets yanked into the water with a blood-curdling scream, and the cameras only catch it in the bottom corner before she's pulled out of frame. It's this season's "CT throwing a shoe in Wes' face" moment, for sure.)
Kaz gets Jordan to admit he made a mistake, but of course, he refuses to quit. He still wants to try and get that win. Emily and Yes get all their pieces first and start on the puzzle, but Jordan and Kaz still catch up even with their extra lap and start on the puzzle too. That says a lot about Jordan and Kaz's swimming abilities — they really made up a ton of time to catch up that quickly! But Emily and Yes solve the puzzle first, though they're wrong on their first check. Jordan and Kaz solve the puzzle and also get their first check wrong. Emily and Yes get their second guess wrong, and so do Jordan and Kaz. It's all down to their last attempt… and Emily and Yes get it right, winning the whole challenge right when they needed it most. The most brutal part is that Jordan and Kaz get it right just a second later. To say Jordan is pissed is an understatement, because with how much extra swimming they had to do, losing by just a second is a tough pill to swallow.
Now it's a race to see who loses… and unfortunately, for the second week in a row, it's Darrell and Kiki. Back at the house, Troy is starting to sweat knowing that Emily has power and there's no more Team Australia loyalty (was there ever?). Meanwhile, Danny, Sarah, and Emily are gloating about their plan working out against all odds. But Danny still doesn't quite understand that his eagerness to get rid of his own partner's allies actually hurts his own game. It's wild to see how much he's still trying to eliminate allies who would protect him because he's literally attached to Tori.
Jordan, meanwhile, tells Kaycee he'll fall on the sword to keep her safe. Either his confidence or his loyalty is at an all-time high right now, but Kaycee's not feeling confident he'll follow through. Kaz also has no idea her partner is considering throwing them into elimination, and when she finds out, she's absolutely furious. They get into a huge poolside fight as Theo awkwardly sits there listening the entire time. Jordan's arrogance here shows how he's not perfect, and no matter how much he's learned and grown from his rookie season, he still has some ways to go.
On the other hand, Tori is also considering falling on her sword to pay back Jordan and Kaycee for saving her over and over this season. She thinks going into elimination this time could work out in her favor… but how does Danny feel about that plan? He's literally never been in an elimination, even when he won The Challenge: USA. And he has no intentions of going into one this season either.
Are we about to see a battle royal of people trying to throw themselves into elimination?! That would certainly be a first.
Tori starts the conversation by trying to convince Danny to throw themselves in, but he doesn't agree. No surprise there. He won't let her do this to their team, and he's right (in this instance, at least). Jordan, however, takes after Danny and not Tori here — he gives in to Kaz and doesn't try to vote their own team in. Turns out he also made a deal earlier in the day with Emily and Yes to throw the next challenge if they don't put them into elimination this time. Jordan is putting Kaz's feelings above his own by making a very bad deal, because this close to the final, you should never willingly lose a challenge. Let's see how that plays out next week.
Meanwhile, the vote doesn't go anywhere and everyone agrees to stalemate. Now it's up to Emily and Yes to make the final decision, and they are thrilled about this because they have all the power now.
Emily and Yes don't hesitate to vote in Troy and Kaycee for a true Team Australia bloodbath against Darrell and Kiki. The elimination is "Breakthrough," in which teams swing through a giant wall, rebuild the wall like a puzzle to reveal a math equation, and then solve it. Then they move on to a second wall, swing through it, grab puzzle pieces, and solve a second puzzle. First team to finish the second puzzle wins.
On the first swing, Troy and Kaycee knock down more of their wall, slowing them down on the first puzzle. But both teams get to the equation at the same time, and watching everyone struggle with simple math is always entertaining. Troy solves the equation first, but he and Kaycee can't break through the second wall no matter how hard they keep trying. That thing looks solid.
Eventually, Troy breaks through, and they move on to the second puzzle while Darrell and Kiki continue struggling with the math. Troy and Kaycee fly through the second puzzle and win the elimination, finally sending Darrell and Kiki home. Now Troy and Kaycee are ready to get back in the house and get revenge on Yes and Emily.
And then TJ teases everyone by saying this was the most important elimination of the season… but nope, we're still not at the final. Only one more challenge until the final begins! Jordan's deal is looking worse and worse now.
The Challenge: World Championship debuts new episodes Wednesdays on Paramount+.
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