You may never get a second chance to make a first impression, but as Jodi and Derrick proved on the premiere of The Challenge: All Stars Season 2, the point is moot if your first impression was already great.
Now, with the two Road Rules: X-Treme champions in control of the game, the question is: Will their 17-year-long alliance be too tough to beat, or could another years-old pact eventually take hold of the game?
On the premiere of All Stars, new and returning players — some of whom hadn’t seen each other in nearly 20 years — met once again in hopes of following in Season 1 victor Yes’s footsteps. There were certainly some unexpected updates (Steve is a successful hand model! Cohutta lives on a sheep farm! Melinda calls her son a “21-month-year-old” which is not a metric!), but one constant survived any lapse in gameplay: Alliances are still alive and well.
One squad we didn’t necessarily see coming was Darrell and Janelle. Though Road Rules: Campus Crawl and Real World: Key West aired about five years apart, both Darrell and Janelle had ties to the Bay Area and said they could prove to be a powerhouse duo.
“We used to go to parties together…a lot of people don’t know that in this house,” the four-time champ said. “We’re gonna keep it that way.”
One alliance that was no secret, though, was born on Real World: Cancun, which spawned an unshakable bond between Jasmine, Jonna and Derek. Though Jasmine and Jonna once hated each other, they’d been best pals since Rivals, and Derek and Jonna’s friendship preceded even their Real World casting.
“I am so happy to see Jonna…we have gone through such a roller-coaster together,” Jasmine said. “We are a unit…Derek and Jonna have my back.”
But there was no clearer connection than that between Derrick and Jodi, two feared Challenge champions who hadn’t seen each other in 15 years ahead of their All-Stars reunion. In spite of their time apart, Derrick said Jodi, the first female Challenge solo winner, was his ideal partner.
“I wanna run this damn thing with Jodi,” Derrick said. “I wanna get a Challenge championship with this girl.”
Other cast members saw Jodi and Derrick as a huge threat, too. Ahead of “Boarding Party,” which challenged players — in pairs — to take two zodiac talismans from one moving boat to another, Tina saw the two Road Rulers as the ones to beat.
“Just like in the old days, Jodi and Derrick are a force to be reckoned with,” Tina said. “That’s definitely a team that’s gonna be running this game.”
And, at the get-go, Tina was right. Though Tina and Steve put up a great showing, it was only good enough for second place, as Derrick and Jodi notched their first win of the season.
“Road Rules: X-Treme baby, we’re back!” Derrick said.
But do you think this X-Treme pair is a lock for the final? Or is there another alliance that’s showing enough potential to take over?
What do you think — could the Real World: X-Treme exports once again sweep up the competition? Could Real World: Cancun alumni finally bridge the gap to a championship, or could the unlikely combination of Darrell and Janelle prove too tough to beat? Share your thoughts, and hang tight for more All-Stars coverage!