The Challenge Total Madness Episode 15: Two Red Skulls Eliminated in Brutal Hall Brawl

The Challenge: Total Madness season 35 cast photo

MTV The Challenge: Total Madness season 35 cast photo

The 35th season of The Challenge is almost over and it has definitely lived up to its nickname of “Total Madness.” This week’s episode is titled “Crash Into Me” and it promises to be full of fireworks.

The description reads, “One player’s sloppy political maneuvering comes back to haunt them, while another player takes a shocking gamble to save a friend. Competitors must fight for survival in the classic elimination game ‘Hall Brawl,’ where two players with Red Skulls will be eliminated.”

Follow along here with our live recap but be warned of elimination spoilers. Don’t keep reading if you don’t want to be spoiled. All times Eastern.

8:05 — After revisiting Bayleigh Dayton’s triumph over Aneesa Ferreira, which was particularly brutal because Aneesa gets knocked out a lot right before the final, the beleaguered Challengers traipse back to the bunker. Melissa Reeves is nervous that there are still too many people for the finals, so some Red Skull contestants are probably going home. Spoiler alert — the episode description tells us that is definitely what is happening.

8:10 — The challenge is “Crash Course” and it is basically a giant version of bowling where the ball is a person driving a car and the pins are the other contestants standing on barrels. That. Is. AWESOME. And also terrifying, even with the fact that the contestants are in harnesses.

8:15 — Unfortunately, when the challenge starts, the barrel-standers are too harnessed and barely even move when the car hits their barrels. What a bummer. But it is interesting to see who can brake and swerve their car like a stunt driver. Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio gets an impressive 25 barrels with his run, a number no one else even sniffs — especially Kyle Christie, who brakes too early and doesn’t hit a single barrel. Nelson Thomas also misses all the barrels, it’s hilarious.

8:20 — Bananas obviously wins for the guys. For the women, Kaycee Clark and Bayleigh tie with 18 barrels, but Kaycee’s went farther when she knocked them down, so she wins. She and Bananas choose to bring Kyle into the Tribunal.

8:30 — Back at the bunker, Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat is nervous that Bananas and Kyle won’t honor their deal with Kaycee to keep him safe. Meanwhile, Jenny West really does not want to go into elimination, so she’s quickly trying to enlist Nelson and Cory Wharton to protect her, but they aren’t sure they should help her after last week when she sent Josh Martinez into elimination.

8:35 — At nominations, Rogan O’Connor volunteers to go into elimination before anyone can say his name. For the women, Jenny and Dee Nguyen vote for each other, then Melissa and Bayleigh votes for each other. Fessy votes for Dee, but Cory and Nelson vote for Jenny, then Rogan goes after Jenny for talking about voting for him.

8:40 — To her credit, Jenny tells Rogan the truth, but she’s really stuttering trying to defend herself to Rogan and it doesn’t work. She gets nominated and afterward, there is quite the blow-up between Jenny and Rogan. Plus, Kyle and Bananas cannot believe Melissa stayed loyal to Dee instead of helping Jenny. Yeah, that’s not great. The four women splitting their votes four ways was dumb.

8:50 — The Tribunal chooses to interrogate Dee, Bayleigh, Cory, and Nelson. So it looks like Fessy is safe after all.

8:55 — The interrogations go fairly smoothly, mostly because everybody knows that they’re down to so few competitors and if you don’t win the group challenge, you are going to be in danger.

But afterward, Nelson goes to Kyle and Bananas and asks to be put into elimination so that Cory (who has a daughter at home and a baby on the way) is guaranteed a shot at the finals. Oh wow. That’s really nice of Nelson.

But also, remember — we don’t know if the finals are next week. It might be two weeks. With this week being a double elimination, the guys still have more people in the game than the girls, so next week should be a regular episode where a guy goes home.

9:05 — The elimination challenge is the fan-favorite “Hall Brawl,” which involves the two contestants running at each other through a long, narrow, clear hallway. The first to make it to the other side and ring the bell twice wins. After Rogan and Jenny take their places in the arena, the Tribunal votes in Dee and Nelson. The Tribunal reveals what Nelson did and Cory is barely holding it together.

9:15 — Dee and Jenny are up first. The first hit by Jenny looks absolutely brutal. She quickly pushes Dee backward to the other end of the hall and rings the bell — WITH HER SHOE. It barely looks like Jenny even had to try that hard. She’s a beast. Also, since MTV has cut ties with Dee, Jenny is definitely being edited to be the hero here, though that’s also super easy because she’s doing so well. In round 2, she again makes quick work of Dee and that’s that. So Dee is done, something MTV Is probably pretty pleased about now. How awkward would it have been if MTV had to re-edit a season where she was the winner?

9:20 — Now it’s time for Nelson vs. Rogan, which is a bit more of an even match-up than the girls’ was. The two guys smash into each other and it is a dogfight in the middle of the hallway. It goes on for what seems like forever until finally, Rogan gets an advantage, and then lets go because his run to the bell is shorter. If Nelson had done that like two minutes earlier, he would have won round 1.

9:25 — In round 2, they only grapple for a minute before they both just take off running for their bells. Rogan trips and it’s super close, but ultimately, Rogan gets there first. Oof, that was brutal.

9:30 — So Dee Nguyen and Nelson Thomas are eliminated this week. Then host TJ Lavin reveals that everybody who is left will be competing in the finals. Whoa! I thought for sure there would be one more guys elimination week.

Next week: Final time! Buckle up, fans because this looks insane.

The Challenge: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

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