For some of the cast members on The Challenge: All Stars spinoff season, they were making their return to an updated show they weren’t as familiar with after being away from it for many years.
That included Yes Duffy, who last appeared on Battle of the Sexes season in 2003. His 17 years away from the show meant he needed to get up to speed on how to play the game.
Luckily, he had a few castmates around that he could lean on for experience, and learned from their mindsets in terms of how they approached the game.
Yes Duffy says Double Agents stars had ‘deep well of information’
The Challenge: All Stars season features 22 OG competitors in Argentina vying for a solo prize of $500,000. Sometimes, they compete in teams during daily events, but everyone generally hangs out as friends when they’re not competing.
For Yes Duffy, the former Road Rules: Semester at Sea cast member had lost touch with how The Challenge changed over its many seasons since his time on the show.
“I had never had a more focused and more challenging mental month of my entire life,” Yes shared around the 18-minute mark of his recent appearance on Reality NSFW podcast.
He explained that veteran Challenge competitors Darrell Taylor and Aneesa Ferreira were quite helpful for him to learn from. Both competitors have appeared on many seasons of the show and were recently part of Season 36, Double Agents.
“I just knew that Darrell and Aneesa, actually, had the deep well of information. The two of them, they became the homies,” Yes said, mentioning that he chose a room nearby the two vets.
“Aneesa especially, I mean, there’s a lot of just like production-related things and all. She’s just a great explainer of all things. She becomes a really important connector in a lot of ways,” he shared.
“As the larger family, she’s just kind of the matriarch in a lot of ways. She’s cool,” Yes said of his castmate.
Yes also mentioned during the podcast that the Double Agents stars often said that the chemistry was different when comparing the cast on the All Stars spinoff to the cast of Double Agents.
“They said that frequently. So they were at ease in a way. They felt sort of supported by a family of sorts,” Yes revealed of Aneesa and Darrell’s time on All Stars.
Yes praised Aneesa’s ‘beautiful’ mental approach on The Challenge
In All Stars Episode 5, host TJ Lavin dropped a major twist on the competitors by announcing all future eliminations would be double-elimination events. That meant each elimination would feature a male and female competitor getting sent home.
In Episode 5, Alton Williams had been the house vote to go in, and he was going to face Syrus Yarbrough, who was the worst-performing male competitor for the daily challenge. Since Beth Stolarczyk was the worst-performing female competitor, TJ told her to come down as she’d be Syrus’ partner for elimination. Then, Alton was allowed to choose any of the other female competitors, except winning competitor Kendal Sheppard, as his partner.
After a few moments of contemplating his best move, Alton wisely opted to team up with the elimination queen, Aneesa Ferreira. Yes praised her as a professional when it comes to the show and described her as a “mercenary” of sorts on The Challenge.
“She’s helped so many people over so many years, including me. Helped me along the way. Helped people along the way, and then they call her in because they know she’s good, but she just puts her a** on the line more than anybody,” Yes said.
“I know in speaking with her she’s not afraid of that stuff. That’s her career. She’s a pro. It’s like she said, ‘It’s another day at the office’ and that’s the truth,” Yes shared about Aneesa.
Yes said he was constantly learning from others during his All Stars experience, and Aneesa’s mindset helped his approach.
“There’s different perspectives, right? And with Aneesa, it was just beautiful to see, because she was like, ‘Let’s go. We got this.’ And it was like, ‘There’s a professional that came to work,’” Yes said, adding, “That’s gonna be me.”
Aneesa has yet to win a final on The Challenge, but has certainly proved herself to be amongst legends of the game over 14 seasons along with many daily challenge and elimination wins.
The Challenge: All Stars episodes arrive Thursdays on Paramount Plus.