The Challenge World Championship Episode 3 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
13 min readMar 16, 2023

Welcome to Winners & Losers for The Challenge World Championship Episode 3!!! A bit of a flaccid week, but we sure did get out fair share of Kellyanne going full Kellyanne around the house, so what could we possibly have to complain about? Life is good. Inside this edition: I give The Challenge Gods free ideas, Yes takes Wes’s advice, Benja gets baked, and much much more…

Loser: Getting Trapped In Social Settings

One of my scariest real-life nightmares is being at a bar and getting sucked into a darts game. Then, as it always goes, wanting to go do just about anything else halfway through the game as all of us struggle to hit a bullseye.

It’s the worst. Ride or Dies unearthed the dilemma of over-sized Jenga at bars, and how the best way to play over-sized Jenga is to not play it at all. Darts, on the other hand, can be kind of fun. Sometimes But the issue of drunk idiots being unable to hit a bullseye so the game can end springs up every single time.

Look, maybe you’re great at darts. Or you think throwing darts at a bar is a fun way to spend an evening. Well, in that case it’s your lucky day. Because you know what that means?

More darts for you. Throw them all. Take all the turns. I don’t give a shit. I’ll be over somewhere else flirting with girls or generally just having a way better time than you.

Winner: Impromptu Million Dollar Ideas

Somebody should write a song about that.

Loser: Already Placed Bets

That look on Jodi’s face is the look of someone who just realized that they simply have no chance.

Shout out to Benja for having morals and all that bullshit. This just simply ain’t the place for such virtues. Or really any virtues, to be honest.

Loser: Vagaries Meant To Be Applicable Across The Board

You know what I say when people ask me what my sign is? I tell them I’m a Sagittarius. Then they say “ohmygosh you are such a Sagittarius”. And then I respond with, “oh no, lol, I’m actually a Gemini”. Then, without fail, they follow that with, “ohmygosh, lol, that’s such a Taurus thing to do.” And then I laugh, then they laugh, and there was a certain time in my life where we would’ve probably made-out soon after this exchange was over.

Oh, also, I’m a Virgo.

Loser: The Shit That Pordukshin Puts These People Through

Holy shit! Could you imagine! The horror that these people are forced to put up with is just too much. Enough is enough. They’re friends, dammit, and they shouldn’t have to possibly, potentially, maybe be slightly mean to each other!!!

Fire Justin Tooth now! Or I’ll cancel my Paramount subscription.

What’s that? I’m logged into my sisters account anyway?

Yeah…well…so what? You think you’re better than me because you have a bank account?

Winner: MTV Cribs

This has gotta be my favorite scene from any episode of The Challenge since Leroy dressed down the entire USA team in the kitchen after a particularly prickly nomination ceremony on War of the Worlds 2. Can we please get more of this?

Other than the mercurial outrage bound to spring up on social media, what would the drawbacks be of releasing essentially a bottle episode where we just got scenes like this the entire time. They could even have it all leading up to some candid conversation at the end that would directly apply to whatever story they’re attempting to tell.

I’ve never understood all the consternation surrounding episodes that don’t follow the same rigid rubric as all the others. Opening fluff, daily challenge, fluff, deliberation, nomination, fluff, elimination, arbitrary confessional mentioning how things will be different now that so-and-so has gone home.

An episode of this show structured unlike every single other episode is good for flow. A well balanced diet type deal. God forbid you’re left with a cliffhanger and have to wait AN ENTIRE WEEK (you guys have it as bad as Tori does, turns out) to find out whether Jujuy is going to go home. I mean, who cares? Just go do something else for a week.

Unless you’re somehow privy to the information that an asteroid will be hitting Earth before next Wednesday, and not knowing whether Jodi and Benja or Kellyanne and Tristan were voted into elimination is going to spoil your final week as a human being alive on earth, well then I guess I totally understand. I’d be pissed too. Except I have to imagine not a ton of space scientists are reading along with this blog, so I’m sorry to say, I don’t feel bad for you.

