The Challenge: Ride or Dies Episode 3 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
18 min readOct 27, 2022

Welcome to Winners & Losers for Episode 3! Another emotional episode led into one of the best elimination rounds we’ve seen in a long long time. Let’s dive right in! Inside this edition: We litigate the history of the New Hot Guy Championship, Nurys channels her inner Puff Daddy, we discuss our favorite grapes through multiple avenues, and much much more…

Loser: Presumptions

Yeah, idk, I still have no idea who this guy is.

Winner: Big Dick Energy

On the other hand, this one, I definitely know her.

Aneesa basically invented Big Dick Energy as far as Reality Television goes. Since 2001, she’s been filling up hours of cable television on MTV, and we’re all better people for it. It’s now 2022, she’s still kickin’ it, filling up hours of cable television on MTV. Let’s bow to a legend.

Winner: The Sun

That’s my favorite part of getting sun burnt.

Winner: Youthful Exuberance

“Hey Horacio, let us get a shot of you jumping into the pool.”

“You want me to do a backflip?”

“No, a normal jump is fine.”

“Are you saying I shouldn’t do a back flip?”

“You know what? Do whatever the hell you want.”

Loser: Heated Debates

What do you think Nelson and Fessy talk about? Property taxes? Yeah, you’re right, probably not.

Winner: Puff Daddy

Tell your friends to get with my friends. And we can be friends. Shit, we can do this every weekend (That’s right), alright? Is that aight wit’ you?

Winner: Hot Guy Behavior

Horacio may have been anointed as the New Hot Guy in the trailer for the season by Charter New Hot Guy Committee member Aneesa, but Johnny’s behavior is keeping him directly in the running. In honor of our first legitimate Hot Guy duel in a long time, let’s quick recap where we’ve been, and how we got here….

Eric (Season 1— Season 3)

— The early history of the New Hot Guy is more about longer reigns then anything else. Eric Neis, the original Hot Guy, was the initial belt holder. The holy grail of Hot, Eric Neis managed to turn being the hottest guy in the first Real World house into a full blown career. He jumped rope so Cory could one day soar above the clouds.

James (Season 4 — Season 6)

— Then came James, the forgotten man on the New Hot Guy Championship Belt timeline. He arrived in Season 4, was a total mega douche, did everything he could to encapsulate toxic masculinity, and sparked up a little sumthin-sumthin with Rebecca from The Real World: Seattle. Then the following season, Emily, his RV mate on Season 4, showed up dating James, even calling him on the phone. This caused fights while he wasn’t even on the show. Hot Guys are unstoppable.

Mike The Miz (Season 7 — Season 18)

— The Miz is now a WWE World Champion, holding that illustrious championship belt that so many have striven to achieve and just never quite got there. He may be famous around the globe for his exploits in the wrestling ring, but lest society forgets, the WWE Championship isn’t the first Championship Belt he wore around his waist.

Mike “The Miz” was the Wilt Chamberlain of New Hot Guys. Sure Eric Neis and James did a fantastic job laying the foundation for what this title signifies, but Miz grabbed the belt and took off on a rocket ship. His reign technically started in his second season, but I’m making this shit up as I go along so go ahead and fight me if you wanna get pimpy about the rules.

Miz was unstoppable in his prime. When one woman would escape his grasp and leave the game, his sights were already in another direction. He left New Hot Guy entrails all over the next few seasons, and quite frankly stole the award from anyone who wanted it.

The details are murky, almost entirely circumstantial, and one day I’ll hammer them all out in a separate podcast, but he held the New Hot Guy Championship from Season 7, all the way through Season 18 (!). A first ballot Hall of Famer if there ever was one.

Pete (Season 19 — Season 22)

— Pete walked into the Fresh Meat 2 house looking for something. Love? Fame? Challenge Glory?

Well, he’d find none of those. What he would find is a Black Widow Spider named Jenn with two N’s ready to pounce on the hottest dude in the wintery cabin. He was a reluctant champion, but after the Hot Guy antics were dominated by a rotating cast of dusty vets, it was great to finally have new blood. And Jenn didn’t wait a second.

