We’re days away from a new Challenge season, and we’re getting a new format: Ride or Dies. Allegedly, all of these partners would take a bullet for each other, but in all actuality, some people wouldn’t care if their partners were dead or alive.
Here, I’m going to try to rank these pairings from most real to fakest. Of course, there are some rookies on the season. So, there’s less info to go off of in some cases. But based on what we know, we’re got some strong bonds and some complete strangers.
17. Jordan & Aneesa
To be quite honest, these two don’t like each other. Production wanted them to work together, so they agreed to.
16. Nam & Emmy
These two are complete strangers. Nam wouldn’t give production a partner, so they paired him with another German competitor. Emmy didn’t even know what The Challenge was.
15. Kim & Colleen
Similar to Nam & Emmy, production just threw these two together because they’re from Germany. Apparently, they shared a dancefloor, and they seem to be on the same page competition-wise, but there’s no history here.
14. Turbo & Tamara
Coming into this game, these two have no history beyond some messy lies. They’re going to say they’re in a relationship, but they’re not. Tamara allegedly left her boyfriend for the opportunity to work with Turbo and get on a TV show. In their intro video, they just read a script and try to fake intimacy, but at least they’re on the same page (kinda).
13. Johnny M. & Ravyn
These two kind of know each other? They run in the same social circle? There’s not a whole lot going on between the two, but they seem friendly enough and they have some cultural bonds based on their intro vid. They’re more like “one common bond” and less “ride or die.”
12. Faysal & Moriah
Apparently, these two went on a date once. It didn’t work out, but they remained cool afterward. The relationship doesn’t seem strong, but remember: Fessy’s shy. And he could do much worse because he has a hot partner who’s very into fitness.
11. Horacio & Olivia
These two are friends, and not best ones. A lot of people expected Olivia to be paired with Korey from Love Island, but at least there is some relationship here.
10. Tommy & Analyse
If you watched Big Brother 21, you’ll know these two are close, but not super close. And let’s be real, Tommy would have had a better dynamic with Christie from that season. But, there’s no denying these two can work together, so at least there is some bond and trust coming into the game.
9. Devin & Tori
This duo has a lot of history, but it’s really not all that good. On AYTO: Second Chances, Devin wasn’t on Tori’s side, but they mostly avoided each other after that. Then, on Double Agents, Devin tried to sabotage Tori’s game. But that was supposedly water under the bridge on Spies, Lies and Allies. They worked together until they weren’t guaranteed safety. As soon as there was some pressure, the pair cracked. So it’s a stretch to call these two “ride or dies.” If anything, this season is relationship rehab for them.
8. Nelson & Nurys
These two met on Ex on the Beach and they hooked up, but clearly, their relationship hasn’t been ruined. Nelson seems to be a big supporter of Nurys, and they have a level of trust in the game. Apparently, Nelson recommended Nurys to The Challenge because he wanted her to get the chance to compete, so he has a lot of faith in her.
7. Jay & Michele
These two are actual friends — like, the kind who will hang out when it’s not for publicity and there isn’t a camera in front of them. Sure, Survivor (and The Challenge) help keep their bond going, but there’s real trust between the two. Are they actual ride or dies? I don’t think they’d die for each other, but they’d at least go to the funeral if the other died. That’s more than most duos can say.
6. Bananas & Nany
These two have a long history, but it’s safe to say they’ve moved past their rocky past. They worked well together on Exes 2, but Bananas betrayed her on Bloodlines and the anger spilled onto Rivals 3. Then, Nany took a break. On War of the Worlds 1 & 2 these two were on the same side, and Nany was immediately embraced by Bananas’s clique. If this season wasn’t “Ride or Dies,” Nany and Bananas would work together, so there’s a lot of validity in this pairing despite the troubled past.
5. Laurel & Jakk
This duo met on Ex on the Peak, but they’re real friends. Laurel could have gotten a lot of people to be her partner, but she took a chance with Jakk because there’s a real friendship there. While Jakk is a wildcard in the game, Laurel has maintained a relationship with him and has a lot of faith in her partner.
4. Darrell & Veronica
While Darrell and Veronica have never been super close on the show, they’ve appeared on TV together for two decades. They’ve always run in the same circle, and they won two seasons of together. You’d have a hard time finding two people who have worked together for as long as these two have, and the fact that they can come on this season together is a testament to their trust.
3. Chauncey & Amber
When production came up with the “Ride or Dies” concept, this is the type of pair they should have been seeking. Amber and Chauncey are a couple off-screen. So, they have to have real trust off the show, and it will be tested on the show. They’re an interesting addition to the season.
2. Kenny & Kaycee
Kenny is a weird addition to the show, even though he is Kaycee’s brother. When it comes to relationships, these two have been close for over three decades and they were forced to grow up together. Yes, some siblings drift apart, but Kaycee and Kenny have remained close and have a good bond. But, Kaycee has other relationships in the game, and Kenny will need to be an accessory to her strategy.
1. Sam & Kailah
What’s stronger than a bloodline? A wedding ring. These two have said “til death do us part” and got the government involved in the process. If The Challenge ruins this bond, they have bigger issues to work out.