The Challenge World Championship Episode 1 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
14 min readMar 10, 2023

Welcome back!!! Feels like forever since I’ve seen you all around these parts. We’re here to recap Episode 1 of The Challenge World Championships, and what an Episode 1 it was! Let’s kick these Winners & Losers off with a bang, shall we? Inside this week: Claudia shows us fresh cracks in the simulation, Emily is trying to impress the wrong crowd, all the new kids learn how to put a condom on a banana, and much much more…

Loser: Laws Against Masturbating In Public

There is no celestial body in the known universe which possesses the ability to derive orgasmic levels of pleasure from a public self-flagellation in quite the same way that the Challenge Gods do.

It’s good to be back!

Winner: Good Ideas

Holy shit are they actually giving out a trophy for this thing?!

Please let it be Stanley Cup style where you can drink beer from it and anyone who wins gets their name etched into the side. Tell me that if you heard the winner of this thing was coming to a bar in your home town and bringing the trophy along you wouldn’t actually take a shower (with soap), put on your good jeans, pre-game with the bottle of Jager that’s been in your garage fridge since that 4th of July party you threw after you moved in during the summer of 2019, and get your ass to that bar immediately. And if you did tell me that, I know you’d be lying.

Because what kinda psychopath chooses to miss out on drinking beer from the Challenge World Championship Trophy with Jonna or Jodi or somebody like that?

Winner: Airport Chic

Shout out to Sarah for refusing to change out of the same clothes she wore to the airport.

Also shout out to Emily for dressing like a table cloth.

I told you, in more ways than you could possibly imagine, it feels so good to be back.

Winner: Marley

My guy said “fuck a jacket”. The other three were clearly on a mission to out-jacket the other one during their big debut together. Marley? Marley said “I’m wearing this shirt with dope ass birds on it, a shirt that none of you could possibly get away with, and drip swag all over this tiny little stage they set up”.

No, really, it’s so good to be back.

Winner: Anyone New Around Here Who Didn’t Think I Was Going To Rank The Jackets

Brihony is dressed very similar to how Kaycee and I both dress, Mark’s jacket with the stripes on the piping is dope, but either he has a short torso or the cut of that jacket is just really tight on the bottom. Either way, my big ass ain’t cuttin it with a tiny torso jacket. So that one’s gotta take a hit.

TJ, though, is sporting the adult jacket. Asserting his dominance. ‘Hey, wow, you two look sick in your high schooler outfit. I’m a grown ass man. And I’m in charge around here’. I’m into it.

The last few seasons have sprung Woke TJ on us. Maybe this Global thing will give us Grown Ass Man TJ. The Adult in the room. Maybe Tori farted just one too many times during the Ride or Dies Final. Or he just cannot tolerate seeing Johnny’s ass again. I want him to lay the hammer down and suffer not a single fool this time around.

Final Jacket Rankings

3) Mark

2) Brihony

1) Teej

Winner: Cracks In The Simulation

Shout out to Kendal from The Inferno.

Winner: Union Benefits

This is the sexiest group of municipal workers I’ve ever seen.

Loser: Wearing Hats The Same Way Everyone Else Does

“Oh, hey, Jordan, your hats all messed up in the front.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yeah, you’re right. My bad.”

Winner: The Abundance Of The Letter ‘Z’ Across The Pond

So both women from the U.K. have a prominent ‘Z’ in their name. It really must be a thing over there. Think about it.

There are these two. Then there’s Zahida. And who could forget about Zeorgia or Big Z.

Crazy what they got goin on over there.

Winner: Aneesa, Still Collecting Checks

Aneesa’s Algorithm was so successful that they re-hired her to come up with these totally arbitrary percentages to attach to a competition that involves drinking a tuna poop smoothie.

I love this show so fucking much. I mean, lmaooooo come on. What in the hell are those percentages? Like, what did they get them from? What data set are they using?

What kind of skill is ‘Iron Stomach’? That sounds like one of those “Get Abs in 12 minutes with this one simple workout” type deals you could buy off the TV from a commercial that would play before and after the Girls Gone Wild infomercials on Comedy Central at like one in the morning.

