Challenge: All Stars

The Challenge All Stars: Episode 1 Old School Overview

My old school take on the All Stars season: episode 1.

The Challenge: All Stars has premiered on Paramount+. Mark pulled it off; it’s want’s just an elaborated April Fool’s Day joke.

Unlike the main series, I’m not going to post straight-up recaps. If you want to know what happened, just stream the show. Instead, I am going to give you a review of all the old school moments referenced in the episode.

In case you didn’t know, I am a longtime viewer. I’ve seen every Challenge (even Teck’s) multiple times, so I know the evolution of the series. With a true “All Star” season, there will be a lot of references to the earlier days.

  1. The Name Tags

Katie gets the first confessional, and I was wondering what the date meant. Her name tag said “Winner: The Inferno” then “2003.” Technically, Katie won The Inferno in 2003 but the finale aired in 2004. Then, I saw Alton’s name tag and it said “Winner: The Gauntlet 2.” Beneath his old school picture was “2003.” So it dawned upon me. The picture is entirely unrelated to the winner label. The date is the year the picture was taken, not the year the competitor became a champion.

2. Tenderoni

Beth is a businesswoman, and she knows the “Tenderoni” storyline is part of her persona on this show. She referred to Nehemiah by the nickname she gave him on The Duel. They later argued about this relationship on The Gauntlet 3. If you hate this nickname, thank Bobby Brown.

3. Team Captains

We’ve never quite seen a captain format like this one, but I actually really enjoy the formatting. It’s kind of close to Battle of the Sexes 2’s inner circle or the captains on The Ruins. Of course, the fact that the losing captain automatically goes into elimination is reminiscent of The Gauntlet 2, but it’s not the same season long death sentence.

4. Diving Down

Deep Blue Dive was not a throwback to older seasons. In fact, it most closely resembles Brain Freeze from War of the Worlds. Plus, adding math into everything is a very new school game element.

5. Jisela- MVP

Jisela was never a great competitor. She left Battle of the Seasons first and Battle of the Sexes super early. On The Gauntlet 2, she basically quit because she ran out of vacation time. This time, she’s here to play. She was certainly the biggest surprise success in the challenge. Nehemiah did exceptionally well, and Yes may have been the true MVP overall. Still, Jisela stepped up and shocked a lot of people.

6. Extreme Friendship

Syrus honored Laterrian’s request to send in Ace. If you’ve never seen The Extreme Challenge, you wouldn’t know these two get along quite well. Syrus may be one of the few people who LT has a personal bond with.

7. The 90’s Are Back

The casts used to have a lot of theme parties, so the 90’s party fit in well. Battle of the Seasons had a toga party, The Gauntlet 2 had Mark Long’s 30-ish birthday party, and The Gauntlet 3 had the ninja party.

8. Old School Crush

Ace revealed he auditioned for The Real World because he had a crush on Beth in 1993. Maybe Ace should be Beth’s tenderoni?

9. The Lifesaver

The Lifesaver (or an equivalent) hasn’t been on the show in a long time. We first saw it on Battle of the Sexes, then we saw it on The Gauntlet, The Inferno, The Inferno 2, Fresh Meat, and finally The Inferno 3. Jisela didn’t use it, and it was funny to see her remember Ace’s confessional from The Gauntlet 2.

10. The Best Pole Wrestle?

Laterrian annihilated Ace in Pole Wrestle. Unlike the daily challenge, this is a true classic. Pole Wrestle has been on seasons like The Duel and Invasion. Variations have popped up on multiple seasons like The Ruins and Battle of the Exes. However, LT was definitely in control during this elimination. It may be the most aggressive win we’ve ever seen.


  1. The name tag should’ve include their original season and the background shot of their first time on the show. The teams should’ve been red and blue, not silver and copper, to throw homage to RW & RR and an actual lifesaver model should’ve been created.
    Ok, ok I’ll stop nick picking now.

    1. The name tag is a pic and the year of their first show 🙂 i believe its the year it was filmed, not released. Its get a bit confusing when some of the seasons take place at the end of the year and go into the next, but I believe its the year they started filming for that season 🙂

      Wholeheartedly agree on using blue and red instead. I get what theme theyre going for with the gold and silver but personally I think its ugly aesthetically.

      1. Interesting, but that makes sense. Katie’s old school picture is from The Gauntlet (the one in bullet #1). That season filmed and aired in 2003. It was her Challenge debut, but she came from 2001’s The Quest.

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