Challenge 39 CT Tamburello

Will CT Be Back for Season 39?

CT hasn't been on the past few seasons, but will his absence come to an end?

2023 has been an active year for The Challenge. We’ve seen a lot of the mainstays appear on at least one season, but there’s a big name that’s been missing: CT.

We last saw him on Spies, Lies and Allies, and he seemed to be toying with the idea of retirement. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t on Ride or Dies, but that’s not the only show that’s filmed recently. The World Championship, All Stars 4, and The Challenge: USA 2 have all filmed. Theoretically, CT could have qualified for any of those casts, but he didn’t show up.

Just when the retirement was looking real, a glimmer of hope came through. CT started posting his workout routine on Instagram this week. He’s trying to get back into shape — so is there a reason?

We know season 39 will happen, but we don’t know when. I’d expect it’s a couple of months away (at least after USA 2 is done filming), so CT could be giving himself a lot of time to prepare. But before we jump to any conclusions, we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the divorce.

This is an expensive process, and CT has been paying alimony and child support, so it seems like The Challenge would be a quick way to get some cash. And in a rare twist, CT went on Instagram to rant in a now-deleted video. His ex wife, Lilianet, has been in a relationship with another man (which CT didn’t know about), continues asking for money, and wants sole custody of their son, CJ.

After the rant, Lili filed for sole custody of CJ. It was denied, but the two parents are having difficulties with the timesharing agreement. So, if CT left the country for months to film a TV show, it not be in his best interest in terms of custody.

CT remains invested in the Challenge community. He has been appearing at Challenge Mania events and doing one-off interviews, but a full season might be too difficult to fit in his schedule.

I’m certainly wishing CT well during this tricky and demanding process, but his time in the gym may not mean much more than him trying to get back into shape. He revealed that he lost 65 pounds since splitting with Lili, and he mentioned that he worked in construction before, in between Challenge seasons. Perhaps that will be his source of income if he can’t appear on MTV, and it has physical demands.

I wouldn’t count on seeing CT on the next season, but I wouldn’t write him off completely. I do think he’ll be back eventually. When all is said and done, the divorce process is expensive, and The Challenge is easy money for him.


  1. CT IS MY FAVORITE CHALLENGER. His story with DIEM WAS SO TOUCHING. He has grown into a very good man I think. Hope to see him back asap.

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