Longtime host of MTV’s The Challenge, TJ Lavin, has seen plenty over his many years with the show including gritty performances, injuries, and quitters.
He’s currently being featured as the host of two seasons, with The Challenge: All Stars spinoff on Paramount Plus, and the Season 36 final for Double Agents airing on MTV.
TJ recently appeared on the Official Challenge Podcast to talk with hosts Aneesa Ferreira and Tori Deal about the Double Agents final, including thoughts about some of the competitors’ performances.
This report will contain spoilers from The Challenge Season 36, Episode 18 including the first part of TJ’s final.
TJ comments on competitor’s injury, partner’s reluctance to eat
The big story with the Double Agents final in Episode 18 was the devastating injury that hit second-year competitor Kaycee Clark. She suffered the injury while running alongside a mountain on a rough and rocky path.
GoPro camera footage showed her fall down and yell out. Based on various accounts, she blew her knee out of the socket and was then shown down on the ground clutching her leg and crying in pain.
She received medical help and had her knee wrapped. During the episode, viewers eventually saw Kaycee hobbling with partner Fessy Shafaat’s help to get to the next checkpoint. That checkpoint was a disgusting food station where competitors had to eat and drink everything in front of them.
Kaycee made an effort to start eating, with tears in her eyes to show she would still give everything she had. Meanwhile, Fessy doubted their chances of continuing in the final and wasn’t bothering to eat. It was already no secret he wasn’t about the disgusting eating challenges, though.
Host TJ Lavin witnessed all of that as competitors were at the checkpoint. He gave his thoughts when Tori asked about Kaycee’s injury and her continuing to try the eating checkpoint while Fessy wasn’t.
“He did not want to eat. The guy didn’t touch the food at all, and I don’t blame him.” TJ shared about Fessy not attempting it.
“That’s definitely my weak link, but I’m not a competitor,” TJ said of the eating checkpoint.
“I would’ve trained to do stuff like this if I had to. I’d go out back and eat some dog s**t. I would do something stupid and gnarly and like disgusting to train for this situation,” TJ said.
While he admitted he hates to eat disgusting food too, he didn’t hold back about the fact Fessy’s partner was still giving an effort towards continuing the final.
“‘I understand, Fessy, I get it, but your partner is dominating. If Aneesa and I are partners and she’s going in, then I’m gonna go in,” TJ said with regards to matching his teammate’s effort.
TJ names his choice for Double Agents partner ‘hands down’
TJ praised most of the competitors in the final, including the four women. Aneesa asked his thoughts about Kaycee, Kam Williams, Nany Gonzalez, and Amber Borzotra.
He said Amber was surprisingly impressive for a rookie to make it all the way to the final, something that doesn’t happen often. On top of that, she became partners with CT just ahead of the final. Aneesa asked him to choose which female partner he’d want in the final, but he didn’t name just one.
“If I could’ve picked four women to be in the final, I would’ve said those four, because they’re bada**,” TJ said of the Double Agents stars.
From there, Tori asked TJ if he had to choose a male partner to work with on Double Agents, who he’d pick. For TJ that was a no-brainer.
“CT, hands down,” The Challenge host said, adding, “He’s had so much experience, and he is so smart.”
“When you watch him, you see him analyze the game, whatever game it is, and then he picks it apart, and then instantly he’ll have the best way to go about whatever it is,” TJ said.
TJ also praised CT’s drive to continue competing after all these years, saying “He goes hard. He never stops.”
It makes sense that the host who has watched competitors for many years would want to team with one of the best of all time. CT, now age 40, is currently competing in his ninth final, with a chance to win The Challenge for the fourth time in his career. TJ is once again there to possibly witness it happen.
The Challenge: Double Agents finale airs Wednesday, April 21 at 8/7c.