Challenge: World Championship

Why Weren’t Jordan & Kaz Penalized For Throwing a Challenge?

The Challenge isn't much of a challenge when someone else can do your work.

The most recent episode of The Challenge: World Championship featured the last challenge before the final. We’re getting down to the wire, and this should be the period in the game when people are most competitive. Instead, we have people lying down and feeding answers to their friends.

Of course, this is referencing Jordan & Katz’s decision to hand the victory to Theo & Sarah during Downfall. This resulted from the agreement they made with Yes & Emily on episode 10 where Jordan & Kaz promised not to say Yes & Emily’s name if they won this week. So, Jordan & Kaz decided to hand over the victory, because voting for Tori or Theo’s, or backtracking on the agreement, would be too hard.

To their credit, this strategy worked. They didn’t have to make a decision and they avoided the Arena.

Here’s where things get a bit confusing — why were Jordan & Kaz allowed to give up and help people on other teams? On Double Agents, “agents” who failed to participate in Aerial Takedown had their votes discounted. Perhaps the most similar instance was on Total Madness when competitors were disqualified during Flag Down if their opponent helped them collect flags.

For a show that’s called a “world championship,” this type of behavior is unbecoming of a true champion. Especially someone like Jordan who claims “honor” differentiates legends from other players. But, there were no penalties at all.

Do I think this is an example of production rigging the game? Probably not. I think it’s too late in the season for them to take action because they probably feared it would make the episode too predictable.

If that’s the case, the joke’s on them. The cast took it upon themselves to make this episode more boring by forcing a stalemate. Then, production threw a wrench in things and gave the losing team the power to choose their opponent. But, this did nothing to make the episode more interesting because Troy picked Emily, his obvious rival.

This stalemate would have been the perfect opportunity for TJ to call out Jordan & Kaz and send them into The Arena for their poor sportsmanship. However, Jordan & Kaz technically didn’t violate any rules.

This is a very gray zone violation, but recent seasons have set a precedent that participation is mandatory. Similar to my analysis of “cheating” on The Challenge, it feels like the same group of people benefits from helping each other. This incident will be another entry on that timeline, and it’s a shame. It would have been interesting to see Yes & Emily in the final, as they’re the only team not part of the alliance that dominated Ride or Dies.

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