The Challenge: World Championship is a show featuring many of the legendary players from the years of MTV’s reality competition series, The Challenge.
Among them are seven-time winner Johnny Bananas, four-time winner Darrell Taylor, three-time winner Jordan Wiseley, and two-time All Stars winner Jonna Mannion.
There are also winners from the past three seasons of MTV’s show, with Tori Deal, Kaycee Clark, and Amber Borzotra all there to compete as Legends.
However, Chris “CT” Tamburello is one individual who fans were surprised not to see as part of the lineup of competitors in the spinoff show.
CT’s five seasons which he won rank second to only Bananas, and three of his wins came in the past five seasons of MTV’s The Challenge.
That caused fans to wonder why three of CT’s teammates from his recent winning seasons on The Challenge represented the MTV Legends, but CT wasn’t part of the show.
CT explained his absence from The Challenge: World Championship
As mentioned, CT Tamburello had been on a long stretch of appearances on MTV’s The Challenge but opted to take some time off after his fifth win on Spies, Lies & Allies.
CT, originally a cast member on MTV’s The Real World: Paris, had focused more on his acting career. That included a role in a remake of the film The Most Dangerous Game with star actors including Tom Berenger, Judd Nelson, and Bruce Dern.
In his previous comments about possible retirement from The Challenge, CT shared that he wanted more time with his family. When he initially said this, that included his son, Christopher “CJ” Tamburello, Jr., and his wife, Lilianet Solares. However, that picture has changed since at least late last year.
The 42-year-old filed for divorce from Solares in November 2022. Things haven’t necessarily gone smoothly for CT, as he continues to deal with stressful aspects of that situation, including any shared property, custody of their son, and extra media attention.
During an appearance on the Challenge Mania podcast, CT confirmed that he turned down The Challenge: World Championship due to the divorce, as it wasn’t good timing for him.
Instead of going to compete in the reality TV spinoff show, he opted to stay home and spend time with his son. Based on his comments, he passed up on like “six shows” since his appearance on Spies, Lies & Allies in 2021.
“I feel like I won. I leave on a high note. My son has something he can be proud of,” CT said regarding not returning to compete.
“There’s a lot of changes happening in little man’s life, and you know, I need to be here for him,” he said, referring to his son, adding, “I don’t think it’s the best time for me to be gone for a few months.”
However, he called it a “never say never” situation with returning to The Challenge, joking he might have to go back on the show depending on what happens in “the near future.”
CT reveals who he’d choose for a Ride or Dies partner
With CT deciding to take time away from The Challenge after winning Season 37, it means he wasn’t back for the recent Season 38 on MTV, aka Ride or Dies. That season involved cast members competing with a partner they had a special bond with.
Among the pairs were castmates and friends Johnny Bananas with Nany Gonzalez, Devin Walker with Tori Deal, and Jordan Wiseley with Aneesa Ferreira.
CT shared during his podcast appearance that he would’ve opted to team up with another Challenge G.O.A.T., Cara Maria Sorbello.
“I’d have to go with my homegirl Cara,” he immediately said when asked about a Ride or Dies partner, also revealing Cara went to the same school as his younger brother.
CT said a Challenge memory that continues to haunt him is that he couldn’t figure out a tangram puzzle when he helped Cara, who had a broken arm, and nobody else wanted to help her.
Interestingly, CT also said he talked with his castmate Tori ahead of her leaving for Ride or Dies, and she told him she felt really burnt out and might not do the season. However, she showed up, teaming up with her “frenemy” Devin to win their first season, collecting a share of the $1 million prize money.
The Challenge: World Championship episodes arrive Wednesdays on Paramount Plus.