Former Real World: New Orleans star and The Challenge finalist Jemmye Carroll admits she’s a longtime fan of the MTV competition series, but not when it comes to the show’s direction in recent seasons.
Jemmye, who also appeared in the first season of Paramount Plus’ The Challenge: All Stars spinoff, recently gave her thoughts about the “flagship show,” which is likely to begin filming Season 38 in the coming year.
As part of her comments, Jemmye criticized certain cast members from the show based on how they’ve come across in the reality TV series and criticized those in charge of casting and production.
Jemmye blasts MTV’s The Challenge and ‘Fessys’ of the show
The Mike Lewis Podcast featured Jemmye Carroll this past week, and she opened up about many topics, ranging from her time on Real World to her feuds and friendships with various castmates. At one point, Mike asked her thoughts about what might be wrong with the “flagship show” on MTV in recent seasons.
“The people are f***ing losers. They are, and I get it. There’s a lot of money at stake,” Jemmye said. “Think about how slim winning the actual Challenge is. So, the people that are like in the middle like the Jos- and like the Fessys, I’m just like, ‘Y’all be authentic, be yourselves.'”
“There’s something authentic about y’all. Y’all got cast in a reality show,” she said of the newer cast members, adding, “I think a lot of it is social media and the time that we live in. People are trying to ‘curate’ their personality for their brand instead of just showing up and being like, ‘Yo, this is who the f**k I am, and I’m just gonna be this person on TV, regardless.'”
Jemmye went on to say that a lot of it is due to “lazy casting and production” as the people handling The Challenge casting look at who’s “hot” on Instagram to decide who to bring on the show, without deep diving into if the person has a “personality.”
She believes the problems start with casting, followed by production, and then the cast members themselves.
“It makes me sick as a fan because I was a fan of The Challenge before I was ever on Real World. So to see the show get away from what it was supposed to be is disgusting,” Jemmye said, also mentioning she’s “very vocal” with the people at MTV and Bunim Murray about her opinions.
Jemmye explained why she left MTV’s The Challenge
Jemmye’s final season of the main show on MTV was Final Reckoning, which featured a very brief appearance by her and teammate Jenna Compono.
“I was so pissed off with the format of Final Reckoning, like knowing that me and Jenna were getting sent home and how good of a team we would have been personality-wise, storyline-wise, competitively. I think Jenna and I would have been an amazing team to watch together. I was so pissed off. I was like, ‘I’m done with this show,'” Jemmye shared during the interview.
Final Reckoning featured a Redemption House twist, where eliminated teams headed to a house away from the main Challenge house. Later, those eliminated players received a chance to come back and fight for a spot in the main house, but if they lost, that officially eliminated them.
Jemmye and Jenna went to the Redemption House in Episode 1 after failing to complete the season’s opening mission. In Episode 4, Jemmye and Jenna got eliminated in a redemption competition.
According to Jemmye, she said she decided not to go back anymore so she wouldn’t ruin any of the “good memories” she had of the show from other seasons she was in.
“After Final Reckoning, I was like, ‘F**k this s**t. This is not the show I signed up for [or] fell in love with as a child,'” she told Mike Lewis.
While she ditched the main show, viewers saw her make a return to The Challenge scene as part of Mark Long’s OG project called The Challenge: All Stars. Jemmye was part of the premiere season, reaching the final, where she finished in a tie for seventh place with castmate Ruthie Alcaide.
Jemmye explained during the Mike Lewis interview that she wasn’t originally cast for All Stars because she was young and didn’t fit the theme. However, they brought her in as a replacement for Tina Barta. Since Tina had to leave, the show needed a “big personality” to fill her shoes. Jemmye said she jumped at the opportunity to be part of a show featuring many of her favorites from MTV.
Jemmye may never return to the main Challenge show on MTV, but with All Stars heading into its third season, and possibly more, there’s always a chance she’ll return to have more fun with the OGs.
The Challenge Season 38 is TBA on MTV. The Challenge: All Stars 3 premieres on May 11 on Paramount Plus.More: Jemmye Carroll, The Challenge, The Challenge All Stars