10 years ago The Inferno 2 was airing on MTV. It was a season that went down in history as one of the craziest, most dramatic, and most memorable Challenges. It was also very different from The Challenge as we know it today. Here’s a look at some of the biggest differences:
1. TJ Who? I don’t know what’s harder to believe, The Challenge existed without TJ or that TJ has been hosting The Challenge for almost 10 years. The Inferno 2 was hosted by Dave Mirra. The following Challenge. The Gauntlet 2, was filmed in summer of 2005 and hosted by TJ Lavin. He has hosted ever Challenge since.
2. More Challenge, Half as Long. The Challenge used to be half an hour. This meant we saw more missions, the season lasted a few weeks longer (16 weeks compared to 10-12), but the storylines weren’t as developed. Now, we get more content because episodes are one hour, but fewer missions.
3. The Odds Are In Your Favor. Making it to the final was much easier. The Inferno 2 only had 8 elimination for a 20 person cast. On Battle of the Exes 2, only 6 people out of 26 made it to the final.
4. Product Placement Everywhere! Rewatch an older season like The Duel. There’s tons of product placement. Clues were received on a T-Mobile Sidekick 2, winning and elimination got you an X-box, and winning a daily Challenge could get you a NHL prize package. Now there’s just money and some free Under Armor gear.
5. Real World vs. Road Rules. 10 years ago there was no such thing as Are You the One?, Fresh Meat, or the Spring Break Challenge. The cast only had Real World and Road Rules. Now people wonder what Road Rules was.
6. T-Shirts Everywhere. If you saw the older seasons, people wore custom t-shirts all the time. Rachel & Veronica owned a product line called College Dropout, You’d see shirts that read “Where’s Rachel?” “LESBIAN” or “Thousandaire.”
7. Finals Were a Breeze. Compared to the finals of today. On The Gauntlet, the cast was shocked that they had to run 3 miles. Now finals are overnight, are 10+ miles, and require contestants to climb sketchy mountains.
8. The Cast Ran Wild. Production now has a tight grip on the day-to-day activities of cast members. 10 years ago people went out to eat, brought digital camera, and listened to music. Nowadays people feel privileged to read a Bible.
9. Two Teams, Not Teams of Two. Fresh Meat 1 was the first season that was not divided into two teams. Now, we almost always see teams of two and haven’t had a large team Challenge in about 5 years.
10. The People! Of course people are going to change over the years, but back in the day Veronica, Coral, Mike, and Theo ran the show. The only people we’d see that have done The Challenge for 10 years are Aneesa and CT. Having the cast change over time is natural, but there were a lot of great cast members we haven’t seen in ages.