The Challenge World Championship Episode 7 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
16 min readApr 13, 2023

Welcome back to Winners & Losers! Feels like it’s been forever since we’ve talked. Much has changed in my life in the few weeks I’ve been gone. But I’m back, and ready to anoint some winners, anoint some losers, and shoehorn in references to movies released between 1991 and 2003. Onward and upwards! Inside this week: Kaycee eats an apple, Sarah goes undercover, I compare Johnny Bananas to a member of the Stark Family (but not the one you think), and much much more…

Retro Winner: The Rest Of The Cast

All it took for her to finally lose one of these things was an Australian construction worker jumping onto a water blob about as poorly as humanly possible. Now that Jonna’s out of the game, somebody else finally has a chance…

…is what I would have said if I wrote a recap last week. I just felt like I had to use that overworked (only overworked by me because I’ve never met a joke I didn’t want to pummel into submission) joke one last time. And the idea of missing that opportunity made me feel like I was holding in a sneeze.

Loser: Swinging On A Swing

When’s the last time you actually swung (swang?) on a swing? Like at the park, wood chips and all.

It’s not as fun as I remember it being.

For a few years, swinging on a swing was the pinnacle of existence. The apex of any lazy summer day. The peak of Happiness Mountain. You’d see how high you could get. You’d see how far you could fling yourself off the swing onto the wood chips below. Your friends would Underdog you and get your momentum really cooking back and forth.

Now? Now it’s just kind of uncomfortable. They really do only make those things for child consumption. Any large adult is going to have a bad day if they try and swing. I hopped on one randomly at a park in North Carolina last month and boy oh boy did I have a terrible time. I lasted, at most, five minutes.

“Which is at least five times longer than you usually do” — Any of my ex girlfriends reading this blog.

Oh to be young again.

Loser: The Same Old Same Old

I have hundreds upon hundreds of questions about the day-to-day living situation these grown ass adults find themselves in while playing this silly game. So here’s one that I think about a lot…

Do they just run in circles in their backyard? Of all minutia of this game that could slowly drive you crazy, having to run the equivalent of a 10K in the morning by just taking thousands of small laps around a backyard might be right at the top of the list.

How long does it take them? How do they know how far they’ve gone? If they’re in the house for a month, and run every single day, how many tiny laps around the same exact backyard do they go through? What’s the grass-quality situation? Can’t be great. It’s just getting torn to shreds by IG hotties over and over again. You’d have to think whichever South African billionaire renting out their dope mansion is going to freak about the landscaping bills. Right?

Anywho, back to you in the studio Al.

Winner: The Other Half

If I had to venture a guess, that shirt he’s wearing/bemoaning is more expensive than every single shirt currently hanging in my closet combined.

Must be nice.

Winner: Learning New Cultures

I’ve been tirelessly picking my brain for at least ninety seconds trying to figure what their breakfast table conversations are like. Trying to come up with something clever to justify your decision to press your thumb against the link to this blog. I mean, you could be doing anything else while pooping/riding public transit. You could be checking your fantasy baseball team. You could be calling a loved one to chat. You could be doing a Sudoku. You could be on your burner Instagram account starting rumors about someone you don’t like.

But you’re not. You’re reading this blog. So I owe to you to make it worth your time.

I gotta be honest though, I have absolutely no idea what these two talk about over congealed scrambled eggs that have been siting over warming candles for an hour. None. What do a cop from Iowa and an Olympic swimmer from Australia talk about?

I don’t know. I don’t know if I ever will. Frankly, I don’t think I want to even find the nook and crannies inside my brain that might contain even the faintest idea.

So for that, I truly apologize. I brought you all the way home from the bar and passed out before we even turned Netflix on. Wouldn’t be the first time. I’m used to letting people down. Don’t worry, I’ll try and talk about CT at some point to make it up to you.

Winner: Sustenance

Is this the first time we’ve ever seen Kaycee eat?

Boy, she’s really coming out of her shell this season. First she got voted into an elimination round not on purpose. Now she’s biting into an apple. What’s next? A drunken tirade?

You’re right. Let’s not be ridiculous.

Winner: Being Scared As A Child

See Mom! I told you there was a monster in the closet! So what if I’m 33, I still need you to check!

Winner: Democracy

Which do you like more?! That’s right Challenge fans. Determining Justine and Johnny’s couple name is all up to you!

Tweet us @fessyfitness either #JUSTNANAS OR #BUSTINE and follow our Twitter account and we will choose one lucky follower for a free trip to Paulie and Cara Maria’s next sex party orgy in Mexico! That’s right! It may sound too good to be true, but I promise it’s real, and it’s spectacular.

Again, the Twitter account is @fessyfitness. Feel free to DM with any specific questions you may have. Hope to hear from you soon!

Loser: Un-Packing

Maybe it’s just something to do with your hands to pass the time, but there is absolutely no way I would ever unpack if I was on this show. The idea of having to pack before an elimination round, and then possibly unpack if I win is just some real Gitmo type shit. Sounds awful. Like, just an awful way to live life.

