You guys you guys you guys. My god have I missed this. A great reality TV series. People who just blatantly love attention chasing after it by rolling in mud like little piglets. People getting drunk on national TV and throwing shoes at each other. Haven’t you missed it! Just the best trash ever. The Challenge Australia is already giving and we’re barely underway, so welcome to your first recap, strap in, buckle up, you bet your sweet bippy it’s a good one.

The premise of The Challenge Australia, if you’ve forgotten slash didn’t watch and just came here for the tea, like cheating on a test via copying off the smart kid, is that this is a show that knows how deeply stupid it is. These producers went to the elephant graveyard of reality TV and collected all the bones, the people who were like HEY!!!! IT’S ME!!!! REMEMBER ME!!!!

the challenge
look at all of those #gifted polyester outfits on whosit and whatsy from that show, god I’ve missed it

Then put them all together and threw in some big guns, people we know and love and will really love watching get bopped in the face with some sort of soft weapon. The JUICE though, the SWEET JUICY JUICE, is that half these people have fucked, and the rest need to gain fans from this or they’ll have to go work at The Coffee Club.

To them I’d like to say, those iced choccys are the shit and doing a Coffee Club stint is on my list of “jobs I want to do one day” after pizza delivery person, truck driver and ‘person who sits in the really big crane’.

Some, I swear to god, don’t even want to be here!!! (Suzan, I’m looking at you).

suzanne
you told me this was project runway

Basically it’s a who’s who of Aussie reality TV circa 2015-2022. You’ve got Cyclone Cyrell. You’ve got Grant The Lying Dog from Love Island. You’ve got Root Rat Ciarran Stott and both his exes, Jessica Brody and Kiki Morris. That boy that used to sing on The Voice is here as always. Suzan, who is a fashion designer/influencer/author? There are some Survivor people I don’t know because I don’t care for shows involving camping without showers.

Then there are sports people, which is weird but let’s roll with it. Emily Seebohm is here, telling us repeatedly how she’s BFFs with The Voice person. JACK!!! That’s his name. Jack Vidgen. Sorry. There are two men who I thought were cricketers but I think they were just on MAFS

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
he just LOOKS like a cricketer don’t you think? Slightly sunburnt, etc

Anyway!! You get it. It’s a delicious trifle of has-beens we knew and loved.

We start the episode with host Brihony Dawson marching into this giant dirt stadium in Argentina with their hands in the air like a boxer. Everyone cheers. Brihony looks like they’re trying really hard to fill this awkwardly huge space the producers have given them for their entrance. Every set in this show is TOO BIG. It’s like when you have a house party and 60 people said they were coming, but only 20 people come. Except more like you said 20,000 people were coming and its just 12 people and a lot of air.

Brihony tells everyone this is a serious challenge, it will TEST their RESOLVE, NAILS will be BROKEN, LIMBS will be TORN FROM BODIES. 

meghan
Watch MEGAN MARX get CRUSHED by a FOAM BRICK

People are introduced as OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS and SURVIVOR CHAMPIONS and then when we’ve run out of people with actual fitness skills, Brihony is like “and we have THE LOVERS,” referring to the swarm of Bachelor contestants who are now competing against literal athletes, lololol. 

To be fair Megan Marx is like, “Idk why I’m here I literally just pashed some people,” immediately making her my favourite.

meghan marx
It’s giving self-aware queen

Everyone choofs off to this house they’re staying in and BAM! The first drama of the series begins, because Audrey from Love Island (when?? What season? I have never seen this woman in my life) puts her filthy heels on a bed to bags it, but then Cyrell strolls in later with her special The Challenge Australia t-shirt and throws it over Audrey’s shoes as like a reverse-bagsies. 

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
*sports commentator voice* and this is what we call reverse bagsies

Audrey’s like WTF and Cyrell just goes from 0-100, you have to hand it to this woman, she has her bit and she DOES IT WELL. She’s screaming at Audrey that she can’t bags a bed with her shoes because the “first challenge” is to use your shirt to bags a bed. This is not true. But Cyrell is taking on the Donald Trump role and doling out this misinformation with such force, even I start to wonder if I missed something.

Audrey is like “no one will control me” and wins the bed. 

Everyone gets drunk which seems like a big mistake before whatever The Challenge Australia is about to put them in, and then it’s morning Ryan from MAFS (not a cricketer), makes a big production of cracking 45 eggs into a blender like he’s Gaston. No one drinks eggs for breakfast. He’s definitely peacocking to intimidate his opponents.

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
yeah ok eggsy enjoy being Captain Fart later

Brittany Hockley is also peacocking:

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
If there’s a challenge where people are forced to do the splits, she’s won

Off we go to the first challenge, in yet another oversized arena that could have been 50 times smaller.

the challenge australia
what’s the opposite of claustrophobia coz I’ve got that

Everyone has to pair up, and it’s so fucking awkward because BFFLLLLLLs  Jack Vidgen and Emily Seebohm don’t partner up. Jack is all “we decided to partner up with really strong competitors” but his face says:

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
I will put laxatives in your dinner I s2g

He ends up with Cyrell because she basically latches onto him like a hermit crab and won’t let go. Emily ends up with Eggsy, who is prob already farting up a storm.

