No torrent of hair-raising obscenities, no slamming of walls or doorways, no invitations to “screw a few more cast members, slut!” — it was certainly a change of pace to watch Katie, a Road Rules veteran infamous for her fiery temper, leave The Challenge graciously after being eliminated at the hands of Kendal and Mark on the most recent All Stars episode. And her civility wasn’t exclusive to her exit — Katie approached the entire season so composedly that Jemmye was forced to wonder whether she’d undergone a body transplant.
“Old Katie would have never done this,” Jemmye said after Katie owned up to her mistakes and voted herself into The Arena. “I don’t think old Katie would even recognize new Katie.”
But Katie, who first appeared on The Challenge as part of 2003’s The Gauntlet, isn’t the only All Stars cast member who’s turned a new leaf.
Laterrian, for example, showed just how noble he’d become when he invited Katie to draft him into “Pull Me Over,” a modified, four-man version of tug-of-war. Laterrian, who was once so desperate to avoid elimination on The Gauntlet that he threw his teammate Sarah in for her fourth elimination round, insisted to Katie on All Stars that he was prepared to fight. At the same time, the rest of the game’s men timidly tried to convince Katie to spare them the chance of being eliminated.
Aneesa, who grew particularly close to LT on All Stars, quickly noticed the change. She and LT both competed on 2002’s Battle of the Sexes, and as far as she was concerned, this was a totally changed man — no longer was he ready to crack skulls or bellow war chants to win.
“There is a sweet side to Laterrian that he shares with some people,” Aneesa said. “He’s an aggressive teddy bear, if you can imagine that.”
Inversely, Arissa proved with her reclusive behavior on All Stars (and her now-legendary tell-off in The Arena) that she wasn’t the same woman that lit up Las Vegas on Real World nearly 20 years ago.
“Arissa is a very different person,” Alton, Arissa’s former Vegas housemate, observed. “She was kind of like this hardcore chick. Now Arissa is kind of like a loner, actually…that’s probably going to put a flag on you.”
And on the topic of hardcore, Jisela and Eric — once considered to be Challenge liabilities — have totally stepped up their games. Jisela, who was the winning captain of the very first All Stars mission, “Deep Blue Dive,” has already long-surpassed her typical Challenge expiration date (who could forget the way TJ chided her on Gauntlet 2 when she essentially let Ruthie send her packing?), and has proven she’s hardly a layup. Big Easy, on the other hand, may never live down his Gauntlet 3 finale breakdown, but with a decisive win in “Escape the Room,” he proved he’s not one to count out in 2021.
“For the first time in a long time, your boy is at the top of the mountain,” Big Easy said.
And many more Challenge contestants have totally evolved or changed: Mark’s more cutthroat, Beth’s barely caused a stir and who could foresee iron man Alton breaking down in “Connect Em All?” But who’s changed the most? Share your thoughts, and hang tight for the next All Stars episode on Paramount+.