Loser: Anyone Who Was Worn Out From My Grandstanding During The Last Section And Is Really Only Here To See If I Mention CT At Any Point

You thought I was done?

Sorryboutit.

Maybe the house tour type deal isn’t for you. Maybe you’re saying to yourself “this guy is a lunatic”. Maybe you’ve already scrolled down to the next part. But for those that stuck around, I have one more idea (remember, no bad ideas in a brainstorm) for an episode I’ve always wanted to see them do.

What if they made an episode from either TJ or the overall production’s point of view. There would still be a daily challenge and an elimination. It could be formatted exactly like the Goldilocks fans want it to be. Except it wouldn’t be about Tori or Wes or Sarah or anyone like that. All the in between times would be entirely from the point of view of the behind the scenes folk.

Show the morning production meeting. Show the lunch table conversations. Show the daily challenge from the vantage point of those that are on the other side of the metaphorical TV screen.

No confessionals or flashy cuts or anything. Definitely edit it. I don’t need to be watching an expressionist film or anything weird. But give us a peek behind the curtain. A look at the process of how all of this goes down.

I’m not asking for the Challenge Gods to show us how the sausage is made. What I’m asking is for is a guided tour of the sausage factory while the machines are on. Maybe even a live Ted Talk from Abe Froman himself.

This show is a formula, and guess what? That formula works. It works great. This is my favorite television show on the planet. I’ll let that formula wash over me until the day that I die. And it’s true, when it comes to TV shows, sometimes trying to make two plus two equal five is a terrible idea.

But change is good. And to it’s credit, this show is fairly willing to throw pickles against the window and see which ones stick and which ones slip down to the floor.

So why not try something a little out of pocket? The Last of Us just finished up it’s first season last Sunday. Overall, whatever. The show was pretty good. I had a fun time the last handful of Monday mornings watching it. But by far my favorite part of the show was their willingness to just try things. They had two opening episodes where there were zombies lurking around every corner, and then they just pulled way off the highway and told a love story with Reddit Ron Swanson and the manager of the White Lotus. I mean, that’s like pop cuture mad libs. Season 3 of Atlanta was easily my favorite for the same reason.

I wish every episode of that show would have been about something totally other than zombies. I remember loving the Nicki and Paulo episode of LOST. I didn’t even know people didn’t like it until I went on some backwoods message board like the rest of us in the dark ages and found people complaining about it.

“You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan, and the next five years trying to be with your friends again”

With the raging success of All Stars and the still-kinda-confusing-as-to-what-this-is World Championship season, (almost) all of our favorites are somewhat back in the fold. A part of this world again. To the point that Yes Duffy from Road Rules is playing a legitimate Challenge game with Troy from somewhere in Australia and Kaycee from wherever the hell Kaycee is from in the year 2023.

It’s abundantly clear we’ve reached the second half of LCD Soundsystem’s Timeline of Cool. We’re back with our friends again. So why not try something new? Fuck things up. Disrupt the status quo.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Winner: Trust In Your Fellow Human

Shout out to whoever was trusting enough to leave their clutch just laying around over night.

You’re right. It probably was Sarah who planted it there. Classic.

Loser: Roommates

What kind of roommate are you?

When living in a group setting, this is a question you have to settle within yourself fairly quickly.

Are you going to leave your messes? Do you not care? Will you do household chores just to do them? Or will you do them to make a show of it? Will you just give up and leave the mess for someone else to clean? Are you that someone else? Have you run the risk of others who might be willing to help slacking off because they know you’ll do it any way?

Also, the big question. The real one. The deepest preponderance one will have to perform when they find themselves in a group living situation…

Winner: Magic

Wait a minute. I can see Ben’s torso, and those are his calf tattoos there…but wait a minute…I can’t see the rest of his legs? Where are they? What is this wizardry?

