The Challenge: All Stars eliminated players reveal the blindside you didn't see
Warning: This article contains spoilers about episode 7 of The Challenge: All Stars.
Losing an elimination on The Challenge: All Stars is not fun. But for Nehemiah Clark and Kendal Sheppard — who had both already been sent into the Arena this season and won — losing to Eric "Big Easy" Banks and Jisela Delgado in episode 7 stung so much that Sheppard still hasn't watched the episode.
"It happened a while ago, and I didn't think it would be any big deal watching it now, but I don't know why I thought that," Sheppard tells EW. "I woke up this morning to a bunch of DMs from people saying how they were crying watching and they're so sad, and that got me really sad. So now I haven't even watched it — I've seen a couple clips, and I just can't bring myself to do it yet. Isn't that ridiculous?"
For Clark, the hardest part of losing was knowing that he chose Sheppard as his elimination partner and therefore had a hand in her exit. "The fact that it was a double elimination and that I had to actually have someone go in there with me, that I was connected to someone's fate which happened to be Kendal, it was harder watching me needing to bring someone in there with me vs. watching myself lose," he says. "It was harder for me to watch her lose."
"Even in the moment," Sheppard adds, "right after we had lost, Nehemiah, I felt so bad for you because you were like, 'I just ruined your chances of winning $500,000.' You weren't even thinking about your own chance, you were talking about my chance. You're just such a good human being."
Below, Clark and Sheppard break down the blindside you didn't see in the episode, what exactly happened in that elimination, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What were your goals coming onto All Stars?
KENDAL SHEPPARD: I wanted to win. I went in undefeated. [Laughs] I had done one Challenge, and I won it. I had done one elimination, and I won it. But I just didn't really think that a female could win, and so I quickly got that out of my head and really honed in on what is it that I want, which is to go and show my kids that mom is still cool. And I did that! So in that sense, I won.
NEHEMIAH CLARK: When I look back at the other Challenges, the one question that I asked myself was, if I was 100 percent honest, did I give it my all? And out of maybe four Challenges I think that there's one that I can say that about, and I didn't want that to be the case again. I wanted to have at least one last Challenge where I could say that I didn't do it half-assed or listened to the wrong people on strategy or how I should have played the game, instead of listening to myself. That was the biggest thing, and showing people that I am a competitor and that I do deserve that spot on the show.
Nehemiah, what was your reaction when Aneesa cast the deciding vote sending you into elimination?
SHEPPARD: That was not the deciding vote! It was all out of order. She was actually the one that started the whole cascade for everybody to vote Nehemiah. So the final vote wasn't the deciding factor, but I mean, in a way she decided it because she kind of flipped in the beginning, and then people followed suit.
CLARK: Yeah, and I actually had an agreement with Aneesa and Derrick right before the nominations, we shook hands and everything that they would vote for Yes. That is why I said Yes, because that's what Jisela said she wanted. And when I asked Easy who he wanted, he didn't say my name at that time. When Derrick said my name at the nominations of that's what Easy wanted, that was the very first time I had heard my name, so it was all just very shady.
SHEPPARD: You were totally blindsided. But I had been waiting for that moment to see where Aneesa's cards were and who she had ties with and what she was going to do, because she had a thousand promises all over the place. And unfortunately, me and Nehemiah got screwed over on that one.
Kendal, did you know that Nehemiah was going to pick you as his elimination partner?
SHEPPARD: Yeah. I wish they would have shown more of this stuff. I felt really bad for Nehemiah. People had their reasons for not wanting to be his partner and staying away from him and making him feel bad. I thought it was going to be Aneesa, that's what makes sense. Meanwhile she was coming to me saying how she hadn't been to a final in X amount of years and blah blah blah, tugging at my heartstrings, which of course works. So I told Nehemiah, I got you. If it's endurance or climbing, I'm yours. Call my name. But he had a couple options.
