The Challenge: Ride or Dies Episode 5 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
19 min readNov 10, 2022

Welcome back to another edition of Winners & Losers! We went back to 2006, turned on AFI as loud as we could, and told our parents to bleep off. Oh there was a Challenge episode too. Inside this week: Fessy plays match maker, I give bad advice, Laurel is a bad podcast guest, and much much more…

Winner: Lazy Wedding Bartenders

“Hey don’t mind me, I’m just gonna pour my own drink.”

“I get paid 9 dollars an hour you can pour as many of your own drinks as you want. Anyways, you ladies friends with the bride or groom?”

“Neither. We’re crashing this thing. When does the pizza get here? I think the mother of the bride is onto us.”

Loser: Bad Jokes (Even Worse Than The One You Just Read Above This)

Ha! Cooped! Get it? Like a chicken?

Loser: Faysal, Matchmaker Extraordinaire

Keep him entertained? She’s not a Golden Retriever.

Winner: Going Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Right, that’s because as we all know she normally dates guys named after vegetables.

Loser: Best Intentions

There is no quicker path to disobedience than a parent telling a child not to do something. Especially when it comes to girls being told not to like a boy. I was forbidden from listening to rap music and watching wrestling. There were only two things young Brian wanted to do in the entire world. Guess what they were? Listen to Cash Money Millionaires CD’s and watching Monday Night Raw. That’s what.

“It’s not a phase mom! Potassium is good for me! Doctors say you can’t have too much of it!”

Loser: Re-Using A Joke I Made During All Stars 3/Me During The Christmas I Finally Got a Nintendo 64

Winner: Bros Doing Crossword Puzzles

Hey Johnny, I need some help on this one.

Whatcha got, Dev?

What’s a four letter word for flatulence?

Loser: Lack of Advertising

I didn’t know a Dashboard Confessional cover band was going to be here tonight!

Yeah me either. Let’s go to another bar. This place is whack.

Winner: Making Assumptions

You know what they say about people who assume….they’re usually right.

I would’ve assumed Darrell had no idea what emo was. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s his bald head.

Winner: Kim, Always and Forever

Como se dice ‘it’s not a phase mom’ en German?

Loser: Veronica, Too Cool in 2004 to Ever Find Herself Inside a Hot Topic

I mean, yeah? Right? At least the eye-liner portion?

I know little to nothing about make-up but wasn’t wearing make-up like half the battle for “emo people”?

Also, lmaoooo at “emo people” as if that’s a box you check off when the Census taker comes knocking at your door.

Winner: Emo Girls

I never spent much time in the emo scene directly, popularity points were precious and my level of cool was much too shaky back then for that sort of thing. But I would go hang out with that crowd every once in awhile as sort of a Jane Goodall live with the chimpanzee’s situation. Live with them, learn from them.

There was nothing scientific about it. I wasn’t there to study. The emo look simply got the job done for teenage, girl crazy, Brian. Nose piercings, excessive accessories, and a bad attitude? Sign me the fuck up.

What’s that? Oh yeah, I totally know that band. Huh? Oh, no, I definitely was able to steal some cigarettes from my mom’s purse, you can have as many as you want. Yeah, for sure, I can sneak a water bottle of Skol Vodka into the show for the local band I’ve never heard of but you’re totally obsessed with. Let’s go do shots in the parking lot, you bring the warm Sprite. Who cares if you’re just going to ditch me later and go home with the drummer, leaving me to drunk drive through the Taco Bell drive-thru sad and alone while listening to AM sports radio in a few hours? Your duckface selfies on MySpace are hot, I have braces, let’s see where this goes.

Lemme tell ya kids, if you do everything the girl asks for, surrender your self-assuredness, and compliment her at every turn, she’s bound to want to hook up with you. Take it from me.

Winner: Teck, Melinda, Nehemiah, and Laterrian

Save The Palace still slaps. Idk bout this one. Looks like the “Best Original Challenge Song” Oscar isn’t in any danger of changing hands any time soon.

I’ll tell ya what, though. That Sad Boy Horacio look? Bellisimo.

I just feel like I could fix him, ya know?

Loser: Jay’s Friendship Vetting Process

You could see it, or he is? What other tests does he need to pass?