Loser: Bloody Marys

One year in college I lived in a four bedroom apartment but there were only three of us. The fourth bedroom was used for a variety of nefarious shenanigans and I’ll allow your imagination to do the walking as far as details go. Just know, whatever question you may have, that the answer is probably yes.

But at some point along the way, some of that shitty grocery store bloody mary mix got splattered on the walls. Which is something we didn’t realize happened until the rental company informed us that we had a fourth roommate coming second semester. We figured we may as well clean out his room of whatever the hell is in there. Just general de-infection was our goal.

When I tell you that this crusted over, moldy bloody mary mix was the most foul smelling substance I’ve ever had the displeasure of being in contact with I am not hyperbolizing even a smidge. You know how they say smell conjures up the strongest memories? Whoever said that was totally right because to this day I cannot bring myself to come anywhere near a bloody mary without re-living that nightmare of an evening cleaning up that bedroom.

We obviously never told him. About any of it. That kid was a trip though. But that’s a different podcast for a different day. Let’s get on with the chlorophyll.

Loser: Guessing Games

Is how to complain about everything?

Oh.

Winner: Helpful Tips and Tricks

I wonder if Ben hides his body wash in the shower. Or his car in the garage. Or the bed sheet on his bed.

Winner: Kellyanne

That was the most uncomfortable laugh I’ve ever heard in my life.

This man served in the military for crying out loud. Yet the words “I have free range to act like a psychopath” come out of Kellyanne’s mouth during breakfast and he’s more nervous than he’s ever been.

She’s incredible.

Winner: Having An In House Man Servant

I wonder how long those dirty dishes have been sitting next to Kaz? Classic Ben, falling asleep on the job. Slacking off. Although, to be fair, he might still just be recovering from his jarring breakfast experience.

Winner: Staying True To Yourself

It’s sad to see Tori’s recent championship make her so much more mature.

Ugh. There goes another one. Stay young at heart, kids. Never grow up the way that Tori did.

Winner: New Knowledge

Is that really why?

I’ve seen Game of Thrones, and as far as I remember they didn’t seem very united in that show. I guess that did happen a long time ago. But then again, all the turmoil with Voldemort and such was pretty recent. Now that I think about it, Kyle and Rogan didn’t get along very well either.

You what? I’m starting to think this Tristan guy is full of shit.

Winner: Wes’s Advice

Loser: The Sweet And Fleeting, Ungraspable Vapor of Nostalgia

As much pleasure as I’m deriding from the idea that the initial tendrels off the drama spine of an international Challenge season presented as the best in the world going head to head are between Kellyanne and Jonna in the year 2023, I do miss the days when this sort of patio conversation overlooking was more about an apology from manic drunken behavior the night before rather than a tepid apology for even possibly considering voting in a work friend.

Alas, those days are long gone, aren’t they?

Winner: Judging A Book By It’s Cover

Even if I didn’t already know she was a cop, Sarah gives off some pretty heavy cop energy at all times. She exudes cop.

If I showed 100 random people that photo and asked them what profession that person had, how many would say a cop? 70? 80? All of them?

Loser: It Only Gets Easier

Woah, Jonna. Sneaky sneaky. Isn’t she afraid MJ’s gonna see this?

Loser: Tidiness

If they just all stood up and spent five minutes moving things around that room wouldn’t be such a disaster zone. Get it together ladies.

Winner: For Tobacco Use Only, Totally

I have absolutely no idea why, but I have a hunch that Benja has a really nice bong at home.

Winner: Kellyanne

How can you not be romantic about The Challenge?

Loser: School

To be fair to Nelson, physics is both math and science. At the same time. I struggled with it too. Plus, one of the hottest girls in the school sat right across from me so I had myriad better things to do during that hour than pay attention to Mr. Larson.

Loser: Standing Straight Up Like Everyone Else

Could you imagine having a conversation with someone while they were standing like that?

This show is the best.

Viva La David!!!

Thanks for reading! See you back here soon for some fresh 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.