The Challenge: Total Madness: Rogan (maybe) ends Jay’s reign


There are a few moments in the history of MTV’s The Challenge eliminations that stand out in your memory. CT carrying Johnny Bananas like a backpack. CT and Adam vs. Johnny Bananas and Tyler in T-Bone (CHOO-CHOO!). Cara Maria and Jessica battling in Balls In. Derek and Wes fighting it out in an epic Pole Wrestle. Big E using Wes to physically ring the bell in Hall Brawl:

Last night, poor, sweet Jay (maybe) joined those ranks. After yet another week of horrible strategy from just about everyone in The Challenge bunker, Jay was set to face Rogan in a physical elimination. As a reminder, Jay had previously gone into, and won, both male elimination challenges, sending the aforementioned legendary veteran CT home two weeks ago.

Host TJ Lavin set the scene, telling Rogan and Jay they’d be playing a variation of Balls Out that basically just added the element of LIGHTING THE BALL ON FIRE. The set up is simple: one competitor is on offense, one is on defense. The offensive player has the ball (again, ON FIRE) and is trying to score it in the basket being defended by the defender. Then they switch sides. First to two wins.

Rogan, who is significantly bigger and stronger than the lanky Jay, has an obvious advantage in this matchup. But crazier things have happened in Challenge history. Jay has to play offense first, and his strategy is to just try and out-quick the lumbering Rogan. Well, this happens:

After Jay hits the ground, everyone waits with bated breath. It becomes evident Jay is in an incredible amount of pain as he stays flat on his stomach, practically immobile, and lets out a low groan that chills you to your core.

We have to wait another week to find out the extent of the damage — hopefully he just had the air knocked out of him — but it’s looking a lot like Rogan will take over the crown of “only guy in the house qualified to run the final.”

Physical challenge

I’ll let TJ sum up this week’s challenge:

“This is going to be f**king sweet.”

Players were split into teams of four to run an intense relay race of sorts. The first person has to lean out of the side of a car riding on two wheels. They read a math equation to the second competitor, who has to solve the problem and give the third person a three digit number. The third player then picks out multi-colored rods that correspond with each digit, and runs them to the final challenger. If they did the math correctly, the three rods will cause a bomb to explode when dropped into the plunger.

Got it? Good.

Guess what? This is a disaster! On the first team, Jay completely misses the first part of the equation. Without that, they can’t even begin to do the rest. On the second team, Bananas reads the whole equation to Bear, but Bear doesn’t hear the “80” part of 85. They’re disqualified.

The third team inexplicably lets Rogan do math, which — wait for it — blows up in their face. He messes up the equation, and their team’s bomb doesn’t explode. They did, however, finish all the stages (even if it was incorrectly).

It takes the fourth team’s turn before someone finally gets it right. Shoutout to Swaggy C for being able to do math and Jenny for being able to put the rods in the plunger properly.


Team five is aware of each person’s abilities (Kyle flat-out admits he and Corey are dumb but fast), but they decide to let Melissa read the numbers in her strong British accent. Things are looking good until Corey can’t figure out where to put the rods to set off the bomb, but they complete it. Team Six (Jenna, Jordan, Aneesa, and Fessy) finishes quickly, but are two seconds slower than the fastest team.

Winners: Swaggy C, Josh, Jenny, and Kaycee

The “we all saw it coming” moment

Since Episode 1, Bear has had his sights set on Kailah. Both parties have a significant other at home. In last night’s episode, Kailah says, “At the end of the day, I would never risk my real life back home for Bear.”

You know who says things like that? People who are 100 percent going to risk their real lives back home for Bear. Despite advice from her friend Jenna and the fact she absolutely knows this is a terrible idea, Kailah caves to Bear’s flirting and this happens:


Smooching in the bathroom. As a reminder, last week, Bear sprayed an entire room of people with a fire extinguisher in an attempt to impress Kailah. I guess it worked?

Sadly, this did seem to have real-world ramifications as Kailah and her then-boyfriend (DJ Mikey P) broke up.

Most ridiculous moment

Stupid arguments start all the time on The Challenge. It’s not surprising, considering you have a bunch of stressed, type-A competitors fighting for a shot at a ton of money. This week, Jordan and Wes got into it because the turf in the gym was getting messed up as Wes was helping Corey and Nelson work out.

This, naturally, led to an argument where Jordan put a sausage in Wes’s face while Wes tried to get high-and-mighty.

Aneesa: How can you take someone seriously when they’re holding a three-foot-long sausage in your face?


Don’t worry, Jordan cleaned up that gross table shortly after this encounter.

Episode MVP

In an episode highlighted by more incredibly strategically inept competitors, I’m going to go with Jenna for being a shining beacon in these dark times. Jenna, who is competing in her ninth challenge, is a damn delight. In this episode, she gave her friend Kailah excellent advice about not hooking up with Bear (which Kailah ignored), got to talk to her boyfriend (now fiancé) Zach, came in second in the physical challenge, and had this exchange with a producer:

Jenna: This challenge is called “Bomb Squad,” and as a group we have to figure out a math equation and desonate a bomb.

Producer: You’re “detonating” a bomb.

Jenna: I figured, yeah. I didn’t know what word I was saying.

Red Skulls

As of right now, Jay still has two Red Skulls and is the only male competitor qualified for the finals. I have a feeling that may not be the case after the way the episode ended, but we’ll find out next week. On the women’s side, both Dee and Jenny have Red Skulls.

Power Rankings

5. Kaycee

4. Swaggy C.

3. Johnny

2. Jenny

1. Jay

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