Challenge: World Championship

The Curious Case of Theo’s Appearance on The Challenge: World Championship

Theo finally got to come back to The Challenge, but was it worth it?

As we reach the end of The World Championship, a new team entered the winners’ circle after the Downfall challenge: Sarah & Theo. A lot of viewers were upset by the way they won, but many people also thought to themselves oh yea… Theo’s here.

Now that we’re at the final, we haven’t seen a whole lot from Theo this season. He spent most of the season floating in the middle, and he didn’t have to make a lot of tough choices. In fact, he’s not even a Challenge champion, so we have to wonder why he was cast on the show.

Well, there are a few factors at play:

  1. Let’s just start by acknowledging the awkward one. CBS Viacom is committed to having 50% non-White cast members on their shows, and Theo’s Black. While I do believe this is a factor, especially because The Challenge has so few Black male winners, it’s not the only factor. In fact, Nehemiah was on board to do the show, but he wasn’t used — and he’s a real champion.
  2. He has a relationship with Kaz, which is an interesting dynamic. He’s the only “legend” who really knows one of the MVPs, and that could have been a storyline. However, the two ended up being friends and Tori and Jordan’s drama dominated the US-UK team relationships. If Kaz wasn’t paired with Jordan, Theo and Kaz’s relationship may have been displayed more prominently.
  3. Production seems to like Theo, and he’s shown a lot of potential, especially on War of the Worlds. But, he hurt his eye and the injury benched him. He was close to being on Ride or Dies, but when that fell through it probably shortlisted him for the World Championship.

Likely, all three of these pieces played a role in his casting, and I admit I was excited to have him back. Then, after 11 episodes, his most interesting storyline was sitting in the jacuzzi alone.

From my perspective, Theo’s “boring” edit stems from two areas. Firstly, he’s grown up since we saw him last. He really wanted to return to the show, and he wasn’t going to mess up his chance with a silly fight. On War of the Worlds 2, his fights with Rogan and Paulie almost went to blows. Those types of shenanigans weren’t worth jeopardizing this opportunity.

But, this is also what happens when the same people do the shows over and over and over. Theo skipped four main series Challenges, and now he’s out of the loop. He never even competed with Kaycee before, and the last time he was with Jordan and Tori, he was watching a proposal. A lot has changed and he’s not a part of it. So, his only real allegiance was to Kaz. Sarah has allies as well, but Theo only wanted to protect one team, so it wasn’t much of a conflict for Sarah.

Someone like Jodi could have gotten a similar edit, but her partnership was a sinking ship. Theo was fortunate to be paired with someone who has numbers in the game, so he could coast. Was it interesting to watch? Not really, but it got him to the final.

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