The first challenge is to run all over this giant stadium to find circles in your team colour, then pop them onto a playing mat. It’s called Connect Four but it’s kind of like Noughts And Crosses except more like the Beep Test but let’s pretend it’s a game. Which is really what the Beep Test was, you psychopathic P.E teachers.

Ciarran absolutely BOLTS for the stairs like that annoying try-hard kid who would go too hard too soon.

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
there’s always one

It’s a poor tactic because there are 5 million stairs in this stadium and you have to run back and forth at least four times. You could not pay me any money to do this. I’m shocked no one feigned passing out to get out of it.

Brooke Jowett from Survivor is like, let’s play sabotage because that’s how we do it on Survivor. But in the end her sabotage doesn’t even work bc Emily Seebohm and Eggsy win, so everyone hates Brooke and she didn’t even get a win out of her sabotage.

Then, The Challenge Australia host Brihony tells us with maximum drama levels, there has to be a loser. The first team to be loaded up with black tiles loses. Cyrell coughs because she has bronchitis and everyone looks over like she’s got consumption.

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
BANISH HER

They decide unanimously that poorly Cyrell with the ye olde wasting disease must go. It’s like Lord Of The Flies in here now. They fill up their board and Consumption Cyrell is up for elimination. 

Party Time!!! Party time but make it a boring The Challenge Australia producer-controlled environment with this man sitting and starting into an abyss!

the challenge australia
this guy better start having some fucking fun or he’ll be off to the glue factory with consumption cyrell

Lots of forced dancing. Cyrell cyclones onto Grant because apparently he told Eden, Cyrell’s real life partner and Grant’s ex-housemate from Love Island, that he’d look out for her but then he joined the anti-consumption elimination planners. 

the challenge australia
wooo yeah love dancing to royalty-free music!!!!

The only people who seem to get lit are Ciarran, Audrey and David Subritzky. A special moment for Audrey, who rolls around on the kitchen counter pouring whipped cream into her mouth.

the challenge australia
oh look its me on a saturday night except I’m alone at home

Ciarran – who has told us his root rat days are over, because he has a beautiful girlfriend back home – immediately cheats by hopping into the shower with Audrey. They “fool around”, whatever that means, he prob “sucked her tit or whatever” (Love Island fans KNOW), anyway both regret it bc they have partners but honestly, Ciarran cannot be tamed!!!! The man must root rat his way through every reality show!!!

the challenge australia
*to the tune of Hard Times* ROOT RAT, doo doo doo doo dododododododo, ROOT RAT

Anyway look since this all happened Ciarran’s actually talked about how he acts like a dick when he’s wasted so now he’s gone sober, and people fuck up etc. So hopefully he’s an ex-root rat now. A reformed rat.

Over to The Challenge Australia elimination round. Emily and Eggsy got to pick the competitors for Cyrell and Jack, and they chose Suzan, who does not want to be there as we have already pointed out, and her partner Billy, who does… something. IDK.

the challenge australia
Suzanne’s like christ what demonic fitness test will they force me into now, where’s Heidi Klum

The challenge is basically to make a disgustingly complicated rope mess and then have the opposing team try to untangle it. Whoever can do it first, wins. The rope is heavy and they’re also tied together, it’s a miracle the entire challenge isn’t just everyone crying and kicking each other.

Jack and Cyrell are into teamwork, Suzan and Billy are bickering like divorcees. For someone who has repeatedly pleaded with us to rescue her from this hellscape, Suzan is really getting her competitive on here. She’s also clearly the stronger leader so IDK why Billy is being so difficult. LET HER BOSS YOU AROUND, IDIOT.

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
honestly justice for Suzanne

Anyway, they lose bc they can’t get their shit together – Cyrell and Jack stay. To get serious about The Challenge Australia for a momento – this will absolutely be how someone wins, by being a good team player. Honestly Jack so far has the best energy in this space, and Cyrell too. It’s not going to be the obvious fitspo person, is what I’m predicting here.

To wrap up the first challenge day, we’re told that partnerships will shift after every ep. How? By way of THIS TOTALLY NOT RIGGED COMPUTER:

The Challenge Recap: Root Rat Ciarran Manages To Set A New Root Rat Record Within Mere Minutes
*producer behind wall* BOOP BEEP BOOP BEEP BOOOOP

There are too many new partnerships to run through, but a few things to note for next time on The Challenge Australia:

  • Megan Marx and Konrad Bien-Stephen were partners for the first challenge. We didn’t see much of them but given we know they hook up, I was all eyeball emoji. Can’t wait to see how that’s gonna play out.
  • Cyrell and Grant’s fight clearly is not over, although I think Cyrell has come in too hot. I love the drama but this isn’t MAFS, people can legit vote you out basically. She’s actually a strong contender so she might want to lay low a little.
  • Brooke Jowett playing this like Survivor won’t work IMO. I like the devil-horns energy but same as the Cyrell issue, you can’t piss people off.
  • Current faves: Eggsy (why???), Megan Marx.
  • Current villains: I guess Consumption Cyrell but I secretly love her so I hope they don’t boot her.
  • Are they even on the show: Brooke Blurton, where are you? She got like 0.5 seconds of coverage and is one of the biggest names in the game.

Melissa Mason is a freelance writer, you can find her on Insta and TikTok.

Image: Channel 10