The Challenge: Invasion is a new format with a bunch of new competitors, but somehow the oldest Challenger is the most refreshing addition to the show.
If you were a fan of The Challenge or Road Rules a decade ago then you may be familiar with Shane. His last appearance on MTV was for Road Rules: Viewers Revenge- an atrocious reboot of Road Rules featuring six Road Rules alumni. Five years prior, he made his debut on 2002’s Road Rules: Campus Crawl. He returned for 2003’s Battle of the Sexes, 2004’s The Inferno and Battle of the Sexes 2, and 2006’s Fresh Meat.
Shane was fairly recognizable in the earlier Challenge days, but fans who don’t know The Challenge without Johnny Bananas won’t have any idea who Shane is. He certainly had fans when he was on the show, but he was never one of the big names on the show. He never won, and he was never on a season without an equal number of Real Worlders and Road Rulers. So why is he back? And why is it so exciting?
While I can’t be sure why production decided to cast Shane, it’s clear that he has stayed in good shape- if not progressed to better physical condition than he was in while filming Fresh Meat in 2005. According to his MTV bio for the upcoming season, he has ambitions to open a LGBTQ business and has been involved in movements for LGBTQ equality. He was married, then divorced, and has packed a lot of life experiences into his time away from MTV. Perhaps they were looking for an inspirational story, or perhaps producers noticed he was in good shape and wanted an “underdog” who could surprise us all and return to the show with a vengeance. Regardless of the reasoning, many people have taken notice to Shane’s return.
The biggest reason I’m excited to see Shane (and Darrell for that matter) return is because this is evidence production has not completely forgotten about the old school. There are a number of old schoolers who has maintained good physical shape and have some interest in returning. When people like Shane return to the show with positive reception, it seems likely that production will be willing to give other old schoolers a chance. Do I think we’re going to get an entire season filled with old schoolers? No. I do have the realistic hope that season 30 will include one or two returns from old schoolers who have been off the show for 5+ years.
Additionally, Shane has maintained contact with some of the biggest names from the early Challenge days. He’s friends with Roadies like Rachel, Veronica, and Tina. Coral loved him, and he was never a social outcast on the show. Hopefully he had a positive experience on Invasion and has told his friends. Perhaps they’d be more willing to return alongside a friend like Shane.
With all of this said, I’m thrilled to see Shane this season and I’m hoping he performs well.