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The Challenge

The Challenge

Photo Credit:  MTV
  • Premiered: 
    September 28, 1997
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: MTV
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Participation
  • Tags:

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    Season 11
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    Season 14
    Season 15
    Season 17
    Season 18
    Season 19

Plot Synopsis

In this series, now simply called THE CHALLENGE, cast members from REAL WORLD and ROAD RULES (when it still existed) -- and an occasional new cast member introduced on THE CHALLENGE -- compete against each other in a series of physical and mental elimination challenges while living, partying and hooking up under the same roof in an exotic location. For its 24th season, THE CHALLENGE travels to Thailand, where 16 men and 16 women play in teams of two, forced to pair with their bitter rivals, as each competitor decides whether they care more about old grudges or big money. The surprises for THE CHALLENGE: RIVALS II start immediately when a twist sends shockwaves throughout the house. Season 24 premiered on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT on MTV.

Season 25, THE CHALLENGE: FREE AGENTS, premiered on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT on MTV with a 90-minute season opener. This season, hosted again by TJ Lavin, is an individual game -- there are no permanent teams, no demanding partners, no one to slow down the participants. Alliances are useless and tried-and-true strategies no longer work because players have no idea if they will be competing in teams, pairs, or as individuals until moments before each challenge begins. They're forced to adjust to whatever is thrown their way, as they battle for the $350,000 prize.

MTV premiered THE CHALLENGE: BATTLE OF THE EXES II, the 26th season of this multi-titled, on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 11pm ET/PT. In the 90-minute season opener, "Where Is the Love?," the contestants learn they will be competing against their exes; meanwhile, new flirtations cause jealous tendencies.

THE CHALLENGE: BATTLE OF THE BLOODLINES, the 27th season of this series, premiered on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 from 10-11:30pm ET/pt on MTV. This season, 14 players from MTV series will travel to Bodrum, Turkey to join the people who know their toughest strengths, crippling weaknesses, and deepest fears better than anyone -- their own flesh and blood. In this unprecedented format, competitors will battle it out WITH and AGAINST their bloodlines, turning family into foe. This shake-up gets even more twisted when players learn that their fates are combined with their bloodlines. It's anyone's game when family still means everything, because despite strong performances, competitors could still go home if their relatives fall short. With $350,000 on the line and family honor to defend, there will be blood. The contestants include: cousins Aneesa & Rianna; cousins Bananas & Vince; sisters Camila & Larissa; cousins Cara Maria & Jamie; sisters Christina & Emily; cousins Cohutta & Jill; cousins Cory & Mitch; brothers Dario & Raphy; cousins Jenna & Brianna; cousins KellyAnne & Anthony; cousins Leroy & Candice; cousins Nany & Nicole; brothers Tony & Shane; and brothers Thomas & Stephen.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT, MTV premiered the 28th season of THE CHALLENGE. Filmed in Hautulco, Mexico, THE CHALLENGE: RIVALS III brings together 13 teams from REAL WORLD, CHALLENGE, and ARE YOU THE ONE? Like every other challenge, RIVALS III requires strength, stamina, and perseverance. For the first time, each pair of bitter rivals are co-ed teams and more than ever, it's going to require mental toughness to succeed. While some rivals are able to overcome their difficulties, other pairs' animosity deepens amidst the intense competition. And this time, with $350,000 at stake, the pressure is even greater. TJ Lavin returns as the host for a season full of some of the series' craziest hook-ups, fights and the most jaw dropping twist in Challenge history.