CLARK: [Laughs] Slim options. Just looking at the women who came up to me and told me that they had my back, I was only going to pick between those people. I wasn't going to just call anybody randomly out of spite or anything, which was kind of like what Aneesa was expecting me to do with her. It was really just between Kendal and Jemmye, and it just depended on what the game was. When I saw it was climbing, I knew I had to pick Kendal because that's what she told me her strong suit was.
SHEPPARD: And Aneesa was threatening to throw the whole elimination if Nehemiah picked her.
It looked like you guys started off strong in the elimination, so what happened down there?
CLARK: We were ahead of them when it came to getting to the ladder, getting the chains, but for some reason it wasn't as easy as the rings fitting on the rung. We had to actually remove them sometimes and then redo them, so we redid our ladder like two or three times before we were actually able to get it going. That slowed us up, and then we saw how they were doing their ladder towards the end, and by that time it was already too late.
SHEPPARD: It was so close, though. We were neck-and-neck. But there's no slack in the chain, so they're measured perfectly to go zigzag up the wall, and from my understanding, every time that they've tested it or done it in pre-production, everyone has made the ladder the same way as zigzagging it up the wall. What made them gain some steam was Easy with his master wizard puzzle brain found a shortcut so they didn't have to pull the chain super-tight to slide the rings over. So instead of going zigzagging across, he went up, so there's a lot of slack, and then he would cross over and then he'd go up again, and then cross over. Because Easy was able to find that loophole, he only had to pull it tight half as many times as we did, and so they made up a whole bunch of ground just by outsmarting us.
Nehemiah, how do you feel about having lost to Big Easy twice now?
CLARK: My hat is off to him as a competitor. We all have something to prove, and one of his things is that he belongs here just like we all do. I just happen to be the vessel that helps him prove that. [Laughs] I'm okay with that. He's my kryptonite. I feel like he'll probably beat me in any elimination at this point. My new Challenge goal is just to avoid Easy and make it to the final. But I definitely respect him, and he and Jisela deserved that win more than I do.
SHEPPARD: I have a different opinion. [Laughs] Nehemiah and I both have been in [the Arena] a couple times, so when I think of deserving, I feel like we did deserve to win. I don't feel like I'm walking out with a whole lot left on the table. But I really wanted to test myself in that final, and I'm really upset about that. But, Nehemiah, we really went through it and we deserved that win.
CLARK: Yeah, we definitely deserved to make it to the final, for sure.
Nehemiah, you and Jemmye got close during this season. Where does your relationship stand now?
CLARK: We text. Our relationship was more like a friendship on the show, and that extended outside of it. We like to flirt, but the basis of it is a friend-type deal. That's where we stand.
No grand, sweeping Challenge romance?
CLARK: [Laughs] Oh no, it was a Challenge fling. We actually never hooked up. I'm still a Challenge virgin — I have yet to hook up in the Challenge house.
There's always future seasons to change that!
CLARK: That is true. I will take this time to shoot my shot with Amber [Borzotra], the winner of the most recent Challenge. [Laughs] You put us on the same season, I'll definitely try.
Are you interested in coming back for another season of All Stars, or even just a regular season of The Challenge?
SHEPPARD: Yeah, I would do it. But Nehemiah already told me I need a new strategy. I'd need to watch more of the past shows first.
CLARK: I would love to do another season of All Stars, or even a regular Challenge. I'm ready for both. When we shot Friends and Benefits, a show that me and Wes [Bergmann] created, we had a lot of the current Challengers fly in to Kansas City, and we were watching the show, I was hanging out with them, working out with them, so that really ignited the fire in me because I'm working out next to these current Challengers and I'm seeing that I'm keeping up with them. And I'm not much older! So in my head it's like, there should be no reason why I can't still compete with these people. It does feel weird to be part of the loop again. It's such a different element because this is the first show I've done with social media. It's so different, and so weird, but amazing at the same time.