The Challenge: Ride or Dies Episode 6 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
23 min readNov 17, 2022

Welcome to Winners & Losers for The Challenge Ride or Dies Episode 6!!! Michele and Jay, for the second week in a row, lit themselves on fire for our at home entertainment, we said goodbye to a Challenge legend, and Laurel sadly went home too. Inside this week: Laurel for Bachelorette, we examine how being tall at a concert sometimes isn’t a good thing, Kaycee inspires me to go buy a bag of potato chips, and much much more…

Winner: The Hero Who Named This Episode

Come Michele or High Water?

Talk about clocking into work and doing a good job at your job. Think about how much time you spent online shopping during your work day yesterday? That time could’ve been used productively, like the whoever is titling these episodes used their time. I’ll see you for a performance review on Monday.

Loser: The New Born Baby As a Dance Move

Not your best, Jordan. A simple cabbage patch would’ve sufficed. Or even a Dougie, perhaps . No one needed to see a reenactment of child birth on club night.

Winner: Little League Jordan

I mean, jeez, adorbs! Amirite?!

Loser: Aneesa’s Dramatics

Relax, Aneea. It’s not that impressive. He can shave that stupid mullet off whenever he wants.

Loser: The Inability To Shake The Bachelor Franchise

You know, what she said right there about Johnny makes sense. The right reasons, in this case, are referring to ensuring victory above all else. There is no fame chasing, no motivation for clout collecting, Johnny and Nany both have plenty of those things. Their reason for being here is to win. So Nany saying that Johnny’s here for the right reasons is a totally normal way to phrase that.

Except….

Well, except that phrase, said in that way, is synonymous with The Bachelor franchise. In that sense it refers to a contestant being on The Bachelor/Bachelorette to find love, rather than chase fame and collect clout. Which, turns out, is the goal for 98% of the people on that show.

I can’t shake the Bachelor stink out of that phrase. And when it’s said out of context on a totally different franchise, I’m sucked completely out of my TV screen. The fourth wall is shattered, and I’m left back inside my own head. Trapped in actual reality. Contemplating whether or not Brandon and Serene are going to make it. Or if he’s going to tie her up and trap her in his basement immediately upon her initial attempt to break up with him. Who knows, really? (No, seriously though, does anyone have eyes on Serene?)

Luckily for us, this will be the only time Bachelor Nation vernacular sneaks into The Challenge. No chance another piece of jargon will get haphazardly thrown around later on by, oh I don’t know, let’s just say Laurel for shits and giggles. No chance of that. At least for this episode, we seem to be in the clear.

Loser: Aneesa

Shots fired?

Loser: Nany

Big time whiff on the cheers there. Johnny didn’t see it, so it’s not her fault. But that was definitely broadcasted on cable television, so, ya know, not what you want.

What? You think I’m projecting? You think I’m harboring resentment for being publicly rebuffed on a cheers just last weekend? No chance of that, bucko. There’s less of a chance of another Bachelor Nation phrase being cavalierly thrown out later on in this episode than of me ever being rebuffed for a cheers in my own life.

You clicked on the wrong blog post if you think something like that would ever happen to someone as super duper cool as me.

Winner: Being Ham Fisted With Branding

“No great influencer has ever been subtle in their choice of workout shorts.”

— Jesus Christ “The Bible”

Loser: Timing

I was eating dinner when I heard Jakk say this for the first time.

Loser: Me and My Stupid Predictions

Laurel should one hundred percent be the next Bachelorette!!!

She’d be incredible! She’s already got the lingo down perfectly! Saying empty phrases like “we made a connection” is like half the battle. Not only would she be a nightmare for the producers, considering the second they try and pull their manipulative, nefarious tactics, she’d squash it immediately before turning it around on them. But that show has gotten extra stale lately, and what better way to shake things up, piss off Sharron in Nebraska and her four sisters who get together to watch the show with their daughters (men go to the garage and talk sports or whatever, obviously), and get a season where the lead, this time being Laurel, has both men and women to choose from. Rustle some jimmies in the heartland, ya know?

If Gabby and Rachel’s season taught us anything, and even Michele’s, and definitely Katie’s, is that finding a group of hot dudes who have even a morsel of fiber in their DNA that carries intention on settling down is an impossible task in the environment that they foster.

So fuck it, flip the script. Laurel would be the greatest Bachelorette possible. The only thing stopping ABC from making the right choice is cowardice.