THE CHALLENGE: INVASION OF THE CHAMPIONS, the 29th season of the series, premiered on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 9-11pm ET/PT, as MTV debuted back-to-back new episodes. Hosted again by T.J. Lavin, the new season features 18 series Underdogs seeking their first victory, and they're pitted against one another to crown a new champion... only to come under a surprise, season-long attack from eight of the most fearsome Challenge Champions in the show's history. Before they get the news that they must face off against the Champions, The Underdogs first shock comes with the revelation that they must compete against one another to earn their way out of the desolate, barebones accommodations known as "The Shelter." Only after they battle their way out of The Shelter, will they be allowed to move into a posh estate called "The Oasis." As these Underdogs fight and claw their way through the game, the very best will rise to the top and only twelve worthy Underdogs will earn their spot in The Oasis, where they will live in the lap of luxury. Their relief is ultimately short-lived as past Challenge winners make their way to The Oasis to shake things up. The most decorated champ in Challenge history and last season's winner, Johnny "Bananas," returns after executing one of the most cunning and controversial moves in Challenge history; reformed Boston bad boy CT makes a triumphant return after a three-year absence with a new outlook on life; rebel Cara Maria is back and more fired up than ever after taking a well-deserved break following her "Battle of the Bloodlines" win and despite this being his fifth time on The Challenge, Shane has yet to earn his stripes as a Champion. Now he's back and ready to fight for the ultimate prize as an Underdog. With $350,000 on the line, only the very best players will survive a brutal and cutthroat game. Epic challenges and stunning eliminations will push players to their breaking points. Friendships will be tested and tense new rivalries will form. Off the playing field, love is in the air with shocking romances and scandalous hook-ups. Not everyone will make it to the end, but for those who do, they will fight to win in the very first three-day final challenge to see who is truly worthy of being called a Champion.

MTV premiered the thirtieth season of THE CHALLENGE on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT on MTV. In the new season, titled THE CHALLENGE XXX: DIRTY 30 and hosted by TJ Lavin, 30 of the series' most unpredictable players travel to South America for the most intense competition to date. Fan favorites will fight their way through the most extreme, daring challenges where they vie to compete for their chunk of $1 million -- the largest prize in franchise history.

Season 31, titled THE CHALLENGE: VENDETTAS, premiered on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 9pm ET/PT on MTV. Twenty-eight players including stars from MTV UK's EX ON THE BEACH and GEORDIE SHORE along with contestants from BIG BROTHER join THE CHALLENGE fan favorites as they travel to Spain to pursue their personal vendettas against one another. And this season, for the very first time, there is only one winner. Every player is out solely for themselves not their team and only one will come out on top, competing to win the final prize that has the potential to exceed $500,000. Plus, host TJ Lavin revealed two twists to The Challengers as they arrived for their first event: their first challenge is an overnight challenge.

Season 32, titled THE CHALLENGE: FINAL RECKONING, premiered on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 9pm ET/PT on MTV. This season marks the conclusion of the trilogy, which kicked off with XXX: Dirty 30 (Season 30) followed by VENDETTAS (Season 31). The newest installation travels players to South Africa to face the consequences of their actions from the past two seasons. All of the recent betrayals, regrets and wrongdoings will rise to the surface as the competitors pair-off for their fiercest vendetta yet. Will they be able to put aside their issues, settle the score and work together to take home the $1 million prize? In the season opener, "Six Feet Under," pairs of Vendettas must face their final reckoning when they are teamed up to compete for a million dollar prize. The past comes back to haunt two players, leading to a brawl with potentially severe consequences.

THE CHALLENGE: WAR OF THE WORLDS (Season 33) premiered on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT, as America's best take on competitors from around the globe. Legendary Challenge Veterans team up with Rookies from THE BACHELOR, BIG BROTHER, AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, SURVIVOR, LOVE ISLAND, and other reality shows to compete for $1 million in the most grueling, physical and mental challenges ever devised. Who will survive? Thirty-four competitors from around the globe will battle their way through the most grueling, physical and mental challenges for their share of the $1 million prize. New rules will unfold, alliances will be rehashed and surprising twists will arise in the grittiest, most hardcore season ever. In the season opener, "Apocalypse Now," epic Challenge Veterans meet up with eager Prospects, reality titans from around the globe, to take on the most grueling season yet. However, a twist in the game shakes up the power structure, leaving the players stunned.

