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Who won ‘The Challenge: World Championship?’

"The Challenge: World Championship" is the franchise's most recent addition.

TJ Lavin on "The Challenge: World Championship."
Image via YouTube

MTV’s longtime reality competition franchise The Challenge has branched out to several other networks with spin-off shows. And the most recent iteration is The Challenge: World Championship, which dropped on Paramount Plus with weekly episodes premiering from March through May.

The season paired Challenge champs and veterans with “Global MVPs” — champions and stars from four international spin-offs that played out in anticipation of the World Championship showdown.

One Challenge alum and one Global MVP teamed up, and out of the 14 teams, one came out on top to secure the $500,000 check. Three-time champ Jordan Wiseley became a four-time king after finishing longtime host TJ Lavin’s final challenge first alongside his partner, The Challenge: UK champion Kaz Crossley.

So, how did they there? Let’s find out.

Jordan and Kaz survived one elimination round and earned one daily challenge victory en route to the final challenge

The Global MVPs who competed in World Championship represented four different spin-offs: The Challenge: USA, The Challenge: UK, The Challenge: Australia, and The Challenge Argentina: El Desafío. As mentioned, each player teamed up with a veteran from MTV’s mainline series to create male-female pairs.

It was a solid cast. It included teams like John “Johnny Bananas” Devenanzio and Justine Ndiba, Tori Deal and Danny McCray, Theo Campbell and Sarah Lacina, and Kaycee Clark and Troy Cullen.

The 12-episode Paramount Plus show saw nine elimination matches in the “Arena,” as well as 10 daily challenges, which included “Qualifier,” the first challenge of the season that pitted the Global MVPs against each other while the Challenge staples observed.

From the jump, Kaz and Jordan were viewed as a top-tier team due to the latter’s reputation for being a dominant force in the final challenge. Further, Kaz was one of only three international champions appearing in the season (The Challenge Argentina: El Desafío’s winner Sol Pérez didn’t compete in World Championship), making the champ-champ combo an intimidating one.

Still, they only had to battle in the Arena’s sandpit once. During episode 7, Jordan and Kaz placed last in “Tunnel Time” — a daily challenge that put the Global MVPs’ mathematical skills to the test. As per the season’s rules, Jordan and Kaz were instantly thrown into the elimination round. The duo then met Johnny Bananas and Justine in “Lock, Stack & Barrel,” a game where the teams had to replicate a pattern by stacking several barrels.

In what turned out to be a nail-biter, Kaz and Jordan bested Justine and Johnny Bananas and sent them packing.

Jordan and Kaz would then secure their first (and only) daily challenge win of World Championship in episode 9. The remaining pairs faced off in “Highway Hijacking,” a challenge sponsored by Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. It required one half of each duo to run, and leap on semi trucks while the other raced to the finish line by driving a buggy.

With Jordan and Kaz finally earning power — and safety — they picked KellyAnne Judd and Tristan Phipps to take on Darrell Taylor and Kiki Morris in the Arena. Darrell and Kiki survived the elimination round but were defeated by Kaycee and Troy in the next episode.

Episode 12 marked the final challenge. And although the other teams had moments, Jordan and Kaz clearly dominated it. They each left South Africa $250,000 richer offer toppling second place’s Tori and Danny, third’s Kaycee and Troy, and fourth’s Sarah and Theo.

TJ’s final had the players complete two days worth of challenges. During the first one, they ran a four-mile loop four times while finishing a checkpoint every lap. After being treated to a massive meal, the remaining contestants (Sarah and Theo were eliminated after Theo hurt his ankle earlier in the day) were forced to stay awake all night while traveling on a train.

After getting a bit of shut-eye, the final three duos raced up and down a mountain and toward Lavin and the first-place trophy. And as history has it, Jordan and Kaz triumphed over the other two squads.

Jordan said the Challenge veterans brought a new level of intensity to the Global MVPs

I interviewed Jordan in June about his triumph in World Championship (watch it above), and he explained how the Global MVPs reacted to how the Challenge veterans raised the game’s level relative to their prior spin-off shows.

