Incase you missed my previous post, I’m a huge fan of MTV’s The Challenge. It’s a show I always look forward to, which is why I was surprised to see a new mini-season the week after The Challenge: Invasion ended.
The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros is a six week season where some of The Challenge Champs compete against some of the world’s Famous pro athletes. The Champs and the Pros aren’t winning the prize money for themselves. Instead, they’re competing to win money for the charity of their choice.
Here’s the cast for this season and the charities they’re playing for:
Ashley K., Make-A-Wish Foundation
Ashley M., Facing Addiction
CT, Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine
Camila, Men With Dreams
Cara Maria, ASPCA
Darrell, March of Dimes
Johnny “Bananas”, Special Olympics
Jordan, Lucky Fin Project
Veronica, Planned Parenthood
Wes, American Cancer Society
CM Punk (UFC Fighter & Former WWE Wrestler), PAWS Chicago
Candice Wiggins (Retired WNBA Player), Greater Than AIDS
Gus Kenworthy (Skier & Olympic Medalist), The Trevor Project and Happy Hippie Foundation)
Kamerion Wimbley (Retired NFL linebacker), Kamerion Wimbley Foundation
Lindsey Jacobellis (Snowboarder and Olympic Medalist), ASPCA
Lolo Jones (Olympic Hurdler and Bobsledder), Hurdles of Hope
Louie Vito (Snowboarder and Olympian), Wings for Life
Louise Hazel (Heptathlete and Olympian), Save the Children
Shawne Merriman (Retired NFL linebacker), Lights On Foundation
Tia Blanco (Surfer and World Champion), St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
There’s a few minor changes from The Challenge we’re used to seeing. There will be a different team captain for every challenge that follows what kind of elimination it is. For example, the first elimination was a girl’s elimination. Therefore, the team captains had to be girls. If their team wins, the money they win for that challenge goes to the team captain’s charity. The winning team captain is safe from elimination while the losing team captain automatically goes to the elimination round. Both Ashely M. and Louise nominated themselves as team captain for the first challenge. They knew their risk could send them home, but were hoping it wouldn’t come to that and would win money for their charity instead.
The first challenge was something that had already been done on the show, Against the Ropes. The Champs believed they would win as they’ve already experienced and know how to accomplish this challenge. However, the Pros proved them wrong and dominated the challenge, winning the first challenge of the season.
After the first challenge had been completed, the host, Victor Cruz, announced a double elimination. The Champs would have to make a group decision on who would go against Ashley M. Since Louise won, she was automatically safe. The Pros would decide two girls who would go into the elimination round. This immediately stirred some drama with Lolo as she was not happy with the new twist of the game. Her argument was it was unfair to those who didn’t even get a chance to raise money for their charity, which is a valid point. However, that wasn’t the case. I’ll explain in a bit.
Pro’s Candice quickly volunteered to go into the elimination round. The team decided to put the remaining girls’ names in a hat and the team captain would pull the name of the other girl to go in. As Louise picked the name, she read Lolo’s name, but Louise implied she said Lolo’s name instead of the real name that was on the paper, which was never revealed. I was shocked by Louise’s sneaky move! It’s too early in the game to be this shady. It’s clear she has watched The Challenge before and learned some tricks from Bananas and Wes.
As for the Champs, they nominated Veronica because it’s her first time back in so many years. She’s sort of considered a “rookie” since she never competed with most of the Champs that are in this season as she’s one of the original Challengers. I thought this was a load of crap. She’s an OG! I know it’s been a while since she’s been on a challenge, but she shouldn’t have been the first one sent to elimination round. I wanted her to win the whole thing.
In the arena, the girls played a similar game we had already seen previously on the show, Pull No Punches. Veronica had a chance to send Ashley home with an advantage as Ashley fell off the wall and had to start from the bottom up. However, that advantage didn’t help Veronica as Ashley came back and won. Lolo dominated her elimination challenge and quickly sent Candice home before she even had the chance to win. Although Veronica and Candice went home, no one left empty handed. Veronica and Candice received a $1,000 dollars each for their charity.
Overall, I liked the season premiere. It’s different which makes it exciting to watch. They’re not living in a fancy mansion in another country and they’re all competing for a good cause. I’m really going to enjoy seeing the Champs compete against professional athletes. I mean can you imagine CT against going head to head with Shawne Merriman in a challenge?! Or Bananas and Lolo, the two cockiest in the competition, who also happen to have the biggest mouths in the cast, argue over some stupid drama? This makes me excited to see how the rest of the season will unfold, but above all, I want to see which Pros actually have the strength, mentality, and heart to win a challenge.
The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros premieres Tuesday nights at 9/8c on MTV.