The show's 34th season, THE CHALLENGE: WAR OF THE WORLDS 2, premiered on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 from 9-10:30pm ET/PT on MTV. Set in the middle of the jungle, th series returns to a classic team format -- 14 Brits battle it out against 14 Americans for their share of the $1 million-dollar prize. In the premiere episode, the winning team has the first pick from the lineup of "reinforcements," featuring all-stars CT Tamburello, Dee Nguyen, 'Ninja' Natalie Duran, and last season's champion, Turabi 'Turbo' Camkiran. After turning on each other last season, will the Americans be able to unite in order to reclaim the throne against the unstoppable British alliance? U.S. TEAM: Ashley Mitchell; Cara Maria Sorbello; Faith Stowers; Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio; Jordan Wiseley; Josh Martinez; Kam Williams; Laurel Stucky; Leroy Garret; Nany Gonzalez; Paulie Calafiore; Tori Deal; Wes Bergmann; and Zach Nichols. U.K. TEAM: Esther Falana; Georgia Harrison; Idris Virgo; Jennifer West; Joss Mooney; Kayleigh Morris; Kyle Christie; Nicole Bass; Rogan O'Connor; Sean Lineker; Stephen Bear; Theo Campbell; Tula 'Big T' Fazakerley; and Zahida Allen. THE REINFORCEMENTS: Ninja' Natalie Duran; Dee Nguyen; CT Tamburello; and Turabi 'Turbo' Camkiran.

On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8pm ET/PT, THE CHALLENGE returned for its 35th season, titled THE CHALLENGE: TOTAL MADNESS. Hosted again by T.J. Lavin, the new season features 90-minute episodes, as 28 players face strenuous challenges in pursuit of the $1 million-dollar prize with a shocking twist, unleashing mental warfare like never before. VETERAN competitors include (alphabetical by first name): Ashley Mitchell (7th Challenge), Aneesa Ferreira (13th Challenge), Cory Wharton (7th Challenge), CT Tamburello (17th Challenge), Dee Nguyen (3rd Challenge), Kyle Christie (5th Challenge), Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio (20th Challenge), Jenna Compono (8th Challenge), Jennifer West (2nd Challenge), Josh Martinez (3rd Challenge), Jordan Wisely (6th Challenge), Kailah Casillas (5th Challenge), Mattie Breaux (2nd Challenge), Melissa Reeves (3rd Challenge), Nelson Thomas (6th Challenge), Nany Gonzalez (9th Challenge), Rogan O'Connor (3rd Challenge), Stephen Bear (3rd Challenge), Tori Deal (4th Challenge), Tula 'Big T' Fazakerley (2nd Challenge), and Wes Bergmann (13th Challenge). ROOKIE competitors include: Asaf Goren (BIG BROTHER ISRAEL, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE), Bayleigh Dayton (BIG BROTHER), Christopher Jordan 'Swaggy C' Williams (BIG BROTHER), Kaycee Clark (BIG BROTHER), Faysal Shawn 'Fessy' Shafaat (AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, BIG BROTHER), Jay Starrett (SURVIVOR), and Jennifer Lee (AMAZING RACE).

