Challenge: Ride or Dies

What Should We Expect On Season 38 of The Challenge?

Season 38 is on the horizon, but don't expect too much.

Spies, Lies and allies has received its share of criticism regarding its casting direction. Viewers have watched an influx of international newbies invade the show while almost every single veteran appeared on Double Agents. Casting is feeling stale, but at least the veterans’ pool is filled with beloved names.

On Season 38, this might change. A lot of the veterans may be stepping away from the show, at least temporarily. Cory and Big T have announced their retirements, CT is working on a movie, Ashley and Fessy may be forced into breaks due to their controversial departures, and Kyle recently had a son (though that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t compete).

So what can we expect season 38 to bring? We’re early into the casting process, and production is putting their feelers out there. Certainly, the show won’t look the same as it did this season.

Who Will Be Coming Back?

Looking at the contenders for Season 38, there don’t seem to be a lot of Real Worlders who will appear on the show. Nany is a decent possibility, every other RW alum from Spies, Lies and Allies is up in the air. Even Aneesa is unlikely due to her injury. If this wasn’t an issue, she’d likely be on All Stars 2 or 3. Perhaps we could see Nicole Zanatta return after Double Agents, but the bulk of the Real Worlders are heading over to Paramount+.

From the US, it seems possible that Survivor and Big Brother will receive heavier representation. Those shows have long-standing histories and have alliances similar to prior Real World seasons. Plus, the bulk of “veterans” from the shows seem willing to return. So, I’d expect to see people like Amber, Kaycee, Josh, Michele, or Jay.

Many of our international representatives seem willing to return. I’d expect to see people like Nam, Emy, or Berna. If Kyle returns, he break the series record for the most consecutive appearances including his debut season.

Die-hard MTV fans should expect the show to deviate further from its roots. If people like CT, Cory, and Aneesa don’t appear, I wouldn’t be shocked to see one or two returns from veterans of yesteryear. Perhaps we’d be looking at people like Hunter, Paulie, or Melissa, but we’re unlikely to go deep into the vault.

What We Shouldn’t Expect

If you’re not a fan of Spies, Lies and Allies, it’s realistic to expect for an improvement next season. However, we won’t get a complete overhaul. Don’t expect production to stop casting from Big Brother or keeping the casting pool in the USA. It’s not going to happen, and we will keep seeing people coming from CBS and reality shows airing across the world.

We also shouldn’t expect the show to abandon the tacky themes, but we can hope they stop making everything spy themed. The show will continue to be a cash cow from MTV. The network will want to make it an event, and will try to make to appeal to international and domestic audiences.

I doubt episodes will be shorter, and the season should remain around 19 episodes. We’re not going to lose the massive props like Challenge Airlines and army tanks; these are unnecessary but don’t ruin the show for me.

Ultimately, the biggest change will be the lack of MTV USA representation. I would be shocked if we had five Real World alumni. I’m guessing we’ll see three, but that might even be a stretch. Are You the One will still be on the show, but I anticipate the same faces.

What Production Ought to Do

In an ideal world, I’d like to see them give preference to the rookies from War of the Worlds- Spies, Lies and Allies who haven’t returned. There are many one-time Challengers who haven’t done another season. It would be nice to see a small number of rookies but a larger number of people making their second or third appearances.

In terms of the format, it should be obvious. We don’t get it, but someone in production knows what we need:

New School vs. Old School

We’ve never had a clearer time to have this format. New School would be competitors who haven’t done All Stars. The Old School team is full of people who have done All Stars. By the point Season 38 airs, we’ll have seen 3 seasons of All Stars. Production should have no problem getting 16 of those veterans to jump onto the main series.

Will this happen? Probably not. But it’s the perfect crossover from Paramount+, MTV, and international audiences. It would reel in old school fans but allow new competitors to thrive.

If that sounds nice, lower your expectations. However, I am hopeful we’ll see a nice improvement from Season 37.


  1. Nothing will change. It will be another boring individual pair season with a tacky name with stupid cgi, slow motion and over produced explosives

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