The Challenge: Total Madnesshas entered the romantic drama sector of the season, with multiple Challenge couples hitting the breaking point as the bunker continues to drive people insane. The Bear and Kailah drama went to the next level, naturally, when Bananas and Wes decided to get involved (did you think anything good could happen with those two in the picture?) Jenna also piled on the stress this week when Zach decided to go through her DMs at home. Legitimately no one was thinking straight in Week 6.
TV Guide has everything you need to know about this season of The Challenge from how to watch, the alliances being formed, and of course what goes down in each episode. Click on Recaps or scroll down to see who was the latest to be eliminated and all of the drama that went down.
The Challenge: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV. The first episode premiered on April 2, and each installment is a super-sized 90 minutes so we can see an actual challenge and the elimination in every episode.
If you can't watch live, MTV has the episodes available on Thursdays via the MTV app -- but you must have a cable subscription to tune in.
Vets (in alphabetical order):
Ashley Mitchell, Aneesa Ferreira, Cory Wharton, CT Tamburello, Dee Nguyen, Kyle Christie, Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio, Jenna Compono, Jenny West, Josh Martinez, Jordan Wiseley, Kailah Casillas, Mattie Breaux, Melissa Reeves, Nelson Thomas, Nany Gonzalez, Rogan O'Connor, Stephen Bear, Tori Deal, Tula "Big T" Fazakerley, and Wes Bergmann.
Prospects (in alphabetical order):
Asaf Goren (Big Brother Israel, So You Think You Can Dance), Bayleigh Dayton (Big Brother), Christopher Jordan "Swaggy C" Williams (Big Brother), Kaycee Clark (Big Brother), Faysal Shawn "Fessy" Shafaat (Big Brother, American Ninja Warrior), Jay Starrett (Survivor), and Jennifer Lee (Amazing Race).
Total Madness is an individual game with a prize of $1 million. While players are randomly partnered or teamed for individual events, they are working their way to a final for a shot at solo prize money instead of having to split it with a team. That will make alliances even more crucial as the game moves forward, and it also allows players to make multiple deals more easily without having to worry about getting a group on board.
Individual or team day-challenge winners form a tribunal of three people. The rest of the house will pick a non-winner to go into elimination, while the Tribunal picks three more people to be interrogated. Once they hit the elimination floor, the Tribunal will pick one of those three to go against the person picked by the house to fight for their chance to stay in the house.
The Twist: Every season The Challenge tries to create a new rule or setup that will throw even the most experienced players off their game. Previous examples have included blind voting or letting the house-voted players pick who they go against in elimination. This season, TJ turned everything upside down when he announced that no one will be allowed into his final unless they win an elimination this season. Now instead of striving for "perfect seasons" where you win a final without ever seeing an elimination, everyone will be fighting each other to be sent down to "purgatory" to earn a red skull for their helmets and secure their potential to play for a million dollars.
Wes & Bananas: The most shocking development in the premiere episode of Total Madness after the elimination twist was the reveal Bananas and Wes have actually teamed up this season. The former enemies are attempting to use their collective strategic power to pave their way to the final. Bananas broke down the decision to work with Wes for TV Guide, but warned their alliance will not stand the test of time.
Tori & Jordan: The Challenge's current power couple, who got engaged during War of the Worlds 2, are back in the game and looking for total victory. Considering they have a wedding to pay for now, anyone who makes deal with either one of these two should know the other one comes with.
Bayleigh & Swaggy C: Tori and Jordan aren't the only betrothed couple in the house. Big Brother alums Bayleigh and Swaggy C are also a packaged deal, and Bayleigh has already made it clear she'll throw down on anyone who tries to threaten her or Swaggy.
The Holy Trinity: Real-life BFFs Nany, Jenna, and Kailah are keeping each other safe in this season of The Challenge. We'll see how this friendship pans out now that they know the goal is to get thrown into elimination, but it is a powerful collective to have on your side within the house.
Team Young Buck: While Cory and Nelson haven't actually said Team YNB on the show yet, these two are still best friends, and more importantly, they both came in determined to get that elusive W on their belt.