To prepare for THE CHALLENGE: DOUBLE AGENTS, the 36th season of the series, MTV debuted "Declassified," a one-hour special, on Monday, December 7, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT. The elite agents move into their new headquarters and get to know one another, as their handler, TJ Lavin, details classified intel on the upcoming season and its extreme missions. Two days later -- on Wednesday, December 9 at 8pm -- MTV officially premiered the 19-episode new season. Filmed entirely in Iceland, the frigid Arctic Island sets the scene for this espionage thriller featuring 30 of the strongest reality titans from around the globe, who are forced to outsmart each other in a game of secrets, spies and lies for their share of one million dollars. The cast includes: VETERANS (Aneesa Ferreira, Ashley Mitchell, Big T, Cory Wharton, CT, Devin Walker, Darrell Taylor, Fessy Shafaat, Jay Starrett, Josh Martinez, Kam Williams, Kaycee Clark, Kyle Christie, Leroy Garrett, Nany Gonzalez, Nelson Thomas, Nicole Zanatta, Theresa Gonzalez, Tori Deal, Wes Bergmannn) and ROOKIES (Amber Borzotra (BIG BROTHER), Amber Martinez (ARE YOU THE ONE?), Gabby Allen (LOVE ISLAND, CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER UK), Joseph Allen (AMERICA'S GOT TALENT), Lio Rush (Former WWE Wrestler), Lolo Jones (U.S. Olympian, CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER), Mechie Harris (EX ON THE BEACH), Nam Vo (ULIMATE BEASTMASTER), Natalie Anderson (SURVIVOR, AMAZING RACE), Olivia "Liv" Jawando (SHIPWRECKED)).

THE CHALLENGE: SPIES, LIES AND ALLIES, the 37th Season of THE CHALLENGE, premiered on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 8pm ET/PT on MTV. or the first time ever, the critically-acclaimed competition franchise will feature 17 international players alongside US players and is set to roll out globally across MTV's international networks in over 190 countries in the coming months. Season 37 kicks off with 19 action-packed episodes featuring 34 challengers from around the world. Set in the picturesque Mediterranean coast of Croatia, elite U.S. Agents join forces with an assortment of International Operatives, all armed with killer competitive instincts. With the assignment constantly evolving, these agents will be tested both mentally and physically to win their share of one million dollars in this epic new chapter of The Challenge spy games. The cast includes: VETERANS (Tori Deal - 6th Challenge; Nany Gonzalez - 11th Challenge; Aneesa Ferreira - 15th Challenge; Ashley Mitchell - 9th Challenge; Kaycee Clark - 3rd Challenge; Amanda Garcia - 6th Challenge; Big T - 4th Challenge; Nelson Thomas - 8th Challenge; Cory Wharton - 9th Challenge; Josh Martinez - 5th Challenge; Kyle Christie - 7th Challenge; Fessy Shafaat - 3rd Challenge; CT Tamburello - 19th Challenge; Devin Walker - 6th Challenge; Nam Vo - 2nd Challenge) and ROOKIES (Michela Bradshaw - Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X + Survivor: Game Changers; Michele Fitzgerald - Survivor: Kaoh Rong + Survivor: Winners at War; Tacha Akide - Big Brother Nigeria; Emy Alupei - Survivor: Romania; Berna Canbeldek - Survivor: Turkey; Priscilla Anyabu - Love Island US; Tracy Candela - Love Island Germany; Bettina Buchanan - Paradise Hotel Sweden; Esther Agunbiade - Big Brother Nigeria; Lauren Coogan - Love Island US; Corey Lay - 12 Dates of Christmas; Jeremiah White - Love Island US; Tommy Sheenan - Survivor: Island of the Idols; Gabo Szabo - Warsaw Shore + Celeb Get Me Out of Here Hungary; Hughie Maughan - Big Bro UK + Dancing with the Stars UK; Emmanuel Neagu - Survivor Romania; Logan Sampedro - Survivor Spain; Kelz Dyke - Too Hot to Handle UK; Renan Hellemans - EXOTB Double Dutch Belgium)