Loser: Boys

I think, Laurel, that that something weird that’s happening is the fact that he’s young and hot and has no intention on settling down any time soon.

Ugh, boys, amirite?

Winner: Me Every Sunday Afternoon Turning On Football Rather Than Being Productive And Finishing My Book

Winner: Dem Franchise Boyz

Loser: D- Effort

Winner: Experience

You know who would’ve had no problem finding those bags?

Stanley Yelnats. That’s who.

Winner: The Hangover Goofies

It’s pretty clear to me that Johnny tied one on the previous night and is participating in this daily challenge deathly hungover.

My girlfriend last night put Johnny’s attitude towards that day’s challenge eloquently when she, unprompted by me, exclaimed that “Johnny’s got the hangover goofies right now.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

It was reminiscent of not only one of my favorite daily challenges they’ve ever done, but one of the greatest performances a Challenger has ever put together.

During The Inferno, for one of the missions, the two teams were tasked with standing outside of a cruise ship and basically selling various trinkets and gag gifts to tourists about to head off to sea. They sold swimsuits, boxers, sombreros, headphones. You name it. It was a totally out of pocket daily challenge that they need to bring back immediately.

Some, like Timmy and The Miz, went on a charm offensive and turned on their sales gene. Others, like Julie and Veronica, flirted with various older gentlemen who were having the time of their lives getting attention from hot reality TV girls.

Now David, the OG David, the double OG triple OG David Burns, began that day with that same “hungover goofies” energy. He gave it his best effort, but soon, the hangover Gods took over.

If Johnny could have pulled an OG David Burns move and just sit in a chair off the to side and catch a nap while Nany figured out that word puzzle, he absolutely would have.

Loser: Tori’s Knowledge of Early 20th Century Mexican Cultural Figures

Manuel Gamio (1883–1960) was a Mexican anthropologist, archaeologist, sociologist, and a leader of the indigenismo movement.

Duh.

Loser: Standing Behind Someone Tall At A Concert And Asking Them To Move Out Of Your Way

The Top Two Times In My Life I’ve Been Annoyed At Concerts Because Of How Tall I Am

2) I was at the Wale concert in the video above. That’s me, the tall white guy in the backwards black hat front row middle losing my shit. It was at this very concert that I sat in line outside for six hours with my buddy in the freezing cold Chicago winter to ensure that I was first in the door and front row center to see my favorite rapper perform, where I was threatened multiple times by three very small women stuck standing behind me who demanded I move out of the way so that they can see the show.

Now, ideally I’d move, right? Be the gentleman. Do the right thing. But you know what? Fuck that. It’s not my fault I’m 6'4". You want to see the show? Get there six hours early like I did and drink vodka and Sprite out of a 64 oz. gas station plastic cup just to stay warm.

They accosted me for almost the entire time I stood there waiting for the show to start. And if you’ve ever been to a hip-hop show, you know the artists aren’t exactly punctual, for obvious reasons. Weed, mostly. So it was a very long time that three very small women called me very crude names.

1) I was working that night, so I was running late, but I met up with my girlfriend at a Dermot Kennedy show at the Riviera Theater and I just made it in the doors minutes before he went on. Now, I don’t even particularly like the guy’s music that much, but my girlfriend’s borderline obsessed and would leave me for him in less than a second, so in that sense, I’m obsessed with him by osmosis.

Now, we had special seats due to special circumstances, not my place to divulge details, but we were sort of able to be in front of the rest of the crowd in the first balcony, in a roped off area. Which was fine when everyone was packed in there and settled in. But things get real squirrely when a giant human like me was able to cut to the front and pretty much block the view of an entire swath of humans behind me.

And they were not super psyched about it.

I had some pretty mean insults thrown my way that night. And you know what? I totally get it. They had to stand around all for hours to get their spot in this area, and I showed up thirty seconds before the main event began. Not only that, I got to sneak ahead of all of them, and they probably didn’t really get to see the show they waited months for and paid hard earned money for because a goofy idiot (me) plopped in front of them at the worst possible time. Oops.

Best part was? I don’t even like the guy. Which I refrained from saying out loud, despite the devil on my shoulder pushing me towards doing so, for fear of causing a riot. But what am I supposed to do? I’m tall. Can’t get around that.

Just like Fessy in this situation, what is he supposed so do? Not his fault he’s tall.

