The grand finale arrived with The Challenge: All Stars Episode 9, as one cast member would place first and walk away $500,000 richer. The finale unfolded in Argentina as 10 competitors remained battling through tough tasks to try to be the sole winner.
The finale episode opened with beautiful overhead shots of Argentina’s landscape before cutting to the first-place team and Darrell Taylor’s plight. The four-time Challenge champ was feeling the effects of the Carolina Reapers and said he might need a medic. However, teammate KellyAnne Judd gave him a pep talk.
She said it’s “just like period cramps” and told Darrell to keep it moving. He fought the pain and continued going with KellyAnne to maintain their lead.
All Stars cast members discuss motivations in final
Darrell mentioned in his confessional he wanted to win to have wealth for his children to inherit. Aneesa Ferreira is shown with partner Yes Duffy. She mentioned in her confessional that it’s been a while since she’s run a final, so she’s out to prove she can do it.
In his confessional, Yes said he knows what poverty looks like, and every dollar matters, which motivated him to win this money. Eric “Big Easy” Banks wanted to prove he’s not “the same kid everyone saw on Gauntlet III.”
Jonna Mannion said her husband was furloughed from his job, and they went through their life savings. Alton Williams said his motivation then was whoever he’s tethered to. In that instance, it’s Ruthie Alcaide who he won’t quit on.
Mark Long is tethered to Jemmye Carroll, who has a weak stomach and was suffering cramps from the world’s hottest pepper. Mark tried to play motivator, but in confessional admitted he was frustrated because she would’ve done better as his partner without the peppers.
Competitors finish Checkpoint 4 to get final partners
TJ Lavin greeted KellyAnne and Darrell as they crossed the finish line in first for Checkpoint 4. They each received another five points added to their totals. Yes, and Aneesa crossed the line in second to get four points each.
Jonna and Big Easy arrived third for three points apiece. Alton and Ruthie were fifth for two points. Mark and Jemmye were the last-place team, so they got one point each.
That first-place finish helped Darrell tie Yes for first place with 18 points each. Jonna was third with 15 points, while KellyAnne was fourth with 13 points.
It was time for Checkpoint 5 and TJ told them there was one person left they’d yet to partner with. “These are your partners for the night,” TJ revealed after they paired up.
Those pairings were Aneesa with Darrell, Jonna with Alton, Ruthie with Yes, Jemmye with Big Easy, and KellyAnne with Mark. Jemmye remarked how she was stuck with the one person she didn’t want to work with and her day just got worse.
Checkpoint 5 brings food and sleep, Challenge-style
They rushed off for Checkpoint 5 and soon arrived at an eating and sleeping station. Competitors had to finish all food on their plates, which were roasted pieces of dead animals, drawing plenty of groans.
“Is that food? They gonna feed us..What the hell is that s**t?” Darrell said in his confessional.
As competitors began trying to eat, vomiting ensued. Yes called the sounds of people throwing up, “tonight’s dinner music.”
Alton enjoyed the food like a delicacy. Jemmye had a lot of trouble, especially because her partner was throwing up a lot. Big Easy talked to her, saying he’d quit if she can’t go. She was in tears as she told TJ she didn’t think she could continue.
“Are you sure? You know how I feel about quitters,” TJ said Jemmye, with a disappointed look. Following a bit of thought, Jemmye decided she wasn’t going to quit and started eating a bit more. Meanwhile, Yes finished his plate ahead of everyone.
Everyone else keeps trying to keep food down. In the background, the classic song Push It by Salt N’ Pepa played. KellyAnne and Mark finished their plates around the same time to get five points and headed to a sleep station.
Second place was Jonna and Alton, followed by Yes and Ruthie. Aneesa and Darrell eventually finished at nighttime. Jemmye finished all her food soon after Big Easy, so they continued, getting one point apiece.
Sleeping arrangements involved a bed on one side of a platform device. One teammate slept on the bed on one end, while the other had to remain standing on the opposite side. If the standing teammate fell or got off the platform, they had to switch places. It was also cold, requiring competitors to layer up.
Yes compared it to other outdoors sleeping arrangements he’s experienced, while Big Easy said he’s used to sleeping however based on living in a frat house before. Alton told Jonna she could sleep as much as needed. In his confessional, he admitted he was annoyed hearing Yes’ voice with his “positive crap” and KellyAnne’s complaining, but would tough it out for Jonna.
TJ arrives in style, competitors embark on final leg
Morning finally arrived. As the competitors stood on the ground again, TJ rode in on a horse dressed like a “gaucho” per Jemmye’s description.
Their host said it was the final day of the grand finale in Argentina. It was now an individual footrace to the top of the mountain.
He dropped a surprise announcement that everyone still had a chance to win because this was worth double points. After TJ yelled, “Go!” everyone took off, with Darrell grabbing the lead, followed by Yes. Mark, Jonna, and Alton were in the top five early.
Jemmye was in sixth place, followed by Ruthie and KellyAnne. However, KellyAnne started to find more energy and eventually passed Jonna for fifth place. Aneesa and Big Easy were the last of all competitors, so they encouraged each other.
Yes took a break to sit on a log, then wisely stripped off some of his layers of clothing so he wouldn’t overheat, realizing he could catch Darrell if he didn’t do the same.
Like how Double Agents started, TJ flew in a helicopter, this time landing on top of a mountain in Argentina. Darrell was still first-place and felt Yes wouldn’t catch him.
In confessional, Yes said he wasn’t sure whether to “talk s**t” or help Darrell with his advice. He opted to “talk s**t” as he caught Darrell and took over the lead.
Yes built a solid lead with Darrell trailing. They finally saw TJ atop the mountain with flags. It was Yes’s race to lose, and that didn’t happen. He saw the finish line and did a light jog to cross it first. TJ praised him for getting it done.
“I’ll show all them other punks too,” the 41-year-old said, admitting he wanted to go on the “regular shows.”
Darrell arrived to the finish line second and gave Yes respect for getting the win as they hugged it out. Darrell called him the “MVP” of All Stars.
Mark finished the race in third place and dedicated his season to his mother battling cancer. Alton came in fourth place. KellyAnne finished fifth. As Jonna crossed the finish line sixth, a flood of emotions brought her to tears as the only mom who completed the final.
Jemmye and Ruthie crossed the finish line together. The competitors waited, then cheered as Big Easy and Aneesa eventually finished as well.
“Even though I haven’t won yet. This is a win for me today,” Aneesa Ferreira said in an interview.
TJ announced the final standings. Jonna and KellyAnne tied for third place based on their points achieved. Darrell took second place with 29 points. Yes was the All Stars champion with 31 points.
In a confessional, he became emotional as he described visualizing the moment he arrived home with his kids and wife there to pile on top of them as he told them, “I did it.” He also did it for his mother, who “showed up in San Francisco from Thailand with 300 bucks in her pocket.”
“I got the crown. Who wants it?” Yes asked in an interview atop the mountain. The competitors got together on top of the mountain and yelled “All Stars” as the finale closed.
The Challenge: All Stars episodes arrive Thursdays on Paramount+.