Dee & Jenny: Dee and Jenny were not friends on War of the Worlds 2. In fact, they were on opposite alliances, despite both fighting for Teak UK. It seems they buried the hatchet between filming seasons though, because Dee made it very clear in the second episode that Jenny is her No. 1 -- even over Tori and Jordan, who helped her win a quarter of a million dollars on the previous season.
The challengers were shocked to find out that they wouldn't be spending the season in a lush villa in between grueling physical tests and eliminations. Instead, MTV refurbished a nuclear missile bunker and turned it into swanky living quarters. There's still a pool and a fully functional gym, but the contestants live underground with recycled air. Nany made the best of the situation by cuddling up to Asaf, and Bear set his sights on Kailah while everyone else sussed out the new cast members and started to figure out alliances (see above).
The players were divided into male and female heats and asked to pull medical supplies attached to a heavy rope across a field, stopping to solve puzzles and math problems along the way. At each stage of the challenge, TJ eliminated straggling players by driving a tank over the field, severing the rope to the medical supplies.
The house went for the prospects, not yet knowing about the elimination twist, and sent in Asaf, a beautiful Israeli dancer, with 20 of the 25 votes. The tribunal selected Wes, Kyle, and Jay for interrogation before ultimately sending in the prospect to face his fellow rookie.
In a game of "Air Strike," Jay and Asaf had to hold on to separate bars 30 feet in the air and kick a thick glass wall hanging between them in an effort to make their opponent let go of their bar. The best 2/3 won.
Rogan and Dee are no longer a romantic couple after their tryst on War of the Worlds 2, but Dee wasn't ready to see Rogan move on so quickly. When he started flirting with Jenn, Dee made it her mission to shut the situation down as soon as possible -- and Jenn only made it that much easier for Dee to serve her up to the house when she struggled in the day challenge. However, Rogan wasn't the only one struggling with Dee. After helping Dee to the final last season, Tori felt the Australian owed her and made a bid to be the one to go into elimination and send Jenn home. Dee had other plans, though, and informed Tori that Jenny was actually her No. 1, and let the strongest girl in the house collect a red skull against a layup. Dee has zero political game, and that decision will come back to bite her.
Everyone was divided into teams of three, where they had to run nine heavy ammunition cases up a hill. The first three teams to get all of their cases up to the top moved on to the second round, where they dropped the ammunition cases out of a helicopter onto a target below. The team with the most ammunition cases to hit the target won.
Winners: Cory, Dee, and Swaggy C
Tribunal: Cory, Dee, and Swaggy C
The house went for Amazing Race alumna Jenn, who gave a disappointing performance in the day's challenge. Tori, Jenny, and Big T were all called in for interrogation by the Tribunal, with each of them desperate to go in against Jenn and earn their red skull early. Even though Dee had a chance to send herself in and get the skull for herself, she put in her new BFF Jenny.
Jenny and Jenn began on opposite sides of a hallway, each with ten barrels attached to poles. They had to flip all ten barrels over the rail, so that the barrels landed on their opponent's side. The first player to flip all ten barrels and flip the switch at the end won. Jenny threw all of her barrels with one hand and absolutely crushed Jenn. It was...sad to watch.
Red Skulls So Far: Jay, Jenny
Bananas and Ashley, unable to realize they are two sides of the same coin, dominated the house drama this week with their individual propaganda initiatives. With it being a guy's elimination week, Ashley tried to rope all the girls into the house into voting for Bananas, but Nelson ruined it when he tried to out Kailah as a turncoat during the nomination. She flipped out and voted for Nelson instead, drawing a gigantic target on Team Young Buck's back. Nelson needs to be careful moving forward, while Bananas and Ashley will continue to fight through the season, unless they release some of that tension by sleeping together.
In other news, Rogan also doesn't enjoy watching Dee make out with other people and the sooner they could make their minds up about whether they are together or not, the better it will be for everyone's sanity.
An individual challenge forced the players to solve a puzzle using two separate keys located up a big hill away from their puzzle boards. It required stamina and memory to get this done -- a good test for the final. However, only two players could be winners and secure their place in the Tribunal.
