The Challenge Ride or Dies Episode 13 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
14 min readJan 5, 2023

Welcome to a fresh batch of Winners & Losers for The Challenge Ride or Dies Episode 13!!! New Years festivities got the best of me, so I apologize for no Power Rankings last weekend. But I’m back at it, so let’s dive right in. Inside this week: Pauly D makes an appearance, Fessy and Josh talk about how rich they are, Devin convinces you to never help a friend move, and much much more…

Winner: Fessy, The Only One With Some Sense

What a cogent point. Salient, some would even say. Although it may be totally self serving, and exist as merely an argument to lend credence towards his ultimate well-being, that does not discredit the information.

He’s right, though. You do never know with these idiots.

Winner: Olivia

Raise your hand if you think Olivia is secretly happy that Nelson’s gone. Don’t let The Goo Goo Dolls fool you. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts (Why do we bet dollars to donuts? Where did that phrase originate? If only there were some website I could just ask that question and immediately receive an answer rather than waste the time of people who clicked on this blog just hoping I’d mention CT at some point) that she is looking forward to having some space to breathe and finally being able to discuss Russian literature with Chauncey and Kaycee without having to explain the themes of redemption through suffering every single time they come up like when Nelson was around.

Winner: Different Strokes

The haircut choices made by Challengers can mean nothing, everything, and sometimes both.

There are the Yes’s or Jodi’s of the Challenge world who made a choice with their hairstyle once when they were 18 and they’ve stubbornly kept each and every hair follicle on their head consistently the same length across decades.

On the flip side of that coin, the CT’s or Aneesa’s consistently come with a fresh hairstyle upon the dawn of a new season. Sometimes these hairstyles denote their attitude heading into the season. Other times, it’s an arbitrary beard or a bleach blonde mohawk in New Zealand for seemingly no reason.

You have seminal moments such as Landon’s skullet or Diem’s wig removal where visions of a hair change-up mid-season have burned themselves into the deep recesses of any longtime Challenge fan’s brain.

Then you have Olivia. Who has a new hairstyle every time we see her. Like how the sherrif’s hat keeps growing in Scary Movie 3. She’s had as many hair styles as Kenny has had confessionals.

Olivia Lillard, Challenge Trailblazer. Who knew?

Winner: Johnny

“I yam what I yam”

People change. People grow. People mature. There is no greater living, breathing evidence of that fact of life than the show this very recap is recapping.

But, as we see with Johnny stirring the pot before even changing from his Challenge garb, people don’t change that much. And let’s be thankful for it! There hasn’t been a conversation this real since Nany and Laurel told Michele to fuck off earlier in the season. Moriah, still clearly unsure of what the hell is going on, and Fessy, as entitled as ever, coming down from the high of an elimination win, chopping it up in an insincere attempt to solve an unsolvable problem.

That’s what Challenge animosity is really about. Arguments centered on an unsolvable problem bobbing aimlessly in the lake of uncertainty this game forces them all to swim in.

Winner: The Prop Department

That fruit was placed that specific way for a very specific reason. They could have set those bananas anywhere else. Johnny could have sat anywhere else, too, but come on. He was never going to eat his post elimination dinner anywhere else. It’s all set dressing, baby. That’s Show Biz!

*cue the big band music with horns blaring and a stand up bass played by a jovial older man with loose hips kickin a mean back beat*

Loser: Being Trapped In A House With Your Ex Fiance While Filming A TV Show For A Fat Stack Of Cash and Living In An Intense Hyper-Reality From Which There Is No Escape

They need to not be living together, like, ASAP.

Anyone who is trying to parse right and wrong between the two of them at this point is totally asking themselves the wrong question. You may as well head to a batting cage, stick a few dollars in the machine, and stick your head directly into the high-speed pitching machine. Both of those activities are equally are futile.

Loser: Everybody Else

I know where I’ve seen this exact look on this exact network before…

While obviously Jordan and Tori are nothing like Sam and Ronnie, because nothing in the history of reality TV is like Sam and Ronnie, but the looks on everyone else’s faces while they sword fight in the kitchen are starting to remind me so much of the rest of the Jersey Shore cast during Season 3 when Ron and Sammie were at their nadir.

