The Challenge: Total Madness: Relationship Drama Officially Takes Over the Game

Television

The Challenge: Total Madness is already proving to be one of the most lethal seasons yet for seasoned competitors. In the latest episode, another vet was sent packing after her social game came apart at the seams during an in-house fight. TJ also laid another twist on the competitors when it comes to tribunals and who can make it in, giving them even more to worry about when trying to plot their way into an elimination and earn a red skull that would get them into the final.

TV Guide has everything you need to know about this season of The Challenge from how to watch, the alliances being formed, and of course what goes down in each episode. Click on Recaps or scroll down to see who was the latest to be eliminated.

Discover your new favorite show: Watch This Now!

JUMP TO: How to Watch | Cast | Setup & Alliances | Recaps |

<p><em>The Challenge: Total Madness</em> </p>

The Challenge: Total Madness

The Challenge: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV. The first episode premiered on April 2, and each installment is a super-sized 90 minutes so we can see an actual challenge and the elimination in every episode.

If you can’t watch live, MTV has the episodes available on Thursdays via the MTV app — but you must have a cable subscription to tune in.

Vets (in alphabetical order): Ashley Mitchell, Aneesa Ferreira, Cory Wharton, CT Tamburello, Dee Nguyen, Kyle Christie, Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio, Jenna Compono, Jenny West, Josh Martinez, Jordan Wiseley, Kailah Casillas, Mattie Breaux, Melissa Reeves, Nelson Thomas, Nany Gonzalez, Rogan O’Connor, Stephen Bear, Tori Deal, Tula “Big T” Fazakerley, and Wes Bergmann.

Prospects (in alphabetical order): Asaf Goren (Big Brother Israel, So You Think You Can Dance), Bayleigh Dayton (Big Brother), Christopher Jordan “Swaggy C” Williams (Big Brother), Kaycee Clark (Big Brother), Faysal Shawn “Fessy” Shafaat (Big Brother, American Ninja Warrior), Jay Starrett (Survivor), and Jennifer Lee (Amazing Race).

<p><em>The Challenge: Total Madness</em> </p>

The Challenge: Total Madness

THE SETUP

Total Madness is an individual game with a prize of $1 million. While players are randomly partnered or teamed for individual events, they are working their way to a final for a shot at solo prize money instead of having to split it with a team. That will make alliances even more crucial as the game moves forward, and it also allows players to make multiple deals more easily without having to worry about getting a group on board.

Individual or team day-challenge winners form a tribunal of three people. The rest of the house will pick a non-winner to go into elimination, while the Tribunal picks three more people to be interrogated. Once they hit the elimination floor, the Tribunal will pick one of those three to go against the person picked by the house to fight for their chance to stay in the house.

The Twist: Every season The Challenge tries to create a new rule or setup that will throw even the most experienced players off their game. Previous examples have included blind voting or letting the house-voted players pick who they go against in elimination. This season, TJ turned everything upside down when he announced that no one will be allowed into his final unless they win an elimination this season. Now instead of striving for “perfect seasons” where you win a final without ever seeing an elimination, everyone will be fighting each other to be sent down to “purgatory” to earn a red skull for their helmets and secure their potential to play for a million dollars.

In the second episode, TJ revealed that members of the Tribunal had the option to send in anyone they nominated or elect to throw themselves in for a chance to earn their red skull.

THE ALLIANCES

Wes & Bananas: The most shocking development in the premiere episode of Total Madness after the elimination twist was the reveal Bananas and Wes have actually teamed up this season. The former enemies are attempting to use their collective strategic power to pave their way to the final. Bananas broke down the decision to work with Wes for TV Guide, but warned their alliance will not stand the test of time.

Tori & Jordan: The Challenge‘s current power couple, who got engaged during War of the Worlds 2, are back in the game and looking for total victory. Considering they have a wedding to pay for now, anyone who makes deal with either one of these two should know the other one comes with.

Bayleigh & Swaggy C: Tori and Jordan aren’t the only betrothed couple in the house. Big Brother alums Bayleigh and Swaggy C are also a packaged deal, and Bayleigh has already made it clear she’ll throw down on anyone who tries to threaten her or Swaggy.

The Holy Trinity: Real-life BFFs Nany, Jenna, and Kailah are keeping each other safe in this season of The Challenge. We’ll see how this friendship pans out now that they know the goal is to get thrown into elimination, but it is a powerful collective to have on your side within the house.

Team Young Buck: While Cory and Nelson haven’t actually said Team YNB on the show yet, these two are still best friends, and more importantly, they both came in determined to get that elusive W on their belt.

