The Challenge
Also known as
  • Road Rules: All Stars (season 1)
  • Real World/Road Rules Challenge (seasons 2–19)
GenreReality competition
Created by
Presented by
StarringThe Challenge contestants
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons39
No. of episodes545
Executive producers
  • Fred Birckhead
  • Justin Booth
  • Lisa Fletcher
  • Scott Freeman
  • Gil Goldschein
  • Emer Harkin
  • Kevin Lee
  • Julie Pizzi
  • Ryan Smith
  • Danny Wascou
Running time
  • 30 minutes (1998–2007)
  • 60 minutes (2008–2019)
  • 90 minutes (2019–present)
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseApril 20, 1998 (1998-04-20) –
present (present)

The Challenge (originally known as Road Rules: All Stars, followed by Real World/Road Rules Challenge) is a reality competition show on MTV that is a spin-off of two of the network's reality shows, The Real World and Road Rules. Premiering in 1998, it originally featured alumni from these two shows. Casting for The Challenge has slowly expanded to include contestants who debuted on The Challenge itself, alumni from other MTV franchises including Are You the One?, Ex on the Beach (Brazil, UK and US), Geordie Shore, siblings and friends, and from other non-MTV shows and competitions. The contestants compete against one another in various extreme challenges to avoid elimination. The winners of the final challenge win the competition and typically share a large cash prize.[1][2] The Challenge is currently hosted by T. J. Lavin.

The series premiered on June 1, 1998. The show was originally titled Road Rules: All Stars, and had notable Real World alumni participated in a Road Rules style road-trip. It was renamed Real World/Road Rules Challenge for the 2nd season, then later abridged to simply The Challenge by the show's 19th season. Since the fourth season, each season has supplied the show with a unique subtitle, such as Rivals. Each season consists of a format and theme from which the subtitle is derived.

The show's most recent season, Battle for a New Champion, premiered on October 25, 2023.[3] The upcoming season, Battle of the Eras is scheduled to premiere on August 14, 2024.[4]


The Challenge casts are season-specific as the cast varies from season to season. The casts are made up of contestants originating from one of The Challenge's related TV programs and, in a few seasons, previously unknown contestants. The cast usually contains both "veterans" (or vets) and "rookies". Veterans are thought of as players that have won at least one Challenge season or have appeared on several seasons of the show; Rookies refer to newer players. Many recent alumni come from various reality shows including Survivor, The Amazing Race, Are You the One?, Big Brother, Ex on the Beach and Love Island.

A season's typical multitude of cast members are usually divided up into separate teams or pairs according to a certain criterion, which varies from season to season. The criteria that teams have been arranged by over the show's history have ranged from gender, the contestants' original show, heroic or villainous status, rivals, countries, family members and ex-romantic partners of contestants. Each of the opposing teams compete in numerous missions in order to win prizes and advance in the overall game. The format of the competition varies by season. In elimination rounds, contestants or teams compete against one another to determine which one is eliminated from the season. Each season has its own, distinctive elimination round, distinguished from those of other seasons in title, design, and general atmosphere. Determining which two teams or two cast members are sent into the episode's elimination round frequently leads to drama and "dirty" gameplay; this is due to the show's contestants being in charge of who is thrown into elimination rounds. Like, that of The Real World, sporadically throughout the course of each episode, various contestants are seen privately expressing themselves through reality TV confessionals about the events taking place on the show.

Some seasons, however, have used entirely different formats from the typical ones: The Island is one Challenge in particular that adopted many features atypical to Real World/Road Rules Challenge, instead taking concepts like that of another reality television game show Survivor; as another example, the first season (Road Rules: All Stars) ironically, only included contestants from The Real World and consisted of a much smaller cast before the show was completely restructured in its second season. Except for season one, a monetary prize has always been the award for winning the final mission.


The series initially used no hosts but instead a former cast member who had been kicked off his or her season, providing assignments as "Mr." or "Ms. Big" (David "Puck" Rainey, David Edwards, and Gladys Sanabria served this role). After one season without anyone in this role, the series began using hosts: Eric Nies and Mark Long co-hosted a season, and Jonny Moseley and Dave Mirra hosted various seasons before T. J. Lavin became the show's regular host by the 11th season.[5]


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Over time, a playful rivalry developed between the cast of Road Rules and The Real World, with the former occasionally attempting to prank the latter while it was in production.[6] During the filming of The Real World: Boston and Road Rules: Islands, the two casts met while the Real World cast was vacationing in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Producers set up a face-off where both teams would compete for a cash prize. The challenge brought in high ratings and this set ideas in motion to produce yet another spin-off series.[7] After another face-off called AquaGames, hosted by Kit Hoover and Mark Long, between The Real World: Seattle and Road Rules: Down Under in 1998, the Challenge series was born in 1998 with Road Rules: All Stars, and featured cast members from five seasons of The Real World.

