The Challenge once pitted Real World against Road Rules. So when it comes to All Stars, which show will produce the contest’s newest winner?
After Arissa’s fiery (and fiercely profane) exit from the show at the most recent Arena, players learned they’d have to survive a dreaded mini-final to advance to the game’s next round. In “Connect 'Em All,” competitors — initially grouped in three teams of six — would race through a winding course completing a series of checkpoints. At certain points along the race, teams would shrink until a final race to the finish line left every man and woman for himself or herself.
Oh, and the lifesaver — the spark that lit Arissa’s fuse — would henceforth be off the table, host TJ Lavin said, meaning winning missions would stand as the only way to guarantee safety from The Arena.
Players breezed through the mission’s first checkpoint — a mix of math and memory that yielded hidden code words — but were quickly cut down by its subsequent slog: an uphill climb under the weight of a giant log. Syrus, who was suffering through a busted ankle, stepped up and kept his team heartened, but his teammate Alton struggled to perform.
Elsewhere, the day’s task produced top-tier warriors. When groups finally arrived to the game’s second checkpoint — the recreating of a memory board — teams condensed themselves to pairs, and Kendal and Laterrian immediately proved they were top dogs.
“You’re not gonna tell me that the girl who does yoga eight hours a day is soft,” Laterrian, who quickly snatched Kendal as his teammate, said. “She’s a f***ing beast.”
And KellyAnne, who completed the memory board with Derrick in second place, knew the final sprint would come down to a dogfight with Kendal.
“I said it from Day One: Kendal is the girl to beat,” KellyAnne said.
After one final dash, Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour export Laterrian beat out Road Rules: X-Treme alum Derrick to earn first place among the game’s men. And Road Rules: Campus Crawl standout Kendal, who’d grown accustomed to winning performances, once again grabbed a victory on the women’s side.
“Road Rules isn’t dead!” Derrick shouted as he and his fellow former RV-dwellers celebrated.
And Derrick wasn’t wrong: Across the first five All Stars missions, six winning captains had been former Road Rules contestants, while Real World had only produced four. Further, all four previously eliminated players — Ace, Trishelle, Teck and Arissa — had all been Real World exports, while Road Rules hadn’t yet lost a single person.
And the metrics would quickly become even worse. Syrus, who finished last in the day’s mission, learned in The Arena that each subsequent elimination would be a double-cut, meaning he and his opponent Alton would each have to battle alongside a friend. Because Beth finished last, she was automatically named Syrus’ partner, while Alton drafted Aneesa from the crowd because of her storied elimination-round record.
“I enjoy being an underdog and competing to take down the person that’s supposed to win,” Syrus said. “I get a thrill out of that.”
Sadly, the thrill was short-lived. In “Over and Under,” which Beth and Arissa were scheduled to play but never did, partners had to each separate a mass of four walls before transferring five giant balls — one at a time — over and through (yes, through) each wall. Syrus, who struggled to put pressure on his ankle, quickly fell behind with Beth, and Alton and Aneesa eliminated yet another pair of Real World exports.
So let’s put this simply: Real World graduates are getting their asses kicked by Road Rules delegates, and it’s in keeping with the franchise’s history. Of the six Challenge seasons that specifically pit Real World against Road Rules that aired between 1999’s Real World vs. Road Rules and 2004’s The Inferno, Road Rules has left Real World at a 4-2 deficit.
Still, Road Rules, which hasn’t aired a new season since 2007, hasn’t produced a Challenge winner since Tori Hall won 2010’s Cutthroat. Real World, on the other hand, has produced winners as recently as Double Agents, and in three of the last four seasons.
So what do you think: Will Real World eventually be able to dust themselves off, pick themselves up and win? Or has Road Rules already proven All Stars is in the bag? Share your thoughts, and hang tight for the next episode on Paramount+.