What’s that?

He could’ve just moved to the back?

Welp…

I guess that really only leaves us with one question then…

Winner: Motivation

I know who can give her that little bit of encouragement. Tony’s brother Shane? Come on down.

Exactly.

Winner: Burying The Lede

But more importantly you finally got a haircut. Go dammit you’re so good looking. Do you think they flew Leroy in for 24 hours to freshen everybody up?

When (when) I’m a billionaire, I hope Leroy’s ready to take the PJ out to whichever of my palatial estate’s I happen to be currently staying in so he can keep my line-up as fresh as possible.

Winner: Chicago

You didn’t think that one was gonna sneak past me did you?

Come on bro, I’m about that musical shit. Oklahoma? Where the wind come sweepin down the plain? I was in that shit. Beauty and the Beast? Please, crushed that too. Believe me when I say I was bout it bout it when it comes to that thespian life.

Loser: Hooking Up With Your Ex One More Time Than You Probably Should Have, But You Both Don’t Really Know How To Say No Quite Yet, And You Ultimately Drive Home Later Completely Unsatisfied

Winner: Amberbeestrodomus

Loser: Telling The Challenge Gods Your Plans

Look, Michele and Jay have spent the last few weeks doing maybe the worst you could possibly do with power. Like, I don’t even see a way that they could have fucked this up more. Looking back, maybe the only thing thing they haven’t done in that deliberation room in the last two episodes is stand on the table and piss on it.

I’ll get to their biggest mistake in a bit, but the fact that they just went through a practice run for this exact same thing just a few days before this, and they still managed to make the same mistake is mind blowing. Don’t plan this shit out! Just don’t do it. Nelson and Olivia’s low-level Challenge poppycock and that time Kam on Final Reckoning pretended to make Sylvia cry are the only two times a plan on this show has actually worked. JUST LAST WEEK they were presented with this lesson.

So Jay laying out this ‘if blah blah picks bananas and blah blah then at least one enemy is gone’ plan just seems like the ramblings of a man who learned nothing from his mistakes that, in real time, are probably like 72 hours old.

Aye carumba. I’m pretty slow to pick up on the political nuances of this game sometimes, I’d get circles run around me in that arena by almost anyone reading this, but this one is a dead fish slapping me across the face.

Get your shit together.

SPOILER ALERT: They won’t.

Winner: Faysal

Hey, I have a question. When Michele and Jay were bandying names back and forth, how come Faysal and Moriah didn’t get brought up once? Even Amber and Chauncey were mentioned, and that’s like pulling a holographic Charizard from a deck of Pokemon cards. So what gives?

Is Fessy low key playing the best game out of anyone right now? Come Final time, he and Moriah are my pick to click, and I wasn’t aware of some deep Jay/Fessy friendship that would preclude Jay from choosing him. Is Michele that concerned that her midnight snack might possibly leave the fridge?

I mean, let’s be honest, putting Faysal and Moriah on the board probably could’ve solved a lot of their issues this week. But that would involve Michele and Jay not lighting themselves on fire. Which is clearly unavoidable at this point.

Loser: Kaycee’s Spotless Record

FINALLY.

FUCKING FINALLY.

For first time in three and a half seasons and a billion and a half episodes, Kaycee’s name has been put up for an elimination which wasn’t something she was asking for.

Seriously, this is the first time her name’s even been uttered by someone within the context of voting into elimination. Maybe this will cause her to spiral. For the first time, she’s felt the walls of the game closing in on her. Will this added layer of anxiety suck her into a dark place she’s yet to experience on this show?

What’s that?

Nothing interesting happens and she acts totally normal?

Cool.

Winner: Staying True To Your Message

as your hair.

Loser: Telling On Yourself

No shit.

Winner: Free Advertising

Does anyone else want a bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles right now or is it just me?

Winner: Learning New Things

So that’s what Kenny’s voice sounds like.

Loser: Telling On Yourself (Part 2)

No shit.

Loser: Five Bullets To The Chest

You know what Michele and Jay’s biggest problem has been the last two weeks?

Beyond being forced to show their hands and say some names, beyond their boneheaded/shortsighted/nonsensical stragies, beyond Kim and Colleen losing last week taking away their free space on the bingo card, beyond their prior deals with lesser teams mucking things up, what they fucked up the most on is that they opened their mouth at all.

