With The Challenge: All Stars 2, Episode 10, it was time for the remaining competitors to run TJ Lavin’s final in Cancun, Mexico.
That four teams included MJ Garret and Jonna Mannion, Ayanna Mackins and Teck Holes, Nehemiah Clark and Melinda Collins, and Darrell Taylor and Jannell Casaneve.
Darrell and Janelle had just won the last elimination as the episode opened. Host TJ Lavin told everyone that the final would start right now.
Night 1 of All Stars 2 final brings little sleep
The four teams met TJ at the beach, where he said it was Night 1 of the final and would be “the hardest thing” they’ve ever done.
In confessionals, competitors spoke about their motivations to win life-changing money, including Teck and Melinda, who made it to their first Challenge final. Janelle brought up her back injury and how she didn’t know how it would be running a final.
The first task for the competitors involved hammocks for sleeping. There were only four, so one teammate could rest, but the other had to stand on a log near a campfire while they did. They could take turns, but it would go on all night.
After the night of sleep deprivation, TJ showed up carrying Challenge gear for people to change into that needed it. He told them to get changed and meet on the beach for the next part of the final.
Phase 1 of final features different paths with checkpoints
TJ informed them the final would have two phases. He said for the first phase, they’d race along a winding path to get to the Nucleus. There they’d find instructions for three different checkpoints located in different sections of the jungle.
They could do the checkpoints in any order. There was a memory checkpoint, a decode checkpoint, and a pole puzzle checkpoint. Completion of each one would earn them a piece of a mandala. They needed all three pieces to complete the mandala, which TJ said represents their journey.
The pole puzzle checkpoint had competitors riding bikes out and grabbing large puzzle pieces to bring back to the Nucleus. It would take several trips to get them all, though.
The memory checkpoint involved traveling a path to look at a puzzle board and memorize the pairs on the board. The teammates then returned to the Nucleus and flipped over matching symbol pairs on their spots on the board. If they got one wrong, they’d need to head back to the puzzle board.
With the decode checkpoint, they’d take flashlights and go into a cave to find various symbols and numbers painted inside the cave. They had to memorize them and bring them back to solve a puzzle wheel which gave them several words.
The twist was only three teams would advance past Phase 1, with the last-place team getting eliminated.
Teams embark on their journeys to complete mandalas
TJ blew the horn, and everyone took off running on the trail to start their first phase of the final. On the way, Nehemiah and Melinda got lost and went down one of the checkpoint paths, ending up in a dark cave.
Teck and Ayanna grabbed the lead, followed by Darrell and Janelle. Both teams chose to take bikes per instructions for a checkpoint so they could rest their legs. During their trips to get puzzle pieces, Darrell got irritated that Ayanna wouldn’t move to the side for them as she and Teck were walking the other way with their bikes on the path.
Meanwhile, Jonna and MJ solved the decode puzzle thanks to Jonna realizing how the decoder wheel worked at the Nucleus. MJ figured out the phrase, and they got it right, putting them into first place. Nehemiah and Melinda soon finished their memory checkpoint to get their first mandala.
As they worked on the biking to get puzzle pieces checkpoint, MJ said in a confessional that his legs were getting wobbly, and the heat was “unrelenting” in Cancun. Elsewhere, Melinda screamed as she twisted her ankle after falling during the run with Nehemiah.
Janelle and Danelle completed their pole puzzle, earning the first piece of their mandala. Unfortunately, they grabbed flashlights and headed down the wrong path, as they ended up at the memorization board next.
Nehemiah praised Melinda’s performance as she gritted things out through her injury. They completed the decode checkpoint to get a second mandala piece and claim first place.
Teck and Ayanna finally completed the pole puzzle for their first mandala piece, and MJ and Jonna finished theirs to get a second piece.
Darrell and Janelle finished the memory board quickly to get their second piece. In the cave, Teck got frustrated because he wanted to write things down, and Ayanna said it was against the rules, so Teck let her memorize the symbols and numbers as he stood outside the cave. Eventually, he helped on a return trip.
Nehemiah and Melinda won Phase 1 as they solved all their puzzles first. Darrell and Janelle followed them in second place.
Teck and Ayanna and MJ and Jonna were on their last puzzle, the memory board. The winner would take first place, and the losers would go home. Ayanna told Teck she had no gas left in the tank, and ultimately she told TJ she couldn’t continue. That eliminated them from the running.
Phase 2 of the final brings new Challenge menu
It was time for Phase 2 as TJ welcomed them to tables full of various food they’d need to eat. TJ said they were serving them “Mexican with a little twist.”
That included tostadas with fish eyes, burritos stuffed with crickets, and nachos topped with roaches. There was also a nice tall glass of blood to wash it down.
After they finished eating, they’d need to run to the end of a runway to solve an equation. It had symbols that corresponded to numeric values.
Solving their equation would give them numbers that were a combination for a safe halfway down the runway. Inside each safe was $500,000.
The first team to get their money out of the safe and run it to a plane on the runway would win and keep their money.
Darrell was hungry, which helped him, and Janelle take the lead. They finished all their food and headed down the runway. MJ and Jonna finished eating shortly after and took off running. Melinda and Nehemiah were in third as they finally finished their food.
The symbols on their boards represented numbers in equations, like an algebra-style puzzle. It was neck and neck between Darrell and Janelle and Jonna and MJ. Melinda’s ankle was causing her a lot of pain, but she kept going.
All three teams got to their safes and struggled to work the combination locks. However, Jonna realized there were instructions right next to their safe. She looked at them, worked the combination, and they put their $500,000 in the bag. Jonna and MJ took off running and were the first to the plane to win All Stars 2.
They met TJ Lavin inside the plane, congratulating them on becoming All Stars 2 champions. The plane took off down the runway for their flight as the remaining teams sat back at their safes, reflecting on the past season.
“All I can think about is Jonna and all of the hard work that we put in all season. It’s not just jumping off cliffs and hanging off the side of a moving truck. So much of it is emotional. So much of it is mental. $500,000 weighs a lot, by the way…and half of it is mine,” MJ said in a confessional.
Jonna looked back at how big a deal it was for her “just to cross that finish line” on All Stars 1. However, with All Stars 2, she can now call herself a champion.
The Challenge: All Stars 2 episodes are available for streaming on Paramount+.