The Challenge All Stars 4 Episode 2 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
24 min readApr 13, 2024

Back so soon?

Inside this week: Laurel ruins somebody else’s stuff, Averey tries out to be my ghostwriter, OJ Simpson died, and much much more….

Winner: Progressive Comfort Levels

This is what farting is like in the beginning of a relationship.

This is what farting is like after dating someone for five years.

What a disgusting way to start this article.

Seriously, you’re gross. Grow up.

Winner: Taking What You Can Get

Guys, I’m pretty sure last week he was talking about his struggle to find work as a hand model. I’m not sure voice over work is exactly the same. This whole thing is especially fucked up considering all the voice over actors who need jobs too.

What’s next, we gonna hire some rando normal-handed fellow to start poppin’ Modelo bottles in commercials?

Brad’s been vocal about struggling to find work since Cutthroat and not once have they asked him to do anything special. Steve complains once and they just cannot stop hiring this guy for contract work.

Why is there not more outrage about this?!

Just again proves my point that Challenge fans aren’t paying attention to the stuff that really matters.

Winner: Potentially Us If Everything Works Out

Okay so all jokes about Steve sniping jobs from people aside, and I guess we won’t know the answer to this for a little while, but if the plan is for the prior week’s winner to narrate the “Previously On” segment, you all do know what this means right?

It means that there is a world where Nicole wins an elimination, and that we get to listen to her version of it.

Imagine her saying the words “brilliant gamesmanship”.

Ideally, she’s voted into every elimination, even the guy weeks, and goes on a heater the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Oh my God, I just realized, if they keep this around forever, Berna The Clown might someday do one too. Which would be like the voice over work in Shawshank Redemption.

I gotta keep it moving or else we’ll get stuck in this mud for the rest of the recap. Let’s get on with chlorophyll.

Winner: Family Dinner

Let’s go around the table, starting with Ayanna.

So, it seems to me that Ayanna’s the one eating those South African Cocoa Puffs. Which are obviously Cocoa Puffs because we’re not stupid. But thank the Lord they covered the logo in tape. Wouldn’t want Count Chocula getting free advertising off the backs of Paramount+.

Moving counterclockwise, we reach Club Rat Jay. He and I are vastly different people. I don’t even know him; he may as well be a total stranger. But context clues alone suggest to me that he and I share very few opinions on the world and/or hobbies.

But while watching him return home after a long night, break up a slice of cheese and stack the pieces into the center of a tortilla, which he is then going to presumably roll up and place on a pan (or hopefully not the microwave, but I understand their choices are limited), I saw a little bit of myself.

Now my move has grown much more sophisticated over the years. Rather than American cheese, I now take some soft goat cheese off the log and place it on a tortilla (flour’s better for this situation but having both available around the house is ideal) I had resting over the stove-top flame for twenty seconds, squirt some Sriracha, and then roll it up.

Sweet, tangy, spicy. It’s a snack with everything you need.

My guess is Club Rat Jay has never had goat cheese before. Or he has and didn’t realize it. Or maybe he tried a little one time when his cousin the chef invited the family over for dinner and forced him to try some of what he told his buddies down at the firehouse later was “some fancy ass food”.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope he’s sneaky got the most sophisticated palate in the house. That’s the thing with people like him who I make a lot of baseless assumptions and speculate recklessly about, I don’t actually want to be right. There would be nothing more hilarious to me than finding out that Club Rat Jay has like some sick wine collection and is really advanced in his knowledge of food in other cultures.

But then you have times like last week when The Middle Group (really stupid, just so so stupid) were sitting around the pool voting, in the summer, on vacation, and he was wearing full-on sneakers.

So, it’s like, idk, how genteel can a person like that really be?

Continuing to work backwards, we reach Tony. Now I’ve tried hard to figure out what he’s working with in that bag. It seems like it’s possibly some sort of greens, but I’ve rewatched this scene a dozen times and the way they fall onto his plate is more like a cracker or a pretzel.

And then we get to Ryan. Who’s eating a chicken wing with a very scrumptious looking glaze on it. Except he’s using a bowl as his wing vessel? At first you’re like, okay that’s fine, maybe there weren’t a ton of plates available. Except for then you remember that Tony is using a plate for pretzels.

I know it really doesn’t matter which vessel you use for which food. I once watched an episode of Beating Bobby Flay where he plated a burrito inside of a coffee mug. But idk, shouldn’t that be the other way around? Wings on the plate, pretzels on the bowl?