On Wednesday, October 12, 2022 from 8-9:30pm ET/PT, MTV premiered THE CHALLENGE: RIDE OR DIES, the 38th season of the series. For the first time ever, the critically-acclaimed competition franchise will pair cast members with their "Ride or Die," featuring a cast of best friends, exes, and couples as they navigate the weekly mental and physical warfare together for their share of one million dollars. These relationships will be put to the ultimate test as their teamwork, loyalty, and trust will be challenged every step of the way. In this game, it all comes down to who you trust and who has your back, because this season of The Challenge will either break bonds or tie two competitors together for life. The teams are: Amber Borzotra & Chauncey Palmer; Nam Vo & Emmy Russ; Devin Walker & Tori Deal; Fessy Shaffaat & Moriah Jadea; Laurel Stucky & Jakk Maddox; Kailah Bird & Sam Bird; Turbo & Tamara Alfaro; Nelson Thomas & Nurys Mateo; Jay Starrett & Michele Fitzgerald; Horacio Gutierrez & Olivia Kaiser; Kim Traenka & Colleen Schneider; Johnny Middlebrooks & Ravyn Rochelle; Tommy Bracco & Analyse Talavera; Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio & Nany Gonzalez; Jordan Wiseley & Aneesa Ferreira; Darrell Taylor & Veronica Portillo; and Kaycee Clark & Kenny Clark.

THE CHALLENGE: BATTLE FOR A NEW CHAMPION, the 39th season of the series, premiered on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 from 8-9:30pm ET/PT on MTV. Season 39 features 24 fierce contenders vying for the crown as they endure the ultimate test of willpower with unpredictable formats and shocking twists. This season, mental and physical limits will be pushed further than ever before as contenders must face off against rotating vets in surprise eliminations. With the stakes higher than ever, this new era of competitors must beat the best to be the best. In the end, who will solidify their legacy and emerge as a first- time champion? The Challenge Champions are: Kaycee Clark; Kaz Crossley; Tori Deal; Brad Fiorenza; Cara Maria Sorbello; Laurel Stucky; CT Tamburello; Darrell Taylor; Devin Walker; and Jordan Wiseley. The 24 Contenders are: Jessica Brody; Berna Canbeldek; Ed Eason; Big T Fazakerley; Michele Fitzgerald; Asaf Goren; Horacio Gutierrez; Callum Izzard; Moriah Jadea; Jujuy Jimenez; Olivia Kaiser; Corey Lay; James Lock; Nurys Mateo; Hughie Maughan; Emanuel Neagu; Chauncey Palmer; Melissa Reeves; Ravyn Rochelle; Colleen Schneider; Jay Starrett; Ciarran Stott; Kyland Young; and Zara Zoffany.
On Wednesday, March 6, 2024 from 8-9:30pm ET/PT, MTV closed out the 39th season of THE CHALLENGE with the finale of the season's reunion. Which unseen hookup is getting exposed? Find out on Part 2 of the reunion!


Other Titles

  • Season 1 title: Road Rules: All Stars
  • Season 2 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge
  • Season 3 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge 2000
  • Season 4 title: Real World/Road Rules Extreme Challenge
  • Season 5 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons
  • Seasons 6 & 9 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Sexes
  • Seasons 7, 11 & 15 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Guantlet
  • Seasons 8, 10 & 14 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno
  • Seasons 12 & 19 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat
  • Seasons 13 & 17 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Duel
  • Season 16 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Island
  • Season 18 title: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins
  • Season 20 title: The Challenge: Cutthroat
  • Seasons 21, 24 & 28 title: The Challenge: Rivals
  • Seasons 22 & 26 title: The Challenge: Battle of the Exes
  • Season 23 title: The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons
  • Season 25 title: The Challenge: Free Agents
  • Season 27 title: The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines
  • Season 29 title: The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions
  • Season 30 title: The Challenge: XXX: Dirty 30
  • Season 31 title: The Challenge: Vendettas
  • Season 32 title: The Challenge: Final Reckoning
  • Seasons 33 & 34 title: The Challenge: War of the Worlds
  • Season 35 title: The Challenge: Total Madness
  • Season 36 title: The Challenge: Double Agents
  • Season 37 title: The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies
  • Season 38 title: The Challenge: Ride or Dies
  • Season 39 title: The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Bunim-Murray Productions