The Challenge USA Episode 6 Recap — Winners & Losers

Welcome to a fresh Winners & Losers! While that wasn’t the most exciting episode in the world, sometimes it’s better to eat broccoli than pizza, yaknowwhatimean? Inside this week: Nany finds a gun, Cashay has never seen Making A Murderer, TJ’s wife sleeps well at night, and much much more…

Winner: Yes

We all have our fashion icons, whether we’d like to admit it or not. Rarely does someone dress in a way that’s totally unique. And even then, all they’re usually doing is a poor impression of the kid from Big Daddy (incredible cinema, couldn’t recommend more highly (Drunk again Mr. Hurley?)) when Adam Sandler tells Frankenstein he can wear whatever he wants.

For me, my personal style icon is Nelson. Fake Versace jumpsuits as leisure wear. John Lennon shades poolside. Subtle, yet gaudy gold jewelry dangling from his neck. It all works for me. I could only dream of being half as cool.

And Leo, with this choice of hat, made it known to everyone who his fashion icon is…

That’s right. Leo saw The Menace Yes Duffy on All-Stars 3 and said hold my catnip.

Winner: The Misuse Of Words

Normally, the misuse of the word literally is sandpaper to my soul. Not literally sandpaper to my soul. Because that would be impossible.

See, there I go again.

But this time, Kyra brings up a hypothetical that brings me a lot of joy. I’ve joked about it on here before, but what if there was a gun in the house?

Just one simple handgun. With two bullets. And production doesn’t tell anyone where it is, they just have TJ announce it as an “oh by the way” after the first elimination round. Then he shoots them (lol) his trademark evil smirk and slowly rubs his palms together. Before sending them off with a “get some rest”.

Think of the possibilities. Would someone actually attempt to find the gun? Would that make the others want to vote them out because of the potential dangers? What if someone actually got their hands on the gun, but didn’t tell anyone? Would someone actually shoot the gun? With two bullets available, they could fire a warning shot, and still have the ammo to kill an influencer later on. Would there be certain people who would attempt to take it away from someone? Would that lead to an arms race of sorts? Would someone do the smart thing like the convict from The Dark Knight and toss the gun into the ocean?

Look, I don’t condone non-Hall Brawl violence. And I doubt anyone would actually shoot another person.

But….

As the great Michael Scott once taught us during a local Improv class, nothing’s more interesting than adding a gun to the mix. I’ll get off this soon, but I want to leave you with a lasting image…

Nany, after her 9th margarita of the afternoon, sees Kaycee flirting with Amber B. at the bar (really they were just talking about a new tapas restaurant Kaycee recently discovered in San Diego after Amber told her she was going to be in town for a weekend next July), and decides now is the best time to announce to the rest of the house that she, in fact, found the gun three nights ago, and if this bitch don’t stop talking to my woman, she’s gonna find out about it…

Am I right or am I right?

Loser: Questioning Aneesa

You listen up and you listen good, Angela from Big Brother. You will not under any circumstances stand under The Challenge Flag, donning the sacred Under Armor, in front of 9-Time X Games Medalist TJ Lavin, and question Aneesa’s Algorithm. She’s been working on it since the minute she left Spies, Lies, & Allies. And if you can’t appreciate the hard work and personal time she dedicated so that you and all your silly friends could pretend to play The Challenge, then I got a one-way ticket to the moon with your name on it.

Loser: Brandon Dassey

The best part of any quality reality TV show is that by the end of any episode you can glean something from the human condition. You can learn something about yourself and/or broaden your horizon on what the rest of the world can potentially be.

This most definitely applies to The Challenge, which exists in its own hyper-reality where hot people who want the fabric of their strange version of fame stretched beyond its natural limits beat each other up and lie to their friends for an opportunity to eventually lose to CT for a bunch of money.

And ultimately, setting all the bullshit you just scrolled beyond aside, you can learn something about life while two people who barely know each other sit in a weight room (also the living room and the kitchen which is weird but talk about this strange living situation is another podcast for another day) and have what must have seemed at the time like the most serious conversation they’ve ever had. And what lesson is that?

Never talk to cops! Ever! Just don’t do it! There is no upside to talking to a cop! Just keep your trap shut. They will say and do anything to get you to say and do the exact thing that they want. And I have to imagine Sarah isn’t the type who turns that part of her brain off while she’s stuck in this kind of atmosphere. We all have a hard time turning off work brain when we’re off the clock, imagine doing it with a job as all-encompassing as a police officer.

Cashay decided to eschew that valuable life advice and let Officer Wide Eyes stare deep into her soul and extract the exact information that she wanted to hear. That everything was Tyson’s idea. Giving her justification to continue not blinking for the rest of her time there.

Winner: Naps

Not the greatest nap form, his hips are gonna be killing him when he wakes up.

That looks like a great nap couch though. Partly open, grab a big blanket and a couple of pillows on a rainy night, and just let that ASMR shit carry you to sleep. It’s really wide as well, which as I’ve mentioned before in a different nap-couch diatribe, is crucial to getting the proper hip extension necessary for a successful afternoon nap.