Pete wasn’t our greatest champion, but Pete was necessary. A bridge is needed to get from one side to the other. It’s basic city planning. Because once Pete relinquished his crown, the city grew into a metropolis.

Zach (Season 23)

Look, put your personal feelings towards this person aside, and just enjoy the scenery. How you gon’ be mad on vacation, ya know? Look at all that man standing there, getting weird with wine. Preston doesn’t have any idea what to do with himself, he’s standing on Mt. Sinai holding God’s tablets. Jonna called her boyfriend at home to break up with him like five minutes after this. A short reign for Zach, yet incredibly effective.

Jordan (Season 24 — Season 26)

Sometimes you can try your hardest to fail at something, except the universe will have entirely different plans for you.

Jordan did all he could to not be The New Hot Guy. He acted like a prick, he compared himself to The Great Gatsby, and was serious about it. But he was just too hot. Too hot to overcome poor Hot Guy behavior. There’s nothing mysterious about that.

Tony (Season 28, Episode 1)

You know when you see something with so much potential, that the expectations swallow any and all possible realities creating an impossible bar to clear? Like watching a trailer for a movie so many times that the actual movie can never be as good as the one you already had created in your head.

Watching Tony on his Real World season was a little like that for me. He had everything I needed to see from a Challenge prospect. He was a tour de force. The episode where they brought in not one, but two, of his ex girlfriends from home into the Real World house the night after he finally hooked up with his roommate Madison is the single greatest episode of reality television ever made. Tony gave us everything.

But then he crash landed on The Challenge, and blew all my expectations out of the water. His star burned bright, and only lasted one episode. But what an episode it was.

I’ve gone over Tony’s opening Challenge exploits more times on this Medium page than I’m sure he or anyone else involved would like me too. So I’ll leave the details to Paramount+ to hash out for now.

Just know that it’s rare in life for high expectations to not only be met, but be exceeded. I only have Tony to thank for that.

Cory (Season 28, Episode 2 — Season 30)

No one put up more numbers, no one embodied the aura of The New Hot Guy more than Young Cory. And no one really has since. He turned being the New Hot Guy into a full blown career, like his predecessor Eric once did. But this time on multiple different shows.

We all have a job, right? And we all have various levels of caring towards that job. Maybe you’re a driven person, and you attack every work day as if it were another rung on the ladder of your life. Some of us go to work and do everything we can to avoid doing any work at all.

But, from afar, we can all appreciate greatness. Cory took his job responsibilities seriously. Few have excelled at their chosen vocation in quite the same way young Cory did. We were all just witnesses.

Kyle (Season 31-Season 32)

Having to deal with the much hotter Joss, Kyle filled in all the gaps (phrasing) and showed us all that being the New Hot Guy is about more than just being hot. There’s a tipping point where you simply can just be too Hot to be the New Hot Guy. Joss was that tipping point. And Kyle was more than happy to grab the belt and laugh about it on his one-way ticket to pound town.

Kyle’s exploits carried multiple seasons, even after he had already relinquished the belt. It was a British invasion. He was John, Paul, George, and Ringo all rolled into one. These Americans never really stood a chance. I mean the guys got kaleidoscopes on his knees for crying out loud.

***Redacted*** (Season 33 — Season 36)

It’s a shame that the guy named after the football team in Chicago who took the title from Kyle turned out to be such a piece of shit in real life. During his time holding the belt he really was productive. But the New Hot Guy Committee holds the right to redact any and all titles at any given time. Being the New Hot Guy is a privilege, not a right. Any and all new comers would be smart to keep that in mind.

Rule #1 = Don’t be an asshole. It’s not hard.

Emmanuel (Season 37)

In the same way the NBA MVP has been dominated by non-Americans for the last few years, The Challenge has weathered a similar over-seas invasion. Two straight Brits, followed by a Romanian, The New Hot Guy Championship is officially international.

