The Challenge’s Zach Nichols says the show’s Vacation Alliance needs to get ‘weaker’

zach nichols face shot from the challenge final reckoning
Zach Nichols during The Challenge: Final Reckoning season. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge winner, Zach Nichols, delivered his latest take on the competition series, which many viewers may agree with.

He last competed on MTV’s War of the Worlds 2 season, where he stayed under the radar and worked with Team USA under the guidance of Paulie Calafiore, Cara Maria Sorbello, and others.

During that season, they ran a large alliance in the game, eliminating former show winners Johnny Bananas and Laurel Stucky.

Ultimately, Cara, Paulie, Zach, and others from Team USA reached the final, which was most of the plan. Unfortunately, they lost it to a Team UK squad featuring CT Tamburello and Jordan Wiseley.

In his latest podcast episode, Zach discussed how alliances hurt the show and make it less entertaining.

He mentioned how he felt the show’s landscape could change with more people working together under different circumstances.

Zach comments about Vacation Alliance ruining The Challenge

During a podcast rant, Zach blasted big alliances for what they do to The Challenge in terms of entertainment.

Former Big Brother star Derek Frazier was a guest on the podcast and mentioned he had a call to be on The Challenge. Zach said he would’ve probably been great for Season 39 with fellow Big Brother star Kyland Young, Horacio Gutierrez, and Nurys Mateo as his potential alliance.

Derek also mentioned that he would have had another ally in the game, as he’s good friends with Corey Lay. Zach said that would’ve prevented a “mob of like 75 percent of the cast” from working together.

“The Challenge doesn’t need 25 people to be like, ‘Let’s work together until we get rid of these five, and then let’s just lie to each other until we get rid of the people on the outside,’” Zach said. 

He argued that the show needs more of a split regarding how everyone will vote and what sorts of strategies everyone will use for the game.

“We need the Vacation Alliance to get weaker because it’s not fun to watch!” Zach said.

“They’re like DTE and Consumers Energy of The Challenge. They’ve monopolized it,” he suggested.

screenshot from zach nichols podcast clip as he talks about the vacation alliance on the challenge
Zach Nichols explains why alliances are hurting The Challenge. Pic credit: @zachnicholspodcast/Instagram

What is The Challenge’s Vacation Alliance?

In recent seasons, viewers have seen the gameplay take a serious change as various returning cast members continue working as allies.

They generally vacation together during The Challenge’s offseason, going to places like Mexico and partying on boats to bond and strengthen their relationships.

It’s a form of pre-gaming beyond cast members’ simple texting and messaging each other online before a season.

Among the members of the Vacation Alliance are Big Brother stars Josh Martinez, Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat, and Kaycee Clark, as well as Nany Gonzalez, Devin Walker, Tori Deal, and Aneesa Ferreira.

In the past three or four seasons, sans Battle For a New Champion, viewers have seen these individuals sticking together and working to eliminate anyone new to the show or not part of their Vacation Alliance.

Season 39 didn’t feature the Vacation Alliance as main cast members but featured a similar strategy with a large alliance that Michele Fitzgerald and Jay Starrett ran, basically controlling the game.

That helped multiple individuals reach the final without ever having to compete in any eliminations during the season. Emanuel Neagu, among Jay’s top allies throughout the game, won the season.

Many fans have expressed their frustration with this sort of alliance situation ruining the show, and it seems Zach is on the same page about The Challenge finding a way to correct it with the cast or format.

The Challenge: All Stars 4 airs Wednesdays on Paramount+.

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