Winners: CT and Bayleigh
Tributnal: CT, Bayleigh, and Swaggy C
Even with the coup attempt by Ashley, the house went with Jay, the rookie who already has a red skull. It's better to continue pissing off one person rather than creating new enemies. Rogan, Nelson, and Bear were called in for tribunal interrogation, but CT understood that no one would ever do him the solid of putting him in an elimination, unless it was one of the most difficult ones of the season. So he did himself a solid and put himself in for a chance to get his red skull and call it a day.
In "Take Shelter," Jay and CT were given 20 minutes to barricade a mini-bomb shelter using ropes, heavy rocks, and other materials to make it as difficult as possible for the other person to break in. Once the twenty minutes were up, they switched and the first one to get the door to the shelter all the way open and press the buzzer won. It looked like CT had it in the bag thanks to his expert knot skills and covering the shelter in heavy boulders that wiry Jay would have trouble moving. It came down to the last split seconds and Jay was able to pull down all of CT's well crafted knots in one fell swoop while CT struggled with the final chain on Jay's door. And just like that, CT was taken out of the game. Don't worry, the vet promised he'd be back. And Jay should have officially made everyone afraid to see him in an elimination.
Red Skulls So Far: Jay (2), Jenny
After Ashley's failed attempt to oust Bananas, Episode 4 opened with the super champ realizing that she was a lone wolf in a game that is more dependent on allies than ever before. She attempted to make an alliance with Mattie, who would bring the strength component to Ashley's mad puzzle skills, but that blew up in her face after a gigantic house fight instigated by one of Bear's practical jokes (he is focused only on getting with Kailah). It was a pretty rough episode for her, and when she brought up Mattie's alcohol charges in the heat of the moment, the house used it as leverage to turn on her.
"Cold War" not only brought a new twist -- that tribunals can grow and shrink as TJ chooses -- but also the first hospitalization of the season. The cast was split into teams of five, with three designated to dive into a freezing cold "pool" and unlock puzzle pieces from the bottom. Those three were then tasked with putting together the puzzle with those pieces. The remaining two team members were tasked with chopping up ice to make the water even colder for an opposing team.
Nelson's team was forced to DQ when they started to get hypothermic and Nelson was sent to the hospital to recoup some warmth. After watching what happened to his No. 1, Cory and his teammate Kyle bailed on the challenge after only a few minutes in the water, with no objections from their fellow diver Bayleigh. The other three teams completed the puzzle, but Bananas, Bear, and Aneesa got it done the fastest and sealed the win.
Winners: Bananas, Big T, Aneesa, Kaycee, Bear
Tribunal: Bananas, Big T, Aneesa, Kaycee, Bear
Ashley was thrown in with almost a unanimous vote by the house, while Tori, Mattie, and Dee were called up by the tribunal. Tori made her plea to be thrown in, but only if it wasn't a puzzle and Dee said she was ready to go and get her red skull after passing on the chance to take it from Jen at the last girls' elimination. Mattie politely requested not to go in because she wants to enjoy some more time in the bunker. In the end, Bananas convinced the rest of the tribunal that Dee was the least trustworthy, and she was thrown in against Ashley.
As two of the best puzzle players in the house, Dee and Ashley faced off in "Code Breaker," which involved them having to collect puzzle pieces from hanging clay pots that contained the name of previous seasons of The Challenge. Once they collected all five pieces, they had to put the seasons in chronological order. Dee, an Australian who hasn't watched any season of the show besides the ones she's been on, got significant help from Wes up in the stands. Meanwhile, Ashley fell behind when one of her puzzle pieces got buried in the sand in her rush to collect everything she needed. Even with Wes being silenced by the rest of the housemates up on deck, Dee was able to guess her way to the win.
Red Skulls So Far: Jay (2), Jenny, Dee
Wes has been attempting to "play possum" all season and let everyone else duke it out, but the man is addicted to manipulation and his plans got him caught in a lot of drama this week. First, he decided to start a rivalry with Jordan, which is wholly unnecessary at this point in the game when neither of them have red skulls. Then instead of ignoring Josh's baiting, Wes went over the top in insulting the Big Brother alum. Is Josh on Wes' level when it comes to political savvy? No, he reacts emotionally rather than thinking about a long game, but Wes rubbing his face in that fact isn't going to do Wes any favors either. Elsewhere, Kailah finally caved and kissed Bear even though she has a boyfriend back home, and she promised Jenna she wasn't interested in Bear's antics. This is going to blow up later, and we all know it.
