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The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars 3 - Episode 1

By James Bullock Apr 24, 2018 - 11:58 PM print


Since one of MTV’s greatest creations put together a group of individuals and made them batter one another for not only money, but also the enjoyment of viewers who always wondered who would win a fight between one jacked up guy that was chosen to live in a house with six strangers and another jacked up guy who road in a bus across the country in 1998, “The Challenge” has been a prime destination for entertainment unlike anything seen in reality TV – a budding genre when the show first aired. Now, thirty-plus seasons later “The Challenge” has another spin-off featuring champions from the multiple seasons taking on celebrities across various fields ready to prove themselves as true champions. This is “The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars”.

There aren’t any grand introductions as a literal who’s who of “Challenge’ veterans just step onto a beach with multiple celebrities and sports stars including Brooke Hogan, the returning Olympian Louise Hazel who was a part of “The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros”, Cardi B’s sister Hennessey, Drake Bell of “Josh & Drake” fame (“Challenge” champion Tori starts fan girling immediately upon seeing her childhood crush), former NBA player Daniel Gibson, super model Selita Ebanks, dancer & actor Casper Smart, “Big Brother” alumnus Jozea Flores, musician Lil’ Mama, & four-time Pro Bowler Arian Foster. Former “Challenge” champion and current WWE Superstar The Miz is here to host this season once again. Though The Miz doesn’t formally introduce “The Challenge” Champs, their team is stacked as well featuring CT, Tony, Tori, Anessa, Wes, Ashley, Kam, Shane, Devin & Kailah. Not waiting around, The Miz introduces the first Team Challenge called “Stair Down”: a simple game about climbing a giant staircase covered in lube in under fifteen minutes. The first round features Selita, Drake, Jozea, Louise & Casper taking on Kam, Anessa, Ashley, Tori & Tony and it doesn’t go too well for the ladies as they start grappling to prevent their opponents from advancing before it comes down to who could & couldn’t make it in the time limit.


Heat two features Lil Mama, Hennessy, Arian, Brooke & Daniel taking on “Challenge” vets CT, Wes, Devin, Kailah & Shane. And like their counterparts, the opening minutes is pretty clean with CT smoking the competition before his fellow competitors just start fighting. Shane even decides to barrel roll his down the staircase to take out some competitors. Hennessey is the last to make the climb, actually completing the Challenge for her half of the team. Tony actually gets the overall fastest time, with CT in second. The Miz reveals that this season will feature mixed teams with Tony & CT picking their own teams starting with any lady. On Tony’s side (Blue Team) is Tori, Wes, Kam, Casper, Louise, Daniel, Aneesa, Drake & Hennessey, while Team CT (Red Team) features Kailah, Shane, Ashley, Devin, Brooke, Arian, Lil Mama, Jozea & Selita with the prior team winning this week’s Team Challenge after each single time was calculated. The Miz informs everyone there will be two votes between the teams where an MVP and Least Valuable Player will be chosen with the latter having to compete in an Elimination Round against another nominated competitor by the losing team where the loser is sent home while the MVP gets $1000 for their charity while not being eligible from Elimination Round nomination. After the info dump, The Miz allows them the head to their living quarters where everyone is so happy & sharing drinks; though Wes has a plan of attack already formulating.

But Wes is actually friends with Louise and wants her to be in his alliance. Jozea is also getting talked to for the potential of putting him in the Elimination Round. Arian, being a strong competitor, is ready for taking down someone in an Elimination Round. It’s time for nominations and the Blue Team chooses Tony as the team’s MVP so his charity (Hands on NOLA) gets $1000, while also attaining the weekly “Power Play” (similar to the “Grenades” from “The Challenge: Vendettas”). This week’s Power Play is “Protect”: allowing Tony to protect one person from the Red Team from elimination. When it comes to the Red Team voting for the LVP for the Elimination Round, Arian gets a near unanimous vote. Tony refuses to protect Arian after the latter shuts down Tony for trying to be the big dog in this conversation. Tony, obviously drunk with power, threatens to nominate himself for the Elimination Round before choosing Casper as the Blue Team’s LVP to set up a Star vs. Star match. Entering the Arena for this Elimination Round, Casper and Arian are confronted by their game “Screw Off”: a game where the competitors will have to knock a nut off an extended bolt by striking the stars on opposites sides of the nut with a baseball (of course the stars feature their competitor’s face). And they are swinging for the fences immediately with it ending up almost dead even until the final swing.

Tony immediately confronts the winner, trying to strike a deal where Casper’s name doesn’t get spoken again; but Casper doesn’t trust anyone. Casper gets $500 for his charity (Inner-City Kids) while earning second place on the leaderboard. The Miz reveals that Arian has a chance to comeback into the game by being saved by his team. The Champs on the Red Team decide they don’t want Arian back as he’s strong competition; and the Champs outnumber the Stars on the Red Team. Arian walks away with the promise of a donation to his charity (Arian Foster Family Foundation), though Brooke is upset that it’s obvious Champs are looking out for themselves. Selita also becomes infuriated with the disrespect shown toward Arian both on the field and after he leaves. When Kailah curses at Selita, Ebanks storms off and leaves Brooke Hogan stating Kailah is very trashy.

Episode High(s): What a Twist. While it might dilute the whole premise of “Challenge” Champs taking on various entertainment & sports stars, actually changing things up by having mixed teams has added a dynamic level of interest that has already played out. With the Champs on opposite sides actually thinking the same way, the Stars are already in survival mode – meaning things could get uglier than someone upsetting Selita Ebanks (you don’t dare disrespect Selita!).

Episode Low(s): Upset Over the Obvious. The episode’s closing moments saw the truth come out that the Champs are still in it to win it together even if it means sacrificing the Stars. To get upset about the fact instead of just coming together and countering what’s happening, they (specifically Selita & Brooke) got angry and left tension.

MVP: Tony ($2000)

Team Challenge Winner: Blue Team (1-0)

Eliminations: Arian (Episode 1)

Most Embarrassing Athletic Display: Arian. While the former football player wasn’t necessarily shown up or made to look inferior when it comes to swinging a baseball bat, the fact remains he volunteered himself for the Elimination Round and lost in a game that should’ve been made for an apparently stronger athlete. To top it off, Arian wasn’t even chosen to return to the Red Team even if it meant he’d help his team overall.

Competitor of the Week: Tony. The Blue Team’s captain not only produced the best overall time in the Team Challenge, he picked a winning group topped by an Elimination Round nomination that pulled through even if Casper was infuriated over the initial outcome. Tony might be drunk with power, but he’s doing a great job as the leader thus far.

Episode Summary in Five Words or Less: No Star in team.



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