The Challenge: All Stars recap: How to save a life (saver)

Sydney Bucksbaum
·8 min read

Things got ~spicy~ last week on The Challenge: All-Stars, and this week was no different — minus the ghost peppers. But who would have thought the fire would come from zen master Arissa of all people and not from known fireworks-enthusiast Bethasaurus? Let's recap it all!

Back at the house, Nehemiah is feeling great about his win, and Jemmye is feeling great about her cuddle buddy remaining in the game. Meanwhile Beth is stressing about being away from her family, and Syrus does his best to lift her spirits and inspire her to keep on going. "But Syrus, I'm old," she says, and his response is gold: "I can't tell!" He's not wrong!

And around the house, Arissa is lighting some palo santo while Mark hopes she can perform like he'd hoped, and Katie tells Derrick she's secretly been working out and hopes to surprise everyone with how much gas she has in the tank this season. Hm, I bet this week's elimination is … Arissa vs. Katie. The editing seems so transparent, but you never know.

Juan Cruz Rabaglia/Paramount+

The Challenge: On the Ropes

Played in four teams, competitors race each other across ropes high above the water. When players make it across, they can release a rope on the other team's side, potentially dropping the slower opponent into the water if they're on the wrong rope. The team to release the most ropes the fastest, wins. And it's a female elimination week, so the girls have to step up!

The teams are randomly selected: Copper (Arissa, Big Easy, Jonna, Alton, Katie), Black (Kendal, Laterrian, KellyAnne, Darrell, Jisela), Gold (Yes, Ruthie, Derrick, Aneesa, Mark), and Silver (Syrus, Jemmye, Nehemiah, Beth). And since Silver is down one player, Darrell is randomly selected to compete twice, once with Black and once with Silver. He's not a bad choice to go twice if you're a female hoping to win!

The first round is Copper vs. Black, and Alton beats Kendal on the first lap but everyone is impressed with how she hangs on. Kendal then releases a rope on Jonna, but she hangs on like a true champ. Jisela is the first to fall into the water, and KellyAnne hops on next. She eventually laps Jonna and releases the rope Jonna was putting all her weight on, so Jonna is next to fall. Big Easy and Laterrian race each other next, and Darrell's commentary is hilarious: "Big Easy, little twinkle toes, that dude's face is so red he looks like an overgrown leprechaun taking a s--- on that wire." Laterrian drops Big Easy, and then Katie is up next but we all know how she feels about heights over water — she just jumps down from the platform and doesn't even try. Darrell then drops Arissa, leaving only Alton with one rope. He puts up a good fight but drops before finishing his lap, making the Black team the winners of the first round.

The second round is Gold vs. Silver, and Derrick vs. Nehemiah kick it off neck-and-neck the whole way, but Derrick beats him and drops him in the water. Aneesa and Syrus race each other next, and Syrus drops a rope but Aneesa hangs on tight. Beth hops on next, and Aneesa finally drops as Mark hops on and laps Beth, dropping her next. Ruthie beats Jemmye and drops her quick. Yes beats Darrell next, dropping him, leaving Syrus as the only remaining Silver team member. He eventually drops, meaning Gold wins round two.

Juan Cruz Rabaglia/Paramount+ The Challenge All Stars

TJ reveals that Gold is the top winning team, meaning team captain Ruthie is safe from elimination and Mark has control of the Lifesaver (side note: I know I'm not wrong in remembering that it's always been called the Life Saver but I guess is now one word for All Stars? Wack.). We still haven't seen anyone use the Lifesaver yet, but Mark's itching to shake up the game so you can bet he's going to use it this time. As for who lost? The Silver team, meaning Beth is going straight into elimination. She's pretty beat up from the ropes and is missing her family, so she's not feeling all that confident about her upcoming showdown. But Beth has always been known to step up when it counts. It all just depends on who her opponent is and what the elimination is.