The cast was split into teams of four for a high-octane relay race called "Bomb Squad." The first player had to sit outside of a car that was being driven sideways and read a math problem off the top of storage containers to the second person. That second leg had to solve the math problem and run the code to the third teammate who had to decode the solution to figure out what three colored pipes needed to be run to the fourth teammate. The fourth teammate then had to put the pipes in the right order to detonate a bomb. The first three teams failed to read the math problem off the storage containers, and Cory screwed up where to put the colored pipes to make the bomb go off. Teams 4 and 6 were the last eligible teams and their times were only two seconds apart.
Winners: Swaggy C, Josh, Kaycee, and Jenny
Tribunal: Swaggy C, Josh, Kaycee, and Jenny
Bananas intervened and talked Wes out of turning the house against Jordan this early in the game, so Wes burned his vote on Kyle. Nelson tried to start a last-minute campaign against Bear, but did no prep work ahead of time, so the rest of the house got scared and voted for Jay because he couldn't be more pissed off than he already was.
With Jay secured as the house vote, Rogan ensured that he'd be thrown into Purgatory to face his new nemesis. Not only did Jay kiss Dee a while back, but he also sent home Rogan's No. 1 when he beat CT in Episode 2. Unfortunately for Jay, they were pitted together in "Fireball," which is the iconic Challenge elimination game "Balls In" where a player must get past his opponent and place a ball in a goal basket. For Total Madness, TJ upped the ante and lit the ball in question on fire. Jay was given the opportunity to score first, but Rogan tapped into some gorilla rage and slammed the rock climber into the ground. The episode closed with Jay laying face down in the sand barely moving, and potentially with some broken limbs. He absolutely got wrecked and it's hard to imagine how he could rebound from the impact -- we just hope he gets up without any major injuries!
Winner: Rogan! (Keep scrolling for details)
The episode picked up immediately where Episode 5 left off, with Jay in a moaning heap on the floor of Purgatory after Rogan body slammed him into the sand. He actually managed to get up without any broken bones and attempted to play, but when he became obviously confused about the game another doctor came to check Jay out and declared him medically unfit to continue the elimination -- so Rogan took the red skull. Sorry Jay, but you know this kid will be back. It was an incredibly great start for a rookie season.
Meanwhile, the rest of the house found out about Bear and Kailah, prompting Wes and Bananas to get in on the teasing and naturally take it too far. They stole pictures of her and her boyfriend back home and taped them to the ceiling above a love nest they made for her and Bear. It was extremely messed up and unfortunately, Kailah realized too late that she had probably made a huge mistake. Elsewhere in the house, Jenna found out that Zach went snooping through her Instagram DMs back home and found things from two years ago that he decided to throw in her face while she was on the show. It was extremely gross and the fact that she thought about giving up her chance at $1 million to calm him down makes us really sad. TJ seemed to get her into shape before the challenge though, making it known that he'd have no mercy on anyone who quit the show. It's why he's the GOAT.
This week's challenge was inspired by the Fast & Furious franchise. Players were split into teams of two and had to collect puzzle pieces attached to a giant semi-truck, barreling down a runway. Once all ten pieces were collected, the team had to climb to the top of the truck and solve a puzzle with the pieces they collected. This was about teamwork, coordination, and not dropping pieces; only three teams were able to handle it. Nelson went Peak Nelson when Aneesa accidentally dropped a piece and decided to yell at her for 10 minutes for throwing the challenge even though he had absolutely no evidence that's what happened. Bayleigh also called out Jordan for throwing the challenge as he was the only guy that had to go twice due to the odd number of players. However, it was Bayleigh that missed a puzzle piece on her side of the truck and she was useless when it came to the puzzle, so really it just wasn't her day.
Winners: Jordan and Nany
Tribunal: Jordan, Nany, and Jenna
TBD! The episode ended with Nany picking Jenna for the tribunal -- a move many considered a mistake since Jenna's head is clearly not in the game and would have been an easy win for any of the other girls looking to get their red skull. There's definitely going to be fireworks in the house vote after that move.
The Challenge: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.