Winner: Subtle Imagery

Get it guys? Cause this game’s like chess?

I’m all over your shit, Challenge Gods. You gotta come at me with something higher level than that.

Winner: Accurate Assessments

I see you’ve been reading the newspaper.

Loser: Narcs

“Hey guys, any of you got some booger sugar ya wanna sell me? Or some kush diesel? I’m just lookin’ to party, have a good time, ya know?”

“Sorry lady. Don’t do that kinda stuff.”

“Alright alright. Cool cool cool. Catch you kids on the flippy flop. If you know anybody slanging the goods, hit me up on Facebook.”

Winner: The Challenge

Jodi, who was on Road Rules in 2004, just threatened to kick Theo, who is from the UK and on Love Island in 2017, in the balls while chained to a post in South Africa together during a daily challenge in the years 2023.

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

Loser: This Daily Challenge In Particular

Between crawling in a sewer and then having to do a bunch of algebra, I’m all good on this daily challenge. I’d be out. If I got stuck in this postion, I’d make Benja look like Wes if he were as smart as he thinks he is.

Plus, like, ya know, nothing blows your buzz quite like math. Amirite?

Winner: Any Feeble Excuse I Can Think Of To Rewatch Maybe The Funniest Scene Ever Filmed In The History Of Cinema

He’s Jimmy’s brother. The Guy. The singer!

I could watch this scene every day of my life and never get sick of it. I pickup on something new every single time.

If any of the 19 of you reading this right now ever meet me in real life, and want to see me die laughing, all you gotta do is yell “My brother came all the way here from Scottsdale Arizona to be here tonight, and you’re not gonna sing for him?” at me.

And, plus, this stupid aside actually works if you think about it because Benja could absolutely be one of the guys sitting around that room getting high.

See? It’s not all about misfiring sprockets and public masturbation around these parts. I’m yellow mustard baby. I’m fuckin dijon. It’s all acidic up here.

Winner: Jibberish

Just a couple things here…

1) Don’t call him Benny? (?)

2) What the fuck are you talking about? Backyard barbeque? Is that like the name of her favorite flavor of wing sauce at the bar near her house? What is going on? Is she concussed? Did she have a stroke?

3) You know, I was all prepared to make a lame “kaycee at my barbeque how boring lolol” joke. Mostly because I’m unoriginal and never met a low hanging fruit I didn’t want to take a bite out of. But then I thought about it, and you know what? Kaycee would a great addition to a backyard barbecue.

Now, you wouldn’t want a whole party of Kaycee’s, but you need a Kaycee to sprinkle in. A glue-woman. She’s malleable, she’s not going to steal the 8 Ball from your pool table. She won’t bring any baggage. Even her girlfriend is a docile version of her former self. She’ll show up, have some fun, float around between conversations, get in some pictures, and ultimately you’ll barely even know she’s there. A totally trusted guest.

Now I just want a hot dog.

Winner: Animals That Say Bruh

This recent trend of entirely made up animal conversations is delightful and I hope it continues forever.

I know in one of my recaps earlier this season I pitched the idea of having an episode entirely from production’s point of view. But let’s scratch that. I want to see an episode entirely from the point of view of the various animals while these Challenge people invade their habitats.

Winner: That Spread

Is that flank steak drenched in a salsa verde and fresh rosemary srigs?

I thought this whole thing was supposed to challenging. They’re living like kings while us paupers are paying $6.50 for a dozen eggs.

Winner: The Kernel Of Truth All Jokes Sprout From

Tell me you wouldn’t vote for a Justine/Bananas Presidential ticket in next year’s election. Tell me you wouldn’t and I’ll tell you you’re lying.

I mean I’m kidding, but, ya know, in the great words of Sarah from Iowa…

Winner: Finally Upping The Difficulty

I think that my favorite sub-plot of this season so far is watching the default game difficulty get turned up for Kaycee totally unbeknownst to her. She’s been playing on easy mode since the day she landed on Challenge Island. It’s about time she got forced to play on All-Madden for once. To actually have to make a tough decision.

And the way she handled it was great! At least for us! Kaycee officially went against the grain and sowed her own path for the first time in four seasons worth of whole milk and Wonderbread toast .

If Kaycee’s going to be relentlessly thrust upon us, we may as well watch her actually have to punch her time card.

Winner: Game Of Thrones, Season 3, Episode 9

They’re reacting like they just watched The Red Wedding for the first time.

Does that make Johnny Bananas Catelyn Stark in this analogy? More on that in a bit…

Actually I don’t know why I lied just there, I have no idea how I’ll possibly be able to discuss the flimsy parallels between Johnny Bananas and Catelyn Stark ever again. At least not in this recap.

Loser: Kaz

Potentially facing your ex in an elimination round is your worst nightmare? Jeez. Grow up Kaz. At least be afraid of something serious. Like ketchup.

I know Jemmye. I know.

Winner: Predictability

For once I’d like to be surprised by this show. From Jonna being the first overall draft pick, to Kellyanne currently steering the political ship in the house, everything on a season described as a global tournament with a cast riddled with Hall of Famers is going exactly as any of us would have predicted.