The real mystery though, is that soon-to-be hardboiled egg in the middle of them all. Ayanna’s eating cereal, Ryan’s already getting protein. Which leaves just Tony and Club Rat Jay. If I had to guess?

…..

This is tough, gimme a second…

…..

Okay, yeah, I think it’s Tony’s. It would explain the pretzels on a plate. And honestly the combination of a hardboiled egg and the crunchy saltiness of the pretzels low key kinda sounds amazing. Maybe if they have like honey mustard in the fridge or something like that he could drizzle a little over the top.

Well, I feel better now that I worked through all that.

Winner: Experimental Films

If they would have just released episode two and rather than what we got, instead it was just 48 minutes worth of Nicole and Laurel silently moving about their morning routine five feet away from each other, do not tell me it wouldn't have totally hypnotized you.

The moment this scene began, I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. Someone could have rushed into my living room and said “Brian, Snoop Dogg and Aneesa are here, and they want to be your best friends.”

I’d be like “yeah, yeah, hold on second, Nicole’s making a protein shake”

I didn’t want it to end. It seems like I’m kidding but I’m not, I really do think that would have been the best episode of television this show has ever produced.

Winner: Being Free From Time

Number one, Nicole asking what time someone’s doing something when they’re essentially living in a world where time is a construct dictated by the whims of the producers telling them where and when to stand is wonderful.

Number two, not knowing what time it even is? That’s like majorly trippy brah. Would that be freeing? I feel like I’ve already checked the clock like fifteen times already today. I guess it’s because I have to go work, but otherwise, why am I doing it? Why do I care what time it is? Yet I always seem to. Even when I have nothing going on.

Number three, could you imagine how competitive just their warm-up sets would be? Nicole’s a crazy person, and Rachel’s not just gonna let someone else be better at jumping jacks than she is. No one, not a single person who’s ever crossed paths with Rachel, will be better at jumping jacks than she is. It’s obvious she made that pact with herself long ago. And sticking to your own personal ethos is an admirable trait.

What were we talking about again? Pretzels?

Loser: Toasters, Brave Or Otherwise

So, what’s happening there? Do they not have a toaster? Is she reheating French toast? Do they not have spatulas? Why is she using a butter knife? If it’s a saving dishes thing, I mean who cares? They have nothing else to do. I’d welcome the opportunity for a break from staring at the ceiling.

Also, Laurel, it seems to me that those are some decent pots and pans, and I know that this is sorta like cooking at an Airbnb where you don’t really care about the kitchen stuffs but come on. Just grab something else.

Though, to be fair to her, it’s possible that all the cooking utensils were in those drawers under the blender near where Nicole was standing. Which I understand avoiding. Even something as small as an ‘excuse me’ could potentially lead to disastrous results. As we learn later, these two go from zero to light speed in a matter of seconds.

So, to whichever rich guy owns this house, I’ll be the one to apologize on behalf of my friends. Sorry about using a butter knife on your pans. Because if anyone needs our sympathies at a time like this, it’s rich guys who can afford to have a house as nice as this one that they just don’t actually ever live in.

Loser: The Stuff They Don’t Warn You About

Many aspects of adulthood are not covered properly during your formative years. For a good chunk of your life, your friends are your family. You spend more time with them than anyone else. Whether it’s a lot of friends, or a few friends, or even one friend, that’s the type of relationship in your life that you just don’t ever think is going away.

And then you find a partner, you get a job, you move, and then suddenly you realize you haven’t hung out with your friends all together in the same room in months. And then more time passes, and those months become years.

This scene where Tina gets emotional simply talking about how she feels about this season, which happens to be one of those fleeting moments when your friends are all together, really hit home. It reminded me of one of my favorite song lyrics ever, one that recently has gotten me emotional in the car more than once.

You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan, and the next five years trying to be with your friends again

Those of you reading this who are on the second half of those lyrics understand it much better than those on the front end.

Demonstrated here by Tina, and last episode by Kefla, as well as all the times during the first three iterations of All Stars when something similar happened, this is a group of people firmly entrenched in the second half. Because they understand how quickly that rug can get pulled out from under you.

Even if the world allows us to Facetime and text and constantly be in contact with whoever we want, it's not the same. None of it is the same as sitting around a house and rotting away on couches doing absolutely nothing noteworthy at all. Except eventually you realize those were some of the most noteworthy moments of your entire life.

