If you’re an old school fan of The Challenge, you likely have some favorite missions from prior seasons. However, it’s unlikely that these favorites are from The Island. This season didn’t have real missions because the entire objective was to build a boat, sail it to an island, and unlock a treasure chest containing the $300,000 prize.
To unlock this chest you needed a key. To earn a key, you competed in a 3 person face-off. For the first half of the season the winner of the face-off received a key while the other two pleaded with the non-participants to survive in the game. The non-participants voted one person off The Island, while the other stayed and received a key. Later in the winner of the face-off stole a key from someone who already had one.
These face-offs were similar to elimination rounds such as Gauntlets, Duels or Ruins. The elaborate missions and the fancy houses we’re used to seeing on a Challenge were replaced with the struggle to survive and a bare-bones-bungalow. While this was difficult for the cast, it certainly caused drama.
Many old-school Challenge fans dislike this season because of the lack of real missions and the ability to coast to the final by having a strong alliance. Others love this season for its focus on strategy, constant fights, and unique concept. Now that 6 years have past since the airing of The Island it seems that the concept was not the huge success production hoped it would be. We have yet to see a sequel to this season and many cast members have stated that they’d never do a Challenge similar to The Island.
What do you think? Is the Island a franchise flop, or a hidden gem in the series?