Every so often we get a Challenge season that has a stellar cast. More often, we get a Challenge that has an underwhelming cast. While sometimes this can lead to a pleasantly exciting season, the initial reaction to the cast is usually an eye roll. In this list, I am going to explore some of the season that had a negative first impression.
Just to be clear, this is not a ranking of how good the season was. This is a ranking of production’s ability to get an exciting cast. The cast lists are ranked primarily based on: diversity of the cast based on initial season, inclusion of older cast members, unexpected cast members at the time of filming, inclusion of fan favorites at the time of filming, and producing a cast that will generate interesting competition.
5. Free Agents
The Good: The men generated a good amount of competition. The cast also included a few cast members who hadn’t appeared in years such as Cohutta, Isaac, Emilee, and Laurel.
The Bad: Without seeing a single mission I knew Laurel would win.
The Verdict: This was a season designed to recycle drama from Rivals 2, which was a combination of recycled drama from Battle of the Seasons and Battle of the Exes.
4. Fresh Meat 2
The Good: Landon and Jillian.
The Bad: An influx of unestablished veteran running around like that were God’s gift to The Challenge. The lack of interesting newbies (Fresh Meat ignored).
The Verdict: This whole season was built to be a competition between Wes & Kenny. Everyone else was an accessory to this storyline until the last episodes.
3. The Island
The Good: The Return of Rachel and an attempt to showcase the new veterans.
The Bad: Notoriously annoying people ran this season. When you removed competition, you see how little people like Evelyn & Bananas truly contribute to The Challenge.
The Verdict: While the attempt to produce something new did not go unnoticed, the lack of strong veterans left fans with a void.
2. The Gauntlet
The Good: The cast was a good collection of strong personalities from recent seasons.
The Bad: This cast was heavily dominated by cast members from the most recent Real World and Road Rules season from the time. Strong personalities from seasons older than 3 years were absent.
The Verdict: This season attempted to recreate drama from Battle of the Seasons. It ushered in the first Challenge whores and removed older cast members from the equation.
1. The Duel
The Good: The cast did produce decent competition, especially on the men’s side.
The bad: This cast really shifted away from alumni. 25% of the cast were “Fresh Meat,” who viewers didn’t want to see as stand-alone competitors at the time. 20% of the cast came from Key West. 95% of the cast had appeared on MTV within the past year of The Duel airing.
The Verdict: If you followed casting spoilers in 2006, you would have been thinking “WTF is MTV doing??” Staples of the show were missing, and initially there was not a lot of motive to tune in. Luckily, this era proved to be worthy of our viewership.
Which season do you think production did the worst job casting?