When you reach the second half of those lyrics, it’s not that you want to go back to a life of sitting around doing nothing. That sounds boring as shit. But doing nothing is why you end up trying to get with the plan in the first place.

Beyond everything else, whether it was intended or not, All Stars has provided a space for all these people, people who appreciate how rare this situation truly is, to be with their friends again.

Call me a sap all you want, but there’s something beautiful in that.

Winner: The Beatles

Winner: Commitment

Yeah, Cara, they heard you the first time.

Or maybe not, who knows, just keep saying it. Repeat it over and over again until you turn into Hodor except your name will just be Starget.

Starget Maria.

Nailed it.

Winner: Complicated Airflow

Now I know a thing or two about using a lot of words and saying nothing of substance at all, as any of my nineteen readers could tell you. But this is some high-level poppycock outta Averey’s mouth.

It’s like I trust all of them but I trust none of them.

That’s a sentence that would fit right in seamlessly around here. That means nothing at all. Those are just words placed in an order which grammatically makes sense.

It’s all good though, at least she’s good at math.

Winner: Sunflowers

By far my favorite flower. I even have some tattooed on my chest. If you have differing opinions, opinions which are obviously wrong, feel free to tweet us @fessyfitness and we’ll be sure to block you because what you said is obviously stupid.

Winner: The Story Being Told Off Screen

While Jasmine and Kam were trying their best to have the most generic Challenge conversation possible, something much more interesting was happening just off to their right.

Kefla and Nicole doing yoga or back stretches or whatever is happening over there is fascinating. How did that start? How does Kefla’s name sound coming out of Nicole’s mouth? What do Kefla and Nicole talk about? Are they both really into F1 or something like that? I’m fairly sure Kefla’s from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line and Nicole is extremely not from that part of the world, so it’s like what do they have in common? Can’t be just pushups or whatever, because every single person in the house has that in common.

Idk, and you’ll never know either, because instead of showing us that, we watched Kam and Jasmine have a conversation that could be placed into every single season ever filmed and work just the same.

Winner: Radio Stations In The Year 2000

It’s hard to explain unless you were there, but when Ride Wit Me came out, every single Top 40 radio station in the world celebrated. At least in Chicago, on our two main pop music radio stations at the time, B96 and Kiss FM, this record was in rotation like every three songs.

And now looking back at ten-year-old me walking around the house constantly singing “IF YOU WANNA GET HIGH WITH ME SMOKE AN L IN THE BACK OF THE BENZZZZZEEEHHEEE” and rapping “You know it’s all good/Range Rover all wood/do me like you should/fuck me good, suck me good” it’s no wonder that I turned out the way that I did.

These days, Nelly is making country music with Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan which is just hip-hop with enough fiddle and southern twang to trick white suburban moms into letting their kids listen to it. Which is likely a much more lucrative business for him than asking those same suburban mothers whether they and their children listening in the backseat of their car would like to join him in the back seat of his own car for a blunt session.

Which would be depressing if it weren’t so hilarious. Or would it be hilarious if it weren’t so depressing? It’s hard to even tell anymore.

In the end, it always works out for Cardinals fans, doesn’t it?

Winner: The Missing Pieces

You know what’s missing from this daily challenge?

Point A and Point B.

There was no race, there was no object to carry, there was no puzzle to solve along the way. It was just a fun, silly, straightforward daily challenge with some easter egg jokes sprinkled in for those paying attention.

I mean, honestly, is there any Challenge fan in the world who prefers the Point A to Point B and solve a puzzle along the way daily challenges to stuff like this?

Winner: Attempted Manslaughter

Okay that actually might be the funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.

Loser: Me, I Think

It’s entirely possible I’m a moron, but I can’t for the life of my think of what the JP’s Gelato one is referring to.

No way it can really be JP from War of the Worlds, right? Did he come from a reality show about an ice cream parlor or something?

This is usually the part where I tell you to tweet the answer to us @fessyfitness, but I actually want to get the message this time, so if you get the reference feel free to let me know.

Winner: Flora The GOAT

My heart. It hurts to love this much.

Winner: Not Living With Ayanna

Yeah, well, luckily, I live with my girlfriend and my dog so I can just sit back relax and enjoy the show.

Kefla, Ayanna, your thoughts on the subject?

