The Challenge: All Stars players break down that double elimination twist
Warning: This article contains spoilers about episode 5 of The Challenge: All Stars, now streaming on Paramount+.
The Challenge: All Stars traded in the Lifesaver for a double elimination in this week's episode, and it ended up being the unfortunate reason that both fan-favorites Syrus Yarbrough and Beth Stolarczyk were sent home.
"That was my birthday! It was a terrible birthday," Stolarczyk tells EW with a laugh. "And it was Valentine's Day. I was like, wow, this is coming out of nowhere. TJ, that was a sneak attack."
What they didn't show in the episode is the reason why Yarbrough and Stolarczyk came in last place in the daily challenge, which is why they were sent into elimination. "Syrus told me during the challenge when we were trying to figure out that puzzle that he was colorblind," Stolarczyk reveals. "And I had no idea! But it was too late. Once I had that information, everyone else was off and running."
Yarbrough laughs as he explains, "Listen, I'm slightly colorblind, but my problem is I'm a designer. Who's going to hire a colorblind designer? I don't put it out there like that. It's not conducive for me. I have a major issue with reds, and I have a major issue with blues. It is what it is. And my ankle was in way worse shape than my colorblindness in my mind."
Below, EW got Yarbrough and Stolarczyk to break down that double elimination twist, why he was so set on going against Alton Williams, and the secret sabotage that wasn't shown.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you both feeling about your elimination now that you've had some time away from it?
SYRUS YARBROUGH: Oh, I still want to kill him. Where's he at? He got an event that he was really good at, and if it had been anything else, it would have been a different story.
BETH STOLARCZYK: I definitely did the best that I could and had it been an individual challenge elimination against Aneesa, I would have beaten her for sure. I look forward to going back and it's definitely not the end of my story and I'm sure it's not the end of Syrus' story.
YARBROUGH: For sure. I'm just mad that they had to drag Beth in. I wish I could have done it myself. But I'd rather be in there with her than any other girl that was there.
STOLARCZYK: Yeah, if I was going to go down like that, had it been anybody else, I would have been super upset, but the fact that it was Syrus, if I'm going to leave with anybody, it's going to be with him so that kind of made everything okay for me. Looking back in hindsight had I known that I was going to have to go in there, there's no way that I would have let Syrus choose Alton, though. [Laughs] It would have been literally anybody else!
YARBROUGH: But with the information that was given to me, as a man, there was only one person I could choose, point-blank. And it was Alton for the simple fact that he was plotting to throw me in earlier. Once I hear something like that, you can't tell me anything else. I want that man. I don't care if it's the biggest man in the world; I want that guy. That's the way I am in life. Let's go. If you're better than me, you're better than me, but if I beat you? Let's go.
Wait, so Alton was scheming against you earlier than this moment in the game?
YARBROUGH: Alton had plotted right away off the bat. He tried to get Jisela to use the Lifesaver to save Ace and throw me in [to the very first elimination]. But no one really knew that because I was holding it in my pocket for when I needed to use it. The plan was to go in and kick his butt and then bust it out, and the world would explode. But it didn't happen like that. Instead, my world exploded, and I'm at home sitting down watching it on TV.
STOLARCZYK: Wait, I didn't know that! I had no idea Alton was gunning for Syrus. I mean, we were all living in the same room. Syrus didn't give me that information!
YARBROUGH: I also didn't want anyone going at him a certain way just because of that; I wanted to settle it my way and do my thing. That kind of competing is just not me. I'll win and then talk my s---. I was planning for that moment to do it, and it would have been so much sweeter if I'd won that. The one time in my life I was hoping for a Hall Brawl was right then. I would have still been there, for sure.
And Syrus, what exactly happened with your ankle? We don't see you get injured in the episode.
YARBROUGH: So I'm walking out in this beautiful place out front, me and Darrell are taking a stroll. On the front stairs, there's a brick missing, and I stepped funny on it and literally went down. Darrell thought my ankle or my kneecap had given. He thought I tore my ACL or something, but it was a really bad ankle sprain. I was like, wow, I didn't work out at all while I'm here in fear of twisting something or tweaking something. And then I hurt myself walking casually down the stairs. I was so upset. It's still messed up to this day! I'm still dealing with that.
