Challenge 30 is on its way, and it seems like MTV has a renewed interest in The Challenge. So far this year we’ve seen The Challenge: Invasion, Champs vs. Pros, Season 30, and now there’s rumors of season 31 being on its way. It’s likely in the very early stages of development, but this is more Challenge action that we’ve seen on MTV in ages.
Once Road Rules ended, production introduced the concept of Fresh Meat into the mix, and people like Kenny, Evan, Diem, and Evelyn quickly became Challenge regulars. This was a success for production, because there was once a time where interest in The Challenge was waining.
Flash forward nine years, and we’ve seen two Fresh Meat seasons. Then, production decides to add Are You the One? into the mix. While the decision was met with mixed reactions, there’s not denying that Are You the One isn’t a flop on MTV. It’s going into its 6th season and has survived four years on the network. We’ve also seen Bloodlines coming onto The Challenge, and we’re now getting more fresh faces from these shows than we are from The Real World.
Meanwhile, The Real World isn’t getting much love. Its past 4 seasons have featured twists and the show has pivoted away from its original format. Similarly, Road Rules had four vote-off based seasons prior to getting placed on hiatus. While some of these seasons were successes, fans at the time complained that the show lost it’s authenticity and was just following reality TV trends. The same can be said about the most recent Real World seasons, and it isn’t paying off.
The Challenge has some future ahead of it, and the Real World’s future is very uncertain. It seems likely that Are You the One? is going to be the primary source of newbies moving forward. Including Season 30, Go Big or Go Home and Bad Blood have each contributed two unique cast members to the show. We don’t seem to be getting a lot from The Real World even when it is producing new seasons, so MTV already seems to be shifting away from The Real World as the biggest contributor of cast members.
What does this mean? If the Challenge is going to survive without The Real World, which I think it can, there are a few shifts in casting. As we’ve seen, AYTO and Challenge-generated cast members (like Bloodlines and Fresh Meat) will be coming onto the show at an alarming rate. We may even see other shows contributing cast members. I also expect to see a bigger emphasis on building characters on the show. I fully expect to see people like Amanda, Cory, Ashley, and Tony being invited back season-after-season. The best thing that I’ve noticed is an increase in old schoolers. I expect that people from older seasons will be contacted to return, and the interest in the show may escalate if we continue to see huge prizes.
Do you think we need The Real World? Or will we survive without it?