Winner: Forging Your Own Path

You’re right, Averey. It could be 879. Hell, it could be 881! I mean who’s to say, really? Numbers are a fleeting concept rooted in the abstract. Especially since the night of the big storm. The fact that there’s a “right” answer to any of these questions is a load of bologna as it is.

Let’s not get on Averey for asking the real questions. It’s the idea of tearing down those attempting to speak truth to power that’s killing journalism in this country.

Loser: Corporate Machinations

Pictured above is a group of Viacom executives discovering a way to cut MTV’s production budget in 2007 due to the combination of the investment arm of their firm discovering the upcoming crash of the worldwide housing market as well as skyrocketing gas prices.

Winner: Love

As John Lennon once said, it’s all you need.

Shot in the back, John Lennon. Sad story. Young kid.

Speaking of, did you guys hear OJ died?

Wild shit, man.

I wonder if anyone’s going to feel a certain way when they study his brain and discover that due to years of playing football in a helmet less padded than the chair I’m sitting on right now, he has the brain of a 187-year-old man.

Still to me the craziest thing about OJ (okay, that’s just simply not true, but you know what I mean) is that Reggie Bush lost his Heisman trophy (at least on the record books, I’m pretty sure he refused to give the actual trophy back,because, well, duh) because Pete Carroll bought his mom a house and OJ Simpson murdered his wife and a waiter (shout out to Norm MacDonald the funniest human being to ever live) and kinda sorta technically still has his Heisman trophy recognized.

And out of all the unoriginal jokes that got fired off on Twitter that night the news broke, by far the funniest one, and it’s not even close, is when whoever runs the NFL Hall Of Fame sent out a tweet about how he rushed for 2,000 yards in 14 games.

Bro, lmao, it’s OJ Simpson! Who cares?

Distancing yourself from OJ Simpson of all people is like the easiest thing for anyone to do, and yet those people are so starch and principled that they can’t even be like, “murder is bad”.

Who is that for? We got it. To the NFL Hall of Fame, all that matters is the football. Which is the thought process of an insane person, considering that he murdered his wife and a waiter.

Anywho, Leroy and Kam are adorable, huh?

Winner: Laurel

Lmao, a poor time.

Laurel might be the funniest person alive.

Winner: Club Rat Jay’s Kill/Death Ratio

This is the best season of The Challenge ever. I am having so much fun. What the hell is going on. I never want it to end.

Winner: Being Alive

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one is priceless.

This is the exact image I’m going to see either right before I die or immediately after.

Ideally, it’s both.

Winner: Speed Kills

That escalated fast. Like, real fast. Like, dangerous fast.

Why they don’t talk is now truly clear. And I just cannot wait for this rapid disintegration to grow into a beautiful bouquet of misery for both everyone in their orbit and entrancing entertainment for those of us safe and cozy at home.

Even outside of the obvious, Tony’s face is spot-on perfect. I have a friend who’s a lot like Tony. Tall, lanky, handsome, whichever woman is nearest to them mostly drive their decision making, and now they both have daughters, plural.

That look on Tony’s face is the look of a shell-shocked Dad trying to keep it together and pretend everything’s fine. I’ve seen the same one on my friend’s face many times.

And Club Rat Jay is just so damn happy to be a part of something. Like this is all so sweet and heartwarming I didn’t realize I need all of this in my life so badly.

Winner: Staying True To Who You Are Deep Down No Matter The Circumstances You Face

It’s as if Nicole wanted to say that Laurel’s acting like a five-year-old while juxtaposing it with her current age, except that whichever chip in her brain that’s malfunctioning will not allow her to get it out without also hitting on her at the same time.

The way her brain works is crazy. Do you think that if she were straight, that during their time living together in the Real World house, Nicole and Tony would have sired a basketball team’s worth of children? Not even out of attraction, but more like a magnet to metal. Like there would have been no free will involved whatsoever. Pure science.

Honestly, it’s probably for the best it worked out the way that it did.

Loser: The Middle Group

They had over a year to go back and fix this. They could have changed the graphics, and had TJ done some voice overs, and edited around it otherwise. Hell, they could have left the actual words in there and just pretended it was named something else.

Because The Middle Group isn’t a name for something. It’s just what something is. They could have just been like “oh we’re in the middle group” and all of us would have understood what that meant without thinking it was the official name.

The Middle Group!

How many eyes were on that before it finally got to the point where they were able to release it?

