We thought we'd already seen this season's big twist, but Kenny from The Challenge season 38 quickly learned that host T.J. Lavin wasn't quite finished shaking up the MTV competition this season.
Wednesday night's episode was the first after Lavin split up The Challenge season 38 cast from their previous ride-or-die teammates and created two brand-new teams, as chosen by team captains Faysal Shafaat and Moriah Jadea.
Team one consists of Shafaat, Johnny “Bananas,” Tori Deal, Nelson Thomas, Aneesa Ferreira, Kaycee Clark, Chauncey Palmer and Olivia Kayser. The second team contains Jadea, Jordan Wiseley, Nany González, Devin Walker, Amber Borzotra, Horacio Gutierrez, Kenny Clark and Nurys Mateo. That makes for some drama throughout the episode, with teammates wanting to protect their former partners—and in Kaycee's case, her own brother Kenny—while working in the best interest of their new team.
During this week's challenge—a last-man-standing smackdown in which players have to wrestle their opponent off a narrow platform suspended above water—Team Faysal proves victorious and it's not a huge surprise, seeing as how that lineup has the upper hand in terms of size and experience. It ends up being a guys' elimination day, which means the entire team gets to interrogate the losing team's four male competitors: Devin, Horacio, Kenny and Jordan.
In the interrogation room, Kaycee advocates keeping her brother in the game and going for a bigger target like veterans Jordan or Devin. However, Kenny himself wants to go into The Zone. "I'd rather battle it out versus Horacio, another rookie, than Devin or Jordan," he tells them, saying he wants some control over what happens to him.
In the end, the team decides to vote Horacio directly into The Zone, leaving the fate of the three other male competitors up to the dagger draw. Devin draws the safe dagger and has to choose between Kenny and Jordan to join Horacio in the elimination comp, ultimately picking the latter to save.
In the elimination battle, in which Horacio and Kenny have to break through a series of locked barriers with a variety of tools, Horacio ultimately wins, leaving Kaycee tearful at having to say goodbye to her departing brother.
However, it looks like it might not actually be goodbye, as T.J. brings Kenny back out after the rest of the players have left the elimination arena. "You just got eliminated but in this game, you live and die by your ride-or-die," he tells him "So Kaycee stays in the game and you still have a chance. If she keeps from getting eliminated, then this is your shot to get back in the game and win one million dollars."
Talk about a twist!
Fans react to Kenny from The Challenge's non-elimination:
Wow… Kenny lost but gets to stay as long as Kacey is still in the game.TJ and his damn twists… 😂December 15, 2022
Name a better pair than @TheChallenge and midseason plot twists. There isn't oneDecember 15, 2022
The fact that tj brought Kenny back is heart warming I cried #thechallengeDecember 15, 2022
Dear @TheChallenge, Thanks for always keeping us on our toes! I’m excited to see the twist play out. I always loved post-eviction second chances! #TheChallenge38 #TheChallengeRideorDies #thechallengeDecember 15, 2022
But I love the twist @TheChallenge !!! Honestly, I do. It's called Ride or Die, not Ride or Dieless. #TheChallenge38 #thechallenge #rideordies #MTV #tjissodamntrickyDecember 15, 2022
I'll eat my shorts if #thechallenge ever brings Kenny back. Seems like a great dude, same as Kacey, but they bring 0 entertainment value to the table. What do u think? Agree Horacio is a beast. He's equally as boring as Kenny, besides the Laurel thing, but he's a great competitorDecember 15, 2022
Oh hell no. Not kenny being bak! I wanted CT #TheChallenge38 #TheChallengeDecember 15, 2022
I was hoping Kaycee got eliminated with him. THAT would have been an incredible twist. I like Kaycee, too. Just would have been funny to see Fessy cry, again.December 15, 2022
Whaaaaat. That twist. @TheChallenge this’ll be so interestingDecember 15, 2022
i ain't mad at that twist TJ pulled out and the end there ngl #TheChallengeDecember 15, 2022
When TJ reveals the twist and Kaycee is still in the game. #TheChallenge38 #TheChallenge #thechallengerideordies pic.twitter.com/MMsSWNfw0CDecember 15, 2022
TJ and his gah damn twists and turns. I love this show. How many surprises can they add in one season? #TheChallenge #TheChallenge38December 15, 2022
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Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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