In this clip, Brad Pitt refers to baseball players being cut by saying “they’re professional ballplayers. Just be straight with them. No fluff, just facts”, which is exactly the tactic Jay and Michele should’ve applied here.

Going to say some vets names? So be it, that’s the move you think is best. These people are professional Challengers. Just be straight with them. No fluff, just facts.

You think Veronica, Darrell, Aneesa, Jordan, Nany, Johnny, and Laurel aren’t completely aware of the position that Michele and Jay found themselves in? Every single one of the veteran names that Jay and Michele have decided to piss off the last two weeks would’ve been entirely empathetic to their situation, even if their name was called. Sure, there may have been posturing all around, nobody likes their name to be said at the end of the day (shout out Nany), but ultimately the decision would’ve been understood.

But Michele and Jay made the crucial mistake, two weeks in a row mind you, of saying way too damn much. Instead of just giving them a bullet to the head, they shot them all five times in the chest and let them bleed to death.

Look, it’s not rocket science what these people are doing. And sure, there’s not a ton of rocket scientists on this cast, but if you and I can sit on our couches drinking cheap beer and figure out the best strategy for these things, then believe me, so can they.

Michele and Jay just needed to shut the fuck up. Make the exact same choices, both weeks, but say nothing in the house, and then in deliberation go no further than “we had a difficult decision, but we stand by our choices” and the blow back would be so much less severe.

Instead, they tried to do way too much, and painted one of the largest targets this game has ever seen on their backs in the process. Who knows, though, maybe they’ll just win every challenge from here on out and none of it will matter. Probably not, but crazier things have happened. Crazier things like Michele and Jay not only ignoring the lessons their mistakes presented them but actively taking a dump on those lessons and doubling down.

In this play-safe-to-the-detriment-of-entertainment-era, Michele and Jay are a beacon of hope that one day this game can get as sloppy as it once was. I couldn’t be happier with the way this all shook out. I could watch those two set their house on fire and stand in it all day.

Winner: Terminator Laurel

Don’t blow a fuse robot Laurel.

Winner: Lessons From Decades of Reality Television

Whether or not anything PG-13 or higher happened in the bed between Laurel and Fessy in this scene really isn’t the point.

Over the years reality television has taught us that if they cut to a shot of the security camera in a bedroom while two people are occupying the same space underneath the covers, our initial instincts is to assume some sort of hanky panky situation is occurring.

It’s one of the genius aspects of reality TV and why it can be so enticing and addicting. Reality TV is constantly telling you exactly how you should feel. The music is a huge part of this. The music will always cue you on which emotion the creators of the show want you to feel in any given moment. Camera shots, such as the security camera in the bedroom, are another way for the show to poke and prod you into a certain emotion.

I’ve told you once and I’ll tell you again, Challenge producer people who read these recaps, you ain’t gettin’ shit past me. Got the wrong one over here on this lightly trafficked medium blog. Do better.

Loser: Doubling Down

Michele. Stop talking. Stop. Nothing you say to anyone is going to help you. Eat it. Eat it all. Let Nany and Laurel yackity yack all day. Let them get it out of their systems. Hope for the best tonight. Hope that they spent their entire day being so mad at you that they are able to work all those emotions out to the point that they’ve completely forgotten how the hell they even got there.

Don’t do whatever the hell this version of I’m sorry is.

Actually, fuck it. I think you’re doing great. Keep winning. If only for the benefit of everyone besides you and your partner.

Loser: The Guys Inspired By Wiz Khalifa In 2010

Wait a minute, where did Jay’s legs go?

Winner: Staying True To Yourself

For this week’s elimination, basically each team has to move a bunch of bricks, stack them, of then take some balls that were released via brick stacking, and try and throw them through enlarged pictures of their opponent’s faces. One partner throws, the other defends.

Seems pretty standard, right? Nothing too exciting? Psh, that’s what you think! Because when you tear through someone’s face with a ball…..

THE RING SETS ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!

They just cannot help themselves sometimes.

Loser: Self-Plagarism

Okay, so full disclosure, for the five percent of you who read my recap of the second episode of The Challenge: Australia, you may have noticed that I just copy and pasted the same exact joke I used there. That’s because I just watched this exact elimination on Tuesday’s episode of the Aussie season.

It was sort of jarring watching this elimination play out on two different shows that are technically exactly the same show within less than 24 hours, but the circumstances and details were entirely different on both versions.