Winner: Sneaking Into Some Rich Guy’s Vacation Home During The Off Season and Getting Day Hammered on Vodka Lemonades

Winner: Facebook Statuses The First Night You Go Out Drinking With Your Freshman Year Randomly Assigned Dorm Roommate

Loser: Too Much of a Good Thing

On Double Agents, Amber and Darrell won a daily challenge that gave them free Burger King for life cards. Darrell’s got a family and Amber’s got…Chauncey and an Only Fans, so they’ve definitely gotten plenty of use out of those things. I mean, maybe this is the broke boy in me talking, but I’d be using that card all the time. Free food on the crowns tab? Sign me up.

(Quick Q, how does it work? Does Amber just hand the cashier some swipe card that says Burger King Royalty or something? How many of these things are floating around out there? Are Burger King employees trained for this? Amber and Darrell are both on about the lowest rung on the fame ladder. So for some unsuspecting teenager two weeks into a job he got so he could afford gas money to drive emo girls to local concerts, what the hell are they supposed to think when a father of two and his wife show up and demand free food. Or some hot girl with curly hair and her hot boyfriend order one Jr. Whopper to split. It feels like such a strange interaction. What if the manager asks them to explain where they got them.

“Uh, have you ever heard of The Challenge?”


“Well, I won a sponsored daily challenge and TJ Lavin said this card would give me free Burger King for life.”

“Who’s TJ Lavin?”

“Okay, nevermind, here’s my debit card.”)

I guess on the other hand, getting sick of Burger King would be a pretty rapid process. How many floppy onion rings and half-hearted burgers thrown together by an uninspired staff can you possibly eat? Plus that whole sodium-levels and blood pressure thing, but who care about any of that nonsense? What are you? Dr. Pepper? Get off my ass about it. I’ll eat some broccoli when I’m good and ready to eat some broccoli.

I started this section hungry, but now I’m just cranky. I kind of want to go for a walk. Alone. Unless Sad Boy Horacio wants to come.

Contemplating how I was able to make myself sick of Burger King within just a few paragraphs. Getting second hand anxiety from totally made up scenarios in my head that will 100% never happen to me. Refusing to eat broccoli. Talking all of this out with the voices in my head while recapping an episode of The Challenge.

It’s just like therapy. I think. Wouldn’t know. I’m a stubborn idiot who’d rather just bottle my emotions up until I burst into thousands of pieces like a glitter cannon at a Ke$ha concert.


Loser: Society, As It’s Finally Reached a New Low

You’re gonna tell me that Cribs is having Nev fucking Schulman on? Nev? From Catfish? Who Pulled a Proverbial Catfish on me that one time? And I’m still salty about it?

I’ve told the story here before about the time I drove over an hour to go see the stupid Catfish movie because the stupid trailer lied to me. I don’t feel like re-hashing it because I’m having a pleasant morning. The point remains, though, that Nev from Catfish is not famous enough to have his own Cribs episode. Nev from Catfish is a squirrelly worm who I’d take great pleasure in going head-to-head against in a Hall Brawl.

Is that where we are in society? That Cribs goes to Nev from Catfishes house? Have we seen all the cribs? Are there no famous cribs left? At least he send them to the wrong address and pretend he’s been Catfishing them as a bit or something. That would be funny. But Nev’s not funny. He’s a disingenuous phony.

I thought the devastating cancellation of The Wilds (HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENS TO TONI AND SHELBY? HUH? DID YOU FAT CATS IN THE AMAZON PRIME TOWER EVER THINK OF THAT? HUH?) was the lowest we could collectively get. The nadir of our broken system. This, though, this is the most egregious of them all. What’s that saying? The Dark Knight is darkest before you live long enough to become the villian. Or something like that.

Jemmye, your thoughts?

Dammit, Jemmye, this isn’t about you.

Yeah, no, I got it. We all got it. You’re afraid of ketchup. This is going nowhere. Let’s move on.

Winner: The Closed Captions Guy Being Unintentionally Hilarious

Indistinct Nelly T.


Loser: Lax Job Requirements

Imagine dying in the deep end of the wave pool at a water and your only hope for survival is a horny, fourteen year old Olivia.

Winner: The Little Things In Life

Whenever someone mentions a random year, such as this time with Jakk describing the row-boat, I always will interject with a quick “good year”. This serves two purposes.

For one, this makes people think that you really know your history. If you say it’s a good year, nobody actually knows whether years were good or not (except 2020, that shit rocked, obviously), so they’re just going to believe you. They think to themselves, “damn, this cat is well read. I jive with the cut of his jib”. Or at least the Jazz saxophonists I hang out with say think things like that.

Only once has anyone ever asked me why it was a good year, and if that happens to you, then you just say you read that the grapes during (insert year here)’s growing season created some unbelievable vintages.