God damn do I miss Jersey Shore.

Winner: Insight

Man, I’ll tell you what. If I ever wanted to know the most obvious shit in the entire world, then I know exactly who I’m calling.

There is no greater current skill in the Challenge universe currently going than Kaycee’s ability to speak in the most unoriginal way imaginable.

Loser: Love Is Blind Season 3

If you told me this was a still photo from the newest bad dating show on Netflix where young singles are sent into space and are given high-tech communication devices not to answer the question of whether of not there is life out there in the universe, but if there is love.

While we’re here, Love is Blind Season 3?

Part of it was definitely that the people this time around didn’t grab me at all. I found them all aggressively uninteresting. Shayne had more charisma in one twitchy thumbnail than this entire cast does combined. But, like, let’s also be honest here. They were really milking the clock this time around. There were entire episodes that covered only a few hours of real time. They tacked on probably four extra hours worth of bullshit. Talk about fluff. The Challenge probably doesn’t need to be a hundred episodes each season either, but Love is Blind takes that to a whole ‘nother level.

Shout out Deepti. I missed you throughout that entire slog of a season. She should come back.


Winner: Moms

I’m not gonna get emotional watching The Challenge.

I’m not gonna get emotional watching The Challenge.


No, TJ. You’re crying. I’m not crying. You’re crying. Go ride your bike or something. Leave me alone.

Winner: Getting Creative During Arts and Crafts Time

Holy shit, wait a minute, you’re telling me the goal of today’s challenge isn’t just to maneuver from Point A to Point B while completing an arbitrary task along the way and/or at the end?

Holy shit.

Loser: Context

Okay, let’s also be fair for a second. There are only two entities in the world who love to subtly (and sometimes not) clown on Fessy more than I do. BMX legend TJ Lavin and the Challenge Gods. And I defended Fessy then, and I’ll defend him again now.

This eating portion of the Double Agents Final happened after Kaycee already broke her kneecap or whatever she did. Anything he ate or drank was totally superfluous. Gonna be totally honest, I wouldn’t have done it either. I’d have also been on the sit on a rock and say fuck it train right next to him.

So, who knows. Maybe Fessy loves gross shit. And now he finally has a chance to display it. Stay tuned.

Winner: Fessy’s Fortitude Episode 3 w/ Josh Martinez — Reality TV vs. Real Life

Loser: Helping Your Friends Move

Here’s some free advice: If a friend ever asks you to help them move, say no. Be fucking ruthless about it too. Scowl like Kobe, hit a few fifteen footers, and refuse to lose. Stay entrenched. Even if you have to lie to them.

There is no greater sucker bet in the world than the promise of pizza and beer after a hard day of carrying boxes full of kitchen small-wares and awkward furniture that smells like cat pee down then up multiple flights of stairs.

If you own a truck, or are a tall guy with broad shoulders, you’re almost guaranteed to be guilt tripped into this quagmire of suffering at some point in your 20’s. I get it, movers are expensive, and as guy who fell on the tall and broad shouldered side of that unfortunate equation who had a ton a women friends and also worked with mostly women in their 20s who were too poor to hire someone, take it from me. Shit sucks. She’s not going to want to hook up with you. And whatever pizza they can afford after they just put down a security deposit and paid first month’s rent isn’t going to be worth it anyways. Neither is the beer. Or the shitty weed.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. Let’s get on with the chlorophyll.

Loser: Horacio’s Sincerity

What you didn’t see is that off screen a producer is pointing an assault rifle at Horacio’s head withholding his soccer ball until he read those canned lines they wrote about Amber. Here’s an exclusive transcript of how this all went down…

“Can I have my football back now? You guys promised.”

“Only a few more Horacio.”

“Come on, man, I’ve been here for like a million years.”

One producer gestures towards a cage holding all the soccer balls left in the house while another walks up behind him and ignites the business end of a flamethrower. They point it towards the cage encasing Horacio’s precious soccer balls.

Justin Booth pulls back the hammer on his rifle. The military grade weapon of death is locked and loaded at Horacio’s face as the terrifying producer remains silent mere inches from the frame.

