The Challenge Australia Episode 1 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
9 min readNov 14, 2022

Welcome to Winners and Losers for The Challenge: Down Unda! Okay, it’s not called that, but it absolutely should be. This was a whirlwind episode full of neck tattoos, accents, and infidelity. I’m pretty sure I only know one of their names, and could definitely use some subtitles, but we’re gonna give it our best effort! Inside this edition: Australian Bachelor slaps, the ghost of Sarah lives on, Aneesa continues to shine, and much much more…

Loser: Johnny Bananas

I’m going to get this joke out of the way early, just so it’s not hanging over our heads until the sure to be absolute flames out the butt fire trivia epsiode, but I was definitely worried about having to read English subtitles watching these episodes. I don’t understand a lick of Dutch.

There it is. I did it.

Winner: Brihony’s Haircut

Fun fact, minus the blonde highlights, Brihony and I currently have the same haircut.

They look much better than I do, unfortunately.

Yep. That’s all I got. This is off to a raucous start.

Winner: Only 200,000 Dollarydoos

While I’m not sure what the conversation rate between dollarydoos and dollars is, 200,000 of them is still a lot of money.

Most fans have an opinion on why The Challenge has felt just a little…different lately. Social media, lack of a feeder show, porducshin, yada yada yada. The truth, as always, probably lies somewhere in the middle. It’s likely a smidge of every opinion into the full heart of the matter.

My thought, and it’s been this way for awhile, that making the prize money a million dollars is really one of the biggest issues the show has going for it. That’s just too much money to play around with. Why would anyone have any incentive to act out of pocket when you’re walking away with 500,000ish dollars pre-tax. If handled correctly, and even if it isn’t, that’s life changing money. That’s I’m good on working, like real life actual working like all of us reading this, ever again. That’s not having to worry about paying your phone bill every month. That’s hella groceries. Shopping off the top shelf. 4/5$ pasta? Please, I’m eating organic noodles made from the flesh of wild panthers.

200,000 dollarydoos to split is also a lot of money, but it’s not enough incentive to turn away temptation and stay on the straight and narrow.

Winner: Australian Pyro Gals/Guys

Been a rough go for the Pyro person working over here in America. After years of almost guaranteed work, they’ve been sidelined lately. Glad to see the working person isn’t being forgotten in Australia.

Winner: Bachelor Fans in Australia

I’ll tell you one thing, somebody who looks like this guy ain’t never getting on the American version of The Bachelorette.

There’s nothing starchier and more whole milk than that show. One of the Bachelorettes, Becca, had a tattoo of a cross on her hand it there was genuine consternation across Bachelor land about it.

Bachelor Australia looks lit. Neck tattoos? Unwashed hair? Count me the fuck in.

Winner: Job Titles

Are they a musical artist like Emy was a musical artist or are they actually famous over there?

Winner: Nicknames Derived From Extreme Weather Occurrences

Challenge fights can and have sprouted from almost anything. A legitimate argument that I could only understand 50% of because of accents and bleeps popping up over room/bed selection might be brand new.

I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m not the right person to answer the question at the crux of this issue, which is higher on the reality television house dibs hierarchy between jerseys and shoes, so I’ll let the two of them hash it out.

Cyclone Cyrell bringing the heat early. Or bringing the cyclone, I guess. Are cyclones hot? That was a stupid question, don’t answer that.

Loser: Expectations

I’ll tell ya what, I did not anticipate Danny’s wife being Australian.

Loser: Echoes of the Past

Somewhere, deep in the caverns of that stadium, the words “THEYRE TRYING TO BLOCK ME”, said in a thick Iowan accent, are still bouncing off the walls.

If any of the Challenge Australia cast reading this now thought they heard something strange during this daily, I can promise, you weren’t just hearing things. That was real. That was Sarah from The Challenge USA. And she haunts my nightmares too, don’t feel bad.

Winner: Switching Things Up By Staying The Same

The inaugural daily challenge for The Challenge Australia is the same one they used during Challenge: USA on episode nine. Not exactly the same, this time they have partners, whereas USA was individual. Plus the boards look a little different and there’s obviously way more people considering this is episode one.