Dee & Jenny: Dee and Jenny were not friends on War of the Worlds 2. In fact, they were on opposite alliances, despite both fighting for Teak UK. It seems they buried the hatchet between filming seasons though, because Dee made it very clear in the second episode that Jenny is her No. 1 — even over Tori and Jordan, who helped her win a quarter of a million dollars on the previous season.

<p><em>The Challenge: Total Madness</em> </p>

The Challenge: Total Madness


RECAPS

Episode 1, “Mad World”

The challengers were shocked to find out that they wouldn’t be spending the season in a lush villa in between grueling physical tests and eliminations. Instead, MTV refurbished a nuclear missile bunker and turned it into swanky living quarters. There’s still a pool and a fully functional gym, but the contestants live underground with recycled air. Nany made the best of the situation by cuddling up to Asaf, and Bear set his sights on Kailah while everyone else sussed out the new cast members and started to figure out alliances (see above).

The Challenge

The players were divided into male and female heats and asked to pull medical supplies attached to a heavy rope across a field, stopping to solve puzzles and math problems along the way. At each stage of the challenge, TJ eliminated straggling players by driving a tank over the field, severing the rope to the medical supplies.

Winners: Rogan and Jenny
Tribunal: Rogan, Jenny, and Cory

Elimination

The house went for the prospects, not yet knowing about the elimination twist, and sent in Asaf, a beautiful Israeli dancer, with 20 of the 25 votes. The tribunal selected Wes, Kyle, and Jay for interrogation before ultimately sending in the prospect to face his fellow rookie.

In a game of “Air Strike,” Jay and Asaf had to hold on to separate bars 30 feet in the air and kick a thick glass wall hanging between them in an effort to make their opponent let go of their bar. The best 2/3 won.

Winner: Jay

Red Skulls So Far: Jay

<p><em>The Challenge: Total Madness</em> </p>

The Challenge: Total Madness

Episode 2, “Sweet Dreams Are Made of Dee”

Rogan and Dee are no longer a romantic couple after their tryst on War of the Worlds 2, but Dee wasn’t ready to see Rogan move on so quickly. When he started flirting with Jenn, Dee made it her mission to shut the situation down as soon as possible — and Jenn only made it that much easier for Dee to serve her up to the house when she struggled in the day challenge. However, Rogan wasn’t the only one struggling with Dee. After helping Dee to the final last season, Tori felt the Australian owed her and made a bid to be the one to go into elimination and send Jenn home. Dee had other plans, though, and informed Tori that Jenny was actually her No. 1, and let the strongest girl in the house collect a red skull against a layup. Dee has zero political game, and that decision will come back to bite her.

The Challenge

Everyone was divided into teams of three, where they had to run nine heavy ammunition cases up a hill. The first three teams to get all of their cases up to the top moved on to the second round, where they dropped the ammunition cases out of a helicopter onto a target below. The team with the most ammunition cases to hit the target won.

Winners: Cory, Dee, and Swaggy C
Tribunal: Cory, Dee, and Swaggy C

Elimination

The house went for Amazing Race alumna Jenn, who gave a disappointing performance in the day’s challenge. Tori, Jenny, and Big T were all called in for interrogation by the Tribunal, with each of them desperate to go in against Jenn and earn their red skull early. Even though Dee had a chance to send herself in and get the skull for herself, she put in her new BFF Jenny.

Jenny and Jenn began on opposite sides of a hallway, each with ten barrels attached to poles. They had to flip all ten barrels over the rail, so that the barrels landed on their opponent’s side. The first player to flip all ten barrels and flip the switch at the end won. Jenny threw all of her barrels with one hand and absolutely crushed Jenn. It was…sad to watch.

Winner: Jenny

Red Skulls So Far: Jay, Jenny

<p><em>The Challenge: Total Madness</em> </p>

The Challenge: Total Madness

The Challenge‘s Johnny Bananas Explains Why It Was Finally Time to Team Up with Wes

Episode 3, “A Hard Jay’s Night”

Bananas and Ashley, unable to realize they are two sides of the same coin, dominated the house drama this week with their individual propaganda initiatives. With it being a guy’s elimination week, Ashley tried to rope all the girls into the house into voting for Bananas, but Nelson ruined it when he tried to out Kailah as a turncoat during the nomination. She flipped out and voted for Nelson instead, drawing a gigantic target on Team Young Buck’s back. Nelson needs to be careful moving forward, while Bananas and Ashley will continue to fight through the season, unless they release some of that tension by sleeping together.

In other news, Rogan also doesn’t enjoy watching Dee make out with other people and the sooner they could make their minds up about whether they are together or not, the better it will be for everyone’s sanity.

