In The Challenge: All Stars 2, Episode 1, viewers saw the return of many of their favorite OGs as they arrived in Cancun, Mexico.
It all began with fun trips down memory lane and updates about their current lives. It soon shifted to competition and preparation for the game ahead.
The former Real World, Road Rules, and Fresh Meat stars were thrust into daily challenges, alliances, voting, and elimination events with big prize money on the line.
The OGs return to The Challenge
In the opening footage, the All Stars 2 cast members arrived via boat to their destination. Quick shots showed Janelle Casaneve, Casey Cooper, Ryan Kehoe, Darrell Taylor, Teck “Money” Holmes, and Nehemiah Clark enjoying the ride.
The legendary Tina Barta said she’s “got a husband, no kids, and no job right now.”
“Life is really good. I just want to see if I still got it. I just want to see if Tina’s still there,” she said.
Brad Fiorenza was shown in various highlights. He’s had a rough few years and lost his job at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he has two great kids back home he wants to win this for.
“I know there’s some great competitors in that house, but I also know I’m one of them,” Brad said.
Jasmine Reynaud said her Challenge reputation is being “Wild and crazy. Punching mirrors. Dancing on stripper poles.”
“But now, as a mom, a wife, things have changed. I’m a strong Black woman and I can do anything,” Jasmine said in a confessional, vowing to give “1000 percent” to this.
Darrell Taylor talked about the sting of making it to the final in the first season of All Stars and losing.
The cast descended on a beach and helped themselves to alcohol at a bar. Brad and Tyler Duckworth played bartenders and made drinks for people.
OGs reunite, share life updates, and TJ arrives
As the All Stars 2 cast members hung out, they gave life updates in confessionals. Tyler said he’s now living in North Dakota and pushing 235 pounds and will be playing for the students that he teaches.
The first female solo winner of The Challenge, Jodi Weatherton, said she works at an Army wellness center to help others get fit. She said she’s grown to be more secure and doesn’t care what people think all these years later.
Leah Gillingwater talked about last appearing on the show 18 years ago. Since then, she’s become a single mother and wants “the new Leah to shine.”
Steve Meinke from Road Rules: The Quest got a bunch of comments about how he looks like Jason Mamoa, aka Aquaman. It’s been 20 years since he appeared on The Challenge. He revealed that for the last 12 years, he’s been a successful, professional hand model.
Former Road Rules star Ayanna Mackins said last time she was on The Challenge, she was sleeping in her uniform because she wanted to win.
“Sometimes in life, you wish you’d get a do-over, and this feels like that,” she said, adding she’s doing this for her two kids.
Sophia Pasquis lives in Jersey City and right before the pandemic, she gave her resignation to a company she worked for for 20 years. She said it feels like starting the second part of her life with her return to The Challenge.
Jonna Mannion reminisced with Tina about the last time she appeared on the show, Cutthroat, in 2010 when Tina showed up with CT Tamburello as mercenaries.
Host TJ Lavin showed up on the beach at night. He brought up how everyone there has a serious past on The Challenge. There are some former champions, and some have yet to capture a first win. He said some are “snakes, politicians, or beasts.”
“Be ready for anything at any time,” TJ told the All Stars cast.
The cast moves into new Challenge house
The cast ran into The Challenge house to claim rooms. OGs gave more updates about their lives and intentions with All Stars 2.
Casey appeared in a confessional, saying some felt she was not one of the best competitors. She’s coming into this Challenge as a 34-year-old woman and accountant ready to prove herself.
“Just want to set the record straight and say, ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet,'” she said.
After her All Stars 1 appearance, Katie Cooley said she’s been working out and practicing endurance, stability, and other things to compete this time.
MJ Garrett is back after last appearing on The Duel 2 in 2009. He said it’ll be great for his kids to see him compete all these years later.
Cohutta Grindstaff is a general contractor in Montana with a serious girlfriend. They live together on a “60 or 70-acre sheep farm,” with Cohutta saying their life looks “like a Hallmark greeting card.”
Kendal said she wants to redeem herself after her appearance on All Stars 1 and make sure her boys back home have “tears of joy” when she wins this time.
Nehemiah Clark spoke about almost making it to the All Stars final. This time around, he’s changing what he does. He gave a toast to his castmates outside The Challenge house.
Teck stripped and then christened the pool by jumping in. Ayanna admired him, saying in her confessional, “No disrespect, but sometimes a Queen has to admit when she sees a King.”
Melinda Collins said that back in her 20s, she really didn’t take a lot of things seriously. Now she’s married and has a son who is 21 months old.
“I am happy with who I am. Stronger mentally. Stronger physically,” she shared in a confessional before she was shown jumping in the pool with her castmates.
Laterrian Wallace is back to redeem himself after Season 1. He revealed he’s fallen in love with a wonderful woman since his appearance on All Stars 1.
Janelle and Darrell spoke privately about knowing one another from the Bay Area. They agreed to keep their connection a secret from others. Janelle revealed she’s currently a surgical nurse with “an amazing, supportive husband and two beautiful, amazing kids.”
Real World Cancun castmates Jonna, Jasmine, and Derek Chavez reunited. Jonna and Jasmine were happy to be back together. Derek had a funny moment as he dressed up like Tina to entertain the rest of his castmates.
First daily challenge arrives for the OGs
With reintroductions and reunions out of the way, it was time to compete. TJ told them this season is worth $500,000. He revealed each day would have one man and one woman as winners. Sometimes they’d be in teams, or pairs, or working solo. He said on the team and pair days, they’d choose their teams.
TJ explained the rules of the first challenge called Boarding Party. There were two boats out in the water with a narrow bridge between them.
The teams started on a smaller boat, speeding toward the others. They had to jump onto the first boat, grab a skull, and race it across the bridge to the second boat.
To finish, they had to jump off the front of the large boat and slam dunk it into a makeshift basketball hoop as they went into the water. The team to get it done with the fastest time would become winners.
Jodi and Derrick did exceptionally well. Ayanna was the first one to fall in the water. Due to that, everyone else knew they just needed to get across so they wouldn’t be last.
They all did, with only Casey missing the basket when Teck tried to give her a push to help her jump. Tina and Steve also had a really good run.
After everyone went, TJ told them “that sucked” because none of them “went across the balance beam like a balance beam.” He called them “pitiful” and “embarrassing” with how they did that. He added a twist that every elimination is a double-elimination going forth.
TJ revealed Ayanna and Nehemiah were automatically going into elimination. The winners were Derrick and Jodi, with Steve and Tina finishing second.
Derrick and Jodi had to nominate four players for possible selection for the elimination. The rest of the cast would vote for one man and one woman to go into the elimination.
Back at the house, Nehemiah prepared himself mentally for the elimination. Teck told him this is for $500,000 and he’s got his back.
The episode closed without any elimination and showed the All Stars 2 trailer for the rest of the season.
The Challenge: All Stars 2 episodes arrive Thursdays on Paramount Plus.