Stay tuned for my “Top 10 Nap Couches In Challenge History” blog coming to a Medium page near you.

Winner: Enzo

Shout out to my guy for not offering to help David (Not my dad) with the dishes, and choosing to rather pump him up and talk game instead.

“Hey Enzo, I wash, you dry, yeah?”

“We just can’t come in last place.”

“No right, got that. But there’s a rag over there if you wanna just grab it.”

“We got this, bro. We got this.”

“Totally, but if you just help me dry these dishes will go a lot faster.”

“Just gotta stay focused, yo.”

Winner: TJ’s Wife

Loser: Not Keeping It Simple, Stupid

Here’s a little peek behind the curtain that nobody asked for or wanted. To write these I usually end up watching the episode 3 times (sometimes 4). Once when it’s airing live just to watch it as a fan because this show rules. The second time I keep my laptop in front of me and just write stream of consciousness style. The third time I watch on mute with the captions turned on. Then if I’m feeling frisky/have nothing else going on that day, I’ll watch it again on mute without any captions.

I still have no fucking clue what the hell the rules of this challenge were. None. Nany could put her gun to my head and ask me to describe the rules or she’d shoot me. My brains would be splattered along the pavement like a Basquiat.

Winner: TJ’s Wife (Again)

“They pay you how much to say that?”

Winner: Spring Break King of the Ring, Panama City Beach, 1999 — Mark Long

You called?

Loser: Derek

You can’t be exacerbated by the idea of watching a Batman movie one week and then be dropping references to hoity-toity movies like A Beautiful Mind the next. I won’t stand for that sort of hypocrisy on my television screen.

There is no trusting a person who says they haven’t seen a Batman movie but has seen A Beautiful Mind. That person sounds like a tough hang.

Winner: Danny’s Wife Kiki

Kiki Kount: 8

Winner: Danny’s Wife Kiki (Again)

Kiki Kount: 9

Is anybody else as worried about Danny as I am?

If he’s not talking about fear of rejection from loved ones, he referring to his own impending death. And now he’s taking trips down memory lane and reminiscing about warm memories like an old man on his death bed.

For real, who’s got eyes on Danny?

Winner: Whichever Page Came Up First When Tori and Kyra Googled “Cute Tattoos For Instagram”

Winner: Me And Shannon Being Super Funny

Among my many go-to unfunny bits in life, my favorite is probably the check-an-imaginary-watch move whenever time gets brought up. I only really wear a watch now on special occasions since I quit my last job, which is great because now that joke is unfunny basically 24/7 as opposed to all the times where I made the joke, but was actually wearing a watch, which means it wasn’t a joke at all and I was merely checking the time.

Boy, after typing all of that out I now realize that if I put as much effort into getting ahead in life as I do into forming slightly funny go-to jokes…well then you all wouldn’t be reading these every week so…you’re welcome.

Now let’s get on with the chlorophyll.

Loser: Home Renovations

For the entire week, my neighbor next door has been re-doing the metal fence surrounding their property.

I live on the first floor of a classic Chicago two-flat with a narrow gangway about two feet wide acting as the dividing line between the buildings on both sides. Meaning the metal (Steel? I don’t know shit about fuck when it comes to this stuff) fence that separates our front yards is essentially eight inches away from my dining room window.

So for about four days in a row now, four gentlemen shouting at each other in Spanish have occupied the soundscape of my entire house. Not only were they shouting in Spanish, but they were also using a sander (?) sort of contraption to clean (?) the gate, so that they could ultimately repaint it.

This caused my house to sound as if a thousand dentists were cleaning the inside of my ears with the oldest tool they could possibly find after consuming their body weight in half-priced Jager bombs at Happy Hour.

It also meant that sparks that looked exactly like the ones shot off by the winners of this daily challenge have been flying around in the air as well. When I turned on the latest episode of The Challenge to escape the nightmares of my afternoons, watching them continue through osmosis on my television screen was not something I expected. And yet here we are.

Life’s hard kids. The lesson here, as always, is don’t talk to cops.

Loser: Incoherent References

What about them?

What do Shaq and Kobe have to do with you conquering your fear of water and successfully completing the swinging portion of the challenge? Is he saying that he and Cayla are like Shaq and Kobe? Because I’d have to go ahead and disagree with that one.

I mean let’s start with the obvious, glaring difference, neither Leo nor Cayla are bald.

Winner: The Challenge

Right around now, in the life of any Challenger, what you want to accomplish in this game needs to start being spelled out.

Is your goal self-preservation, surviving week by week, and making it as far as possible? Or is your goal to win the whole thing?

If David (not my Dad)’s goal is to win, then he should be pushing for Tyson to go in. Now, Desi hasn’t had Tyson as a partner yet, and even if she had, she has no reason to want him out of the game due to the potential of running a portion of the Final with him. But David can simply argue that if she can’t be partners with Tyson, then nobody else can either. It balances things out, accentuating her physical abilities even further.

