The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion features a main cast of individuals who have never won a final in their Challenge careers.
Among them are just three former finalists, as Total Madness’ Melissa Reeves has returned after a brief hiatus along with Ride or Dies rookies Horacio Gutierrez and Olivia Kaiser.
Based on promotional content for Season 39, Horacio and Olivia are being treated as the faces of the show, likely due to their popularity in their first season.
And while they will be among the featured cast for the season, there are also some Challenge legends entering the game along the way.
They include former champions such as Jordan Wiseley, Tori Deal, Johnny Bananas, and Laurel Stucky.
In a recent interview, Olivia spoke about whether she thinks The Challenge OGs should still be part of the show and which legends she’d choose as her male and female partner for the show.
Olivia says OGs on The Challenge is ‘nostalgic and it’s cool’
Olivia’s first season of The Challenge introduced her to many of the longtime stars of the competition series, including seven-time champion Johnny Bananas and OGs such as Darrell Taylor, Veronica Portillo, and Nany Gonzalez.
She spoke with Refinery29 about her return for Season 39, which features mostly a newer generation of stars and brief appearances from Challenge legends.
When asked if the OGs should continue to appear on the show, Olivia was all for it, saying she thinks it’s “nostalgic and it’s cool” to have them there. She also talked about the mentality of the OG reality TV stars compared to the newer generation.
“Now that I’m friends with some of them, they’re just really down to earth people. They know it’s a game. No matter what happens, they leave it on the field. Whereas other people who are newer in the world, they take things to heart. They take things really personally. They will hold grudges so it’s just a different mindset,” she shared.
Olivia said many people these days look at The Challenge as their life and that “they eat, breathe, sleep it.”
“In my opinion, when you’re filming, put everything you have into it. Go kill it. But when you come home, you have to let stuff go and actually leave it on the field,” she told Refinery29.
Olivia names her two dream partners from the legends
When choosing her dream partner out of The Challenge Legends, Olivia had two solid choices. For the women, she revealed Laurel would be her choice due to her personality and competitive abilities.
“She’s such a bad*** and I would love to have someone that’s a dog in my corner. I’m more the sweet, outgoing, fun, bubbly kind of person, but I need someone to be able to bark sometimes and have my back,” Olivia said.
Laurel will appear among the mercenary players during Season 39, so viewers will see what she does against a newer competitor. She previously appeared on Ride or Dies along with Olivia.
During that season, Laurel was teamed with her friend, rookie Jakk Maddox. A pair of Challenge legends, Jordan and Aneesa Ferreira, eliminated them.
For the guys, Olivia made another wise choice, revealing she’d team up with seven-time champ Bananas due to his experience and how good of a teammate she said he was during a challenge.
“Last season, we were partnered up for one challenge, and he was really a great partner. He walks you through it, makes you feel comfortable. He lets you know that he’s just as scared as you are, but we’re gonna do it anyways, and he’s honestly a champ many times for a reason,” Olivia said.
Bananas will not appear in Battle For a New Champion. He recently appeared in the final of CBS’ The Challenge: USA 2, finishing third behind Cory Wharton and the show winner, Chris Underwood.
And as MTV’s new season series airs, Bananas is appearing in a very different competition over on E! called House of Villains, where he’s using his years of skills from The Challenge. However, Olivia and fans of the MTV competition series wouldn’t mind seeing him back again at his original home.
The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion airs Wednesday at 8/7c on MTV.