The Challenge

The Challenge: Seasons 20-29 Ranked.

A while ago, I did a ranking of Challenge seasons 15-24. Many moons and five seasons laster, The Challenge is about to turn 30. Here are the past ten seasons ranked… but remember, this is all just my opinion.

10. Battle of the Bloodlines- Season 27

Rather than doing a third season of Fresh Meat, MTV decided to bring in the family (and in some cases, pseudo-family) of cast members. This season was notably fragmented, with many cliffhangers and drawn out storylines. Many of these storylines were uncomfortable to watch and resulted in extremely personal drama. The good from this season? Cara Maria took out Bananas and finally scored a win.

9. Rivals 2- Season 24

If this was your first Challenge season, you’d probably love it. It was a good combo of beloved veterans and the newbies we just saw on Battle of the Seasons. However, this season seemed very recycled, and all of the rivalries seemed fabricated. The editing this season seemed very choppy and the lack of competition, especially on the woman’s side, made the ending very predictable.

8. Rivals 3- Season 28

Unpopular opinion- I liked Rivals 3 more than Rivals 2. Popular opinion- It still wasn’t a very good season. I liked the fact that some of the newbies were given the opportunity to become new characters in the show, but there were two major flaws in this season. First, the editing was a major issue. With way too many cliffhangers, the season seemed massively drawn out. Secondly, the lack of competition made the whole season predictable. As much as people hate Bananas for taking Sarah’s prize money, I can’t blame production for trying to spice up an otherwise predictable final.

7. Free Agents-Season 25

Free Agents was a good season with decent challenges and a lot of major characters in the show. However, it still feels like a forgettable season to me. There were no real surprises in the casting and not a lot of drama throughout the season. Unlike The Duel, this season never promised to be an entirely individual game, but I don’t think anyone enjoyed the fact that the final was mostly pair competitions, proving we may never get a truly individual Challenge.

6. Battle of the Seasons- Season 23

Battle of the Seasons was a solid attempt at introducing a new generation to The Challenge. While the competitions weren’t the best, the fact that we were given a cast with some surprises and a break from the regular challengers was welcomed change of pace for the long-time viewers. While the format may never be repeated again, it a good attempt at rebranding Battle of the Seasons.

5. Cutthroat- Season 20

The last true team Challenge, Cutthroat made the competition more competitive by splitting the cast into three teams. With a higher-than-average number of rookies on the season, this proved to be a season where vets weren’t guaranteed a victory but the rookies could make it to the end. Some notable Challengers started their development as Challengers on this season, and many still-relevant storylines on the show began on this season.

4. Invasion of the Champions- Season 29

The most recent season, this season piggybacked off The Real World and introduced a twist to The Challenge. Unlike The Ruins, this season allowed the Underdogs to weed out some of the weaker players before taking on the Champions. This proved to be a good idea, because the Underdogs were actually a capable team. The final, similar to Free Agents, was in a formate that no one wanted, but it was an interesting way to end the season.

3. Battle of the Exes- Season 22


The original Exes was a good attempt at using relationship-based pairings to craft Challenge drama. The competition was solid, and even though Bananas won this season, he wasn’t the clear frontrunner throughout the season. This season included pairings that reach far back into Challenge history did a good job of brining back a lot of the veterans, As great as this season was, I will always look back and wish CT and Diem won.

2. Rivals- Season 21

The original Rivals did one thing that the second two seasons failed to do- cast real rivalries. Most pairings on this season had some very real and easily remembered drama, and that kept the show engaging. The competitions got repetitive, while many of them being platform-over-water based, but this was also the first season with an overnight final. With a lot of drama and solid competitors, Rivals stands out as a great season with a format the worked well.

1. Battle of the Exes 2- Season 26

Perhaps tainted by the fact that two of the cast members passed away after filming, Battle of the Exes 2 proved to be more interesting than the first. This season stands out due to the fact that strategy played a huge role in making it to the end and that the game wasn’t dominated by Bananas. The Ex-iled twist added an exciting layer of competition to the show, but the fact that alliances stabbed each other in the back and the massive power shifts made the season engaging from start to finish.