We used to be a proper country, I’ll tell ya what.

Loser: Words I’ve Heard One Too Many Times

Winner: The Challenge

Don’t ever tell me this isn’t the greatest show in the world.

Winner: Crazy Theories That Might Just Be True

Now I’m not saying this is true, but just humor me for a minute…

Is it possible that at least a small portion of the success that Sarah has had on reality television competition shows could potentially be attributed to that fact that even subconsciously there’s a tiny section inside the brains of everyone she’s competing against that it’s possible she might arrest them?

Loser: Bragging

Bragging to Challenge fans about being in the Olympics is a little like bragging to Shania Twain about being Brad Pitt.

Winner: Being A Fun Time Boy

I’ll tell you something, if you did a poll of the people in my life and asked them, “Is Brian a fun time boy?” and the answer wasn’t overwhelmingly yes I will feel like my life up to this point has been an abject failure.

Loser: The English Language

You could also just say “This is going to determine,”

But that would be stupid.

Did I mention how good it feels to be back?

Winner: Us

Lmao, definitely not 11% Strength. Or even 12%. Or hell, not even 13%! The data on this particular checkpoint has been run through Aneesa’s super-computer millions of times and they were able to precisely determine that this checkpoint is 10% Strength.

Really, just, honestly, incredible stuff all around. This show rules.

Winner: Scissors From The Junk Drawer

Hey that’s a really nice haircut, Troy. Did you do it yourself?

Loser: Justine

I literally anticipated you saying literally again.

Loser: Failing Your Only Test

I know Johnny wasn’t around at the time, but it looks like Nelson lost his Toast-Master job after only one attempt. The opening episode of Ride or Dies feels like a million lifetime’s ago, but do you remember just how bad/amazing Nelson’s toast was?

In a way, I’m glad Johnny has returned for toasting duties. He’s strangely good at it, and it’s six seconds of a season of The Challenge that has been sorely missed. But in so many other ways, I wish Nelson would just keep on doing them.

Winner: Theo, A Niche Reference I Made Way Too Many Times

In my former life, when I was running a restaurant and would see servers or bartenders open a bottle of bubbles while staring straight at it, or taking the cage off, or not properly placing their thumb atop the cork while untwisting the cage, I would always stop them, fix it, and say the same thing.

“You know Theo from The Challenge hit himself in the eye with a champagne cork due to improper opening practices and now he can’t do The Challenge anymore.”

And then they’d always respond the same way…

Loser: Kevin, The Production Assistant Who Spent Hours Putting Together That Charcuterie

Could you imagine being the asshole who spent your entire afternoon meticulously putting together a table full of artisanal meats and cheeses, only to find yourself sitting in the production truck realizing Johnny Fucking Bananas was about to spray cheap sparkling wine all over your hard work?

Loser: Rust

Now kids, that’s what we call “mailing it in”.

Like we said in the old country, not your best my man.

Loser: Kevin The Production Assistant

“That sheep’s milk cheddar was $24.99 an ounce you assholes.”

Loser: That Plant On The Table

What in the God damn hell is going on?

Winner: Practical Fashion

That vest slaps. Just sit back, close your eyes, and imagine going fishing with Nelson. That would be like 4D ASMR.

Winner: Kaycee

Man, good for her. Now that Kenny’s not around sucking up all the oxygen in the room Kaycee’s finally going to have space to spread her wings and fly.

Loser: Cussing For Cussing’s Sake

Jesus. Chill out.

Loser: Asaf, Bayleigh, Chris, and Jenn

I’ll never stop pointing out how hilarious it is that the four of them only got to experience The Challenge while living in that God-forsaken, rotten, pee filled bunker on Total Madness. Each next level f amenities on every season since must be a tough pill for them to swallow while watching at home.

But a water slide? That’s just mean.

Winner: Oasis


He is absolutely playing Wonderall.

If I know anything about a group of girls and a guy with a guitar, the shrieks of “CAN YOU PLAY WONDERWALL?!?!?” are not far away.


Winner: Pre-Teens

In the Chicago-land area, there’s a place where many middle school classes go on field trips called The Robert Crown Center.

