Challenge and Elimination Secrets You May Not Know

Over the years, have have been hundreds of competitions on The Challenge. Many of them are straight froward, but sometimes there’s more than what meets the eye. Sometimes there are extra elements to a competition or sneaky tricks thrown into competitions that don’t make the final edit. Here’s a list of rumor that have surfaced over the years. If you have reason to believe I’m incorrect or if you have additional rumors to share, I’d love to know.

The Gauntlet

There were two Gauntlet dice to roll, a same-sex and a coed die. This is why some competitions were only seen a few times, such as Knock Your Block Off played by Cara vs. Elka and Mike vs. Abe. It would never appear as a coed competition.

According to Norman, the Ride em Cowboy elimination was not fair because the bulls moved at different speeds.

The Inferno

The Bug Helmet elimination had a tie-breaker involving spiders. Of course, this was never reached because Ace quickly quit, but the spiders can be seen during a preview on the Gauntlet reunion/ Inferno preshow special.

Battle of the Sexes 2

The girls were not given a key in the final and searched for 20 minutes. When production noticed their error, they gave them a key.

The Inferno 2

Shavonda’s harness on the Spinner wasn’t secured as tightly as Tonya’s, causing Shavonda to quit due to irritation.

According to Mike, the Good Guys’ bikes during the final were inferior to the Bad Asses’. You can see the bikes are different, but the Good Guys still won.

The Gauntlet 2

There was a Gauntlet game named “Knock Off” on the wheel, it was never played.

The final competition, Piece By Piece, was an afterthought. Production decided it would be more dramatic to include an extra male elimination, so they took what they had and made a competition.

Fresh Meat

The rule where teams had to grab flags was not enforced on the first Exile, but was enforced after this one.

The Duel

Production spent a long time debating whether to disqualify Beth after Push Me for ripping the flag. Inevitably they DQed her because they wanted to keep Svetlana around.

The Ruins

Allegedly, Casey’s bamboo chutes during the Muay Thai elimination were secured much tighter than Susie’s. Kenny tried to knock them down once Susie won and couldn’t.

Fresh Meat 2

Darrell wanted to pick Laurel (he had first pick) during the draft, but production knew this would be an unbeatable team.

In the Exiles, team had to complete each checkpoint this season, unlike Fresh Meat 1 where people could just breeze past the check points.


In Against the Current Jenn & Mandi won because they lodged their kayak against the wall in the beginning of the challenge, allowing them to accumulate more time in the beginning gates. This was prohibited but not enforced.

During Bombs Away, CT’s climbing rope began higher than everyone else’s and the helicopter was noticeably wilder, likely because production wanted him in the final elimination.

Battle of the Seasons

This is obvious, but never addressed. The Balls Out elimination had to be modified from one 5-minute heat to three 90-second heats. When Camila/Eric and Danny/Melinda played, they basically just rested for half of the elimination because it wouldn’t matter.

Rivals 2

The XXX Games had an extra stage edited out of the game. It had one competitor pump a keg while the other had to filled a cup with a white liquid. Unclear why it was removed, perhaps too provocative?

The boys did play Color Correction. Unclear who won of if they received a prize.

The final challenge had multiple traps and obstacles omitted and removed from the final edit. For example, Wes stated there were nets thrown at the first place male/female team during the race. This can be seen in a preview for the final episode.

Free Agents

Isaac admitted he memorized the patterns in the wood cards during the draw, so he knew which one was the kill card. He told Cohutta, and after Cohutta avoided elimination thanks to his strategy, Production switched the cards around.

According to Cara Maria, winner of the first Looper elimination, production had to change the position of the poles and add padding to the harnesses. Nia receive a shoulder injury from her harness and Cara Maria admitted they could not move the rope thanks to the position of the poles.

After Chet busted his chin, the plexiglass shield was removed from the Balls In helmet.


Apparent the Who’s Got Balls elimination was reserved for Jenna as production could manipulate her time, ensuring she’d stick around for her ex (Zach) to show up.

Dirty Thirty

Marie got some patches during Striptease, but this wasn’t shown. However, Tori still won and this didn’t impact the end result.


During the #Vendettas challenge, one of Shane’s #s blew into the water (you can actually see this floating in some footage). Production didn’t do anything, which is why Shane just crawls on the platform. He lost before the game began, but it was a female elimination day so it didn’t matter as much.

Apparently Sylvia had a point discredited for some reason (now shown), so people believe the Oil and Water elimination was rigged for Melissa.

Final Reckoning

On this season, there were some shady equalizers because of the off-balanced male/female teams. I won’t be mentioning those, as I think they were a result of poor planning, not manipulation.

During the Dunking for Dinner competition there was more to the eating portion than shown, according to Da’Vonne.

There is the case of the tile that wouldn’t come unstuck during Shake it Off, costing Zach & Amanda and Jozea & Da’Vonne their games.

Of course, there is the elimination that was Bananas & Tony vs. Paulie & Natalie elimination switcheroo.

War of the Worlds

Amanda claims she scored one point during Tired Out, not that this had any impact on the end result, but it did get edited out.

Apparently teams were told they couldn’t go back-to-back during the Uphill Battle elimination, which is why Josh & Amanda didn’t use the strategy. Then, Ashley & Kam used the strategy and production didn’t say anything.


8 thoughts on “Challenge and Elimination Secrets You May Not Know

  1. During the inferno 3 elimination between Abe and Timmy when they show the pain of glass fall during the flashback that Timmy never broke, I’ve rewatched that entire moment without the flashback and could never see that glass fall without that flashback. There were rumors about that elimination being staged.

    1. I don’t think this is staged. It’s kind of like the “no drinking” rule thrown at Brandon during FM2. It was just a made up rule because Kaitlynn couldn’t compete due to her knee. Same can be said about Timmy, this rule likely wouldn’t have been implemented if he didn’t hurt his knees.

  2. During the second Looper elim on Free Agents a rope was added to the poles. Probably cuz Cara and Nia were in a stalemate for over an hour and a half.

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