Back at the house, Jemmye tells Beth she's got her back because she stepped up as the captain in her place, and Beth reveals she wants Katie or Kendal as her elimination opponent. But Jemmye has a good feeling that if Katie is nominated, Mark will use the Lifesaver on her. Jemmye wants Beth to go against Arissa, and they all worry about how the Lifesaver will actually play out.

Juan Cruz Rabaglia/Paramount+


Katie jumpstarts the conversation by hilariously pointing out that she sees a lot of rope burns on people — "Not me, though!" she says with a smile and shrug as everyone laughs. She then steps up and volunteers herself for elimination because she didn't attempt the challenge, and it's an honorable move for her to make. She was also probably going to be nominated by everyone regardless, but still. Head held high, accepting her fate, it's the right call! Katie also knows she's better at eliminations than challenges, so she's not worried.

Later that night, the players go out to a bar, and everyone's having a great time, taking shots, dancing … except for Arissa, who is sitting alone in another room wearing gigantic sunglasses at night. She just doesn't want to be around people, and Alton, who knew her on The Real World, is surprised at how much she's changed over the years. Same, dude. This is not what I expected from her.

And Mark goes on a true power trip, wearing a crown that says "Godfather" and a string of lights around his neck, talking one-on-one with all the women throughout the night about his Lifesaver powers. And he makes deals with all of them about how if he uses the Lifesaver, he won't throw them in to replace Katie, and they'll watch his back going forward in return. But he doesn't have that chat with Arissa.

At least, not until the next morning back at the house. He tells her he won't throw her in if she doesn't want it, but he wants to know where her head is at. She says she wants to be here and wants to continue in the game, but does she really? I can't tell based on her attitude. Either way, Mark promises to keep her safe and reveals he'll probably throw in Kendal instead. That's a twist! His reason is that he just hasn't been vibing with Kendal, and she "exhausts" him. Before the elimination, Beth Facetimes with her husband and kids and it gives her a solid confidence boost. But is it enough?

Juan Cruz Rabaglia/Paramount+ Arissa Hill on 'The Challenge: All Stars'


In The Arena, Beth and Katie walk down into the dirt, but Mark uses the Lifesaver to bring Katie back up into the stands. But now we finally learn how the Lifesaver works — Mark doesn't choose the new opponent, everyone votes instead!

Darrell has to vote first, and he asks Beth who she wants. She says Arissa, and so the votes start piling up for Arissa. Aneesa votes for Kendal and Kendal votes for Aneesa. Jisela then votes for Kendal to back up Aneesa, and Arissa votes for KellyAnne out of nowhere. Alton votes for Kendal, and Big Easy votes for Aneesa. But since everyone else votes for Arissa, she's officially sent in, and she. Is. Pissed! This is the first time we're seeing real emotion and passion from Arissa all season, and it's way more entertaining than whatever zen she's been in this whole time. She keeps asking TJ if she can "box" Beth. Where has that fire been this whole time?

Elimination challenge: Wall Brawl. Players must pull four heavy walls towards themselves using long ropes, and then must throw balls over the walls and punch through to the other side, continuing until they've thrown the ball over and punched through three walls. Whoever makes it to the end first, wins.

But we never get to see it in action. Before the elimination begins, Arissa takes off her helmet to "address" the house. "The way y'all pulled this s--- was some flagrant snake-ass s---." She says since she can't box Beth, even if she wins this elimination, there's no way she could go back and live under the same roof as everyone else. "So f--- you, I'm done. Y'all can kiss my motherf---ing ass. And that's the motherf---ing game," she says as she flips everyone off and walks out of The Arena. Talk about an overreaction! Does she not realize the game she signed up for? Did she forget how this works?!

"Alright, don't take care. Hope to see you never!" TJ says as she walks out. So much for that zen. I'm disappointed in how Arissa left the game, but thankful Beth is safe. It's just a super weird outcome all around.

All Star of the week: Darrell for having to go twice in that daily challenge, because those ropes looked absolutely painful based on how many people got bandaged up afterward.

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