So now you’re well read and a sophisticated wine drinker. Plus, it always makes me laugh, even if it’s inside and I’m the only one who’s in on the joke. This got off the rails pretty quick, but the point remains, you stick with me, and you’ll be making out with those high school emo chicks in no time.

Winner: Challenge Experience

Although that would be both totally sweet and one of the most useless uses of a time machine imaginable, (maybe not, maybe that would be a pleasant afternoon, maybe you’d get the Horacio of pilgrims, just a nice pilgrim boy who wants to row down the river and pick fresh tomatoes and shit, maybe slaughter a Native American tribe or two, who knows what kind of time you’ll have) but my guess would be that Laurel’s great rowing form stems from doing this roughly one hundred and eight million times during her Challenge career.

Loser: Lack of Ingenuity

They just don’t make Challengers like they used to. Don’t you feel like Evelyn or Derrick or anyone from that era of the show would have just yanked that thing out of the water? Young CT would’ve done it with his teeth.

Maybe the city boy is oozing out of me with that take and I’m just way underestimating how heavy that boat is and how hard it would be to pull a sinking boat out of the water. But the idea remains the same. That level of don’t quit, just get in there and figure it out ingenuity totally escaped Amber and Chauncey B. Something a certain era of Challenger would have never let happen.

Winner: Normalcy

Welp, it was fun while it lasted. After how hard we partied this last week, seeing them in last place made me feel like I was going back into work on Monday. Groggy and in desperate need of some coffee. And maybe a lemon-lime Gatorade or seven.

But I ain’t no quitter. I was raised by TJ Lavin. I’ll rage right now. I’ll throw up an Out Of Office e-mail and get the fuck after it. Don’t threaten me with a good time.

Nam? Lolo? What do you guys think? Should we party one last time?

Yeah I kinda figured you’d say that.

Ugh. Back to reality.

Loser: American Public School Education

When Kim and Colleen were talking about getting ready for the daily challenge, a insanely stupid thought came across my brain. “Oh my God, maybe they’ll get to have Burger King for the first time!”

Which, ya know, after a quick Goog, was clearly one of the most ignorant and myopic moments of my American life. There’s over 600 of them in Germany. Because why wouldn’t there be? So, yeah, I’m dumb.

“Hey Siri, how do you say Whopper in German?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.”

“Never mind.”

“Now playing The World is Mine, by Nas on Apple Music.”

Winner: Veronica

I mean, while the other jabroni’s were swimming and competing to win, Veronica got some much needed quiet time, aimlessly drifting in an Argentinian body of water, on a paid vacation nonetheless.

Some people just don’t know how to enjoy vacation, ain’t it V?

Loser: Darrell

He’d never admit it, but the thought of Veronica just floating away and never coming back absolutely went through his mind in this moment.

Loser: Porduction

ugh they did it again! how can these people still have jobs and still be allowed to walk the earth! they should be dead! pordcution is ruining the challenge. first no CT and now why werent there instructions on how to row the bot! im sick of this imcompetence. #FireJustinTooth

Winner: Simply Tasks Made Difficult

By far, the two most difficult things in the entire world, according to The Challenge, are kayaking and unhooking carabiners.

Kayaking & Carabiners new band name, I call it.

Loser: Harvard Connect

What is this? The Henley Royal Regatta? Is Kim one of the Winklevii?

Loser: Being Magnanimous

“Classic Paricipation Trophy society bullshit. Back in my day winners got Burger King the rest were stuck searching for room temperature fries in the couch cushions. Yeah, things were easier back then, the sex was freer and the streets were cleaner.

Nowadays? Now I’m not too sure. Maybe it’s the other way around. The streets are filthy and the it’s wear a condom this, almond milk that. I wake up and don’t even recognize my own country. I don’t know, maybe I’m just being nostalgic. What do you think, Samantha?”

“Sir, I’ve had a really strange day. I just need to know what kind of drink you want with your Whopper meal. Please.”

“What happened?”

“Some lady came in with her boyfriend and gave me this fake looking card that said she gets free food whenever she wants. I just started here and hadn’t seen it and she just started yelling at me that she won it on some show and that she was going to tell someone named TJ about this and that she’d see me in elimination. It was wild.”

“What show?”

“Something called The Challenge, ever heard of it?”


“Yeah me either.”

“Well, in that case I’ll do a Diet Coke, light ice.”