After All Stars, producers decided to include former cast members of Road Rules in the series as well. In the next season, two six-member teams were sent around the world in a competition to see which show could best the other in head-to-head competition. The series followed the format for three years and brought in hugely successful ratings.

Following the hugely successful boom of reality television in the new millennium, from shows like Survivor, producers decided to add new elements to the series. 2002's Battle of the Seasons was the first season to depart from the previous six-member structure and brought in a large group of former cast members to compete in one location. The show added in eliminations that added an additional layer of scheming and manipulation. Earlier season incorporated voting off by majority, but eventually that changed to sudden-death elimination competitions between cast members up for elimination.[6][8] With this season MTV also added a fantasy challenge game to their website. Players "draft" cast members, a la fantasy baseball and cast members are given points for performing certain tasks, such as cursing or "hooking up."

After transitioning to the "vote-off" format, the series alternated between 'Battle' seasons. These included two seasons of Battle of the Sexes, as well as themed Challenges such as the Gauntlet and Inferno seasons. Both the Gauntlet and Inferno seasons contained "showdown" matches between members of the two opposing teams. The cast member who lost the showdown would be sent home. The Gauntlet seasons featured an intra-cast dynamic as teams were forced to vote off cast members within their own groups into the showdown, while the Inferno seasons featured an inter-cast dynamic as teams were forced to vote off cast members from the other group into the showdown.

Cast members

Main article: List of The Challenge (TV series) contestants

Contestants are various reality television cast members from different television shows. Originally the cast consisted of The Real World and Road Rules alumni, and cast who debuted directly on The Challenge, but eventually MTV expanded it to other alumni from other reality shows.[9][10][11]


