Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode 6 of The Challenge: All Stars 3.
All season long on The Challenge: All Stars 3, the Treehouse alliance has been systematically taking out strong female players. But this week, one of the strongest women left finally got to exact some revenge while also getting some redemption for her earlier poor puzzle performances. There were actually a lot of surprising puzzle winners this week! Let's recap.
Everyone is thrilled that Beth is gone from the house (that was fast!), and Sylvia is laughing about how she's going to sabotage KellyAnne, right in front of KellyAnne's face. Yikes. Sylvia is really in her villain era this season. Meanwhile KellyAnne has been suffering through a lot: stomach flu, heavy metal poisoning, mold poisoning… She says she's been sick for a few years, and the stress of the house has been making it worse. But she video-chats with her boyfriend, and that helps calm her down. Poor girl is really going through it, and she doesn't even have Kendal by her side anymore. I'm ready to see KellyAnne become a one-woman wrecking ball now.
Meanwhile MJ is still icing his knee but Brad doesn't trust that the injury is as bad as MJ says it is, because he sees how MJ bluffs and will do or say whatever it takes to stay out of elimination. The Brad-vs.-MJ rivalry is more intense than ever. How much do you want to bet it finally comes to a head this episode?
The Challenge: Stacked
Playing in two heats of seven (first the men, then the women), contestants sprint to a station and scratch a board, revealing a four-digit code. They'll use that code to unlock a paddle, and then race to grab one of only five paddleboards available. That means the last two in the heat will be eliminated. Those who get a board will paddle out to a floating dock where the puzzle pieces are anchored. Back on shore, there are only three puzzle stations available, knocking out two more players. The fastest person to solve the puzzle from each heat will form the Authority.
And this week's sabotage is pretty heavy: The players chosen will have to scratch off an additional four-digit code and unlock two locks to get their paddle. Sylvia picks Jonna over KellyAnne, which shocks everyone, but her reasoning is pretty sound: KellyAnne panics when it comes to puzzles, whereas Jonna is really good at them. And then Mark jokingly asks if anyone wants his sabotage, and MJ actually… volunteers for it? Huh? He says he's trying to save his knee from further injury, so is he just going to give up in challenges altogether and hope he's not chosen to go into elimination? Interesting strategy, let's see if it pays off.
The men go first, and Derrick is the first to get to his board, Brad is second, Nehemiah is third, Wes is fourth, and Jordan is last. MJ and Mark are the first to get eliminated, and they just stand on the beach watching everyone else take off. Out on the water, Derrick struggles with getting his puzzle pieces on his board and Brad overtakes him for first place. Jordan gets frustrated with how long Derrick is taking because he's in his way, and Derrick slowly loses his lead. But he's still far ahead of Nehemiah and Wes, who realize they're about to get eliminated and decide to just have a nice paddleboard date. The Enya track playing in the background sets the mood nicely here.
Brad is the first to his puzzle station, and Derrick and Jordan catch up, officially DQing Wes and Nehemiah. Jordan's feeling great about his chances because he knows he can count on Derrick to mess up a puzzle. But he needs to worry about Brad instead, because Brad absolutely smashes this puzzle and wins for the men super quickly. MJ is not excited because he knows he's in trouble, unless Jonna somehow wins for the women to save him.
In the women's heat, Nia is the first to get to her paddle and board, with Veronica next to the paddle, but she can't get her lock open. The rest of the women struggle with scratching off their boards, but KellyAnne and then Kailah eventually get boards, and Veronica runs back to double-check her combo. And despite having to unlock two locks, Jonna gets the second-to-last board, and Roni gets the last one. That means Sylvia and Veronica are DQed, and as they're walking away Veronica realizes she messed up the order of the numbers, so her mistake is all on her.
On the water, Nia falls off her board many times, Kailah is paddling the wrong way, and it's generally a disaster, but KellyAnne paddleboards all the time at home, so she flies across the water and grabs her puzzle pieces without a problem. She's the first one back to the puzzle station and is shocked to hear Wes giving her tips from the sideline. Remember when Wes and KellyAnne dated? They've come so far!
