The Challenge has seen varying levels of success over the past 5 years, but it has been a long time since we’ve seen a good team Challenge.
Sure, we had Battle of the Seasons and Free Agents. While these Challenge had some aspects of team Challenges, we have not seen a real Team Challenge since Cutthroat of 2010.
When The Challenge bags, team Challenges were the only way there were done. Originally Real World vs. Road Rules, later seasons branched out and placed men vs. women, rookies vs. veterans, or “good guys” vs. “bad asses.” The Challenge then introduced a partnered format on Fresh Meat and an individualized approach on The Duel. After The Duel, we saw a few more team Challenges until seasons like Rival and Battle of the Exes changed the game for good.
While certain themes have been really successful, there are elements of The Challenge that a teamed format produces that other season cannot. For example, we never really see the struggle of trying to get rid of a bad teammate any more. People like Casey or Shauvon have no place on The Challenge because they will get weeded out too quickly. This adds a level of predicability to the show because we know who will make it further along and who will left early.
Team conflicts are also missing from the show. Power couples like Mike & Trishelle or Jillian & Frank dominating a team no longer exists. We no long have people bullying their way to the end because their teammates do not have to deal with the wrath of their returns.
While partnered and individual Challenges have their benefits, taking team Challenges out of the mix has removed a lot aspects from older seasons way from the show.