Order Title Host Format Original Release Location of the residence Champion(s)
1 Road Rules: All Stars David "Puck" Rainey 1 team of 5 April 20, 1998 -
May 18, 1998
Road trip: MontrealLake Placid
WellingtonAucklandLos Angeles
Cynthia Roberts, Eric Nies, Jon Brennan, Rachel Campos & Sean Duffy
2 Real World vs. Road Rules David Edwards 2 teams of 6 November 9, 1999 -
December 14, 1999
Road trip: San FranciscoLos Angeles
Las VegasLos Angeles
  Road Rules
(Anne Wharton, Kalle Dedolph, Kefla Hare, Mark Long, Noah Rickun & Roni Martin)
3 Challenge 2000 Gladys Sanabria 2 teams of 6 January 17, 2000 -
April 3, 2000
Road trip: Las VegasNashvilleMiami   Road Rules
(Carlos "Los" Jackson, Dan Setzler, Holly Shand, Piggy Thomas, Veronica Portillo & Yes Duffy)
4 Extreme Challenge none 2 teams of 6 January 9, 2001 -
May 22, 2001
Road trip: Portland, MEMontreal
LondonNew YorkLos Angeles
  Real World
(Dan Renzi, Jamie Murray, Julie Stoffer, Kameelah Phillips, Rebecca Lord & Syrus Yarbrough)
5 Battle of the Seasons Eric Nies & Mark Long 2 teams of
8 pairs
January 28, 2002 -
May 27, 2002
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico   Real World
(Danny Roberts & Kelley Limp, Mike Mizanin & Coral Smith, Sean Duffy & Elka Walker)
6 Battle of the Sexes Jonny Moseley 2 teams of 18 December 30, 2002 -
May 12, 2003
Montego Bay, Jamaica   Guys
(Colin Mortensen, Jamie Murray & Mark Long)
7 The Gauntlet 2 teams of 14 September 29, 2003 -
January 26, 2004
Telluride, Colorado   Road Rules
(Adam Larson, Cara Zavaleta, Darrell Taylor, Dave Giuntoli, Rachel Robinson,
Roni Martin, Sarah Greyson, Theo Vonkurnatowski & Veronica Portillo)
8 The Inferno Dave Mirra 2 teams of 10 February 2, 2004 -
May 31, 2004
Acapulco, Mexico   Road Rules
(Abram Boise, Christena Pyle, Darrell Taylor, Holly Shand,
Katie Doyle, Kendal Sheppard, Timmy Beggy & Veronica Portillo)
9 Battle of the Sexes 2 Jonny Moseley 2 teams of 18 October 4, 2004 -
January 31, 2005
Santa Fe, New Mexico   Guys
(Dan Setzler, Eric Nies & Theo Vonkurnatowski)
10 The Inferno II Dave Mirra 2 teams of 10 March 7, 2005 -
June 20, 2005
Manzanillo, Mexico   Good Guys
(Darrell Taylor, Jamie Chung, Landon Lueck & Mike Mizanin)
11 The Gauntlet 2 T. J. Lavin 2 teams of 16 December 5, 2005 -
March 27, 2006
Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago   Rookies
(Alton Williams, Ibis Nieves, Jamie Murray, Jodi Weatherton,
Kina Dean, Landon Lueck, MJ Garrett, Randy Barry & Susie Meister)
12 Fresh Meat 12 pairs May 29, 2006 -
September 11, 2006
Myocum, Australia   Darrell Taylor & Aviv Melmed
13 The Duel Individual October 12, 2006 -
January 18, 2007
Armação dos Búzios, Brazil   Wes Bergmann
  Jodi Weatherton
14 The Inferno 3 2 teams of 10 April 10, 2007 -
July 3, 2007
Somerset West, South Africa   Bad Asses
(Abram Boise, Derrick Kosinski, Evelyn Smith, Janelle Casanave, Kenny Santucci & Tonya Cooley)
15 The Gauntlet III 2 teams of 16 January 23, 2008 -
March 26, 2008
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico   Rookies
(Frank Roessler, Jillian Zoboroski, Johanna Botta, Nehemiah Clark, Rachel Moyal & Tori Hall)
16 The Island Individual
→2 teams of 4
September 10, 2008 -
October 29, 2008
Colón Island, Panama   Red Boat
(Derrick Kosinski, Evelyn Smith, Johnny Devenanzio & Kenny Santucci)
17 The Duel II Individual April 8, 2009 -
June 17, 2009
Queenstown, New Zealand   Evan Starkman
  Rachel Robinson
18 The Ruins 2 teams of 14 September 30, 2009 -
December 23, 2009
Phuket, Thailand   Champions
(Derrick Kosinski, Evan Starkman, Johnny Devenanzio, Kenny Santucci & Susie Meister)
19 Fresh Meat II 13 pairs April 7, 2010 -
June 9, 2010
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada   Landon Lueck & Carley Johnson
20 Cutthroat 3 teams of 10 October 6, 2010 -
December 22, 2010
Prague, Czech Republic   Red Team
(Brad Fiorenza, Dunbar Merrill, Tori Hall & Tyler Duckworth)
21 Rivals 14 pairs June 22, 2011 -
September 7, 2011
Dominical, Costa Rica
Buenos Aires & Bariloche, Argentina
  Johnny Devenanzio & Tyler Duckworth
  Evelyn Smith & Paula Meronek
22 Battle of the Exes 13 pairs January 25, 2012 -
April 4, 2012
Sosúa, Dominican Republic
Reykjavík, Iceland
  Johnny Devenanzio & Camila Nakagawa
23 Battle of the Seasons 8 teams of 4 September 19, 2012 -
December 19, 2012
Bodrum, Turkey
Swakopmund & Windhoek, Namibia
  Team San Diego
(Ashley Kelsey, Frank Sweeney, Sam McGinn & Zach Nichols)
24 Rivals II 16 pairs July 10, 2013 -
September 25, 2013
Phuket, Thailand   Chris "CT" Tamburello & Wes Bergmann
  Emily Schromm & Paula Meronek
25 Free Agents Individual
April 10, 2014 -
June 26, 2014
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Pucón, Chile
 03  Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio
 24  Laurel Stucky
26 Battle of the Exes II 13 pairs January 6, 2015 -
March 24, 2015
Pedasí, Panama
Ørsta, Norway
  Jordan Wiseley & Sarah Rice
27 Battle of the Bloodlines 14 pairs
→ 2 teams of 12
→ 5 pairs
December 2, 2015 -
February 17, 2016
Bodrum, Turkey
Berlin, Germany
  Cara Maria Sorbello & Jamie Banks
28 Rivals III 13 pairs May 4, 2016 -
August 3, 2016
Huatulco, Mexico
Mendoza, Argentina
  Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio & Sarah Rice
29 Invasion of the Champions Individual
→ 2 teams
→ Individual
February 7, 2017 -
May 16, 2017
Krabi, Thailand   Chris "CT" Tamburello
  Ashley Mitchell
30 XXX: Dirty 30 Individual
July 18, 2017 -
November 28, 2017
Cartagena, Colombia
Salta, Argentina
  Jordan Wiseley
  Camila Nakagawa
31 Vendettas Individual
January 2, 2018 -
April 17, 2018
Gibraltar, BOT & Marbella, Spain
Prague, Czech Republic
  Cara Maria Sorbello
32 Final Reckoning 17 pairs July 10, 2018 -
December 4, 2018
Hermanus, South Africa   Ashley Mitchell & Hunter Barfield
33 War of the Worlds 16 pairs
→ Individual
February 6, 2019 -
May 29, 2019
Swakopmund, Namibia   Turabi "Turbo" Çamkıran
34 War of the Worlds 2 2 teams of 16 August 28, 2019 –
December 18, 2019
Chiang Mai and Phuket, Thailand   Team UK
(Chris "CT" Tamburello, Dee Nguyen, Jordan Wiseley & Rogan O'Connor)
35 Total Madness Individual
April 1, 2020 –
July 29, 2020
Prague, Czech Republic
Central Eastern Alps, Austria
  Jennifer "Jenny" West
  Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio
36 Double Agents 15 pairs December 9, 2020 –
April 21, 2021
Reykjavík, Iceland   Amber Borzotra & Chris "CT" Tamburello
37 Spies, Lies & Allies 17 pairs
→ 3 teams of 6
→ Individual
→ 3 pairs
August 11, 2021 –
December 22, 2021
Vrsar, Croatia   Chris "CT" Tamburello & Kaycee Clark
38 Ride or Dies 17 pairs
→ 2 teams of 8
→7 pairs
October 12, 2022 –
March 1, 2023
Buenos Aires, Argentina   Devin Walker-Molaghan & Tori Deal
39 Battle for a New Champion Individual
October 25, 2023 –
March 6, 2024
Pula, Croatia   Emanuel Neagu
40 40: Battle of the Eras 4 teams of 10 August 14, 2024 –
Vietnam   TBA