But this brings up a good question, why don’t they re-use daily challenges more often? I guess part of the drill is everyone is doing the game for the first time, which hypothetically evens the playing field, and if you re-use challenges, some will have an advantage over others. But there are built-in advantages all the time. They re-use eliminations all the time, so that can’t be it. I guess in a way all daily challenges are basically the same anyway, but still, I do wonder what the real reasoning is. Definitely top of my list of questions if I ever got to interview a producer.

First question, obviously, would be why haven’t you re-cast Adam Royer?

Winner: TJ’s Air Horn

Sorry, Brihony, that was a pretty weak sound coming from that air horn. That’s okay, it’s your first one. You’ll get better. But TJ remains the GOAT air horn blower.

Loser: Jack and Cyrell

After the daily challenge concluded and a winner announced, sneaky sneaky Brihony told the rest of the group that not only do they need a winner, but they need a loser as well. And instructed them to do even more laps around this stadium and pick the black side of their coin to give to someone else.

It really could have been anyone, and maybe the idea would be that multiple factions could form and go head to head, dividing the game from the beginning.

What actually happened, though, was that everyone just kind of wanted this all to be over so they could go back home and drink so everybody just ganged up on the singer and their weather nicknamed partner.

Never underestimate the power of a group of people singularly motivated to get to the party.

Winner: Bachelor Fans in Australia (Again!)

The amount of think pieces on Reddit, TikToks, and Tweet threads there would be if someone like this stepped out of the limo on the American Bachelor would probably fry the internet servers across the country.

I’m also now beginning to wonder if having a neck tattoo is a prerequisite for getting into the Australian Bachelor Universe in the first place. Maybe bare neck avoidance is as essential to the application process over there as being totally vapid and void of soul or personality is for us over here.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Australian Bachelor looks lit as fuck.

Winner: Yelling For the Sake of Yelling

Part of what made the early Challenges great, if you look back and really watch, was how much yelling for the sake of yelling there was going on. I’m astonished more of them didn’t sound like Doc Rivers by the end of the season.

That’s gone now. Only Josh is carrying the legacy, and he’s anti-entertainment. Cyrell, though, during this club scene accusing somebody of being fake and a snake and all those other fun Challenge buzzwords, brought that energy back.

Shouting for shouting’s sake. Just like in that creepy ass Christmas song about All Seeing Eye Santa, where he tells you to be good for goodness sake. Except this version involves tatted up Australian influencers drunk on Fosters and deep fried kangaroo.

Winner: New Hot Guy Energy

Cinco tried, barely, but The Challenge USA was just too neutered to be able to produce an original New Hot Guy.

But I’ll tell ya what, this Ciarran guy locked up the title as quickly as maybe anyone since Kyle. He played whip cream footsie with Audrey, who has a boyfriend, before getting in the shower with her and FULLY ADMITTING to hooking up, before apologizing to his own girlfriend at home and saying the words “hopefully you don’t leave me”. !!!!!!!!. That’s the only clever response I can come up with. !!!!!!. Just a bunch of exclamation marks.

Normally, that would be enough right there, New Hot Guy Championship Belt signed, sealed, and delivered. But then we get the run down from David (not my dad) on what kind of Hot Guy baggage he packed with him on his trip to Argentina. David claims he’s also been with Kiki and Jessica.

Ciarran’s so hot he’s got his very own hype man. That’s a new one for any New Hot Guy. What a game changer.

Winner: Fake Laughs


See that was fake too. My ass is still in tact. Get it? It’s like a meta thing.


Winner: Knot So Fast

I love that they gave them a well-known Challenge elimination right off the bat. I hope this is a theme. Balls In, Hall Brawl, that one where they hang like sausage links and get dusted by Leroy. Bring them all back.

Winner: Aneesa

Aneesa’s Algorithm is back!

I’m happy to see her math skills be put to work yet again. For years, her abilities to write algorithms (Is that what you do with algorithms? Do you write them? Do you calculate them them? Do you create them? What’s the correct verbiage for that? Maybe I should just ask Aneesa) were pushed to the side in favor of her quick wit. She’s more than just an athlete, you know. Aneesa’s way smart.

I guess the only question remaining, is whether or not the Challenge: USA cast is going to find a way to complain about it all over again.

Well, that’s not true. There is only one true question, beyond all else…

Thanks for reading! I’m gonna go put some shrimp on the barby and get ready for the next episode of Ride or Dies. See you back here soon! And, as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!



Brian Batty

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