Because of Aneesa’s Algorithm, the hypothetical scenarios remaining are endless and almost useless to attempt to map out. The Challenge Gods can and will do whatever the absolute fuck that they want to. This means that even if Tyson were to win, and claim he’s coming for you when he does, the partners may just line up in a way where he won’t be able to pull that off.

The way this game is set up, there are simply too many moving pieces to ultimately be concerned about surviving week-to-week. Take the big shot when you can. The goal should always be to win. And as I’ve argued before, if Tyson’s around for a running race worth all the money, then nothing else really matters. Keeping him around works directly against that goal. Like eating Taco Bell to lose weight. Or pounding your head against a brick wall to get rid of a headache.

Loser: Whoever That Was

What the hell? Who got stuck sleeping outside? Were Domenick’s farts that bad? Did Alyssa really snore that loudly?

Seriously though, who slept outside?

Winner: Assuming Everyone Is Lying All The Time

See, here’s where my not knowing anything about these people while watching them on a show where I normally know maybe a little too much about the people comes into play.

Let’s take CT from last season as an example. One of the main rebuttals I would receive when I’d perform my tired “why haven’t they gone after CT yet?”song and dance would revolve around them being afraid of him going after them later on. CT exacting some form of revenge.

Now I know enough about CT and how he plays to know that that’s honestly probably bullshit. His only concern is winning, and straying from that path to get back at someone just simply isn’t something he’s willing to do.

Now when Tyson says that that’s exactly what he would do if David (not my Dad) were to vote him into elimination, I’m not sure how to react. On one hand, I live my life under the assumption that everyone’s always lying to me. Maybe that’s something for my therapist to unpack, but I’m just a skeptical person in general.

So my gut instinct last night when I watched the episode live was to not believe that Tyson would actually jeopardize his high chance of winning a silly amount of money just to get back at some guy from Big Brother he met a few weeks prior.

But after some time to let that thought marinate, I’ve realized that I don’t know shit about Tyson. I don’t know how petty he can be. Maybe he’s telling the truth.

And maybe I need to get a life.

Winner: Local Argentinian Auto Body Shops

“Hi, yeah, do you guys do a buy three tires get the fourth one free promotion?”

“We sure do.”

“Great I’ll take one hundred and twenty tires please.”

“For one car?”

“That’s funny.”

“Just an old family joke.”

“To be clear, according to my algorithm here, I’m only paying for the price of ninety tires.”

“If that’s what it says, that’s what it says. Can I get a name for the order, this might take us a minute.”

“Sure, you can put it under Aneesa.”

“Could you spell that for me?”

Loser: Me, Unable To Help Myself

BECAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO!!!

Winner: Seminal Moments In Ones Life

I can still remember exactly where I was sitting when I saw this YouTube Hall of Fame video.

Some would argue that the release of this video was the moment that the internet peaked. Everything afterward is just a parody. Like how Shakespeare already wrote every possible story, any YouTube video is simply attempting to capture this magic.

And by some would argue I mean that I would argue. And by I would argue I mean that I would say that in a group setting and be met with a some eye rolls, an uncomfortable silence, and a swift change of subject. And by a group setting, I mean just saying it to my dog Willa while she licks my arm. And by saying it to Willa I mean saying it into an empty room because all of my loved ones have left me because I won’t stop talking about when the internet peaked. And by empty room, I mean in a park somewhere because I am now a wandering nomad.

So you can run and tell that, homeboy.

Loser: Anyone Not Normally Accustomed To TJ’s Bullshit

Justine is so beyond sick and tired of TJ ruining her vacation.

Loser: Half-Assing It

If we’re gonna have a Spelling Eeb, let’s have a Spelling Eeb.

I’ve never in my life heard of an Eeb lasting only four questions. Imagine it’s a lazy summer afternoon, and you’re scrolling through the guide on your parent’s cable box, and you come across the Script’s Howard National Spelling Eeb on ESPN 2. So you figure, great! I can waste the rest of my afternoon watching the nerdiest kids in school try and spell words! Nothing better than the Eeb!

Then it lasts only four questions, suddenly it’s over, and you have to find something else to do for the rest of the afternoon. It makes no sense. It’s just simply not American.

Same goes for Akila The Eeb. Or the Eeb Movie with Jerry Seinfeld. I don’t want those movies to finish before the opening credits even finish.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. If you’re gonna eeb, then eeb

Loser: Anyone Who Clicked On This Link

Normally this is right around the time where I give a mini eulogy to the eliminated team. Where I’d write some sort of summary of their over-arching narrative within the construct of the show. Write about what it means for them, for the game, for The Challenge at large.

But I gotta be honest with you all. I got nothin. While I sure liked these two, and have nothing negative to say. They took nothing off the table and both contributed a solid amount along their maiden Challenge journey.

So maybe I’m just being lazy, but truly, I have nothing macro or micro to say. And for anyone who has a problem with that, I got one word and one word only for ya…

Thanks for reading! See ya soon with a fresh batch of Power Rankings! And, 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