Spin offs

The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars

The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars (originally known as The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros) is a special recurring mini-series of The Challenge.[12] In each multi-week event, alumni from The Challenge compete against celebrities to win money for charity.[13][14][15][16][17][18]

Order Title Host Format Original Release Location of the residence Winner(s)
1 Champs vs. Pros Victor Cruz 2 teams of 10
→ 3 pairs
May 16 –
June 20, 2017
Los Angeles, California   Cara Maria Sorbello & Darrell Taylor
2 Champs vs. Stars I Mike "The Miz" Mizanin 2 teams of 10 November 21, 2017 –
January 9, 2018
(Chris "CT" Tamburello, Emily Schromm & Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio)
3 Champs vs. Stars II 2 teams of 10
→ 7 pairs
April 17 –
June 26, 2018
  Chris "CT" Tamburello & Tony Raines

The Challenge: All Stars

Main article: The Challenge: All Stars

In 2020, Road Rules: USA – The First Adventure alumnus Mark Long started asking his social media followers if they'd be interested in seeing former cast members of The Challenge coming together for a new version of the series. The movement was titled "We Want OGs." After his idea went viral, he announced a partnership with Bunim/Murray Productions to further develop his project and began gauging interest from potential former cast members.[19] On February 24, 2021, the show was officially announced as The Challenge: All Stars.[20]

Order Title Host Format Original Release Location of the residence Winner(s)
1 All Stars T. J. Lavin Individual
April 1 –
May 27, 2021
Andes Mountains, Argentina   Yes Duffy
2 All Stars 2 Individual
→ 8 pairs
November 11, 2021 –
January 13, 2022
Cancún, Mexico   Jonna Mannion & MJ Garrett
3 All Stars 3 Individual
May 11, –
July 6, 2022
Panama City & San José Island, Panama   Wes Bergmann
  Jonna Mannion
4 All Stars 4 Individual
April 10, –
June 19, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa   Laurel Stucky

