The Challenge star hints at retirement after Season 40, and fans can’t believe it

the challenge host tj lavin face shot from spies lies and allies on mtv
Host TJ Lavin might have seen the last of a popular newcomer during The Challenge Season 40. Pic credit: MTV

With The Challenge, longtime fans have seen plenty of cast members come and go, with some achieving longevity on MTV’s show and establishing themselves as reality TV legends.

Among them are stars like Chris “CT” Tamburello, Johnny Bananas, Cara Maria Sorbello, Jordan Wiseley, and Veronica Portillo, who won multiple seasons.

Other stars arrive on the competition series and make a name for themselves in the game as legitimate future contenders.

While they win daily challenges and eliminations and reach finals, they fail in their attempts to win a season before disappearing from reality TV.

With The Challenge’s 40th season, Battle of the Eras, viewers will see many of the game’s legends and future stars compete.

However, one of those individuals seemingly indicated an early retirement from the show, leaving fans stunned by the potential announcement.

The Challenge star reveals potential early retirement

Earlier this week, The Challenge announced its upcoming season on social media with a poster, cast photos, and teaser clips.

The show features 40 competitors selected from the 39 seasons of MTV’s competition series. Four teams of 10 cast members represent the show’s eras.

Era 1 is the earliest group of cast members, aka the OGs of the show, while Era 4 features the newer generation of stars.

The latter group features show winners Kaycee Clark and Jenny West, Josh Martinez, Theo Campbell, Olivia Kaiser, Kyland Young, Paulie Calafiore, Michele Fitzgerald, Nurys Mateo, and Horacio Gutierrez.

Most of the team has impacted the show in more recent seasons by winning multiple eliminations and reaching or winning the final. That includes Olivia, Nurys, and Horacio, who all reached finals in one of the show’s previous two seasons.

With the reveal of Season 40, Horacio shared an Instagram carousel post featuring his cast photo, the Era 4 group photo, poster, and teaser clip presenting the team members.

“The Last Dance,” he curiously captioned the Instagram post.

Horacio didn’t elaborate on his caption, which was also the title of a popular ESPN docuseries released about the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty featuring Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.

Fans reacted to Horacio’s stunning Season 40 tease

As one might expect, Horacio’s few words in his IG post’s caption left many fans shocked at what seemed like a retirement announcement weeks ahead of the Battle of the Eras premiere.

“You mean last dance for this year right?? AND THEN coming back next year?” a commenter wrote.

“No sir it won’t be the last dance we refuse this statement,” another commenter said.

Another told Horacio he’s “a legend in the making” and “can’t retire” since he’s “just getting started.”

the challenge star comments screenshot as fans react to comments about last dance
Pic credit: @horaciogutierrezjr/Instagram

“Wait I read that you aren’t coming back after this. Please you are great and we love you and @nuryskmateo real relationship on tv. It’s rare to see authenticity,” a commenter said.

His caption hints at retirement, even though the show hasn’t confirmed a retirement from The Challenge star. Horacio debuted on MTV’s competition series in Season 37, aka Ride or Dies, and returned for Season 38, Battle For a New Champion.

Viewers saw Horacio reach the final in his rookie season after winning multiple eliminations. However, that ended with disappointment when his teammate, Olivia, suffered an unfortunate injury that disqualified them from the final.

In his return for Season 38, Horacio found love with castmate Nurys. He later saw betrayal when his former teammate, Olivia, didn’t protect him and Nurys during elimination voting. Several episodes before the final, Horacio lost in an elimination against Nurys, ending his bid to win the show.

As of this report, all signs indicate the couple is still dating after Season 40 was filmed. It’s unclear what prompted Horacio to announce retirement potentially, but more details could emerge as the season plays out on MTV.

Horacio came to The Challenge after competing in the Exatlon Estados Unidos 5 competition show. In addition to his reality TV career, he’s a former college soccer player. The San Diego Sockers signed him for a trip to Mexico last year, so his decision may relate to his soccer career.

Many fans hope he meant something else with his caption, and if not, that he will reconsider what seems like a way-too-early retirement from a show he could win multiple times.

The Challenge: Battle of the Eras premieres Wednesday, August 14 at 8/7c on MTV.

Episodes of The Challenge are now streaming on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

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