The Challenge World Championship Episode 2 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
11 min readMar 11, 2023

Welcome back to a Recap for Episode 2 of The Challenge World Tournament!!! We finally picked teams and did a daily challenge where they ran from Point A to Point B before solving a puzzle. It’s great to know some things will never, ever change. Inside this edition: Merlot’s are back, Kaycee run rampant over Gotham City, Kaz fails to take into account that I’m grieving, and much much more…

Winner: Wearing Every Single Necklace You Own All At The Same Time

After the debacle hanging from Fessy’s neck the entirety of last season, I now have to deal with (get it?) Tori and her newfound championship aura going for a similar style in her confessionals.

You know what they say…there’s a little Fessy in all of us (phrasing).

Winner: Time, A Flat Circle Everywhere Except The Challenge House

Let’s hop in my Delorean and take a trip back to 2015.

Jonna has just lost an elimination on Exes 2. It wasn’t the best season for her. Zach was a total dickhead most of the time, she was forced to make out with Club Rat Jay just to get him to leave her alone, and then lost not one, but two elimination rounds. Her Challenge career was at an impasse. Who knew if she would ever be back? I’m not sure any of us did. Including her. Jonna was a supporting character whose storytelling avenues were closing by the minute.

At that very moment, when she and Zach were slow motion walking off the screen while giving confessionals about what they learned this season, what are the chances of her Challenge life (and real life) ending up where they are now?

What if I were to have said the following right then and there…In just eight years, there will be this massive global tournament between all the best Challengers from around the world. They will be competing in pairs against and with some of the most legendary players to ever play the game.

And Jonna would be the overall first draft pick.

I know you wouldn’t have believed me when I said that. But I definitely know, and this one is more important, that Jonna herself wouldn’t have believed a single syllable of it.

And yet, here we are, March of 2023, during a global tournament with nothing but Challenge Hall of Famers to choose from, Jonna from The Real World: Cancun is right at the top of the list.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

Winner: Wes’s Ego

In this setting, with this high-level group of people, in this particular game where the amount of Challenge Chicanery will likely be lower than usual, I probably would have chosen Wes first too.

That being said….

If you look around the cast, he sure does have a lot of enemies. The Huns are most certainly at the gates.

— Wes’s beef with Darrell goes back like throwbacks. Voting against Wes is an easy choice for Darrell to make.

— The last few times Jordan and Wes have played together, they were both directly responsible for sabotaging the other’s game. Jordan sniffed out Wes’s bullshit quickly on War of the Worlds 2. Wes got him back on Total Madness by putting him into an unwinnable elimination round. Then Wes got Jordan again on All-Stars 3 by turning him into the Boogey Man and sounding the alarms (for good reason, it is Jordan after all) that he needed to be rid of before the Final. If it happened once, it will almost always happen again on this show.

— Johnny and Wes goes without saying. The ceasefire may still be in play, but all it takes is one slip up for the lines of communication to get crossed and they begin to lob grenades at each other.

— While less likely to come to fruition due to his nature, after Wes basically pulled Yes’s pants down in front of everyone on All Stars 3, payback might be coming back around that way.

— Theo’s been gone for awhile, but on War of the Worlds, he had a front row seat to watch Wes run the house while playing a game extremely similar to this one. Why wouldn’t Theo want to just eradicate this man and the problems he brings along with him as quickly as possible?

— Nelson has no incentive to make any moves, truly, and he should probably just lay as low as possible. But most importantly, he has zero loyalty towards Wes. Add those two things up and in what world would Nelson ever rock the boat and stick his neck out for Wes (at least on purpose)?

All that being said, Wes is a fuckin’ rocketship in this game if things fall in the right way, and he could slip away from all his troubles by pulling out all plays from the back of the playbook and making this a Kitchen Sink season for himself. He really is that capable.

Outside of Jordan (and he’s definitely an acquired taste if you aren’t a super specific type of person), I don’t see any other way Zara could have gone. Except for one other guy, but we’ll get to him in a bit. #RadioTease

Loser: Hyperbole

Devastated is a bit of a stretch, but he certainly looks annoyed.

She’s not wrong when she says that was a hit to his ego. There is no world in which Johnny was ever going to be happy about Wes being chosen over him. But it would be the same exact situation if the roles were reversed.

That’s the beauty of watching this show. No matter what happens at any given moment, somebody with a huge ego is going to get their feelings hurt. It’s universal.

Winner: Kiki

Darrell is the only guy other than Wes I would have considered for my first pick. The man is a queen-maker. Even on Double Agents he managed to groom a champion despite being unable to sip from the chalice of victory along-side her.

He’s patient, he’s experienced, he’s connected, and if/when it comes down to running a Final, as long as you can do the stupid bullshit, he’s going to take you to where you gotta get to.

Being the fourth guy off the board, behind the Wes/Jordan/Johnny trio, is actually exactly where Darrell wants to be. Everything fell perfectly for Kiki. Snagging Darrell with the fourth pick is manna from heaven.

If you could gamble on this show, this team is where I would allocate some capitol towards.

Winner: A Lil’ Glass Of Red On The Couch

I’ve been sitting here for about five minutes now, staring out the window, biting my nails, and trying to figure out what kind of red wine Darrell likes.

