With MTV airing its 38th season of the competition series, The Challenge, various stars who’ve competed on the show are speaking out about how reality TV has changed over the years.
MTV’s latest season, Ride or Dies, features cast members teaming up in pairs of one man and one woman due to their strong bonds.
Pairs include friends, family members, boyfriend-girlfriend, or husband-wife. However, some pairings may feel a bit forced for fans and Challenge alum.
Among the show’s stars recently commenting about reality TV include Cory Wharton, Mark Long, Arissa Hill, and Jon Brennan.
Each of these cast members has been in recent MTV seasons or editions of The Challenge: All Stars spinoff.
In particular, Cory suggested it’s “crazy” how things are and that they will “never go back” to the previous ways.
Cory Wharton comments on reality TV changing
When it comes to reality TV, Cory Wharton is undoubtedly among reality TV stars with vast experience. Not only has he appeared in MTV’s The Challenge but also in programs including Teen Mom OG, The Real World, and Ex on the Beach.
On Tuesday afternoon, Cory took to Twitter to give some thoughts about reality TV and how much it’s changed since he’s “been in this game.” He also doesn’t think it will ever return to how it previously was.
“It’s crazy for me to watch how the reality TV game has changed up, I’ve been in this game almost a decade. And I’ll say this it will never be what it use to be,” Cory wrote in his tweet.
Cory, 31, did his first Challenge season with Battle of the Bloodlines in 2015. That season involved competitors and their relatives competing. Cory brought his cousin, Mitch Reid, for the show, and they finished in second place.
He’s appeared in nine seasons of The Challenge, last showing up for Spies, Lies & Allies, which was Season 37. Following his aired departure via elimination, Cory said he was taking a break from the show. That allows him to sit back and watch as his castmates, and new rookies compete on Ride or Dies, but it’s unknown if Cory’s been watching the episodes.
Ahead of The Challenge, Cory appeared in Real World Ex-Plosion on MTV. The 29th season of MTV’s Real World included cast members Ashley Mitchell, Jenna Compono, Jay Mitchell, and Thomas Buell, all of whom went on to appear in The Challenge.
As mentioned, he’s also appeared in multiple seasons of Teen Mom. Cory also appeared in the first season of Ex on the Beach and the How Tattoo is Too Far? show. That gives him plenty of experience over the years, although maybe not quite as much as some OGs.
Several of The Challenge OGs reacted to Cory’s comments
A Challenge fan account captured Cory’s tweet on Instagram (below), which included comments from fellow Challenge alums Mark Long and Jon Brennan in a slide. Mark got his start with Road Rules while Jon was on one of the first few seasons of MTV’s Real World, giving both some experience in the early days of reality TV.
“Try 4 decades brother,” Mark replied to Cory with an eyeball emoji.
“It’s almost like we know first hand,” Jon replied to Mark, adding a wondering face emoji.
Former Real World and Challenge star Arissa Hill also stopped by the Instagram post above to give her thoughts.
“It’s giving scripted and overly produced inauthenticity. Can’t watch a show without seeing people look to see if the camera is on them before they ramp up the dramatics. Sad,” Arissa commented.
Mark and Jon also returned for newer editions of reality TV shows on Paramount Plus. Fans saw Mark return for two seasons of The Challenge: All Stars, while Jon was featured in Real World Homecoming Los Angeles. Arissa, initially on MTV’s The Real World: Las Vegas, appeared in the first All Stars season and made a dramatic exit ahead of an elimination event.
They’re genuinely among OGs to have been part of the earliest days of reality TV when the stories and footage viewers saw were probably much more real than that on many current shows.
The Challenge: Ride or Dies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.More: Cory Wharton, The Challenge, The Challenge: Ride or Dies