The Challenge All Stars 3 Episode 9 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
13 min readJun 29, 2022

Welcome to Winners & Losers!!! We’re so close to the end, a sweaty final halfway in the rear view mirror, and there is so much to talk about! Inside this week: Nia subscribes to the church of Rasheed Wallace, Snooki pops in, Jonna makes an interesting discovery on the plane, and much much more…

Winner: Changing It Up

For Derrick’s entire Challenge run, he has competed with the mindset of an underdog. That flame inside of him is like the flame at the JFK memorial that never goes out. Even when that underdog mentality isn’t deserved, and he was the clear favorite, that fire remained.

That dog inside of him made him the Challenger that everyone has loved and rooted for almost two decades now. But when you say something like “make it easy on me”, that flame is subconsciously extinguished. For the first time, he played the game entirely differently than he had in every single moment leading up to this one. He threw a changeup for the first time in his life during Game 7 of the World Series. And Nehemiah knocked it out of the park.

Tell him, Patrick. Picking Nehemiah, and bragging about the easy road was Derrick’s version of step back one-legged bullshit.

Winner: Believing That ‘Nobody Believes In Us’

Or, in this case, ‘Nobody Believes in Me’

One of the most powerful spiritual forces across all sports is the idea that “Nobody Believes in Us”. Champions have been crowned many times over when a team carries that mentality (for example, the aforementioned Derrick, every day up until that one).

Any human being would have been disrespected by being chosen as the “easy” one. In all walks of life. Work. Relationships. Reality Television Competition Shows.

And for someone like Nehemiah, someone who has played every Challenge with something to prove in perpetuity, hearing something like that is all the motivation he needed.

Winner: Math

It must have been a strange feeling to sit around all day wondering if you were actually going to have an elimination tonight. Because after Veronica left, the women and the men weren’t even, and this late in the game, it would make sense to cancel the women’s side. It’s just math.

And then you get no word, and you hop on a long bus ride to the elimination arena. You sit there stewing about what the game could possibly be. Getting psyched up for what’s sure to be an intense battle. This late, they wouldn’t do a cookies and milk eating contest. It’s bound to be a headbanger.

But are we even doing it?

Then you arrive, a single pole is sitting in the sand, you and your opponent now have to sit around yet again, anxiety-ridden, worrying about possibly having a broken rib a few hours from now.

The boys go, and it’s super physical. Lots of grunts and hard falls to the ground. But, fuck, are we even doing this? Why would we do this? TJ? Producers? Challenge Gods? Somebody explain.

But then you get your elbow pads on and your knee pads on and your helmet on and your mouth guard in place, and you think “fuckin hell, this is really happening”. Then you take turns grabbing the pole, standing across from a strong competitor, thinking about how the hell you’re going to get this pole away from them.

TJ steps away, and it’s now just you and your opponent. Woman vs. Woman, Woman vs. Nature, Woman vs. Herself. TJ thrusts his trusty airhorn high into the sky, and tenses his thumb against the button…

And then he says to stand up.

In the end, the greatest elimination isn’t an elimination at all…it’s fear. Merry Christmas.

Winner: The Spice Girls

Winner: The Backstreet Boys

Loser: Changing Clothes

They should have made Mark and Jonna compete in street clothes. Or better yet they should have made the rest of them change into street clothes.

Wow, this really went nowhere. Both of those ideas are pretty stupid. I just couldn’t help myself and had to remark on the whole frame wipe wardrobe change things.

If you have any suggestions on how to make this section at least slightly entertaining, tweet us @fessyfitness in the next three hours and I’ll edit in the best one.

Good luck!

Winner: Me

You know who would do amazing at this Challenge? Me.

I’ve been obsessed with that wall of pictures. I’ve studied it like the Zapruder Film (That’s two JFK references for absolutely no reason and I’m seven minutes into the episode. Just call me Kevin Costner.) and have been silently lamenting the lack of shots we’ve gotten of it.

