There was a point in time, after War of the Worlds 2 to be exact, when Jordan was approaching Challenge legend status. At the time, he had five appearances. His rookies season, he made the final. Free Agents was a misstep of epic proportions, but then he won three appearances in a row.
He was closing in on a consecutive win streak of four seasons; a record held by Darrell. Then, something happened… Fessy.
Jordan lost Total Madness half way through the season. This broke the streak, and it proved Jordan was beatable. But he came back to All Stars claiming he was in even better shape. Still, he lost.
So what happened to Jordan? You could say that other men on All Stars had alliances, but has Jordan ever played an alliance-centric game? Look at War of the Worlds 2. He switched to Team UK just to piss off his US team, and by doing this, he became first on the chopping block for the UK squad. Still, he won that season (and many eliminations).
This would change in the middle of Total Madness. Jordan lost to Fessy in Pole Wrestle. You could make a few arguments here: Jordan only has one hand and this elimination needs both, he was checked out with Tori gone, and he at got hurt fighting to stay in the game. Regardless, he lost, and he had played a fairly sloppy game up to that point.
Then, he took a couple of years off. This isn’t uncommon for him. He did it between Exes 2 and Dirty Thirty, then between Dirty Thirty and War of the Worlds 2. And he seemed to have refreshed perspective on All Stars 3 with a renewed sense of confidence.
After all, he is the youngest guy on that show and the most recent winner of the main series on the cast. This earned him a target, and he pulled out a win against Darrell in Steamroller. On paper, he should have lost. He was the smaller guy, but he wore his opponent out until Darrell couldn’t move anymore.
We got a taste of the old Jordan: The guy who could pull a rabbit out of a hat when the odds were stacked against him. This is the reason why Jordan does so well on the show. He’s always approach life a little differently. So he views these games from a different angle, and if there’s a loophole or alternate approach, he’ll exploit it.
Beyond that move, Jordan never won a challenge this season. He was in the Authority a couple of times, but he never truly came in first. Still, he was regarded as a massive threat by Wes, and Derrick knew he needed to make a move.
Jordan called out Mark to compete in Pull Your Own Weight, and he lost. Granted, he got a lot of credit for doing so well with one hand, but he did lag behind Mark. And this was always part of the reason Jordan received such praise. Yes, he has a disability, but he excelled in spite of it. It’s always admirable to see him reject using his missing hand as an excuse, but in this elimination, his hand cost him time.
In All Stars 3, we really do see Jordan in a more realistic light. He’s a great competitor, but not the best. He swung for the stars this season, and he lost. Mark might be bigger than him, but this was a non-contact elimination and Mark is nearly 20 years older. After War of the Worlds 2, it really felt like Jordan was the best. Now, we know he’s beatable.