While Vh1 and Oxygen are finding success with new shows, MTV is not far behind their widely popular reality shows. One example is MTV’s The Challenge, having some of the most successful ratings in its 26th season since the premiere of the network’s competitive game show Road Rules: All Stars in June 1988.
The popular challenge/battle-style reality show features several Real World and Road Rules cast members who compete for a cash prize.
If you were a fan of MTV challenge shows before the 2010s, you may recall the name change from Road Rules: All Stars in season one to Real World/Road Rules Challenge in season two and finally, The Challenge in season 19.
The Challenge becomes more interesting and outrageous each season. Competitions range from suspending fearful cast members over water while answering trivia questions to walking over a wire suspended several hundred feet in the air while holding onto your partner.
Since the beginning of the show, there have been several spinoffs such as Battle of the Sexes I and II where contestants compete by gender, Fresh Meat I and II where RW/RR veterans are paired up with unexperienced challenge “rookies” and Rivals I and II where contestants are partnered up with their worst enemies from previous spinoffs, working together to compete for the grand prize.
This brings us to the most up to date season, Battle of the Exes II. As the name implies, it clearly was not the most fun challenge for contestants. Viewers, prepare for the eye-rolling, miscommunication and high intensity shade all season long.
I mean, what kind of reality show places 26 exes in a house and forces them to compete with the one person they now hate the most? Sounds like an unstable environment, right? Well, it makes for GREAT TV.
These contestants must eventually get along with their exes (or at least pretend to like them enough to win the $350,000 grand prize) and to top it off, some of the challenges this season require the contestants to be really close to their rivals. Check out the trailer here!
Now after all of the background details, you’re probably really interested in knowing who will be featured in this season’s The Challenge. Take a look at the slideshow below for more details on the cast.
Season(s): Diem (Fresh Meat I) CT (RW Paris) Relationship: According to MTV the two have the longest love story in Challenge history since they fell in love on The Challenge: The Duel I. CT wanted Diem to remove her wig and begin wearing her naturally beautiful hair after a battle with cancer. Since that episode, the two were in love (whether or not they wanted to admit it). However, things took a turn for the worst when Diem wanted to focus on her career and CT’s desire to win challenges left Diem scorned. Weakness(es): on-and-off relationship, Diem’s fear of losing, and CT’s rivalries with other cast mates Strengths: Two fierce competitors, CT’s win on Rivals II, team chemistry and ability to compete (Runner-up on Battle of the Exes I), communication
Season(s): RW Explosion Relationship: The two were in a relationship on their season of Real World: Explosion. Things were going well until Jay was revealed to be a cheater. Weakness(es): lack of challenge experience, Jay starting rumors in the house, Jenna’s plans to hookup with other castmates to make Jay jealous Strengths: rookie alliance, possible vet alliance(s) if Jenna (or Jay) can successfully hook up with a vet
Season(s): RW Explosion Relationship: The two were high school sweethearts who reconnected on their season of RW Explosion where the cast members’ where placed in a house with their new girlfriends/boyfriends and their exes. Thomas and Hailey ended their “toxic” relationship after several arguments and emotional fights in the RW Explosion house Weakness(es): constant bickering, lack of challenge experience, not as strong as other competitors, poor communication Strengths: rookie cast member alliance
Season(s): Theresa (The Challenge: Fresh Meat II) Wes (RW Austin) Relationship: The two began hooking up on Fresh Meat II yet their relationship failed once the season ended. Theresa later hooked up with Wes’ challenge roommate Leroy causing more tension between the two Weakness(es): tension, two strong personalities, both not well-liked in the Challenge house, known for their shady behavior and being fake Strengths: very strong competitors, each have challenge wins and experience in the elimination round, Wes has two previous challenge wins and both know how to play the game
Season(s): Jessica (RW Portland) Dustin (RW Las Vegas 2011)Relationship: Romance between the two began on The Challenge: Free Agents but ended abruptly after Dustin was eliminated early in the season. Dustin moved on upon returning home and Jessica later found out that he had a girlfriend. Weakness(es): Dustin isn’t one of the stronger males, considered rookies due to lack of challenge wins experience, inability to perform in elimination roundsStrengths: communication, ability to work well together in challenges
Season(s): RW Portland Relationship: The two fell in love on the Real World Portland and things were great until Averey moved to Boston for another guy. Johnny believes that Averey cheated on him causing him to hookup with fellow Free Agents (and now Battle of the Seasons II) castmate Nany Weakness(es): lack of trust, Averey thinks Johnny doesn’t respect her, Averey’s lack of challenge experience Strengths: physical strength, Johnny’s previous challenge feats in Rivals II (second place)
Season(s): Jonna (RW Cancun) Zach (RW San diego)Relationship: The two began hooking up on Battle of the Seasons and things picked up rather quickly. Zach moved to LA to be with Jonna and things seemed perfectly fine. Jonna later confessed that Zach abandoned her without remorse. Weakness(es): Poor communication, lack of trustStrengths: Challenge experience, Zach’s previous win (Battle of the Seasons), physical capabilities
Season(s): RW New Orleans Relationship: The two hooked up on their season of RW New Orleans and have been known for their dysfunctional behavior on challenges and constant heated arguments. Knight knows how to get under Jemmye’s skin and Jemmye’s temper always seems to get the best of her Weakness(es): arguing in the house, not well liked, dysfunctional, not the strongest physically/mentally compared to competitors Strengths: experiences with challenges, ability to compete in elimination rounds when the odds are against them
Season(s): Sarah (RW Brooklyn) Jordan (RW Portland) Relationship: Romance began brewing after the two were caught making out in a closet on Rivals II. Sarah revealed that Jordan’s egotistical nature was part of the reason they broke things off Weakness(es): Jordan’s cockiness and ego, Sarah’s 8th challenge season without a win (known as the “Sarah Curse”) and Jordan’s inability to get along with fellow veteran cast members Strengths: fierce competitors, have seen/won several eliminations, Sarah’s ability create alliances with other cast members and Jordan’s perseverance despite missing one of his hands.
Season(s): MTV’s “Are You the One?” Relationship: These two had an expected hookup on “Are You the One?” but later realized that they were not the perfect match. Simone’s loud and self-absorbed behavior began to annoy John causing him to want to break things off. Weakness(es): Lack of challenge experience, do not work well together, having trouble proving their physical capabilities Strengths: strong rookie alliance
Season(s): Nia (RW Portland) Leroy (RW Las Vegas 2011) Relationship: These two “only hooked up once” according to their interviews and tried to keep the rumors of their hookup a secret until Nia reveals what actually happened in the bathroom that night. Weakness(es): Nia’s temper, poor communication, lack of strong allies Strengths: two strong competitors, Leroy’s previous win on rivals (Third place) and challenge experience
Season(s): Nany (RW Las Vegas 2011) Bananas (RW Key West) Relationship: Many believed the two hooked up when the cameras weren’t rolling. They eventually admit the hookup on the first episode of this season. Johnny ended things with Nany and pretty much friend zoned her. Weakness(es): tempers, two strong competitors which can put them in the elimination round early, Nany’s boy-crazy behavior and Johnny’s past rivalry’s can cause problems Strengths: physical capabilities, Nany’s recent Free Agents win (second place) and Johnny’s 4 challenge season wins
Season(s): MTV’s Are You the One? Relationship: The two were extremely attracted to each other on MTV’s “Are You the One?” until eventually Adam realized how clingy and annoying Brittany was. Brittany says that she wasn’t being overly clingy but instead very loyal. Weakness(es): Arguing, annoying each other, lack of challenge experience Strengths: working under pressure in the elimination round