The Challenge World Championship Episode 4 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
14 min readMar 23, 2023

Welcome to Winners and Losers for The Challenge World Championship Episode 4! What an episode it was. We cried a little for both Portland and Argentina last night. Inside this week: Rodrigo denies yet another sandwich, Benja inspires an impromptu Top 5, Theo and Sarah win an award voted on by their fellow classmates, and much much more…

Winner: Playing Outside

You know, having visible scabs on my knee is something that I feel like was a thing every day of my life, until one day it just wasn’t.

When’s the last time you got a scab on your knee?

Granted, I’m not exactly riding my bike around the neighborhood every morning/afternoon with my best friend Tim. Nor am I playing tackle football in someone’s backyard. Could you imagine getting tackled to the ground right now? I wouldn’t be the same for at least a week. Being a kid was weird.

Brb, scab pickers. Going to the hospital for mental injuries sustained while imagining innocuously falling onto the floor in my bedroom.

Loser: Breakfast

There are myriad reasons why I would never under any circumstances go on The Challenge. My knee-buckling fear of heights, my lack of Instagram followers, my preference for peace and quiet. That’s just the tip of the iceberg (more on icebergs in a minute).

But by far the largest hindrance towards going on this show would be finding myself in the exact scenario Troy and Grant find themselves Picture yourself, picking out the crusties prominently tucked into the corners of your eyes, attempting to indulge in shitty coffee and partially congealed scrambled eggs just to take the edge off your hangover after staying up until four in the morning drinking red wine with Kiki and Darrell the night before, only to be forced into listening to Wes give a Ted Talk about Wes that you never signed up for.

Nightmare fuel. Truly.

Loser: Doing School Work Outside Of School

Yeah, but, if I’m busy doing my homework to try and be like Wes, how am I going to play Grand Theft Auto or flirt with girls on AOL Instant Messenger?


Loser: Words To Say Out Loud To Ensure That I Immediately Cease Listening To Any Other Words You Say

Winner: Having A Job, Despite Wes Assuming You Don’t

Same, Grant. To the first thing you said at least.

When you do work with people like Wes, specifically for those in the contractor game like Grant, the fact that you have a job is news to them. And news they don’t even care to know. People like Wes, when working with people like Grant, usually carry the most condescending tones when speaking and explaining the work because they assume that whatever “job” it is that you’re doing is completely beneath them.

I don’t even really know the point I’m trying to make here, but for the nineteen people reading this, I have a feeling you know what I’m talking about. And while I may not have landed the plane, I definitely buzzed the tower.

Probably for the best.

Winner: Kaycee

What are the chances that Wes is under the impression that Kaycee is on his side as much as she’s on Johnny’s? Are we supposed to believe that Kaycee and Wes haven’t had similar conversations in the weight room as well?

Back when playing cards was a thing in my life, the handful of buddies I played with would go to these random tournaments in random basements in random neighborhoods on the South side of Chicago. And we’d always have a soft agreement going in. We weren’t playing with each other, but we also weren’t playing against each other either.

This turned out to be a successful strategy, as at least one of us would usually finish in the money. And it’s also the exact strategy that Kaycee consistently deploys on this show.

Outside of Fessy and Josh, who she was stuck with as translucent allies due to proximity more than anything else, Kaycee’s greatest strength is convincing the rest of the house that she isn’t exactly playing with them, but she’s definitely not playing against them.

Which is exactly why Kaycee’s a television dynamo whose electric charisma is palpable the moment she’s on screen.

Winner: Difficult Conversations

For so, so, so many reasons, I thought having a conversation with Kellyanne while she’s standing like this would be as difficult and exhausting as an actual daily challenge…

But then I imagined trying to have a meaningful conversation with Johnny while he’s wearing those, and for much, much, much different reasons, I think we have a new clubhouse leader.

Loser: Wedding Magicians

The restaurant that I used to run also doubled as a wedding venue. And due to potentially having the best view in the entire city, the amount of weddings we overcharged people for was disgusting. I used to tell the sales girls that if the FBI ever raided us, I’d point them directly the the sales office in the back.