You still performed really well in the daily challenge even with that injury.
YARBROUGH: For me, it's always been mind over matter. Unless it's something completely major to where I can't move, that's the only way I'm getting taken out. Otherwise, I'm competing. I can't wait to get back to The Challenge. I wish it was tomorrow. I'm ready to go!
Beth, how did you feel about having to do this specific elimination so soon after you had escaped doing it against Arissa?
STOLARCZYK: I wanted to do that elimination against Arissa, so when I saw it again, I was happy that it was that elimination. But to throw in climbing over each wall is something I knew was going to be challenging because Syrus had a bad ankle. So it's a bummer that it went down that way.
Syrus, what was it like doing that elimination and jumping down on your bad ankle? It looked like you were in a lot of pain.
YARBROUGH: Adrenaline was pumping, and once you get in that zone, you just go. The pain I'll deal with later. But I really thought I broke my ankle on the second landing. I remember thinking, if my ankle's broken, am I going to break my neck? I was worried about falling backward, trying to climb up, thinking there was no way to grip with your hands. And I'm not going out that way. I'd definitely give up before that was the case. So my only goal was not to fall backward. And what a lot of people don't realize is when you do these Challenges, people are still calling you out on the streets for years and years and years. So the last thing you want to do is not do yourself justice in these eliminations. I just always want to compete at the highest level possible.
How did the reality of All Stars compare to what you had expected or hoped it to be like?
YARBROUGH: I thought it was going to be a little less intense. But that quickly changed with the first mission. [Laughs] After seeing that, I knew it was going to be balls-out, and it was a real Challenge. People were getting hurt, people were getting saved, people were actually fearing for their lives. It didn't become real until you see that.
STOLARCZYK: Yeah, I thought it was going to be a scaled-back version. [Laughs] Just because we're older. But I was excited for the challenge. We just got unlucky in the last one. And we were doing well with that log, but Alton was hanging on us; he was like 10 feet behind us. It was totally ridiculous. He was purposely trying to sabotage us.
YARBROUGH: We all had to keep one hand on the log. That was the only rule. So if Alton's hand wasn't on the log, what did that mean? I thought that would mean a foul, disqualification, anything. That's what happens; you get penalized. But Alton wasn't penalized at all. I was penalized because I had to carry his weight. And on my bad ankle, with my 10 plus years. There should have been some kind of penalty for that. I actually talked to the cameraman because I was carrying the log, and Alton was 10 feet behind me, and I was like, are you kidding me? It doesn't sit well with me. But we'll have our moment to go head-to-head again. Hopefully, The Challenge gods will grant me that. But it really felt like he was sabotaging me. Period. Because no one wants to go with Alton one-on-one. And no one wants to go against Yes, definitely. So who's left? Syrus. So everyone's going to try to come at me, and he knew that. So I think he tried to set me up.
It was pretty shocking to see him gas out so quickly on that first hill.
YARBROUGH: I don't understand how you can be a perfectly chiseled African god, and there are so many other people, some that are 10 years older than him, and they don't ask for one break. And Alton asked for at least five to 10 breaks.
STOLARCZYK: We stopped easily 10 times. And not because of anybody else; it was only because of Alton. He was hanging on me; he stepped on my shoes. Picture holding a log, all of us are holding it from underneath to support the weight of it, and he's putting all his weight on the log with his hands on top of the log. So we were carrying him.
YARBROUGH: It was crazy! Even now, I can't believe he did what he did. It doesn't make any sense. He should have been disqualified. I should not have been going into elimination; he should have been in my place.
But at least it sounds like you're both interested in coming back for another All Stars season!
STOLARCZYK: There's always another Challenge! There's always another OG Challenge, and hopefully, they will ask us both back, and we'll get another crack at it. We always go at it 100, and hopefully, we can go back again and compete. It was fun. I had a great time!
YARBROUGH: I had a blast. And having a piece of home there in Beth was amazing. She was my rock there. So let them know, put it out there: Beth and Syrus are ready to come back. We're ready to go!
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