Winner: Complicated Relationships With Musical Artists

What the hell Robert? Why’d you have to go and be such a piece of shit? You made so many bangers. I don’t want to feel complicated feelings while you tell there ain’t nothin wrong with a little bump and grind. I just want to bump and grind with no inhibitions.

Did I start dry humping my desk after the beat dropped on Bump N Grind while listening to it writing this section? Of course I did. Me and my new laptop have reach a whole new level of intimacy. Did I feel bad about it? Well, yeah, now I have no choice.

Dammit, Robert. Why? Why, Robert? Just lock that shit up you psycho. Ruining all this shit for me. For us.

What were we talking about again?

Winner: Mistakes

There were more than a few reasons that both Double Agents and Spies Lies & Allies were duds. Longtime fans, new fans, the blow back reverberated universally.

One of the main reasons for this dull rut The Challenge found itself in, is that the players Moneyballed the entire game. Every move was the smart move, there was no one playing stupid. There is nothing fun about that. Congratulations, you figured out The Challenge. This same approach plagued The Challenge: USA (drink) and that season fell out of the boring tree and hit every branch on the way down.

I respect the fuck out of Michele and Jay for basically playing their power as poorly as possible. Shake things up. It’s not about playing scared or not, it’s about playing smart. And they didn’t play smart. They played like morons.

They fielded a line-up of positionless slap hitters who didn’t hit homers and never struck out. They eschewed the corner three. They ate pancakes for dinner and roasted leg of lamb for breakfast.

George Costanza crawled so Michele and Jay could trip all over themselves.

Winner: Lloyd Christmas

I’ve obtained exclusive behind the scenes footage from later in this season of Michele coming to collect her IOU’s.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for those that wish to remain spoiler free.

Winner: Phrasing

Do what now?

Loser: Jakk’s Therapy Bills

Loser: Podcast Guests

Every bad podcast guest on every bad podcast sitting on whatever underwater server that houses all of the bad podcasts starts their terrible takes with these exact words. Speaking of bad podcast guests…each week this season I’ve been blessed enough to be asked to appear on the Challenge React podcast along with two Brits and another American. Last week I even filled in as host and did a terrible, dreadful job.

So if you didn’t get enough of my terrible opinions in written form, I repeat almost all of them word for word in podcast form on this show. Check it out!

Winner: Solidarity

See, look, I even wore a pink beanie to match Jakk’s pink hair. How could this be anything against Jakk? I know I put you in there, giving you a fifty percent chance to go home and all that, but it’s not against you. Gosh, don’t be so sensitive.

Loser: Threats

Wow. Upset and surprised? Veronica, you better save her. Aneesa’s talkin crazy talk.

Loser: Me, Syrus, and 8% of Men

Shout out to my colorblind brethren out there in the wild, sporting neutrals and getting the fuck after it. While we may not have done very well at this elimination game, we are so much better looking than the majority of society.

Winner: Distance

“Not only that, but she lives in Germany, so I won’t ever have to see her again after this.”

Speaking of Germany…

Winner: Germany

I’m half Irish from my Mom’s side and half (ish) German from my Dads, and growing up on the South side of Chicago, the Irish side of me always shined a little harder. Maybe it was the fact that there was eleven Irish bars between every street corner on every street where I’m from. Or maybe it was that whole learning about World War 2 thing that had me shying away from the schnitzel side of me.

Whatever it was, I always embraced my Irish side exponentially more than my German side. But no longer will that be the case. Any way I can be closer to Kim and Colleen is the path I want to travel down. Those two rule. German’s rule. Sauerkraut rules.

Last season I learned that Romania and their blue haired women totally rock, this time I find out that Germany might actually be pretty dope as well, and one of my most dedicated readers each week is from the Netherlands, which means that I’m now extremely pro Netherlands.

Gosh, the world’s a big place, huh?

Save Kim. Save Colleen. I’m gonna go party in Berlin, drink beer out of steins, and eat too much spatzle, brb.

Loser: Cussing


Winner: Laurel and Jakk With Two K’s

This elimination round was about as Challenge-y as it gets, and the queen returned to grab her crown.

Watching Laurel play an elimination round is a little like watching a figure skating routine. Something about someone that is so perfectly in their element, totally in control of the chaos, that makes me think that one day I too can reach my dream and play point guard for the Chicago Bulls.

Probably not. But if Jakk with two K’s can get a fist bump from TJ Lavin, then anything in life is possible.

Jemmye, your thoughts?


Thanks for reading! See you next Monday for a fresh batch of Power Rankings. And until then, as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!



Brian Batty

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