There were so many wedding that almost all of them have blended together in my mind. A few stuck out over the years, but mostly they were all exactly the same. I’ll always remember though, during our meeting one week, when I was told there was going to be a magician at the wedding that Saturday night.

A magician?! How sick. I was psyched I had so many questions. Most important being “which house were you at Hogwarts?”. All week I looked forward to their arrival. Despite my need to remain professional when during game time, I just wanted one trick. Just spice up my night a little bit. Let me believe in something, dammit.

But then, before the evening began, while helping the staff set up the room, I happened upon the magician sitting at a table in the back, suit-less, and huddled over his phone. As I walked by to retrieve something from the back bar, I curiously peered over his shoulder to see what he was watching. And guess what was staring right back at the both of us via expensive pocket rectangle…

A YouTube video on how to do magic tricks.

There’s a metaphor in that. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there. A wedding magician whose greatest trick of all was that they didn’t know any. For years I’ve searched for a deeper meaning in that singular, fleeting moment along this journey of my life. And yet, I still come up empty time and time again. So please, I beg of you, if you have any suggestions to free me from the shackles of confusion, please tweet us @fessyfitness. Thanks in advance.

Winner: Competition

So we’re all in agreement that Jordan’s beefed up look this season directly stems from the relentlessness with which Horacio’s hotness took over our screens for the entirety of Ride or Dies, right?

Even the great ones need a carrot to chase from time to time.

Loser: Carbs

“What’s spaghetti?” — Rodrigo, probably

Winner: Brand New Sentences

Lmao, what? Rodrgio been smokin’ on that Benja. Speaking of…

Winner: Seeing Yourself In Other Cultures

When I get baked, I too day dream about TJ Lavin.

Loser: The D.A.R.E Program

Top Five Challenge World Championship Cast Members I’d Like To Get High With

5) Benja — On the surface, this seems like a low ranking. But here’s the deal, smoking weed with people who absolutely love smoking weed is kind of a drag. Benja would be so ostentatious about it. He’d have “the best” papers, or force you to smoke out of some wild ass contraption. There would be tye-die posters on the wall. 311 would be playing. Or maybe Dave Matthews or some other ironic band. But even if it were something good and not Dave Matthews or 311, it would be deep cuts only. “I don’t play hits, man”. Or you’d eventually be forced to watch some stand-up bit his cousin showed him. Except the video buffers for awhile because his internet sucks.

He’d have the best weed though. That’s for sure.

4) Sarah — lol, jk, could you imagine?

3) Kellyanne — The out of pocket shit that would come out of her mouth would be well worth the price of admission.

2) Tori — If it were your first time smoking together, and she still had that need to impress, this would be the best time. Mid-afternoon, post work out would be the optimal time. Get those munchies working overtime. This is when you’d suggest ordering food. And then since she just won a bunch of money, you could suggest this rounds on her. So you bring up a few delivery options. Because if there’s one thing that I can infer about Tori, it’s that she is the type to order all the sides. I’m talking mashed potatoes with and without gravy type shit. Next up, you take a food coma nap. Wake up around 6 pm, and she’s already gone because something cooler sprung up, and you won’t have to deal (ha) with her the rest of the night.

1) Darrell — As if there were any other choice.

Winner: The Ideal Lazy Afternoon

Winner: Burn Books

I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops.

Winner: Aneesa

She went all out with the percentages this time. 10% Tenacity is an inspired choice.

Winner: Enthusiastic Field Trip Chaperones

Winner: When The Late Night Pizzas Get Delivered At The End Of A Wedding Reception

Loser: Safety

I, for one, would absolutely love to see Danny vs. Amber in a Hall Brawl.

Loser: Me

You wanna know how stupid I am?

Yesterday when I watched this for the first time, it took me the entirety of the daily challenge to figure out why they separated the teams on the graphic in this way.

The daily challenge is always the time I tune out a little bit, so I thought maybe I missed TJ explaining that there were teams somehow. But then I couldn’t figure out what being on teams in this situation would even imply. Then I wondered why some teams were uneven.

