With MTV’s The Challenge, competitors from various backgrounds live together and compete against each other in a grueling competition for some serious prize money. It brings some intense drama and physical battles along with social and political strategies amongst cast members.
However, since the show falls under the reality TV genre, some fans have questioned if the show is all set up, or scripted to play out a certain way in favor of specific cast members.
Longtime Challenge host TJ Lavin recently addressed that with a fan who brought up that “a lot of players claiming it’s a set up and not a real competition.”
TJ Lavin replies to fan claiming The Challenge uses a ‘script’
Ahead of The Challenge: Double Agents Episode 13, show host TJ Lavin shared an Instagram photo of himself from the Survive the Night mission.
“Shows on tonight.. Thank you for all the love and support you’ve all shown and continue to show to the @challengemtv.. we love you guys. Folded hands #goodtimes,” TJ wrote in the caption on his IG post.
While that brought in fans to praise TJ and leave other positive comments, it also brought in one fan who says players claiming the show is “set up” had “really ruined the show.”
“A lot of players claiming it’s all a set up and not a real competition. Really ruined the show for me cause I loved it so much now I just wonder if it’s all just a ‘script,'” the fan commented with a crying emoji.
TJ replied to the fan’s comment, shooting down their claims that The Challenge is a “scripted” competition.
“100% NEVER been scripted. I can promise you that because from season 11 on I’ve been there to see it…,” Lavin responded to the fan’s comment.
While TJ seems to be shooting down the idea that the show is scripted, there are various aspects that competitors have said productions sets up to film. That includes how the agents are filmed for certain scenes to look good for TV.
In addition, the show doesn’t necessarily present all of the footage, with plenty left on the cutting room floor. That can give fans a skewed perspective of all that’s going on with the show.
Eliminated Double Agents star made claims about show
A story that came out during Season 36 involved Double Agents rookie Lolo Jones, who may have kicked “scripted” rumors into high gear. Lolo left the show in Episode 11, saying in the episode she thought it would be better to leave The Challenge and go train for the Winter Olympics.
During that episode’s scene, Lolo also told castmates she felt she had no help from her alliance to get into an elimination to compete for a Gold Skull. Footage showed that she and her teammate, Nam Vo, were not working well together and wanted to switch partners.
Following that episode’s airing, Lolo tweeted about her departure, including a tweet claiming production forced her to quit the show. She also made claims that the Air Lift mission was rigged from Double Agents. Lolo suggested in her tweet that they helped Chris “CT” Tamburello and Tula “Big T” Fazakerley get the win, despite them possibly not completing the mission correctly.
Double Agents competitor Devin Walker refuted Lolo’s claims about the mission being rigged, and even suggested Lolo was lying and just upset she lost the mission.
However, in another of Lolo’s tweets (below) she mentioned “secrets that are not known to the viewers” and that “the challenge is not a real competition it’s a tv show.”
Some fans have questioned some of the twists in the Double Agents season, suggesting they might have happened to keep certain cast members around. Based on TJ’s comments, he seems to be saying that’s not the case.
The 44-year-old TJ Lavin has hosted the show since the 2005-06 season, The Gauntlet 2. He’s also rumored to be the host for the upcoming spinoff season, The Challenge: All Stars, so TJ is quite familiar with the cast and how the show works. That said, it probably won’t prevent some fans from continuing to speculate about how the show works.
The Challenge: Double Agents airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.