It’s no secret that CT is one of (if not the) biggest faces The Challenge, and many people expect to see him on the upcoming seasons. So when he didn’t pop up on the Season 38 cast, many Challenge viewers were immediately upset — some even claim they won’t watch.
It’s been nearly five years since we’ve has a flagship season without CT, and a lot has change about the show since then. Now, production will need to manage another season without him, so how will it do?
Obviously, it’s too soon to say with certainty, but it’s not necessarily a death sentence. If we look at the past eight seasons (season 30 and onward) only six episodes passed 1 million viewers: Vendettas episode 3; War of the Worlds episode 8 & episode 16 (the finale); and Total Madness episode 1, episode 4, episode 5, & episode 8. Of these six episode, CT was in one: Total Madness e1.
Clearly, he’s not necessary for The Challenge to be successful, but he does have a key role. For fans, he’s a longterm familiar face and provides an automatic sense of comfort. Viewers can go into a season like Spies, Lies, and Allies that has a dozen-and-a-half rookies, and know that they at least have CT to look forward to.
Production knows people want to see him. He always manages to find his way into the promos and the pre-season interviews. On Total Madness, he’d be around for all of three episodes, and production made sure to include his laugh in ever trailer. Then, he gets to “answer” all of the preseason questions, even though he manages to avoid answering any question directly.
But, season 38 has Bananas, so production is hoping he provides the sense of familiarity that CT brought on Spies, Lies and Allies. Plus, Bananas has the extra anticipation of returning after a 2-season gap.
Not that CT wasn’t invited; he’s always invited. But, he has other things going on at the moment.
But, CT always finds a way to get some type of appearance. He took a break after Exes 2, but did a tribute on Bloodlines and appeared on Rivals 3 Aftershows. Then, he didn’t do Vendettas, but production found a fun way to include him:
So, Season 38 isn’t going to be broken by CT’s absence, but production better hope viewers connect to other people on the show. There’s no Challenger that has as big of a blind following as CT does — not even Bananas. If the season is a shitshow, people will tune out faster than they did on Spies, Lies and Allies.
But, it wouldn’t hurt production to make new Challengers the show’s focal point. CT and Bananas won’t be around forever… they’re not Aneesa. Eventually, new people will need to run the show.