And then by the end I realized that I’m just an idiot. I hope to the good Lord above that there’s at least one of the nineteen people who read this who did the exact same thing as I did.

Winner: High School Yearbook Superlatives

Challenge High School Mr. & Mrs. Jock: Sarah Lacina (All-State Softball) and Theo Campbell (All-State Track, All-Area Football)

Winner: Paying Off The Iceberg Tease From Paragraph Three

Easily the most unrealistic part of this scene is the idea that some guy would look young Leonardo Dicaprio in his beautiful blue eyes and not open the gate for him.

Loser: Student Field Trip Chaperones By Lunchtime

Loser: Travis Scott Concerts

The videos from that night really gave me goosebumps.

Oh come on Olivia, don’t be so sensitive.

Loser: Ned Stark

Loser: Stealing Credit

No, I know Taj Mowry as the smart guy, but nice try Bergmann.

Winner: Selective Memories

The thing is, evidence against this claim is fully available on Paramount+ for $9.99 a month plus tax. See Battle of the Seasons Episode 1 or Battle of the Exes II Episode 10 for further details.

Winner: Chekhov’s Saw

I’m all over you, Challenge Gods. Ain’t sneakin’ shit passed me.

Winner: Cos-playing

I love that Jordan’s dressed up as that guy from that book where he travels around to poor towns and turns their water supply into wine and they all get lit and dine on seafood al fresco together.

Craziest thing about that book is one time I left it at a hotel room when I was younger but still to this day every time I stay at a hotel it’s right there in the bed-side table drawer. I know earlier I denounced the profession of wedding magician, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t believe in magic.

Loser: Kellyanne, Misunderstanding The Rules

Doesn’t she know you’re not allowed to say Kaycee’s name during these sorts of things?

Winner: New Friends

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

Yeah, you’re right, probably Wes.

Winner: Benja

That’s the sort of gumption we need around here!

Winner: Dr. Jack Sheppard

God damn do I miss that show.

Loser: Growing Up

Cool cool cool…

You know what, The Challenge, you can pretend to be mature and grown up now, but I still remember what you used to be. What you were. The fuel that shot this rocket ship into the stratosphere it is now.

Let us not forget Spring Break King of the Ring Panama City Beach 1999 Mark Long getting a lap dance from Aneesa for no reason other than they damn well knew they could.

We used to be a proper country for crying out loud. More on that in a bit.

Winner: Making Others Uncomfortable Due To How Much Fun You’re Having

Ladies and gentlemen, the Faces of The Challenge in 2023.

Winner: Theo’s Boldness

Crazy that he would wear a shirt out in public with such a large picture of Dee on it.

Loser: Shouting For Shouting’s Sake

Yo, Zara, chill out.

Winner: Us, If Anybody At Paramount Decides To Listen To Me

Here’s a million dollar idea. A show with Kiki and Darrell where they travel around Australia and she shows him all sorts of wild ass Australia shit. Like they ride a giant kangaroo, eat deep fried spiders, and other various Aussie shenanigans. And then the second season he could do the same for her, but in Oakland.

You find me someone who says they wouldn’t watch that show and I’ll find you a liar just as fast.

Winner: Other Countries

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the last few weeks of watching the World Baseball Classic, is that compared to other countries, America seems to have almost an adversarial relationship to patriotism. Even the ones that claim to love America more than anything else are still hostile towards a part of it.

I mean, not that I blame anybody. I’m still pro-America, I do live here after all. But for lack of a better term, we be fuckin’ up.

There is a part of me, though, that can’t help but be curious about what it would feel like to have that much passion towards my own nation. Every single crowd for these World Baseball Classic games was juke city lit. Except for the American games. I wanna be so proud of my nation that I dye my hair blonde and dance between pitches.

Oh well. Enough pontificating about civic pride. I gotta get back to the real American shit like avoiding the doctor because I can’t afford health insurance. Now there’s something to scream at, Zara.

Winner: The Marvels Of The Modern World

And as soon as Nia got her phone back, she re-downloaded Duolingo. And this time, she’s making it way past learning her colors.


Thanks for reading! See you back here soon, and until then, as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!



Brian Batty

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