The Challenge: World Championship recap: A civil war starts brewing on Team USA
Tensions between Team USA's global MVPs and Challenge legends are brewing, but before all-out civil war breaks loose, this week's episode of The Challenge: World Championship featured an Argentinian bloodbath. Let's recap!
Episode 4, "World on Fire," begins with the war brewing between Jonna and KellyAnne after last week's drama. KellyAnne walks into the kitchen right as Jonna is complaining to Ben about how her former friend is a liability, while Tristan is upstairs complaining about how he's forced to put out KellyAnne's fires left and right. Tristan's exhausted by his partner already, which is not a good sign this early in the game.
Wes is playing extremely hard politically, and everyone sees it, so the target on his back just keeps growing. And Nia opens up about the health scare she had last year (which tragically prevented her from being Jordan's partner on Ride or Dies) due to her vaping addiction — it was a potentially fatal complication, and she breaks down while talking about it. She's grateful to be back on The Challenge competing for her first title, because it proves that all her hard work and lifestyle changes post-surgery have really paid off. But Nia and Jodi are feeling the heat for being partnered with the only two remaining Team Argentina players left in the game. They might be safe, however, since Team USA and Team Australia are scheming in the shadows to target either Jordan or Wes to hit Team UK hard.
Jonne Roriz/Paramount + Competitors race the 50 yards to make it through the closing gate
The Challenge: Gates of Hell
The Challenge: Australia's host Brihony Dawson shows up with TJ to introduce this week's challenge. Players race to and from gates on opposite ends of the course, attempting to make it under the gate before it closes. When the gate opens again, players race back to the other side and try to make it under before that gate closes. If any player gets trapped on the outside of the gate, they and their partner are out. The challenge is won by the last person standing — so expect things to get very physical. My favorite kind of challenge!
In the first round, everyone makes it through. Pretty anticlimactic! The second round is much more difficult, knocking out the majority of the cast. Seems like there could have been another round in between the first two to even out the drop off, yeah? The only three teams that move on are Tori and Danny, Wes and Zara, and Jodi and Benja. In round three, all teams make it through, but round four eliminates Jodi and Benja, since Jodi just misses the gate. This is where my claustrophobia starts to kick in, and from here on out I'm watching this challenge through my fingers because those gates are coming down hard and I'm worried someone's going to die.
In round five, all four players get a little violent with each other trying to get the upper hand, but they all make it through. In the final round, Wes barely makes it under the gate after doing a fancy little somersalt to roll out of a fall as he runs. Even though he only gets half his body under the gate, it's ruled in his favor, leaving Wes and Zara the victors. I'm relieved this is over quickly, because I can't handle seeing anyone else getting crushed under the closing gates.
Jonne Roriz/Paramount + Competitors squeeze through the gate during the “Gates of Hell” challenge
As for the losers? Since Nia was in last place at the end of the second round, she and Rodrigo are getting sent directly into elimination. Once again, Team Argentina is at risk. Yikes.
Back at the house, a bunch of the legends gather on a patio to get their game plan straight. They keep it simple by nominating the same two teams as last week: Jodi and Benja, and KellyAnne and Tristan. But upstairs, Team Australia wants to take a big shot at Jordan, against Darrell's advice not to piss off anyone you don't need to — he always wants to make the least amount of waves. Team USA's MVPs want to go along with voting in Jordan and Kaz, but Tori, of course, doesn't agree with that plan because she'll never go against her ex-fiancé Jordan. Her partner Danny knows that, which is precisely why he wants to eliminate Jordan. All is not copacetic with their team, and I'm getting excited to see how they implode later this season.
Somehow, Tori comes out victorious because she kicks off nominations by saying that she and Danny are voting in Jodi and Benja and KellyAnne and Tristan. The gnarly grimace on Danny's face says it all — he agreed to this, but he's not happy about it. All the other teams follow suit, showing how much power all the legends have at this point in the game and how the MVPs caved to their demands so quickly. Wes and Zara aren't surprised, and Nia makes a plea to choose KellyAnne and Tristan so Rodrigo doesn't go against his Team Argentina teammate Benja, but that means Zara would throw in her own Team UK teammate... so it's likely going to be more Argentina blood being spilled in the elimination.
Team USA knows there's a great divide between the legends and the MVPs, and each side is determined to get their way moving forward. The legends came out on top this time, but can the MVPs gain control? Out at the bar, Bananas tries to smooth things over with Danny, but he's not buying what Bananas is selling. This civil war is put on pause for now, however, since it's Team Argentina on the line for this elimination. We're definitely going to see some real fire in future episodes from Team USA.
Jonne Roriz/Paramount + Rodrigo and Nia of Team Argentina
Brihony is back, taking over hosting duties for TJ since he was being inducted into the BMX Hall of Fame during filming. Congrats TJ! Now back to our regularly scheduled elimination....
To no one's surprise, Wes and Zara choose Jodi and Benja to go into the elimination, forcing another Team Argentina matchup. The elimination is "Oiled Up," where teams repeatedly fill buckets with oil, climb up a big ramp, and dump the oil into a giant well. The first team to fill their well to the top wins. This is all endurance, so Nia and Rodrigo might be at a disadvantage here — especially since Rodrigo hurt his leg during the challenge earlier.
After the elimination begins, Benja is the first to make it up to the well and easily dumps his bucket. He and Jodi approach the challenge individually, while Rodrigo and Nia work together (Rodrigo stays at the top while Nia passes the buckets up to him). They're two completely different strategies, but after a while, both teams are neck-and-neck. Then, Rodrigo slips and accidentally dumps an entire bucket of oil onto the ramp, and his leg starts to give out on him. Like a true Challenge fighter, he continues to power through. His determination to put his body on the line for his partner is impressive, but after two hours, Rodrigo and Nia are clearly struggling. They refuse to quit... until Benja and Jodi finish filling their well, and Brihony blows the horn.
As Rodrigo and a teary-eyed Nia are sent home, Jodi and Benja rejoin the rest of the cast knowing they're the only players left for Team Argentina. If they can somehow throw gasoline on the fire of the Team USA civil war, they might be able to make it further in the game. But if the legends keep running the politics, it's likely we'll see Jodi and Benja and KellyAnne and Tristan nominated again next week. Let's hope the MVPs start to step up and flip this game upside down soon, because these predictable elimination matchups are starting to get boring.
The Challenge: World Championship debuts new episodes Wednesdays on Paramount+.
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