A couple of months ago, I was listening the Challenge Mania podcast with Jemmye, prior to the begging of Vendettas, and she brought up an interesting point. With Are You the One? and Ex on the Beach feeding into The Challenge, we have multiple dating shows giving us new cast members. She warned us that this season was full of hook ups, and now I can totally see it.
Brad and Britni, Natalie and Bananas, Nicole and Melissa, Kayleigh and Nelson, Kayleigh and Bananas, Cara Maria and Kyle, Nicole and Laurel, the list could go on. This season has been full of hook ups.
When you think about it, this has been years in the making. Starting with Battle of the Exes in 2012, we’ve seen Challenge and Real World romances at the center of plot lines for over half a decade. Recent seasons like Dirty Thirty and Vendettas use these failed romances to put cast members against each other. Meanwhile, Challengers are encouraged to start new romances and cheat on their existing partners. By bringing in people from dating shows, production knows they’ll have people relying on hook ups for survival in the game.
Vendettas has been particularly heavy in the hook up department, but clearly the UK kids were cast with that intent in mind. Now, MTV is bring Ex on the Beach to the US, and that will give use more cast members who come onto The Challenge looking for their next hook up.
So is The Challenge a dating show now? Well, it’s heading in that direction. MTV is looking to engage viewers of Are You the One and Ex on The Beach with The Challenge. Plus, we’re seeing more episodes where the show omits a challenge or an elimination to focus on drama.
I don’t think The Challenge will ever truly be a dating show, but I also didn’t think the show would survive without The Real World.