He’s from Northern California, so he’s got access to pretty much anything. It’s not like he has to settle on the 4 bottles for $30 Target deal or anything. I do fear, though, that he does settle. And that a played out Cabernet Sauvignon is his go to. I’ll tell you what. I am so tired of every wine list I look at in restaurants being absolutely littered with Cabernet’s from Northern California. I can’t take it anymore.

It’s such a perpetuating cycle. Cab’s were hot for awhile (Merlot is where it’s at right now, btw. It made a comeback within wine circles a few years ago, so for us retail wine drinkers the grapes are at the perfect age for opening. Check your local wine spot for some 2021 Merlot's, get some super sharp cheese, cheddar or something with a peppery feel, head to the beach with a paperback and enjoy your afternoon.) so all the unsophisticated 28 year olds who are just starting to get into wine think “oh yeah, I like big bodied wines, that sounds cool, I think…” are making these kinda dead-tasting bottles of wine fly off the shelves. Which lead to all restaurants having like a dozen different Cabernet’s from the Pacific Northwest on their menu, which then leads to more Cabs being purchased because that’s simply what our options are. It’s just so frustrating. People just don’t know what’s good for them sometimes, ya know?

What were we talking about again?

Loser: Heart

The last person I said this about was Olivia, and it turns out I was wrong in the wrongest possible way, but fuck it, I’m sticking to my guns.

Describing someone on this show as having “a lot of heart” is just a polite way of saying they suck at stuff.

While I don’t quite think Nelson sucks at stuff, compared to his peers on this particular cast, he’s been put in a pretty bad spot. As much as it bums me out to say it, I don’t think there’s a Challenge fan anywhere in the world who wouldn’t have chosen Nelson last on this particular cast.

That paragraph bummed me out. Let’s pick up our spirits around here…

I feel better now.

Winner: Culture

Okay, serious question. Do you think at the moment this confessional was filmed, that Nelson knows how to pronounce his partner’s name?

Winner: Learning Something New

I’m gonna be completely honest with you guys. I did not know they made floss picks in any color besides white. Just when you think you got it all figured out, some guy named after a fruit flosses his teeth with a black floss pick.

Winner: A Brand New Mystery To Solve

Wait a minute, that’s Jonna and Kaycee. So if Yes’s (Yesi?) water bottle is there, THEN WHERE IS YES!?!?!??!HUH/?!?!??! JONNA?!?! KAYCEE?!??!??!

WHERE IS YES?!??!??!!!

Okay now I’m picturing Kaycee taking over Gotham City and I’m already bored by it.

Loser: Brandon Dassey

If a cop ever sidles up to you like that, sipping on a Bud Heavy, do not under any circumstances talk to said cop. Don’t do it. This is what they do. They put on joggers, sip a beer, and lull you to sleep before they coerce some sort of confession out of you.

Kellyanne and Emily are probably headed straight for the slammer. With the Dementors.

Loser: Pressure To Perform

Oh Gosh. Okay. My memory isn’t the best, but I’ll give it the ole college try. Why would she put that kind of pressure on me though? I’m grieving for crying out loud!

Loser: Asking A Fish To Climb A Tree

God dammit I already forgot what Kaz said.

Winner: Fresh Back To School Clothes

I’m probably wrong, but is that the first time we’ve ever seen TJ wear a backwards hat that wasn’t fitted?

Loser: The Same Old Same Old

You set em up, Jonna will knock them down.

Is anybody else sick of Jonna winning all the time? It’s every freaking season with her. Don’t cast sick athletes like Jonna in a competition with regular ole reality television stars. It’s simply unfair. Kinda spoils the entire idea.

Loser: Team Chemistry…Who Needs It?

Their body language is so funny. Clearly Troy has never been this close to someone as smokin’ hot as Amber. And Amber’s uncomfortable because Troy looks so much like Chauncey that she doesn’t want to slip up and start catching feelings.

Loser: Our Privacy

Good movie.

Winner: Cans

Jesus, Sarah, save some soda for everyone else.

Loser: Small Talk With Strangers

What do you think these four people talked about while they waited for the votes to come in?

Yeah, you’re right, probably politics.

Winner: Same Friend, New Vibes

Just right now, huh?

If there is one thing I could say about Kellyanne, it’s that still to this day I’ve never met or seen anyone else in the world like Kellyanne. She’s a one of one.

In this instance, she’s in the right. Jonna probably should vote in Jodi rather than Kellyanne if they are actual friends. That’s generally how this game is played. But then again, George was actually friends with Lennie too.

You see, Lennie/Kellyanne’s extreme lack of social tact is leading George/Jonna to the same conclusion, this friendship can only drag you down. Kellyanne’s been walking around the house accidentally killing puppies while just trying to pet them.

I guess the only question remains is whether Jonna’s gonna take Kellyanne out back and shoot her before her own game is sabotaged, or just let the mob handle it themselves.

Didn’t think you’d be getting an Of Mice and Men parallel when you clicked on this link now did ya? Welcome to English Lit 101!

VIVA LA DAVID!!!

Thanks for reading! See you back here soon for the first batch of Power Rankings of the season! 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