How the photos were chosen and the thought process behind it is something I would pay big bucks to know. Like, Jordan’s drinking a sheep face and cow balls smoothie, while Kendal’s smiling and holding a giant check. How did they come to these conclusions?

For once, my strange obsession with Challenge House details would come in handy.

Winner: Lil’ Mama

Loser: Boredom

I understand that the pressure is at a maximum for them at this moment. And their adrenaline is probably pumping pretty hard. Because who knows, TJ might send last place home directly. I get that part.

I just feel as though if I were in that house for a month with nothing to do besides work-out, that wall would be something I stared at all day. How did they not even come up with a drinking game with it? It just seems like, at the end of the day (shout out Nany) it would simply just be something to do to pass the time.

Even if that something is staring at a wall of pictures, something is better than their alternative, which is nothing at all. Maybe some more pull-ups.

Those that struggled with this, what exactly did you spend the last month doing?

Winner: Taquitos

Yo, for real, same though.

Little guac too. Maybe some chippies. Lil salsa action. Ya know? It’s a party at my house, you’re all invited. BYOT.

Winner: Playing To Win

As I would say to the various girls I copied answers from over many years of Math class, if you don’t want me cheating off your test, cover your Scantron better.

Winner: Rasheed Wallace

For those that aren’t NBA fans, the saying Ball Don’t Lie refers to the idea that if a referee makes a perceived incorrect call, the player shooting the subsequent free throws will therefore miss one of them, because, well, the ball doesn’t lie.

It was popularized by Rasheed Wallace, who had a particularly prickly relationship with the referees. It’s extended well beyond him and seeped into regular hoops vernacular. I doubt there is any actual data that this is a real phenomenon, but I’ve watched and played a ton of basketball in my life, and I definitely pray at the Ball Don’t Lie altar.

Now I don’t totally think that Nia used it correctly unless her assumption is that Kailah will eventually fail in the Final, but hearing that phrase used on The Challenge justifies every decision I’ve made in my life.

I believe it was a gentleman by the name of Powerman 5000 who once attempted to surmise what it was like when worlds collide. Now I finally know the answer.

Loser: Reality TV Jargon

Nia had absolutely no time for Kailah’s generic reality speak. That might have been my favorite line of the season. Shout out to Nia for that. When keeping it real goes right.

Winner: Snooki

Karma is a nightclub in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. So I’m not sure what Jonna’s talking about, but I’ll forever be a sucker for corporate synergy.

Winner: Perception

Everyone raise your hand if you thought that Jonna was going to be FaceTiming MJ.

Loser: Growing Up

I will always laugh at a fart joke. Always and forever.

Winner: The Real Questions

I wonder whose blood that is?

Winner: Efficiency

Okay couple Q’s…

Did they only have three wine glasses? If so, how did Jonna end up as the odd woman out? Did they draw straws? Was Jonna a last minute add to the party, and so they only had three glasses ready? Was somebody else a late addition (probably Kellyanne) and Jonna sacrificed her own glass for the greater good? Did Jonna choose to drink straight from the bottle while other glasses were available? Is this something she does often? Is this something she does in her real life?

If anyone has any information pertaining to any of those questions, go ahead and tweet us @fessyfitness. We thank you in advance.

Winner: That Damn House

I would also use my last night to skinny dip in the pool of what is almost certainly the coolest house any of them will ever live in again.

What else are you supposed to do? Drink Gatorade and eat bread? That sounds fun Wes. You do you. I’m gonna drink wine straight from the bottle and drunk Facetime MJ later with my friends.

Winner: The Blurkle

I wonder what had to get blurkled out there?

Did Jonna find Dee hiding in a paper bag under the seat?

Winner: TJ

I take a smelly train car that sometimes has fresh pee running down the floor under the seats to work, TJ rides an ATV…

…..or a jetski, or a BMX bike, or a sports car, or a camel, or a helicopter…..

