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The Challenge 500: Host TJ Lavin recalls toughest seasons, his thoughts on quitters

the challenge host tj lavin in promo video for 500th episode
The Challenge host TJ Lavin appears in a promotional video for the show’s 500th episode. Pic credit: @challengemtv/Instagram

With The Challenge headed toward its 500th episode in the reality TV series, host TJ Lavin appears in several promotional videos to share his memories.

In the latest video, the longtime Challenge host talks about which finals he thinks were the hardest he’s been a part of during his career with MTV.

In addition, TJ revealed where those famous words he uses with anyone who quits during The Challenge came from.

TJ Lavin shares toughest Challenge final and season

As MTV’s The Challenge hits 500 episodes, TJ Lavin has been there for many of the episodes over the show’s 38 seasons. He’ll be there for the milestone episode, which arrives during the ongoing Spies, Lies & Allies season.

A series of promotional videos have arrived courtesy of MTV and the show’s cast members. They’ve included one with All Stars 2 and Season 37 cast members sharing their favorite seasons and memories.

Host TJ Lavin appears in one video, where he talks about what he does with his downtime while filming The Challenge. He mentioned mostly heading to area coffee shops or restaurants when not performing his hosting duties and that South Africa was his favorite.

His hosting duties include keeping competitors within the rules of the daily missions, eliminations, and of course, everyday life with each other.

However, TJ also is part of the final each season, and while the host doesn’t compete in them, he’s moved around a lot with the competitors to different spots on the course.

In the video, TJ reveals that one of the most challenging finals he was part of was for War of the Worlds in Namibia. That was due to the hot conditions and tall sand dunes that he and the cast members had to run up.

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“It was crazy. It was awesome,” TJ shared, saying he believes they had to run a half-marathon for that grueling final.

Turbo Turabi won that final, showing his toughness as a rookie competitor. Others who finished included Wes Bergmann, Cara Maria Sorbello, Dee Nguyen, and Theo Campbell.

Additionally, TJ shared that The Island was a tough season due to the conditions that the cast members had to endure.

TJ recalls his farewell remarks for Challenge quitter

During The Challenge: All Stars, viewers saw Arissa Hill erupt after she was sent into elimination by castmates in an on-the-spot voting moment. She cursed out her castmates for the move before officially quitting without attempting the elimination against Beth Stolarczyk.

“Alright, cool. Don’t take care. Hope to see you never,” TJ said to Arissa as she exited the elimination venue.

That phrase came up before that, as TJ shared in the video above. It was actually during Season 28, which was The Challenge: Rivals III in Mexico in 2016.

Are You The One? 2’s Brandon Tindel chose to quit the show due to being homesick and missing his girlfriend. Since he quit ahead of Episode 4’s daily challenge, he and his teammate Brianna LaCuesta had to leave the show.

That actually helped out another team, though, as Devin Walker and Cheyenne Floyd got to return to the game as replacements despite being eliminated in the first few episodes. They’d eventually reach the final, finishing as a runner-up team to Johnny Bananas and Sarah Rice.

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Brandon never returned for another Challenge, possibly due to not getting a call. However, Brianna came back for the XXX: Dirty 30 season but was eliminated in Episode 3 by Britni Thornton.

So if there’s anything future Challenge competitors should know about host TJ Lavin, it’s that he loves tormenting the cast members with trivia and other games, and he absolutely hates quitters.

The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.

Matt Couden is a freelance writer for over 10 years. Matt enjoys...read more

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