Basically, prior to departure, the nature of this field trip is kept pretty hush-hush. They called it a learning experience or some shit like that. But we were 12, so who gives a shit? A field trip is a field trip. No Math or Science today? Sick. Sign me up.

So they packed us onto a bus. We took the forty minute or so ride and finally arrived at this large convention center looking building. We go in, there’s the reception area. Then they stuff us all into a small theater room. We looked exactly like the people do in the screen shot above.

Still, we don’t know what exactly we’re getting ourselves into. All the way until the instructor wheels in a cart, pulls out a banana, then a shiny, small square with a circle protruding from underneath the glossy packaging and says the following…

“Who here knows how to use a condom?”

Turns out Robert Crown is a huge puberty education center, where they teach the youth of Chicago what a penis and a vagina really do. They separated the boys and the girls at one point and we really dug deep into the vernacular of a penis. Before we ultimately re-convened for lunch time. Looking back, both sides of the aisle would’ve probably been better off learning about the opposite equipment, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ll save the good ideas for my career as the Director Of Dicks at Robert Crown.

Anywho, thanks for re-living that with me. In honor of this, go put a condom on a banana for old times sake.

Loser: Lawyer Speak

While the team of lawyers chiseled out the best possible way to phrase “he got covid”, how many Cobb salads do you think got charged to Paramount’s expense account?

Winner: Lying On Internationally Streamed Television

I don’t believe you.

No you’re not.

Although, to be fair, I give him a lot of credit for not saying “I’m literally gutted” there.

Winner: Versatility

Australians wear their jeans in a very bizarre way.

Loser: Lingering Ghosts

There are a few pieces of this World Championship puzzle missing and are going to hang over the head of the viewers the rest of the way.

The USA representatives are missing a minor hole in Tyson. The Challenge Vets are missing a few major holes with CT or some version of Laurel, Cara Maria, etc. But what we’re really missing is our trusty Under Armor gear.

TYR? What the fuck is TYR?

How did they not work things out with Under Armor? Who in sales at Paramount dropped the ball on this one? It’s a small thing, but not having my regularly scheduled Under Armor commercial this season is going to make things feel slightly off.

Winner: Innovation

Some pole wrestle’s are intense. Others are kinda whack. But prior to watching this episode, I was living my day-to-day life under that impression of “seen one Pole Wrestle, you’ve seen ’em all”.

But then an Australian named after Danny’s wife shows up and does the splits mid-competition and throws your whole world-view outta whack.

Keep your head on a swivel kids, life can change pretty fast.

Winner: The Visibility of Grant’s Ankles

Did I mention how good it feels to be back?


Thanks for reading! See you soon with some Winners Losers for Episode 2! And until then, as always, Happy Challenge watching!!!


Loser: Cancer

For the 19 people who read these blogs, I feel like I get personal enough to where you at least kinda-sorta know me. So I figured I’d share some personal news and get it out of the way. Maybe it’ll even make me feel better.

On February 28th my Father sadly passed away.

I was lucky enough to be there with him and my Mom when it happened. While he never would have possibly watched The Challenge (between baseball highlights on the MLB Network and yet another Revolutionary War docu-series on History Channel, there simply weren’t enough hours int the day to possibly watch anything else), there was no one prouder of my writing than my Dad was. And I gotta be honest with you all, the reason this recap hasn’t gotten posted until now is that it was insanely difficult for me to write.

This is the first time my fingers have traversed a keyboard since he passed, and it ended up being way more difficult to type than I imagined it would. Just physically even more than mentally. So if I don’t have my fastball for a little while I apologize.

He was diagnosed with terminal cancer right around the time that Ride or Dies began, and to be frank watching Nany grieve her mother was a bit of a surreal experience. Like watching my future in real time. It’s why I barely broached the subject in any of my recaps. The feelings were just a bit too raw. They still are now, but I figured that if I didn’t just get this sad news out there, it would hang over my head the rest of the time this blog exists.

So this summer, just know, that every time the Cubs blow a four run lead in the 7th inning, that sound you hear is my Dad somewhere groaning at his television.




Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions