It’s time for TWO EPISODES of The Challenge Australia! That is too many for one night! Are Channel Ten trying to kill us? Also if I hear the word “alliance” one more time I’m going to throw my TV off the balcony! Things are getting tense up in here, let’s recap.

Everyone skips back to the house like this is the little Madeline orphanage. Conor tells us that he feels like he’s got a “foot in the door” of the Bachelor alliance because the Beep Boop Matchy Machine put him with Brittany. Meanwhile, the other alliance of Emily/Grant/Ryan/Sugar is chatting in one of the tiny Year 7 Camp bedrooms. Well, everyone else is chatting and Grant looks like me when I took acid that one time.

the challenge australia
can you guys see the unicorn on the roof

They’re worried they’ll be pitted against each other because the Bachelor alliance is huge, and therefore someone in it is likely to win the challenge. Whatever! I don’t even care about alliances and challenges, I just want to see people fuck. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FUCKING IN THIS SHOW THAT WAS MEANT TO BE 50% ABOUT FUCKING.

Over at the Bachelor group we have a better chance of that, except all we cop is Konrad and Megan sitting next to each other and Konrad laughing politely at Megan’s v bad impression of an evil witch, which she whips out when she’s talking about Emily and Ryan thinking they’re king and queen of the house. They do think that, though. They do need to be taken down a notch.

Meanwhile, Grant’s FaceTiming his wife and baby at home. His wife is pregnant and shows off her belly, and the kid is really cute. No sass here! It was a cute moment! 

What was less cute was when Grant then tells the others that he’s “sacrificed” so much to be on The Challenge Australia, like missing his daughter running for the first time. I cannot stress this enough – no one put a gun to your head and made you go on national TV, AGAIN, also you statistically have borderline no chance of winning the $200k, it’s like the lottery except with baby games, so really your motivation was probably more Insta followers, and we all know it.

the challenge australia
it’s so unfair that I came willingly onto this reality tv show via a little plane i put myself on

No one made you do this!!! You could have just stayed home with your kid!!! It’s totally okay that you didn’t but can everyone on this show stop acting like they’re here for some Higher Purpose please or I will come to their houses personally to vomit in their laps!

Anyway he’s pissed to be matched with Brooke because he doesn’t feel like she’s here with the same level of intensity as he is. This is because she has said that she doesn’t enjoy the house vibes. It’s giving “smile, sweetie”.

the challenge australia
you should try smiling when I END YOU

Brooke is not about it. She says everyone’s underestimating her and actually, she will prove them wrong. I do not doubt it because the woman has literally only said she isn’t into the energy of the house, she’s never said she DGAF about the game???

Off to the challenge – it’s called Buddy Blinders. Again, it is completely unhinged. Only a madman could come up with this, or a 5-year-old. One player has to balance on a pole to reveal a puzzle on a board. The other player climbs up a ladder to memorise the puzzle. When the first player falls off, the puzzle disappears.

the challenge australia
heaps normal idea, super normal person that came up with this

Then they both have to replicate it on another board and run back and forth to keep seeing the OG puzzle. What? Why? Who thinks of these things? Everyone’s a bit shit at memorising but pretty decent at balancing. There’s a lot of “such and such is ahead!! Noo they’re having to take it all apart!” for a bit and then Brittany and Conor win.

Anyway, Brooke and Grant lose, so they go in to chat with Brittany and Conor. Brittany’s wearing this two-tone jacket that unfortunately (well, fortunately coz it’s funny actually) has made her bottom half disappear into the wall so she’s like this floating upper torso.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
hahahaha why did this tickle me so much

It’s a boring chat about who is strongest etc until Grant whips out this hyper-complicated game plan created by Emily, which is so convoluted I’m actually impressed. Like it’s so detailed and nerdy, but also kind of makes sense? It’s basically assessing how to eliminate the strongest players early. Brooke, however, is like:

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
I lost you at “list”

Grant’s told her nothing about this plan and she’s clearly not spending her evenings under the doona with a torch being maths lady GIF about this game. 

Math Lady GIFs | Tenor

Her plan is just to… do the challenges and so on. Anyway! Off to a dinner party. Kiki’s wearing head-to-toe vinyl and explains it’s probably a good thing she’s not near the BBQ! There is a photo booth!  Everyone’s having fun. Well, everyone except for Grant.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
who invited eeyore

He’s deflated because he lost. Emily is also not having a good time which is surprising considering every other party there has been footage of the most lit Emily dancing on tables in silver glomesh. But tonight she tells us she’d rather be in bed. 

She continues in this vein, telling Konrad how annoyed she is that Brittany and Conor are going to put Ryan in the elimination, and it pisses off Brittany and Megan because they can hear her talking, so they start sassing her from afar and being like, you’re not even in the bottom why are you making this about you. Brittany reckons it’s because she’s obsessed with Ryan.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
she really said I choose chaos tonight

Conor takes the golden opportunity to also point out that Emily had no problem putting him in the elimination the other week. It is all very pot-kettle-black, but Emily isn’t having it and storms off to go yell at Grant and Ryan, who are like “yeah that’s shit” but without the joie de vivre Emily would like from her bitching partners, so she goes and slams some doors and spills wine around the room in a huff instead. Mood.

