The Challenge: All Stars 2 will bring back many fan-favorite OGs to compete in a spinoff series based on the MTV show they helped make famous.
Among them will be quite a few former individuals who were also castmates on their original reality TV shows, including The Real World and Road Rules.
During a recent interview, All Stars 2 cast member Janelle Casaneve shared that she was almost part of Battle of the Seasons on what would have probably been a tough team for others to defeat. She also gave her explanation for why they didn’t make the cast.
Janelle says she and castmates got Battle of the Seasons call
When All Stars 2 arrives, viewers will see Janelle Casaneve, 39, back on the show after last appearing on The Gauntlet III season in 2008.
Janelle, a winner on The Inferno III season, got her start as part of The Real World: Key West, which also featured several other future Challenge stars. Among them are Paula Meronek, Tyler Duckworth, and Johnny Bananas, each of whom has multiple wins on MTV’s show.
During a podcast interview for Mike Lewis Podcast, the All Stars 2 cast member explained to Mike how she and her castmates were nearly part of the second Battle of the Seasons, which arrived in 2012.
Janelle shared that when she did Gauntlet III, she thought in the back of her mind she’d be on more Challenges after that. However, she realized that despite being able to compete and enjoying it, she knew she needed a career because she didn’t see The Challenge as a way to “drive a career.” So she decided to go to nursing school.
“I said no to a bunch of Challenges, and then eventually, I kind of stopped hearing from the producers. And then, I graduated nursing school, and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m ready. Let’s get back into it,’ and actually, that was when they were casting for Battle of the Seasons 2,” Janelle said.
“Me, Johnny, Paula, and Tyler all got the call. And I was physically in probably the peak shape of my life because I had been training with the mindset that I’m going to go into a Challenge,” she added.
Why wasn’t a Key West team on Battle of the Seasons 2?
The Battle of the Seasons 2 featured teams consisting of four competitors from various shows, mostly from different seasons of MTV’s The Real World.
That included cast members from the Austin, Brooklyn, Cancun, Las Vegas, New Orleans, San Diego, and St. Thomas seasons, as well as a Fresh Meat team.
According to Janelle’s comments to Mike Lewis, she and her castmates kept waiting to hear about appearing on that season of The Challenge and heard they’d been “waitlisted.”
“We heard that they were putting together these weird groups of people, and we’re like, ‘Why aren’t we getting casted?’ Well, we knew why we weren’t getting casted. Johnny, Tyler, and Paula had just won Challenges,” Janelle shared.
She said having them as a team may not have been a good idea because they were a team of former winners. Paula, Johnny, and Tyler were all coming off their win on the Rivals season, which had just aired in 2011.
“I think in their mind the idea of casting a bunch of winners may not have been very interesting. We, as a group, may not have been a very interesting or accepted cast. You know, because people don’t want to see the same people win time and time again,” she added.
In the end, it was The Real World: San Diego stars who claimed the Battle of the Seasons win, with a team consisting of Zach Nichols, Ashley Marie Kelsey, Frank Sweeney, and Sam McGinn.
One has to think if Team Key West had participated, they would’ve been heavy favorites to win the season. It may have even meant an eighth championship for Johnny Bananas, and in Janelle’s words, it would have meant she would have kept returning to appear on the show.
According to Janelle, turning down enough calls to be on MTV’s The Challenge pretty much dropped her from being considered for future seasons of the show.
Instead, she went on to focus on her career, got married, and had kids, as life took its course. She mentioned she loved being on The Challenge, so only doing two seasons wasn’t due to “lack of interest.” Luckily, she’ll get to compete again on All Stars 2, to show fans if she can still make a run to The Challenge final.
The Challenge: All Stars 2 premieres Thursday, November 11, on Paramount Plus.