Roni is the next one back to the puzzle, with Jonna next, disqualifying Nia and Kailah. All three women struggle with the puzzle, but KellyAnne does her best to keep calm (for once!). Roni is close to finishing but doesn't realize she dropped a piece, which is why she can't quite figure out how to place the final level of the puzzle. KellyAnne is about to finish the puzzle before the wind knocks over her final level, and she has to start all the way back at square one. That's brutal. Everyone expects KellyAnne to melt down, but she still keeps her cool and rebuilds. She finally gets it right and wins despite having to start completely over, and everyone cheers loudly for her — except the Treehouse, because this is their worst nightmare. Sylvia even makes a snide comment about how much KellyAnne is celebrating her win, which Nia overhears and isn't happy about.
So now Brad and KellyAnne are the Authority, and they're going to giving out the last two sabotages at the next challenge… which means the final is almost here. That was fast! Things are about to get even more intense now that everyone can practically taste the final.
Back at the house, Nia immediately tells KellyAnne and Jonna about Sylvia's comment, and they get pissed off because KellyAnne's win deserved to be celebrated. KellyAnne is feeling "vindictive" now. Then we get a glimpse of Mom Sylvia when she video-calls home to her stepson to tell him to get his grades up. I'd hate to be that kid having his less-than-stellar report card blasted on TV!
But back to The Challenge, because it's Nehemiah's birthday (and a ton of other people's birthdays)! Everyone has a good time at the house party, but amid all the glitter, game conversations are happening left and right. Sylvia pulls KellyAnne aside for a talk, and while KellyAnne doesn't pull her punches, she also very nicely offers an olive branch to work together. But Sylvia doesn't give anything useful to KellyAnne — she just tries to convince KellyAnne to vote in Nia or Jonna. That's not how you politic, girl. And then Sylvia tries to make some comment in her interview about how KellyAnne is on "a power trip" the first time she has power, and to that I'd like to say: Has Sylvia seen the way she's been acting all season?! Pot, kettle, honey. I'm not liking how Sylvia's attitude has taken a turn the first time she's been in trouble all season.
Brad and KellyAnne sit down to talk options, and they essentially decide Brad will choose the guy and KellyAnne will choose the girl. That's fair! Obviously Brad wants to keep his target on MJ, and KellyAnne wants to go after Kailah or Sylvia. They immediately go to let MJ know he's back in the elimination pit, and then they let Sylvia know it's her. After the conversation she had with KellyAnne I'm not surprised, but I think Kailah would have been the better target to go after first. Let's see how this plays out.
In the Arena, Sylvia sees a puzzle and second-guesses her initial choice of Jonna for her opponent, and she picks Nia instead. Jonna takes a big sigh of relief, but Nia's pissed that Sylvia didn't have a single conversation with her about sending her in. And then MJ chooses Derrick as his opponent because he can't pick Brad, so we've got our two matchups!
Elimination challenge: Star Struck. Players must solve a vertical maze to release a pole, and then use that pole to score a ball through the hole underneath the puzzle.
The women go first, and they both start off calmly before picking up the pace. Sylvia gets an early lead but Nia catches back up, and thanks to Jordan's help from the sidelines, she actually releases her pole first. And with just one perfect, beautiful shot, she makes her ball into the hole and wins. KellyAnne says sorry to Sylvia from the sidelines like a good sport, but Sylvia just yells, "F--- off!" Talk about a sore loser. I've been impressed with Sylvia this season, but this is really souring everything.
The men go next, and MJ gets flustered while Derrick easily releases his pole. Derrick beating someone at a puzzle? I never expected to see this! But Derrick can't get his ball into the hole, giving MJ enough time to catch up. Even with how many times Derrick messes up the shot, MJ still can't figure out the maze, and Derrick finally makes his shot and wins.
Now the Treehouse has taken a hit, and KellyAnne is really going to have to play to win in the next challenge. Meanwhile with MJ finally out, the guys are going to have to figure out a new target. Plus, next week is the return of everyone's favorite: trivia!
Challenger of the week: Derrick and KellyAnne for finally getting some puzzle redemption! You can't help but love that kind of comeback.
The Challenge: All Stars 3 releases new episodes Wednesdays on Paramount+.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.