Challenge: Final Reckoning

Three Episodes Until the Final: Why is The Final Reckoning Still On?

MTV recently released an advertisement for the remainder of Final Reckoning advertising three more episodes until the final!

Like many other viewers, you’re probably wondering: why do long? Why has this season lasted longer than any other season?

There’s a couple of reasons. I know I’ve touched on this in the past, but it seems like seasons continue to get longer. Prior to 2017, the longest season was The Gauntlet 2: 17 episodes plus a pre-season episode and reunion. That means the season lasted for 19 weeks. Then Dirty Thirty had 17 episode, a two part reunion, and a behind the scenes reunion special. That made the season 20 weeks long with each episode being a full hour. Final Reckoning is going to top that. We’ve seen 16 episodes, +3 more before the final + at least 1 for the final + the reunion (likely 2 parts). That makes Final Reckoning at least 22 weeks long, 23 when the final inevitably takes two weeks. There’s two good reasons for this in my eyes.

The prize is huge now, and the cast isn’t cheap. Paying everyone to attend this show is getting more expensive. How will MTV generate revenue? Ads. How will MTV get more ad revenue? Make more episodes. It’s simple math, and it impacts season length.I can’t argue with this logic, and if MTV wants to get good people on the show, the pay need to tempt these people to compete.

Here’s the second reason, and the area where MTV needs to improve. Right now, we don’t have The Real World or Road Rules to generate new cast members. Are You the One? does not seem like a casting priority any more. So, we’re getting people from Big Brother and MTV UK. There’s no way people in the US know the reality stars from outside the US. Some people may know the Big Brother contestants, but the UK kids are complete unknowns. The Challenge now has the responsibility of replacing Real World and Road Rules. The competitive nature of the show is the aspect replacing Road Rules, and the drama should serve as a Real World replacement. Rather than getting to know the newcomers and organically evolving story lines on The Challenge, we’re getting recycled hook up plot lines.

Essentially, we’re reducing the competition aspect of the show to focus on drama. The competitive nature of the show has proven to be successful. The drama we’re getting is the type of drama that killed The Real World. Forced arguments between “bad blood” and exes are drawn out over the course of 20 weeks. For example, look at the Nelson and Kayleigh plot line this season. Almost nothing changed between the two, yet we’e still talking about their lingering feelings. Then there’s Paulie and Kyle, who are arguing over Cara Maria despite the fact that they’re in an entirely different house than Cara Maria. Nothing new is happening. We’re just talking about the same arguments over and over.

On the upcoming season of The Challenge, I really hope we learn something about the new competitors. Production should assume I know nothing about the rookies on Season 33 and allow them to introduce fresh plot lines. This would allow the show to be more entertaining if it’s going to airs for months upon months.

Sadly, I don’t think this looks promising for Season 33.


  1. I wish they would bring back Real World in the old format of seven strangers living together. We got to know the cast and could get invested in them. I love The Challenge but again, I want the old format of more competition and less drama especially the relationship (not really a relationship) drama. Why won’t MTV learn. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

  2. It doesn’t make sense. MTV gives out a million on Are You The One? and it still runs for ten weeks only.

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