Loser: Casey

Somewhere out there in the world, wherever it is she may be, Casey got to this part of the episode and rolled her eyes so hard they fell out of her head.

Loser: Allen The Armadillo’s Alibi

“You told me you were working late that night!”

“Honey, I swear that wasn’t me.”

“I’ve been married to your bum-ass for twenty years, you think I don’t know your stupid little scurry when I see it?”

“Baby, I swear, it’s not what you think…”

“You’ve been sneakin around with that whore Stacy from accounting again haven’t you?! HAVEN’T YOU!”

“No, baby I promise, I was…uh…at the store”

“The store?!?! Allen Samuel don’t you dare fucking lie to me.”

“Baby, baby, Alice, hunny, I can explain….”

A small berry flew past Allen’s head and smashed against the opposite side of the burrow he and Alice had spent their entire marriage living in. A burrow dug on top of lies. When Allen the armadillo spun around and saw the look on Alice’s face, he knew deep down things would never be the same.

“Can we at least finish the episode?”

Loser: All Three of Kellyanne’s Paddle Boards.

You mean to tell me that out of the three paddle boards she has, none of them are assembled by putting together a puzzle out of The Challenge logo?

Then what’s the point?

Loser: Getting Into Cars With Strangers

“Thanks for coming to get me. I appreciate it. Hold on, you guys are new, weird they’d hire a new crew for the Final. Wait, what’s the ammonia soaked rag in your hand for?”

Winner: Call Me By Your Name

Winner: The Duality Of Living

There are two types of people who watch The Challenge, especially the Final.

Those who think to themselves, “that looks intense, I want to do that!” and those who think to themselves, “fuck that.”

I am firmly entrenched in the “fuck that” category. I’m not opposed to physical activity and testing your limits, but Finals just aren’t for me. They take ‘doin too much’ to another level. I get exhausted watching these people get exhausted, and when the arrived at the color pinwheel game, that’s right around the point where I checked out. And I’m just sitting on my couch.

Fuck that.

Loser: My Previous Assumption About Brad’s Favorite Color

For some reason this is surprising to me. Not that I’ve ever thought about what Brad’s favorite color is, but as soon as he said it was green I realized I would never have guessed that. I don’t know why. Brad just doesn’t seem like a green guy to me. To be honest, green’s just kind of a strange favorite color to say.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that green was their favorite color. You get a lot of blues, reds, and purples. Or some specific color like periwinkle or some shit. But you just don’t see a lot of green.

Everyone tweet your favorite color to @fessyfitness, we’ll compile all the data, and send out our findings.

Winner: The Youth

Not that I’d know either way, but I have a feeling the only people saying “100” are older people who think that’s what kids are saying.

Loser: Kayaking

The Challenge has historically made kayaking look like the most difficult thing to do in the entire world. I used to see groups of kayakers leisurely gliding down the Chicago river at my old job, and it always made me laugh thinking that they were running (or kayaking in this case) TJ’s Final and how disappointed he would be with how slow they were moving.

Loser: Inevitably Incorrect Predictions

Who do I think is going to win?

First of all, thank you for asking. No one ever asks me my opinions. Secondly…

Wes seems to be putting on a clinic right now, and it would take a pretty intense choke job for him to slip behind anyone besides Nehemiah. Mark would need a miracle to catch up at this point. And Brad’s bound to mount a furious comeback only for there to be a best of five soccer goal challenge vs. Wes at the end for all the marbles.

As for the women, it seems like it could be anyone’s game. No one’s blowing anyone else out. Kellyanne’s starting to dig a hole that’s gonna be hard to emerge from victorious, but otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess. Pull a name out of a hat.

But I’m also the guy that spent twenty minutes of his day putting together that fart photo montage earlier and giggled like an idiot the entire time, so, what the hell do I know?

You know what? Fuck it, LET’S DANCE!

Thanks for reading! See you back here soon! And, as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!

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Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions, from a fan’s perspective.