On the podcast I’m a part of, I brought this exact topic up for debate. The rest of the group agreed with me that it truly is terrible. And then George suggested the perfect name for them instead.

The Gooch.

Which is now what I’ll be calling this voting block, the group in the middle of the winners and losers. The Gooch.

I’m not going to explain it. You get it, and if you don’t you very easily can. Just don’t use a work computer maybe.

Winner: Geographic Cultural Passes

Normally there is nothing in the world lamer than a white kid hitting the Griddy, but since Tony’s from Louisiana it’s actually kinda dope.

Choosing a song, despite its inherent dopeness, from a New York Rapper and, uh, some other guy, was kind of a miss. Especially when any Mannie Fresh song was sitting right there for them. But nothing in life is perfect.

Lmao, I’ll tell you what though, there’s a real winner to discuss here. Play this clip, and only watch Jay.

Look how happy he is! He’s having so much fun! And doing whatever version of the Griddy that that was he was doing!

I did not realize that all I needed to cure my depression was All Stars 4. Doctors and scientists do boring doctor and science stuff for years and years to produce the formula for anti-depressants and they wasted all that time because the cure was simply for Paramount+ to release brand new episodes of All Stars 4 once a week for what is hopefully the rest of our lives.

Winner: The Funny Places Life Takes Us

It’s 2024 and Kefla from Road Rules is involved in a slow-motion dance montage that everyone hates on an episode of The Challenge.

There is not a single person in the world who would have predicted this.

I think this is the greatest show ever made. It’s already the greatest season of The Challenge ever made. That much is clear and obvious. I’m saying this is the greatest show out of all shows ever.

Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, whatever you wanna say I don’t care because you’re wrong. You’re wrong, they’re wrong. You’re all wrong.

That’s right Kam. It is them titties.

Loser: Me

Did everyone else know that tequila is different in South Africa than it is in other parts of the world? I thought agave was just agave or whatever. I’m also a moron, so this is not surprising.

Winner: The Sun

Winner: Linsday Lohan, At Least Up Until She Wasn’t Anymre

The beginning of the end for her, truly. Even if Rumors is still kind of a banger record.

Winner: Baltimore

I guarantee when Averey accepted the offer to come onto All Stars she didn’t expect to have to deal with Chris, Snoop and Marlo.

This scene was kind of terrifying. Could you imagine being cornered by Tina, her big ass eyes staring into your soul, while Veronica sits off to the side judging every syllable out of your mouth and Rachel hovers behind you wielding resistance band slung over her shoulder?

The Army should use this exact tactic to extract information from their enemies.

Winner: Extremely Subtle Symbolism

Do you guys get it, or no?

Winner: Much More Complex Symbolism

Just fantastic.

Winner: Learning About Yourself

I hope to the Lord that no one has ever had that expression while I was speaking.

Winner: All Stars 4

That right there is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Out of the interest of time!!!! (!)

She really did say those words. There was no editing chicanery to be found. She, aloud, told Leroy to stop interrupting her because he was wasting everyone’s time.

Winner: Moments Of Clarity

This is what someone’s face looks like when all the reasons they stopped doing this in the first place hits them all at once.

Leroy, right then, remembered for the first time that he wasn’t in the real world anymore. He was doing Challenges for so long and so consistently, that all this nonsense became so normalized. A version of Stockholm Syndrome, in a way. This is just how people acted here. And then he mentally quit, and then physically quit, and he’s now just Leroy the civilian.

Until Ayanna brought him crash landing back into the center of Crazy Town.

Loser: Me For Being Wrong Earlier

Okay I was way wrong earlier. That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

Loser: Society, Potenially

Could you imagine Ayanna and Berna in the same room together?

What would happen?

Would it be like the Hadron Collider?

Winner: Promoting Important, Urgent Causes

Winner: Rachel And Cara Maria Promoting Their Own Personal Brands

Winner: Tina Finally Earning Something Around Here

It’s about time Tina went in and proved herself in elimination.

Where would that one have ranked? Top, like, fifteen all time at least right?

That’s another Allan Aguirre article for another time.

Winner: Willa

DID SOMEBODY SAY PETS!?!

HI EVERYBODY IM WILLA MY PAPI GAVE MY THE KEYBOARD TO SAY BYE TO YOU GUYS OK BYE

VIVA LA REAL WORLD!!!

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

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Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions