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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why the MTV Challenge Needs to Come Back Sooner.

I can’t imagine someone existing without knowing what the MTV Challenge is but for those of you who don’t know, I shall explain. Originally called Real World/Road Rules Challenge, this is a reality television game spun off a combination of MTV’s hit shows The Real World and Road Rules. The show consists of cast members being joined in teams and participating in weekly challenges in order to win money. The contestants all live in one big house in some foreign country and are faced with the physical and mental challenge of living with a bunch of crazy people.
The show has truly developed over the years and has gone through many versions including All Stars, Battle of the Seasons, The Inferno I, II, and III, Battle of the Exes, Fresh Meat, and more.
Now its in 22nd season, the challenge began when two Real World Casts were introduced to each other and asked to compete in a challenge for cash prizes.  Today, the Challenge has become one of the highest rated TV shows on the planet. There are two major parts to the show: the Cast and the Challenges.
The Cast
The Cast mostly consists of 20-30 year olds who spend all year training and working out for these challenges. These people are just muscle packed, sexually frustrated, and alcoholic young adults who will do anything, and I mean anything, for some money and fame. With almost two seasons every calendar, the cast is often the same and like any amazing show, there is quite the funny cast of characters. There are cliques, popular people, and strategists. The social game is almost as difficult as the physical game. While you can earn your own immunity, team/players are often voted in. So basically, being popular helps. The cast parties every night, sleeps with each other, pulls some of the best pranks you will see on reality TV, and puts their bodies through excruciating pain just for a few thousand dollars.
Some worthy characters worth knowing:

Johnny Devenanzio- 8 season -4 wins- $266,543 in winnings.
Johnny is the bad boy of the Challenge. He is part of the cool clique and is not afraid to make enemies. He began his first few challenges with early exists, as is the case with many rookies. But Johnny has proven to be the Challenge’s greatest champion ever.

Kenny Santucci- 8 seasons -3 wins- $236,293 in winnings.
Mr. Beautiful is one of the most popular characters ever. He is one of the stars who has brought the Challenge to new heights. Santucci is widely considered the best finale player of all time. He is a physical beast and also part of the crew that has dominated the last 10 challenges.

Evelyn Smith-7 seasons- 3 wins- $167,000 in winnings.
Ev is without a doubt the biggest female force in challenge history. With 3 wins and countless elimination wins, she is feared every time she steps up to the competition. Famous for being the first person to stand up to the Crew, Ev sold out in some eyes but I don’t think she cares as she sits at home with $176K.

Darrell Taylor-6 seasons- 4 wins- $240,555.
Darrell was the greatest champion ever before and unfortunate fight. Darrell won $240K over his first four challenges in which he went undefeated. In only his fifth challenge he was on pace to win an astonishing $150K before in a drunken act, punched his best friend in the face and was kicked off the show. Still his challenge record stands for itself as one of the best ever.

Rachel Robinson—7 seasons, 2 wins- $135,555.
Rachel is the original female dominating challenge member. She was absolutely dominant, often treated as a guy since she was so good in the challenge. Rachel was big before the challenge got big but her legacy remains.

Chris “CT” Taburello- 8 Seasons- 0 wins- $73,500 in winnings.
CT is the most infamous challenge contestant ever. He is responsible for both the most beautiful and scary moments in challenge history. The latter took place when he attacked a much younger cast mate for”talking about him”. He almost killed the other member and as 6 other men were needed to restrain him, he famously yelled, “I want to smash his head and eat it.” This was a far cry from the beautiful moment when he fell in love with Cancer-patient-in-recovery Diem and shared one of the sweetest kisses in reality TV history.  CT is the most physically impressive cast member ever. No male wants to face CT in any challenge, let alone a hand to hand combat.

The Challenges
The challenges themselves are absolutely amazing. Whether it is climbing a structure 500 feet in the air while trying to collect flags or running 2 miles after eating an entire cake, the show never ceases to come up with crazy and inventive new challenges. But nothing compares to the elimination challenges and finales. The Elimination challenges are often given a cool name like the Dome, the Inferno, the Duel, and the classic Gauntlet. These are final elimination challenges where the cast members fight for a chance to stay in the game. Some of these are puzzle challenges or require mini marathons to be run. But nothing compares to some of the crazy hand-to-hand combat challenges that go down. Imagine if two UFC cage fighters played steal the bacon. Ya it’s that awesome.
The Final challenges are simply inhumane. These are 14 mile marathons, through jungles, up mountains and across rivers. The members are asked to complete tasks along the way while trying to avoid passing out. Watch one of these final challenges and you will instantly gain a respect for these people.
Point is go back and watch 22 seasons then watch them again. I simply love the MTV Challenge.

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