Sometimes the best strategy for staying in the game known as The Challenge is finding ways to keep out of eliminations. That worked well for Jonna Mannion in her first two seasons of The Challenge: All Stars, with her reaching the final and winning the second of those seasons.
However, winning a championship usually puts a target on someone’s back in the game, and that was certainly the case with Jonna for The Challenge: All Stars 3. While she was on the chopping block for a second elimination of the season in Episode 6, she managed to avoid going in.
Her castmate Nia Moore recently explained how Jonna was able to use what may have been a sneaky move to keep another castmate from calling her into The Arena.
This report contains spoilers for the ongoing season of Paramount Plus’ spinoff show, The Challenge: All Stars 3.
Nia Moore speaks about Jonna’s smart move in All Stars 3
With All Stars 3, Episode 6, KellyAnne Judd picked up her first victory in a daily event for the season, winning the Stacked challenge and becoming part of The Authority with Brad Fiorenza. The duo got to decide who to send into elimination at The Arena.
They chose castmates Sylvia Elsrode and MJ Garrett. However, picking those individuals allowed Sylvia and MJ to choose who they wanted to face once they were at The Arena.
Sylvia was considering calling Jonna down to take on the All Stars 2 champ but changed her mind and went with Nia Moore instead. Unfortunately, that choice didn’t work out in Sylvia’s favor, with Nia able to pull off an impressive win in Star Struck.
During her appearance on MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast, Nia talked about winning the event and shared how Jonna may have prevented Sylvia from calling her out at The Arena.
“I would’ve liked a heads up. I would’ve loved if Sylvia said, ‘You may go in,’ Nia also shared, adding, “Also, I’m glad that she didn’t, because I think that benefited me just being fight or flight, go in there and do what you need to do.”
Aneesa brought up that the elimination could’ve changed when everyone got there. However, Nia said comments Jonna made when everyone was heading to The Arena for eliminations probably saved her from going in.
“So Sylvia told me, or I think after she left, some of the guys in the house told me that when we were standing in line going into the Dome, Jonna was kind of in front, and she saw what it was. Apparently, it looked like a puzzle that she had done before. So she kind of verbalized out loud, ‘I’ve done this before,’ and Sylvia heard that. So I think it spooked her,” Nia revealed.
Jonna’s strategy and skills improved since earlier seasons
While podcast co-host Aneesa Ferreira labeled Jonna’s move as “sneaky” during the interview, it was an intelligent way of avoiding another elimination. Earlier in the season, viewers watched as Jonna got sent into elimination by The Authority, consisting of Sylvia Elsrode and Mark Long.
To keep herself in control of the decision, Jonna asked them to send her in so she could call out her opponent. That choice was Beth Stolarczyk, who arrived at All Stars 3 as a replacement after other cast members left. Beth also began talking trash about Jonna to castmates, insinuating she’d been having an affair with MJ Garrett.
Ultimately, Jonna defeated Beth during their battle at The Arena, with Beth quitting due to “heights” and other reasons.
Jonna, an All Stars 2 champion, has improved significantly since her earlier days on MTV’s The Challenge. After first debuting on The Real World: Cancun, Jonna appeared in the first Rivals season with castmate Jasmine Reynaud.
The duo won their first elimination together in Episode 5, upsetting Sarah Rice and partner Katelynn Cusanelli. However, Jonna and Jasmine’s season ended with a loss to Cara Maria Sorbello and Laurel Stucky in Episode 7.
Jonna would return for 2012’s Battle of the Seasons, Rivals II, Free Agents, and Battle of the Exes II, achieving six daily wins and a 2-5 elimination record. However, there were no finals appearances for the RW star.
Fast forward to All Stars Season 1, and she proved many doubters wrong, finishing in a tie with KellyAnne amongst women in the final. Her return for All Stars 2 proved even more successful as she and MJ went on to win the season.
Based on her gameplay so far, Jonna’s managed to stay relatively safe in the game, so one has to wonder if she can continue to keep a target off her back or will get called out at The Arena.
The Challenge: All Stars 3 episodes arrive Wednesdays on Paramount Plus.