In the morning though, it’s Ryan who has beef – this time with Brittany, who he says barely thanked him for dinner after loudly thanking Ciarran. It’s genuinely such a funny thing to be pissed about and Brittany is like, you are being unhinged, what are you talking about. Ryan however is me whenever I fight with my boyfriend and halfway through realise I’m prob just in a bad mood:

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
I don’t know how I’ll win this argument but GODDAMN WILL I TRY TO

Off to elimination! Off to another giant arena with some weird colourful shape in it! As we knew, it’s Sugar and Ryan in the elimination against Grant and Brooke B. The challenge is basically like rock climbing trivia. They have to climb up a wall thing, reveal a question and answer it. Except then it gets fucking weird as always.

The answers are on giant medicine balls, like those awful heavy things at the gym, and they’re also tangled in metal chains??? WHY. WHY WHY WHY.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
also the questions are like 50% about the olympics and then 50% about australian geography, what if you don’t care about either (me)

Anyway they have to find their answer and THEN untangle it, and THEN carry the dumb ball back to the wall and hang it up. Christ. It’s very tense – although is it? I feel like every elimination it’s like “ohoho this team is winning by a MILE but then WAIT, now we are NECK AND NECK!!!” It can’t possibly always be this tense. Maybe they’re lying to us.

Whatever, Brooke and Grant win, everyone is stoked except for Emily who looks like she has poo in her mouth.

the challenge australia

To be fair, her BFF has now gone home after her two other BFFs went home on consecutive nights. Except!! Brihony has a curve ball for everyone. Actually, no one is going home??? Everyone’s like… yay??

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
ohhhhhhhhhhh my god hahaha noooo whatttt but also you could just go home too, if you wanted

Well, Emily is like YAYAYAYAY but everyone else is like well now Ryan knows we hate him and want him dead, great. Anyway that was a weird ending. Maybe they accidentally were booting people too quickly, lol. Whatever! On to the next episode!

Brittany and Conor are told that because they won, they get to be the Beep Boop machine! They can pick all the partnerships for the next challenge. That seems like way too much power and Conor knows it.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them

Everyone heads back and there’s some bitching but tensions are just really high, and when the gang go off for Britt’s birthday on a yacht there’s this hilarious dumb macho man bullshit that happens where Ryan’s like OHHHH YOU WANNA FIGHT to Konrad who is like….no.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
im ok thanks

Grant is of course up in there too wearing sunglasses and throwing his arms around.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them

The tension is so bad that producers call off the yacht party, which probably just means there was never a yacht party because that would cost $2 million. So the Fake Yacht Party got called off, then.

The fighting continues inside, Ryan is yelling at Brittany, Brittany’s yelling at Ryan, Kiki’s trying the “let’s all eat sunshine and rainbows” tactic, Emily is standing behind Ryan like a Men In Black agent:

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
what he said

There are bouncers like, separating people – shit is wild. Then, before anyone can go to bed or whatever, Brihony arrives! She corrals everyone into the back of a truck with no lights and no explanation.

the challenge australia
plot twist it’s a portal to hell

Anyway it’s obviously a truck to take them to a challenge, where Conor and Britt pick their teams. They put all the Ryan alliance together, and make one super-pairing out of Troy and Brooke Jowett. In their ideal world, Troy/Brooke win and one of the Ryan alliance loses, and then Troy/Brooke will boot another Ryan alliance into the elimination.

The challenge is like a Halloween triathlon. There’s a long swim, then they have to mince around an abandoned town looking for big tyres, then take the tyres to somewhere, then do a weird brain task. I feel like they could have left out the brain task but here we are.

Emily of course is miles ahead of everyone else, and she looks like she’s barely even swimming. She’s basically doing like doggy paddle and still dominates. But then it’s really anyone’s game, to take a Brihony Term, because the puzzle things are hard and weird and I don’t really understand what’s going on, but basically it all comes down to getting the tyres? Whatever, Kiki and Ciarran end up in the lead.

But it’s Troy and Brooke J who dominate, and they win. In great news for the Bachelor alliance, Emily and Grant lose. It all literally goes exactly how Conor and Britt wanted it to. Unbelievable.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
both these faces say “I will shit in your pillow tonight”

For a minute it looks like Troy and Brooke might pop Ciarran and Kiki in elimination because that Bachie alliance is damn strong, but they decide it’s working for them and chuck Ryan and Sugar in there instead. Conor is fucking STOKED.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
the grin of a little piglet in some delicious mud

The elimination game is brutal. It’s like violence on violence – it’s basically American football except throw the rules out and you can bite people on the shoulder (maybe). Players have to stop the opposing player from getting a goal at all costs. AT ALL COSTS.

The Challenge Recap: There Were Like 24 Huge Fights Tonight & I Understood None Of Them
how someone didn’t end up with broken ribs is anyone’s guess

The guys are brutal but Emily and Sugar are like, full-on wrestling. In the end it comes down to a sudden death round between the guys. I was genuinely terrified I was going to watch someone’s eye roll out on national TV.

Anyway, it’s hectic but not eyeball-out hectic, Grant wins which means Ryan and Sugar are out. But then! The Beep Boop machine spits out new partners, and instead of putting Grant and Emily together like everyone else would like, they’re with Bachie alliance folks. So this is awkward. Honestly 90% of the comp is Bachie alliance now so it had to happen, right?

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