The Challenge

An individual challenge forced the players to solve a puzzle using two separate keys located up a big hill away from their puzzle boards. It required stamina and memory to get this done — a good test for the final. However, only two players could be winners and secure their place in the Tribunal.

Winners: CT and Bayleigh
Tributnal: CT, Bayleigh, and Swaggy C

Elimination

Even with the coup attempt by Ashley, the house went with Jay, the rookie who already has a red skull. It’s better to continue pissing off one person rather than creating new enemies. Rogan, Nelson, and Bear were called in for tribunal interrogation, but CT understood that no one would ever do him the solid of putting him in an elimination, unless it was one of the most difficult ones of the season. So he did himself a solid and put himself in for a chance to get his red skull and call it a day.

In “Take Shelter,” Jay and CT were given 20 minutes to barricade a mini-bomb shelter using ropes, heavy rocks, and other materials to make it as difficult as possible for the other person to break in. Once the twenty minutes were up, they switched and the first one to get the door to the shelter all the way open and press the buzzer won. It looked like CT had it in the bag thanks to his expert knot skills and covering the shelter in heavy boulders that wiry Jay would have trouble moving. It came down to the last split seconds and Jay was able to pull down all of CT’s well crafted knots in one fell swoop while CT struggled with the final chain on Jay’s door. And just like that, CT was taken out of the game. Don’t worry, the vet promised he’d be back. And Jay should have officially made everyone afraid to see him in an elimination.

Winner: Jay

Red Skulls So Far: Jay (2), Jenny

<p><em>The Challenge: Total Madness</em> </p>

The Challenge: Total Madness

Episode 4, “Karma Chameleon”

After Ashley’s failed attempt to oust Bananas, Episode 4 opened with the super champ realizing that she was a lone wolf in a game that is more dependent on allies than ever before. She attempted to make an alliance with Mattie, who would bring the strength component to Ashley’s mad puzzle skills, but that blew up in her face after a gigantic house fight instigated by one of Bear’s practical jokes (he is focused only on getting with Kailah). It was a pretty rough episode for her, and when she brought up Mattie’s alcohol charges in the heat of the moment, the house used it as leverage to turn on her.

The Challenge

“Cold War” not only brought a new twist — that tribunals can grow and shrink as TJ chooses — but also the first hospitalization of the season. The cast was split into teams of five, with three designated to dive into a freezing cold “pool” and unlock puzzle pieces from the bottom. Those three were then tasked with putting together the puzzle with those pieces. The remaining two team members were tasked with chopping up ice to make the water even colder for an opposing team.

Nelson’s team was forced to DQ when they started to get hypothermic and Nelson was sent to the hospital to recoup some warmth. After watching what happened to his No. 1, Cory and his teammate Kyle bailed on the challenge after only a few minutes in the water, with no objections from their fellow diver Bayleigh. The other three teams completed the puzzle, but Bananas, Bear, and Aneesa got it done the fastest and sealed the win.

Winners: Bananas, Big T, Aneesa, Kaycee, Bear
Tribunal: Bananas, Big T, Aneesa, Kaycee, Bear

The Elimination

Ashley was thrown in with almost a unanimous vote by the house, while Tori, Mattie, and Dee were called up by the tribunal. Tori made her plea to be thrown in, but only if it wasn’t a puzzle and Dee said she was ready to go and get her red skull after passing on the chance to take it from Jen at the last girls’ elimination. Mattie politely requested not to go in because she wants to enjoy some more time in the bunker. In the end, Bananas convinced the rest of the tribunal that Dee was the least trustworthy, and she was thrown in against Ashley.

As two of the best puzzle players in the house, Dee and Ashley faced off in “Code Breaker,” which involved them having to collect puzzle pieces from hanging clay pots that contained the name of previous seasons of The Challenge. Once they collected all five pieces, they had to put the seasons in chronological order. Dee, an Australian who hasn’t watched any season of the show besides the ones she’s been on, got significant help from Wes up in the stands. Meanwhile, Ashley fell behind when one of her puzzle pieces got buried in the sand in her rush to collect everything she needed. Even with Wes being silenced by the rest of the housemates up on deck, Dee was able to guess her way to the win.

Winner: Dee
Red Skulls So Far: Jay (2), Jenny, Dee

<p><em>The Challenge: Total Madness</em> </p>

The Challenge: Total Madness

The Challenge: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.

Please share this page!

Articles You May Like

Dalai Lama Celebrates 85th Birthday With Debut Album, “Inner World”
The Rise and Evolution of the Female Action Hero
AMC Entertainment Nears Debt Deal That Would Ensure Solvency Into Early Next Year
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to End with Season 4 on Netflix
Film Review: Dreamkatcher (2020)