Some things change, and some things stay exactly the same.

Winner: Knowing Your Final Wish

If I suddenly was struck by terminal illness and got to do the whole Make-a-Wish thing, my wish would be to go to a watch party at Kellyanne’s sister’s house.

Loser: Timing

Low key though, how funny would it be if this was the week Kellyanne’s sister took off from throwing a party because she went on vacation or something.

Winner: Subtle Imagery (Part 2)

I see what you did there, Challenge Gods.

Why do you think you’re going to sneak this elementary school shit by me? I read The Great Gatsby like a hundred years ago, I’m bout this life. I’m 1999 Martin Brodeur with this shit. I’m standing on my head. Ain’t nothin getting passed me. Dijon, bitch.

Fuckin right it is, Kaycee. Tell em bout it.

Loser: Standing Incorrectly

I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around, dawg.

Or is he doing a bit with like the Southern and Northern hemisphere.

“Haha, hey Americans! Technically, this is what I look like to you!”

Yeah, I’ll see myself out.

Loser: Finding Yourself On The Cutting Room Floor

Okay, so Johnny’s out at the bar wearing what seems to be a vampire cape of some sort and knee high leather boots.

Now, he’s not Jordan, so he’s definitely wearing this outfit ironically. He’s doing a bit. A pretty high-concept one too. And the editors actively chose not to show it. Only hanging him out to dry in this one single shot.

And it’s not like they’re editing around him or anything. They were playing patriotic marching band music while panning around him looking out over a balcony like ten minutes ago.

Maybe some mysteries are better left unsolved.

Loser: Yes

I don’t think that’s right.

What is going on with everyone this episode? Why are people saying just the most out of pocket shit?

Is it? Is it what we do?

This recap has gone off the rails. Let’s get it back.

I feel better.

Loser: Wacky Conspiracy Theories

Emily, enough is enough with this conspiracy shit. She’s so deep into this “they’re putting 5G in our bodies through the potassium in bananas” nonsense. Every week she brings it up. Her Twitter feed is lit. It’s nothing but tweets about this banana conspiracy. Seriously check it out. Here’s the link. It’ll make you see Emily in a totally different light.

Winner: Every 90s NBA Superstar When They Heard Michael Jordan Might Get Suspended For Gambling

Winner: Burgeoning Small Businesses

They look like a couple who’s new to the neighborhood and just opened up a coffeeshop/brewery that specializes in infusing beverages with CBD down on the corner near the Chipotle. They also have incredible weed for sale as well. You just have to buy one of the $60 dollar lighters near the register and on your way out one of the baristas will meet you in the alley.

Winner: Accomplishing A Goal Once Deemed Impossible

^^^Catelyn Stark to Roose Bolton after she just watched Robb take a hundred arrows to the chest.^^^

I did it! Just when you thought I couldn’t do it (okay fine, it was me that thought I couldn’t do it, you probably didn’t give a shit either way and am still waiting for me to finally mention CT) I managed to yet again compare Johnny Bananas to Catelyn Stark.

Dijon, bitch.

Winner: Playing Fearlessly

I’d go so far as to argue that since the first week of Double Agents, when the house gathered the votes to get CT v Wes right off the jump, the contestants in this game have been playing scared. That was the last time fearlessness ruled the day.

Sure there have been rogue moments here and there. Wes on All Stars 3 comes to mind. Jay and Michele tripping and falling accidentally into fearlessness on Ride or Dies. But for the most part, playing as safe as possible has been the soup de jour with this core group.

This exact thing, the clashing of the Danny's of the world, unafraid and lacking reverence for any of these people, and the Tori's of the world, those attempting to maintain the sturdy foundation on which their Tempur-Pedic mattress is set up, has lead to interesting house dynamics and organic game drama across the entire season.

And you see what happens with a little luck and some Fuck-You-Fearlessness? You get Jordan/Kaz vs. Johnny/Justine going head to head with one of them guaranteed to go home. Two of the top level talents in the house.

CT managed to steal two titles due to this lack of fearlessness. So did Devin (!). If this group keeps this energy up, this droning Moneyball approach adopted by so many may fall to the wayside.

There. I did it. I finally mentioned CT. Are you all happy now?

VIVA LA DAVID!!!

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

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/brianbatty

(Bonus) Winner: Front Row Seats Forever

Part of the reason I haven’t written a recap in a few weeks is that I’ve been busy with family and friends just taking a load off for a minute. On Saturday I sneaked some of my Dad’s ashes into Wrigley Field, and during the national anthem, poured them through the basket into the vines on the outfield.

This photo was taken by another friend of mine sitting in the upper deck. That white stuff you see towards where the wall curves is my Dad. Who’s now got front row seats to Cubs home games forever.

It’s been a tough time, but honestly all the nice messages and comments I’ve received from all of you who read this blog means so much and truly helps. Justifies me spending so much of my time writing these. I never knew how much these stupid recaps meant to people.

Well enough of that sappy shit. Jemmye? Veronica? Sylvia? Hit me with it once more for old times sake…

VIVA LA DAVID!!!

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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