‘The Challenge’ Winner Says the Show ‘Helped Transform My Life’

TJ Lavin

MTV/Instagram The Challenge's TJ Lavin

All nine episodes of “The Challenge: All Stars” have now dropped on Paramount Plus, including the exciting two-part final challenge. Warning: This article contains spoilers for the entire season of “The Challenge: All Stars” including the winner of the show.

The final challenge consisted of multiple checkpoints where each competitor had to be paired with a cast member of the opposite sex until everyone had been paired together for one checkpoint. The competitors won points based on the position their team finished each leg in, topped off by a solo run up a mountain that was worth double points.

The first season of the spinoff “The Challenge: All Stars” was won by Yes Duffy, who made his return to the competition show nearly 20 years after his final appearance. Yes came in first ahead of second-place finisher Darrell Taylor, with Kellyanne Judd and Jonna Mannion coming in a tie for third place.

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Yes Said the Show ‘Transformed My Life’ & He’s Hoping to Return for Another Season

In an interview with For the Win, Yes revealed that he’d love to compete on another “Challenge” if given the chance, especially if there was a “Super Bowl” format of new stars against veterans. “This is a whole new chapter and I feel like a whole new rookie in a way,” Yes said. He continued:

Mark talks about new school vs. old school, some Challenge Super Bowl he’d like to see. I’d love to see it and be it too. I’m all in! This has helped transform my life and I really appreciate what everyone’s been throwing at this. I’m excited to see what’s next and be a part of it if the opportunity comes up.

Yes also said his plan with the money is to “take care of the folks who helped me get here, from the childcare to the family and friends who need support right now.” He also said he’d put a lot of it toward the affordable housing non-profits he’s been working for as an architect and activist.

In an Instagram post after the final, Yes revealed some notes he wrote to himself during the season to “guide myself through extreme uncertainty and struggle, self doubt, and judgement of others.” The notes included messages like “I try to leave every situation better than I found it” and “Understanding behavior is way more valuable than judging it.”

In response, his costar Trishelle Cannatella wrote, “You don’t know the impact you had on people. I had severe anxiety before and during filming and just listening to you talk made me feel calm. You have done more than you even know.”


The 3rd Place Competitor, Kellyanne, Slammed the Format of the Final & Said There Should Have Been a Male & Female Winner

Yes wasn’t the only one who had a dominating performance in the final, as Kellyanne performed strongly at each checkpoint and came in first for the women in the individual sprint up the mountain. After all the points were tallied, she came in third place overall, tied with Jonna. However, after it aired, she said she wished the show had been designed with one male and one female winner.

She said it didn’t make sense to divide the eliminations by gender if there’s only one winner, as “who cares if @KendalSheppard was a threat to the women if the guys could still beat her up a mountain.” She explained that the points system was a great equalizer, but only “IF they’d have had day 2 the same style as day 1. Or if the one section that was individual was mental over physical. Something where Testerome didn’t come into play.”

Kellyanne then posted a long note explaining her position and saying that doing a final based on physical strength to promote equality between men and women isn’t “empowering women,” but is instead “holding us to unrealistic measures.”

There are many women who could beat these men in a foot race up a mountain, but we shouldn’t have to be 2-3 times better of an athlete than the men on the show, and be good at puzzles, in order to have a shot at winning… It’s time to start showing us the respect we have earned.

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