The Challenge

Throwback: Did The Duel 2 Live Up to Its Name?

The Duel 1 became the first Challenge were competitors competed “independently.” For the most part this was true, though there were some missions that utilized team and partner formats. The Duel 2, on the other hand, seldom has missions that were truly individual.


As a viewer of The Challenge, it seemed like The Duel 2 was MTV trolling its contestants. A lot of Challengers had waited for the second Duel, some stating that they’d only return for a Duel. So the cast showed up for a Duel, and (at least) half of the missions were partner-based. As a result, the show was a revolving door of Landon & Brittini or Mark & Rachel winning. Also, the voting was more predictable than the first season. The cast was able to predict who’d be in The Duel and manipulate the voting. Unlike The Duel 1 were, probably because the cast was so fresh, petty arguments could have a big impact on the selection for The Duel and there was no clear cut voting.

Still, the season wore The Duel name. Ultimately, the Duels were all fought individually. Partners were not assigned on any permanent basis and as far as we know people were free to switch partners as they desired. Even though people didn’t voluntarily switch, people did get new partners as a result of their “partner” losing The Duel.

Then there’s the final, where the cast was supposedly competing as individuals. However, there were check points where one person (the male) had to wait for a competitor of the opposite sex to advance. At this point, you were stuck with that person until the end of the final mission. As a result, Mark (who ended up with Aneesa) was miles behind the other two even though he made it to the check point just second after them.

In the end, did The Duel 2 live up to the “Duel” name, or was it an entirely different format?



  1. The only thing good was that about 90% of the cast was great. The only thing I find bad was that only two male eliminations were physical one being mj vs Ryan which was boring and Landon vs brad which was Landon dq and every female elimination switched from the two physical ones.

  2. This season was such a letdown. Why on the world did they let the winners get to deliberate who to save first, and draw up “the list”?? Completely erased the drama from the selection process. The only surprise was when Paula saved Dunbar. And even that wasn’t much of a moment.

  3. Brittini’s surprise performance on the duel 2 is reason why that I want her to doing another challenge. She is a strong competitor

  4. Free Agents was even worse when it came to being a “individual” challenge. I mean there was eleven challenges (including the final) and only two of them were truly indidual.

    1. That’s because Free agents was an individual challenge only in the sense that there was only one winner per sex. But that wasn’t the emphasis of the season. The first duel season had the feeling of everyone being on their own. Alliances could only take you so far because there was only two people that got paid in the end. The second duel was all about alliances, therefore making it a little predictable. But the emphasis of free agents was about being able to adapt to specific challenges, including being put on weak teams or weak partners.

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