After many years away from the show, a return to The Challenge was cut short for several All Stars 2 cast members due to the Episode 2 elimination event sending them home.
While there was no elimination in the premiere episode, host TJ Lavin revealed that each elimination would be a double-elimination, meaning two cast members would get sent home in Episode 2.
Both cast members reacted to their early exits and experiences with castmates while filming the show, with one competitor saying they felt like a “deer in headlights” in their return.
This report contains spoilers for The Challenge: All Stars 2, including Episode 2’s elimination results.
Who lost in the first All Stars 2 elimination?
In The Challenge: All Stars 2, Episode 2, one-half of the elimination participants were already decided due to the teammates finishing worst amongst all competitors in the first daily mission. That was Nehemiah Clark and Ayanna Mackins.
The winning team in that mission, Derrick Kosinski and Jodi Weatherton, decided on four cast members to nominate as potential opponents. After speaking with Nehemiah, they realized he wanted either Ryan Kehoe or Derek Chavez. They gave him Derek and Steve Meinke, with cast members voting for Derek.
Ayanna told Derrick and Jodi she was ready to take on whoever they gave her. They opted for Casey Cooper as one easy selection and former Real World: Paris star Leah Gillingwater as the other. Leah became the house vote due to her lack of connections amongst the returning cast members.
At the elimination, Nehemiah and Derek had a close battle in the Dead Weight elimination, where they had to solve puzzles, open coffins, grab long, heavy chains, and pull the coffins from one side to the other.
In the end, it was returning All Stars competitor Nehemiah capturing the win to stay in the game. It was Ayanna putting on an impressive display for the women as she used raw emotions and brute force to pull all three of her coffins across the playing field.
Following her win, Ayanna had plenty of emotions as she celebrated, even hugging fellow winner Nehemiah. Meanwhile, Leah was crouching on the ground in tears as she never got one coffin pulled across the playing field. Ayanna wasn’t going to let her give up, though.
In a highlight moment, Ayanna went over and helped Leah pull a coffin across, as castmates cheered them on and tears poured out over the emotionally-inspiring scene.
Competitor reacts to their Episode 2 elimination
Just recently, Leah Gillingwater took to her official Instagram page to share her thoughts on returning to The Challenge after 17 years away. Her last appearance was in The Inferno season in 2004.
“Well…it was fun while it lasted! Yes, it’s true, if you blinked you might have missed me this season 😂 All joking aside, I am still in awe that I was given the opportunity to do this all over again. I still can’t believe I went back after almost 20 years! Watching Thursdays episode and hearing from all of you fans has brought me such joy,” Leah said in part of her caption.
Her Instagram post included photos of her from the elimination event and a shot of her with the rest of the OGs from the All Stars 2 cast.
“My heart broke and still breaks for @d.e.r.e.k.c but I admire his strength to compete in honor of his beautiful sister. I am so lucky to have competed against @ayannasuperhero and so grateful for her motivation and encouragement that day. She went above and beyond to make sure I finished that elimination (it was not easy, she killed it),” Leah shared.
In her caption, she also admitted she felt like a “deer in headlights” amongst the cast due to her “minimal connections.” However, she said she “left loving everyone,” adding “almost everyone” in parentheses.
After thanking the fans for all the love and support, and Bunim/Murray for the opportunity, Leah went on to hint at possibly returning for another shot at The Challenge.
“I promise if given the opportunity again to come back, I’ll be prepared to PULL mountains for you all. No weight will be a limit!” Leah said with regards to a potential return.
The Challenge: All Stars 2 episodes arrive Thursdays on Paramount Plus.