Resigned to his fate, Horacio lets out a defeated sigh and turns towards the camera. Untouched, his hair fixes itself into a perfect quaff and a gorgeous smile pops up and brightens his previously sullen expression.

“I think Fessy is a great competitor….”

Winner: Hot Takes

Fortune favors the bold.

Loser: The English Language

No it isn’t.

Winner: Us Mere Mortals, For We Now Have Hope

As thrilling as it is to watch Jordan at his peak, it is sometimes equally as satisfying to watch him finally find something he isn’t great at.

Gives me, a pathetic normie, hope that one day I too will do something right.

Winner: The Challenge Letters


Come on.

It’s like it’s their family emergency meeting place in case the house catches on fire. For me it was the large rock in the lawn of my neighbor across the street. For them, it’s “The Challenge” letters.

Fantastic stuff.

Winner: Unions

Shout out to my gaffers and boom mic homies clockin’ time and a half for the last few hours of that day’s shoot. As my union friends would say, “those bennies are nice”. Couple boilermakers after work that day, I’m sure.

Winner: That Date Night Dress He Likes

“Boy am I in trouble. Alright, Amber, get it together. Go in there and figure something out. Oh, I know, I’m gonna go in there and totally throw Moriah under the bus. Then hop in the bus and run her over myself. Perfect plan. What should I wear? Oh, I know. I’ll wear the cat dress.”

Loser: Living Inefficiently

Whenever I hear this sentiment expressed on this show, I always wonder to myself why do they even bother unpacking? It must not be that simple, but if God forbid I was this deep into a season, I’d just be living out of my suitcase. What is there to unpack? Do they force you to unpack? Why not just rotate through like two pairs of sweatpants and an Under Armor hoodie or two. With that, plus your uniform, what are you exactly unpacking every day?

So many questions, so few answers.

Loser: Production Favoritism

This is the final straw. Production favorites just get to do whatever they want. Amber gets to bring her boyfriend, Tori gets to bring her ex-fiance, Fessy gets to bring a local IG hottie, and now TJ gets to just bring his wife.

What’s next? Kaycee’s brother?!

Winner: Coming Clean

Okay fine I’ll say it. It’s true. I can’t keep a secret any longer. Nany has been ghost writing Allan Aguirre’s articles since day one. Sorry Allan. The secret was too great a burden for me bear. I finally feel free, for the first time in years.

Loser: Medical School

Yo, surprisingly I’m not an optometrist, but I feel like Johnny maybe needs glasses. That’s how I used to look before I went to an optometrist and they told me “you need glasses”. So I feel as though I’m qualified enough to say that, Johnny Bananas, you need glasses.

Winner: The Lighting

This looks like the still frame from season two of that show Amber and Chauncey were on earlier in the recap. Except this time, instead of searching for love, the aliens are searching for carnage!!!…Coming to Netflix February 15th.

Loser: Any Stakes At All

I’d give my highfalutin farewell to Moriah now, except I don’t have to. Because very soon, instead of getting on a plane back to the real life she is clearly so happy to be returning to, TJ’s going to ruin her day and tell her she’s not going to go home yet. She’s going to go hang out with Kenny. One on one. And he’s already watched all the good PPV movies, and tonight, he’s dead set on Paddington 2.

Winner: My Celebrity Crush

It’s been one hell of a journey, and although they are few and far between, not much in the world makes me feel as warm as fuzzy inside as when Nany is successful in her Challenge endeavors.

Maybe this is her season. Maybe it’s destiny. Or maybe she’ll lose to Olivia or Amber or something (for anarchy purposes, if it has to happen, I hope it Amber) in a few weeks and yet again come up short in the game she’s devoted much of her life to.

But tonight? Tonight we celebrate. We pop the cork on a cheap bottle of wine and glug it down until there are no more drops to spill onto the front of our shirts.

But it wouldn’t be a proper Nany celebration than her real true lover, the one that got away, Mr. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino himself, what say you, Adam Royer?

Come on, while you’re here, you might as well say the line…

Couldn’t have said it better myself.


Thanks for reading! No Power Rankings again this week as I’ll be traveling out to sunny Los Angeles, California for the weekend. But I’ll try my best to sneak something in while I’m waiting at the airport/flying on Sunday. See you back here soon!!!



Brian Batty

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