For the fuck of it, let’s go over a few of the ways this game played out differently on the two shows….

For starters, the participants.

On the Aussie version, one team consisted of a famous Australian pop singer and someone who just cheated on their boyfriend with a guy whose neck is completely covered in tattoos, who has apparently already hooked up with a third of the cast before the show even started, earlier in that same episode. Yes, to answer your question, the Australian version of this show is out of control.

The other team consisted of a someone named David (not my Dad or David Burns) who had once hooked up with the aforementioned pop singer on the opposing team in a bathroom during Mardi Gras (this is something they just straight up tell us during the episode) and an Olympic athlete.

I‘m telling you, this Australian shit is nuts.

Another difference is that David (not my Dad or David Burns) is the only one out of the group to carry more than two cinder blocks per trip. Aneesa and Jordan both carried four, while he was the only Aussie to carry three. Not only that, the host, Brihony, made it seem as though they had to stack their blocks perfectly. Whereas Jordan and Aneesa took the yolo approach.

The Aussie version was edited much more sporadically and had this high energy intensity too it. Very rock n’ roll concert comapared to the almost operatic version we saw on Ride or Dies. It also went down to the wire, both teams had nine out of ten balls through the hoop for a bit, which definitely added to the organic drama.

Anywho, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. I highly recommend finding some way to watch the Australian season on the internet somewhere. If not, just read my recaps. I’ll keep you up to date on the important things.

Back to the chlorophyll!

Winner: Jordan, Always

What’s there left to say? Jordan’s performances, and that’s what they are, performances, are a sight to behold.

So many people come on this show preening like a peacock, faking their way through many layers of insecurities to be able to project a confident, alpha personality. Let’s think of an example…hmm…I don’t know….how about Jordan on Free Agents?

But this Jordan is what true confidence looks like. True confidence isn’t showy. It’s not boastful. It doesn’t come from anywhere other than yourself. That goes for real life too. True confidence derives from within, you cannot gain it elsewhere. It has to come from yourself first.

This version of Jordan we have now is what true confidence looks like. What believing in yourself at the highest possible level looks like.

Stand, applaud, and enjoy the show. That’s all we can do.

Winner: Jakk

Being partnered with one of the greatest to ever play this game could not have been an easy place to start your journey. Even if she does happen to be one of your real life best friends. Jakk was always going to be playing from behind, even on his own team. It would have been almost impossible for him to break out of that. It’s no one’s fault. Not Jakk’s, or Laurel’s.

His partner is a deity within this game. A Challenge legend that needs only one name to announce themselves and stir up emotions within Challenge fans from any age or era. Laurel springs eternal.

So Jakk was almost never going to leave this season as anything more than Laurels partner. And that’s a tough spot to navigate. It’s almost thankless. He started a band, the band broke up, he made some rat metaphors. He did everything he could to shine beneath the shadow of a giant.

Let’s all put on a Lady Gaga record and dance one last time for Jakk with two K’s.

Winner: Not The Heroes, But The Legends

They don’t make ’em like Laurel anymore.

If there’s one thing that reality television casting post-Fresh Meat 2 has taught me, it’s that there’s only one Laurel out there.

That’s one thing this show has always specialized in. Locating the diamonds in the rough, capitalizing on them, and presenting them to us on a silver platter, warts and all. Laurel is a glossy symbol of that ethos.

I don’t know what it is, but whenever Laurel makes an appearance in this world, I cannot take my eyes off her. The details are all worth pointing out. The fact that she’s got a hook-up roster the size of an NFL team. The fact that she’s got an elimination record that would stomp on almost anyone elses. The fact that saying the word “notebook” anywhere in the world denotes thoughts of romance, and yet in the Challenge house, in only conjures fear. All due to one person.

No matter your thoughts on her…she’s a bully, she’s too sensitive, she’s dominant, she’s a legend, she’s entitled, she’s the GOAT…the fact of the matter is that when she shows up you feel some type of way. That’s the whole point of this show, right? To feel something? To watch regular people like you and me be pressed into a hyper reality where your best and worst qualities are on display? All for the hope to cash an enormous check at the end of it all?

Laurel’s a gift to us. To the greater Challenge world. Just don’t let her write any of this down in her one subject Mead.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed! See ya soon with 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. Inquires: WillaMediaManagement@gmail.com -Twitter: @TJsAirhorn