“I do actually,” Jordan said when asked if he felt like a world champion. “Honestly, it was a really stacked cast. The MVPS — I’ll give it to them. I wanted to talk a lot of s***, you know? But, they came and they were ready to play even though there’s a little bit of a learning curve for them because we play a different game.

“The OG challengers, the vets, like me, Bananas, “CT” [Chris Tamburello], even Tori… Kaycee, that was the number one thing the MVPs said after the second challenge or so that we actually got to do together. They’re like, ‘You guys are intense.’ And we’re like, ‘Yeah, we play hard.’

“They kind of thought they were coming in to play a game, you know? And we’re like, ‘Nah, this isn’t a game. This is our lives.'”

Doing well on The Challenge is extremely important to Jordan as well as the other stars who dedicate themselves to the show day in and day out, even when they’re not actively filming. One reason why Jordan is a four-time champion is that he’s constantly training in the off-season, whether it be running, cycling, or swimming.

Because of their commitment to the franchise, Jordan said it’s “a big deal” if one of them is eliminated from the show, a feeling that potentially some of the Global MVPs wouldn’t have to deal with.

“The legends that were there… these are some of the ones [who have] sold out for this,” Jordan continued. “Like, they’ve bought into The Challenge and we prepare, we stay ready, and you will always see us working at the end or getting close to the end fighting. And if we go out it’s a big deal because we work so hard to stay in.”

During our conversation, Jordan also celebrated Kaz’s World Championship run and her resilience as a partner.

“What an arc she had through the whole season,” Jordan said. “In the beginning, I was kind of like, I don’t know, does she have that grit that you need to bite down and just suffer when we get down to the end? And damn, she did. So like, I’m so proud of her; she kicked a**. So, got a great partner — we had a great run, great alliance for as shaky as that whole thing was. We were in a good place the whole time.”

Kaz and Jordan boast six Challenge championships between them

All in all, four champ-champ pairs competed in World Championship: Jordan and Kaz, Tori and Danny, Kaycee and Troy, and Darrell and Kiki. Well, both Jordan and Kaz had to make more room on their mantels after their recent triumph.

Kaz has only competed on The Challenge twice, and she’s beaten out the rest of her competition every time. It’s unclear if Kaz will join the cast of a season in the future, or if she’ll ride off into the sunset as a double champ.

On the other end, Jordan made it known to me in our interview that he’s far from done with The Challenge. He’s tied with Darrell at four titles. His first three victories came on MTV’s mainline series; he toppled his opponents on season 26’s Battle of the Exes II, season 30’s Dirty 30, and season 34’s War of the Worlds 2.

I asked him if he had a goal to surpass Johnny Bananas’ record of seven championships (The Challenge community dismisses any of the Champs vs. spin-off victories as legitimate enough to count as a true championship).

He said he didn’t. Instead, he wanted to continue building his legacy while firmly protecting his reputation as a tough out for anyone on any day.

“I just want to compete and I want to keep my reputation intact,” he said. “I’m not handing out no easy wins, and if I show up, you can bet your a** that I’m looking — I expect — to win.”

Will we see another World Championship at some point?

The World Championship theme had never been done in The Challenge universe until this recent iteration. The closest fans got was when MTV and Bunim/Murray Productions put on War of the Worlds and War of the Worlds 2, two seasons that featured reality stars from all over the globe.

A lot of work went into creating the ambitious World Championship — more so than other seasons. Specifically, the four spin-off shows had to play out around the world. And I don’t know if it’s likely that the franchise’s brass are clamoring to do that again.

Still, enough stars from overseas have been introduced into The Challenge, so they could decide to create a second World Championship down the line with people that we’ve already seen. Also, The Challenge’s country-based campaign isn’t finished. The Challenge: USA’s second season will begin airing on CBS and Paramount Plus on August 10. Like the first one, it’ll star notable reality TV names from different CBS staples: Survivor, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race. Six challengers representing the main series have joined the cast as well (more on the cast here).

Since the international idea hasn’t been ditched, there’s potential that a World Championship 2 could see the light of day sometime in the future.

About the author

Stephen McCaugherty

Hailing from British Columbia, Stephen McCaugherty is an entertainment contributor for WGTC.