The Challenge’s Zach Nichols blasts Season 39 winner Emanuel Neagu for cheating: ‘You’re a real class act’

zach nichols and emanuel neagu from the challenge war of the worlds 2 and battle for a new champion on mtv
Zach Nichols and Emanuel Neagu from The Challenge. Pic credit: MTV

Zach Nichols doesn’t hold back from sharing his opinion about The Challenge, including the recent Battle For a New Champion season.

The former Battle of the Seasons winner co-hosts the Zach Nichols Podcast, which first covered the USA 2 season on CBS, followed by Season 39 on MTV.

Throughout earlier episodes, Zach called out or criticized cast members, including Moriah Jadea, Berna Canbeldek, Jay Starrett, and Asaf Goren.

He hasn’t hesitated to offer his thoughts about how the format could’ve been better or how specific competitors could’ve played the game differently.

In a recent clip, he spoke about the latest season’s winner, Emanuel Neagu, bringing attention to his alleged cheating on his girlfriend while filming.

That led to a bit of back-and-forth comments from the two Challenge winners.


Episode 30 of the @zachnicholspodcast is out NOW 🇺🇸 All episodes of the #zachnicholspodcast are now available exclusively on Patreon 🐐 #mtv #cbs #thechallenge

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Zach calls the Season 39 winner ‘a real class act’

In a clip from a recent Zach Nichols Podcast, the show host called out Emanuel for “hooking up with half the damn cast” despite having a girlfriend outside the show.

“We’re supposed to sit here and want you to win and feel emotional for you. Get the f*** outta here,” Zach said, adding, “And that’s not on him, production.”

“I feel bad for Jay. He’s not even the biggest scumbag on this season,” he said, continuing, “This kid gets to hide behind the editing; like, who does he think he is?”

Emanuel stopped by to react to Zach’s remarks in the Instagram comments for the clip.

“I don’t EVER need nothing from anybody,” he wrote as a response to Zach’s criticism.

screenshot of instagram comments involving zach nichols and emanuel neagu
Pic credit: @zachnicholspodcast/Instagram

Emanuel returned to the comments to tell Zach, “check the better podcasts if you wanna hear about the boyfriend situation.”

“ok I’m on it chief,” Zach replied to the Season 39 winner.

screenshot of emanuel neagu and zach nichols ig comments about his girlfriend situation
Pic credit: @zachnicholspodcast/Instagram

Emanuel felt guilty reading a letter his girlfriend wrote before the final

Before even competing in the final, the seven finalists received letters from important individuals in their lives, whether family members, friends, or significant others.

Emanuel’s letter was from his girlfriend, and he became emotional while reading it as he may have been hooking up with various castmates during the season.

“I got a letter from my girlfriend, and it kind of broke my heart because I guess she doesn’t know anything that happened here,” he said in a confessional interview.

Highlight footage showed Emanuel dancing while holding Olivia Kaiser, bonding with Colleen Schneider in a bedroom, and cuddling with Ravyn Rochelle.

“I learned a lot from my mistakes in the house. She’s way too perfect for me, and I don’t deserve her,” he said of his girlfriend. 

In an interview for The Right Reality, Emanuel was asked about the situation with his girlfriend away from the show.

Emanuel said it “wasn’t too hard” to have the conversation with his girlfriend after filming, but it was “embarrassing.”

“She did have a feeling. I’m sure it was spoilers, because there’s a lot of spoilers with the show and she knew, but it was so bad of me. That was so bad. But we knew we was gonna break up. I was talking to her for months,” Emanuel shared.

“I don’t really wanna talk about it because it’s also her life, and I don’t wanna bring her in. It’s embarrassing. It’s tough,” he said, admitting he should’ve broken up with her earlier to “stop the suffering.”

The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.

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Renee, a Challenge fan
Renee, a Challenge fan
1 month ago

Zack and Jenna, what a beautiful family! Congratulations!