Season 36 is an odd season of The Challenge. The cast is currently quarantining, and we know some people will get dropped in this process.
During past seasons, it’s been fun to speculate around themes. Sometimes the themes are dead obvious when the cast is discovered. Exes 2 and Battle of the Seasons fall into this category. Other times, the cast gives us no clues and we don’t know how everyone will fit into the theme.
These are the themes I think we may or may not see for Season 36.
Battle of the Seasons: Nope
Look at the cast. How would this work? Neither the Battle of the Seasons 2002 nor Battle of the Seasons 2012 format could work.
Exes: Practically No Chance
After a long stretch without Exes, it seemed like a third installment should have come. If it’s going to happen, this is not the time. One person could get dropped and that could render their partner dropped as well. A cast where one person is dependent upon another would not do well in this time.
Rivals: Very, Very, Very Unlikely
Similar to exes, this is a theme where one partner is dependent upon another. But, people tend to have a greater number of rivals and MTV has stretched some arguments to fit the Rivals theme. Still doubt it will happen.
The Gauntlet 4 (Rookies vs. Vets): Very, Very Unlikely
Yes, there are a lot of newbies this season. It actually would fit well into a rookies vs. vets theme, but we’ve seen every indication that MTV has moved away from The Gauntlet format. According to confessionals, 1 prior season makes you a veteran and being a newbie makes you a “prospect.”
MTV vs. The World: Very Unlikely
With all of these random prospects popping up, some people are speculating this could be another “War of the Worlds.” This time, it would be the MTV world vs. the Non-MTV world. I wouldn’t hate this, but it’s not likely. CBS All Access has added The Challenge, and I think Viacom wants to promote CBS/MTV unity, not divide.
Cutthroat 2 (Three Team Format): Unlikely
For the longest time, fans have been asking for a Cutthroat 2. I am almost 100% positive we’ll never see the Cutthroat name again, but a 3-team format would be great right about now. Like Cutthroat, the teams were random. If one person drops, then oh well, use an alternate. Plus, this would rectify one problem with recent seasons: the daily challenges would actually matter. Production has ignored our cries for another Cutthroat that is seems like the odds are near-0 now.
Finalists Paired With a Prospect/Non-Finalist: Possible
The cast we have now is really wonky. On one end with have pro-athletes. On the other, we have Derrick H. We also have potential returns from: Nicole Z, Devin, Darrell, and Theresa. What do all of these people have in common? They’ve seen a final. If production wanted to do pairs, then this would be a good idea because the pairings do not depend on a pre-season relationship.
Pseudo-Rivals/Exes: Somewhat Likely
Perhaps production wants the buzz of a Rivals season with none of the formatting commitment. This could result in a season like Vendettas where everyone has a “rival” in the house. Really, it’s just an individual season.
Random Individual Theme: Most Likely
Just like last season, I’d expect we’ll see an individual format. Something where there are team days, individual days, maybe even pair days. This would be similar to Total Madness or Dirty Thirty. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Skull twist returned, but we saw a twist on the twist.
Normally, I don’t want them to do the same format twice in a row. In this climate, I can’t blame them. I’m just glad a new season is coming.
The Format You Want: Never
When was the last time production gave you the format you wanted to see? Not a bad thing tough. I didn’t know I wanted War of the Worlds until MTV filmed the show.