The Challenge: World Championship & International versions

Main articles: The Challenge: World Championship and The Challenge: USA

In February 2022, different series of The Challenge were announced, this included three international adaptations for Australia, Argentina, the UK, as well as The Challenge: USA, another American series which aired on CBS with CBS reality show alumni. All editions of the series aired locally on a Paramount-affiliated network and were available globally to stream on Paramount+. These four series were followed by The Challenge: World Championship, which features winners and notable players from the international adaptations and the main series of The Challenge competing for a grand prize.[21][22][23][24][25][26] On May 22, 2023, following the conclusion of World Championship, CBS announced that a second season of The Challenge: USA would premiere on August 10, 2023.[27] On June 27, 2024, it was announced that a Swedish version of The Challenge would be airing on TV4 starting on August 12, 2024, marking the first series in the franchise to be produced outside of Bunim/Murray Productions.[28][29][30]

Country Title[23] Host(s) Network[25] Format Original Release Location Winner(s)
United States USA T. J. Lavin CBS Individual
July 6 – September 14, 2022 Buenos Aires & Patagonia, Argentina   Danny McCray
  Sarah Lacina
USA 2 3 teams of 8
August 10 – October 19, 2023[27] Pula, Croatia   Chris Underwood
  Desi Williams
Australia Australia Brihony Dawson[31] Network 10 Individual
November 14 – December 13, 2022 Buenos Aires & Pilar, Argentina   Kiki Morris
  Troy Cullen
Argentina Argentina: El Desafio Marley[32] Telefe Individual
February 13 – March 7, 2023[33] Buenos Aires & Pilar, Argentina   Sol Pérez
United Kingdom UK Mark Wright Channel 5 Individual
February 20 – 24, 2023 Buenos Aires, Argentina   Kaz Crossley
  Tristan Phipps
Global World Championship Brihony Dawson
Mark Wright
T. J. Lavin
Paramount+ 14 pairs March 8 – May 17, 2023 Cape Town, South Africa   Team UK
(Jordan Wiseley & Kaz Crossley)
Sweden Sverige Pischa Strindstedt TV4 August 12, 2024 – Larnaca, Cyprus


Spring Break Challenge

In March 2010, prior to the airing of the 19th season, MTV aired a special spring break spin-off of The Challenge filmed at the Playa Suites Hotel in Acapulco, Mexico.[34] The five-episode spin-off was titled Spring Break Challenge and aired from March 22-26 2010.[35] The season featured seven Challenge alum who coached teams of college-aged friends through various challenges and elimination rounds in an attempt to win $50,000 in cash and prizes. Fresh Meat alumnus Evan Starkman and The Real World: Key West alumna Paula Meronek served as broadcasters, with T. J. Lavin as the host.[36][37] Camila Nakagawa, a contestant of the winning team, went on to appear on future challenges, with her debut season being Cutthroat.[38][39] To date, Nakagawa is the only player to appear on the main series.

The season was won by Team Susie, coached by Road Rules: Down Under alumna Susie Meister.

Team leader Original season Finish
  Susie Meister Road Rules: Down Under Winner
  Kenny Santucci Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat Runner-up
  Wes Bergmann The Real World: Austin Third place
  Darrell Taylor Road Rules: Campus Crawl Episode 4
  Landon Lueck The Real World: Philadelphia Episode 3
  Evelyn Smith Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat Episode 2
  Rachel Robinson Road Rules: Campus Crawl Episode 1

The Challenge: CT's Getting Married

The Challenge: CT's Getting Married is a two-part special revolving around the wedding of Challenge star Chris "CT" Tamburello and Lilianet Solares. MTV released the trailer and premiere date on November 20, 2018. The two-week special premiered on December 11, 2018, and concluded on December 18, 2018.[40][41]

The Challenge: Untold History

The Challenge: Untold History is a six-part documentary about The Challenge. It featured over 30 former competitors and several celebrity fans, discussing the show and telling behind the scenes stories. It premiered on September 21, 2022, on MTV. A sneak preview was shown during the Unscripted portion of the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards.[42]

The Challenge: Home Turf

The Challenge: Home Turf is an eight-part Youtube and docuseries which premiered on January 29, 2024. The docuseries focuses on eight cast members visiting their hometown and sharing stories about their career and upbringing.[43]


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