Emmanuel may have had a bit of lackluster production, but the fans and the Committee members were both clamoring for a Hot Guy to arrive and take the belt after a three season drought that looks even worse now that we had to strip the belt from his predecessor.

I didn’t realize vampires were still in vogue, but Emmanuel taught us all that the vampire look is eternal. Brb, going to get a few silly ass tattoos just to keep up.

Emmanuel has a tentative grasp on the title after a lackluster (reletively speaking) showing compared to his past New Hot Guy brethren. He grabbed a vacated title and became the first official New Hot Guy champion since Kyle in Final Reckoning.

But now? Johnny’s doing whatever he can to grab the crown. More like snatch the crown. This whole Ravyn/Nurys situation is textbook New Hot Guy behavior. He’s clearly studied tape of a young Cory, or even a young Mike “The Miz”.

Being a total jackass to multiple womendn (who, let’s be honest, are breaking rule #1 in life by catching feelings for a reality TV guy, but this isn’t the platform for victim blaming) and leading them on is key to longevity as the New Hot Guy Championship Belt holder.

I still don’t want to give it to him quite yet. Horacio and his stupid beautiful face is still right there in the house. Icarus Johnny might be doing that whole sun flying thing again.

Only time can tell, but as the New Hot Guy Committee Spokesperson, we’re all very pleased with what we’re getting in just this short time this season. Keep up the good work boys.

Loser: Short Term Memory Loss

Maybe it’s the extra curriculars speaking, but did anybody else totally forget the Fessy/Tori thing even happened?

Winner: Vulnerability

Wait, so what Tori’s trying to tell me is that reaching out for help and trying to work on self-care and facing your personal demons actually works? And that just holding it all inside until you implode like a dying star one day leaving your loved ones to pick up the pieces isn’t the right decision?

Nah, I’m an idiot, so I’m gonna stick with the second one.

Loser: Me and My Stupid Jokes

No! Don’t humanize him! He’s supposed to be a fake person that only exists on my TV screen!

Remember on the Double Agents reunion, when the Fessy segment came up, and every single person sitting on that stage essentially begged Fessy to just be vulnerable. To just be accountable. To just own up and self-deprecate just a tiny bit?

The cliche of “watching these people grow up” is well-worn, but totally accurate of this show. It’s the only show that gets better the longer you watch it. Like following a baseball team over a 162 game season. Only this has been going on for decades.

This scene is the prime example of that. Just two years ago, Fessy wasn’t even able to be vulnerable enough to show weakness. He shelled up, and it alienated people. Fans especially. Me especially. It wasn’t genuine.

I can totally understand why Fessy, sorry, Faysal would want to start going by his real name. I totally dig it. For all his the bullshit I give him (not to mention his own bullshit), it’s great to see a real person under there.

Loser: Wookie Rights Activists

“And now I’m cuddled with Chewbacca.”

Winner: Closed Loop Systems

We’re back baby!

Aw shit, I got so excited I screwed up my own inside joke that only 19 people are going to understand. Hold on, lemme do it again…

Winner: Closed Loop Systems (Take Two)

Totally.

Winner: Peppery Reds

Argentinian Malbecs>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Loser: Pre-Conceived Notions

Now you’re gonna humanize Kaycee too?

Do I like Faysal and Kaycee? Did I hit my head at any point today?

That’s another thing about being tall, you just rack up micro-concussions like they ain’t shit. And so that’s why a dash or two of cinnamon is the key to a good meat sauce.

Winner: Big Dreams

And I’m sure that just like the Johnny’s fuckboy antics aren’t at all going to blow up in his face, Jordan will continue to keep his cool with Aneesa for the rest of the season.

Loser: The Rest Of Us

I’m beaming.

Winner: Faysal

When Banana won last week and decided to use his fresh power to draw a line in the sand wherever anyone pointed him to draw.

