It’s hard to believe MTV’s “The Challenge,” is gearing up for Season 29, and yet here we are. Officially renewed back in July, the new round of competition is in its early stages of production with filming set to begin in October 2016. The location and theme have yet to be announced, but casting is in full swing.
One can only hope MTV has learned its lesson from “Rivals III” and chooses not to saturate the show with the weak contestants that are the “Are You the One?” former cast members. Season 28 faltered entertainment-wise due to the unfamiliar faces and obnoxious personalities that the network sent over from the dating show.
While “Are You the One?” is fascinating in its own right and the castmates are easy on the eyes, they have zero athletic ability and not one competitive bone in their body. Watching them go head to head against the “Challenge” veterans was a joke.
“Rivals III” was ultimately saved with its super dramatic ending. That final twist, turning the teammates against each other during the final challenge, and then Johnny Bananas choosing to keep all the grand prize money to himself made for some great reality TV. But what was it that made it so great? The competitors in play.
These contestants are people we’ve been watching for years. Audiences feel like they know Bananas and Sarah Rice Patterson. Viewers were so overwhelmed with conflicting emotions at this turn of events that weeks after that finale episode aired, people are still discussing and arguing about it.
In order to keep that kind of momentum going, MTV needs to get their veterans back. Who cares if they’re now 35 years old? Nobody. Seriously, the older they are the better. The people watching “The Challenge” nowadays are the same people who grew up with “TRL” and watched “The Real World: London” — they are old-school viewers. If the price is right, there should be no reason MTV can’t get all our favorite vets back.
It’s time to pony up the cash to get CT out of retirement, Derrick back in action, The Miz competing once again, along with female favorites like Emily, Susie, Aneesa and Laurel. Make it so that whoever goes into elimination is truly a toss-up because everyone is such a stacked competitor.
It goes without saying that TJ Lavin shall remain in his job as host. With his deadpan delivery and unapologetic send-off messages, he’s the perfect person to balance out the outrageous personalities of the contestants.
Also, let’s bring back teams. No more of this duo stuff. Red Team vs. Blue Team. A dream scenario would be Old Timers vs New Veteras — yes, we do mean that we hope someone from Bunin-Murray Productions is on the phone trying to convince Mark Long to come back. The latter group would include competitors that have recently proven themselves in the past 10 seasons like Cara-Maria, Jenna, Corey, Nany and Vince. No weaklings!
Let’s get back to making “The Challenge” just that – challenging. Let’s see if the past their prime competitors can take down this new class of veterans. This would be some must-watch TV.