  1. How the list should go: Rivals, Exes, Seasons 2, Rivals 2, Free Agents, Exes 2, Bloodlines, Invasion, Rivals 3.

    BTW Notice how the recent seasons end up towards the bottom. The show has completely lost its way with casting, themes and the editing.

  2. 1. Rivals
    2. Exes 2
    3. Exes
    4. Rivals 2
    5. Seasons
    6. Free agents
    7. Bloodlines
    8. Invasion
    9. Rivals 3

  3. I think they need to do an Exes 3 soon. There’s been a number of couples that should be there like Kailah and Dione, Jenna T and Dylan (I know it’s unpopular), Cory and Camila, Ashley M and Hunter, Jenna C (or Ashley K) and Zach, Maybe Marie and Anthony, Latoya and Nelson, Devin and Kiki, and Tony and Madison.

  4. 1. Battle of the Exes
    2. Rivals
    3. Cutthroat
    4. Battle of the Exes 2
    5. Rivals 2
    6. Invasion of the Champions
    7. Free Agents
    8. Battle of the Seasons
    9. Rivals 3
    10. Battle of the Bloodlines

  5. 1. Exes 2: All the major vet teams were eliminated or sent out early which guaranteed higher chances of a new male and female winner. Amazing that politics and strategy was played into this.

    2. Battle of the Seasons: I just loved the fact we got a break from all the originals this season and we were finally able to see new people have a chance to shine.

    3. Invasion: The most nostalgic season of the challenge, lots of old faces returning and lots of new faces. This was a season where all the newer faces and old school vets shined more than the regulars like Bananas, Cara, etc.

    4. Bloodlines: It sucked that most of the bloodlines this season are easily forgettable, the season was overall great. The deliberations when it came down to voting was some of the best I seen on this show, the fights, the drama was all interesting.

    5. Rivals: The only rivals season with actual rivals. I truly do love this season but I wasn’t feeling Bananas’ and his friends running the entire show, it was super predictable. Besides that, probably one of the most entertaining casts.

    6. Cutthroat: Great season but in my opinion one of the most overrated seasons. The cast was meh in my opinion but the challenges were great. The outcome of this season was horrible and the red team just wasn’t likable at all besides Brandon & Racist Camila.

    7. Exes: A great cast and the challenges were great to watch. I wasn’t too happy with Bananas/Camila winning. CT/Diem or Ty/Emily were more deserving and had more heart.

    8. Rivals 3: Despite this is one of the most hated seasons, I truly enjoyed it for what it was. It gave the chance to introduce a lot more people in it, I wish they would have cast more competitive people this season but it was interesting to see people like Nate, Devin, Cheyenne, etc. on a show like this instead of your stereotypical gym addicts. Also as predictable as it was and no one trying to take out Bananas, still a very iconic ending to the season.

    9. Rivals 2: A way better cast than most seasons but I just wasn’t feeling how predictable it was. Emily/Paula had zero competition this season and Bananas and his friends controlled every single vote on the season, same as Rivals 1. The only good of this season was CT getting a win and the drama was great but overall a weak season.

    10.Free Agents: Nothing really happened this season besides the Jordan & Bananas beef. Also, another predictable season where rookies were usually outnumbered and gone the first few episodes. Most forgettable rookies and the most unneeded returns plus it was just way too forgettable. Loved the concept.

    11. Dirty 30: I know this wasn’t listed but so far this season is the worse from seasons 20-30. Dirty 30 has way too many pointless players on the season. A season of way too many followers and not enough players plus the editing and the players calling every move this season “dirty” is annoying. Plus it is way too boring and it seemed it was another season put together to benefit CT, Bananas, Cara, and Camila by casting all their minions.

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