He saw the Jay/Johnny poo poo platter and figured what better way to start? Then he spread the word and essentially saw how all the rest of the vet/vet or vet/rookie teams stood. And his plan worked. Michele and Jay were forced to make a decision, it shoved Olivia and Horacio firmly into third place on that side, and made Johnny look like a deal-making shifty player.

So now that Fessy’s in power, and the lines have all already been drawn, and the information already extracted, choosing all rookies to get in there and play with daggers was the easiest decision of all time.

I’m worried this might put a bit of a stall on the intrigue. With so many vet/rookie teams needing docks to park their boats, the vet/vet teams can kind of be the marina that houses them all.

If Michele and Jay win a daily, they’re really the only ones left who might be able to shake this thing up and make all four teams the veterans pairs or the vet heavy hitters. Draw those lines even further.

For now, the stalemate’s been super fun at least.

Loser: Me, For Not Being There

Fessy and Kim Pillow Talk are now the only scenes I want to see the rest of the season. The challenges and eliminations can find themsevles on the cutting room floor.

I need more Fessy and Kim roommate content immediately. Everyone sign this petition. You can find it if you check our official Twitter account @fessyfitness.

Loser: Oversized Jenga

You know what the best way to play oversize Jenga at a bar is?

You don’t play it. Or if you’re forced to play, you walk away as soon as someone knocks it over. Cleaning that mess up is a trap.

Winner: Marijuana

Just, like, think about it, man. Ya know?

Loser: Projecting

Hey Analyse and Tommy, maybe if you say you’re totally honest and trustworthy and no way you have other deals totally no way at all that they’ll believe you.

Loser: New Hot Guy Behavior

Aw man. I really thought it was all gonna work out too.

Just one piece of advice though, if your partner that you’ve been keeping on the line for far too long just wants you to be nice to her, don’t use the phrase “you’re doing the most right now.”

Tough look my guy.

Winner: Vulnerability (Part 2)

This is now twice in three episodes of this season that I’ve gotten emotional. I’m loving Faysal and Kaycee is making me smile. What the hell is going on?!

Somebody check if there’s an asteroid on the way or something. Things are getting freaky.

Winner: The Correct Setting

As someone who’s been on the other end of being cornered in a bar by a woman who has some words for me, there really is no better way for cats and dogs to communicate.

Winner: Staying True To Yourself

Totally.

Loser: The Skull Twist

Revisionist history is normally a total blast, but that is simply just not true.

Everyone’s the star of their own movie.

Winner: Soft Torillas Filled With Beans And Wrapped Around Hard Shell Tortillas

You know, if it were up to me, all the elimination rounds would be named after Taco Bell menu items.

Winner: The Rest Of The House

With the two best rookie teams going head-to-head, pretty much everyone is a winner. All the old farts on the stage have been getting dusted by these whipper-snappers. Tommy and Analyse aren’t paying for a single drink next time they go out.

Loser: The Challenge USA

Remember that pathetic Balls In elimination between Enzo and David (not my Dad)?

I’m so effing glad that that experiment is over with. Just inject the energy of this elimination round directly into my veins. Please and thank you.

Loser: Poor Technique

She must have gone Bunny Ears. I’m a Loop Swoop & Pull guy all day every day.

Winner: Smuckers

Grape Jelly>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Lmao, Loser: Me

It’s actually insane how wrong I am about everything all of the time.

The first thing I had to say about Olivia is that she was gonna suck at stuff. The very first thing. Based on nothing. I hadn’t seen her even take a step. I’d barely heard he speak. I judged a book by it’s cover, refused to pick it up, and missed out on a fantastic story.

My b, Olivia.

Winner: The Airport Bartender Working On The Day Ravyn Flies Home

My girl needs a cocktail or seven, bad.

Loser: A Hot Guy’s Final Words

Okay, wow, I really didn’t like that.

Winner: TJ’s Trickery

If it’s not Nam, we riot.

Viva la Real World!

Thanks for reading! See you soon for a fresh batch of Power Rankings! 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, from a fan’s perspective.