The Challenge XXX’s Most Notorious Moments So Far

As to commemorate being halfway through the season of the current iteration of The Challenge, I’ve decided to compile the ten most notorious moments of this season of The Challenge. These are the moments that the first half of this season will be remembered by, whether for being impressive, astounding, unique, or cringeworthy. I started from a list of twenty-two, which considering there have only been nine episodes, shows how much drama, action, politics, and intrigue has been packed into these nine episodes. I limited my selections to two daily challenges and two eliminations, in order to create a balance of events in the ten. These are also placed in chronological order, not in order of #10 to #1.

NOTE: These are the ten most notorious moments, meaning the most memorable, infamous, and impactful from the first half of the season. These are not the ten best moments for the season. A lot of these were actually horrifying to watch unfold on screen, and left a very uneasy feeling upon viewing them.

Honorable Mentions:

Revealing the Double Cross (Episode 3)

Briana vs. Britni Elimination (Episode 3)

Tony, Cara Maria, and the Eggs (Episode 4)

Jemmye Throwing in Jenna (Episode 4)

Kailah vs. Jenna Elimination (Episode 4)

The Redemption House Returns (Episode 5)

Jenna vs. Amanda Redemption (Episode 5)

Pirates Treasure (Episode 6)

Ups and Downs (Episode 7)

Hunter vs. Cory (Episode 8)

Camila and Tony on the Back of the Bus (Episode 8)

CT Makes LeRoy’s Birthday Cake (Episode 10)

Ashley Leaves (Episode 1)

They’re have been a lot of people who have quit The Challenge prior to being eliminated. Some have been more honorable, like Thomas and Simone on Rivals 3. Others have been not, like Beth on Gauntlet II. However, not many have been as sudden or as weird as Ashley on this season. It starts as the usual Ashley meltdown she seems to have every two episodes, then she starts talking to Cara Maria, then all of the sudden, she’s in a producer’s car and leaves. Bizarre.

The Purge (Episode 1)

I’m not going to lie, I had a lot of issues with The Purge. I hated how they threw in a team aspect in the middle of it, and I also hated how basically every competition boiled down to who can move things the fastest. However, it was a unique way to start the season. Many seasons, even very good ones, start off slow and boring. The Purge gave the season a jolt, and thinned out a pretty large cast. The ending, forcing Cory and Jenna to choose one fellow competitor to save, also started the politics in one of The Challenge’s most politically compelling seasons yet.

Shane vs. Simone Fight (Episode 2)

This was the first of many crazy fights this season. The thing that made this one unique was they did not show any footage of the fight itself, just the prelude, aftermath and commentary on it. There was also a STRONG disconnect between what was portrayed on screen and what actually happened. So, here is what we are shown by MTV: Simone was angry at Shane for not helping her with her dry scalp, Simone complains to Devin and Amanda while Shane is hiding in the bushes, then they flash forward to two hours later where Shane and Simone are arguing. We are told that Devin put Shane in a headlock to try to keep him off Simone and Shane proceeded to bite him, and Simone smashed a Champagne bottle on the ground. Shane and Simone are removed from the show. However, a lot of things broke out after the episode aired. Apparently, the fight was about race, and specifically Simone saying they do not cast enough African Americans on the show. While I personally feel African Americans are pretty well-represented on the show (the US population is 13% African American and this season’s cast is 23%) and Asian-Americans are the ones who seem to be significantly underrepresented, Shane really took exception to these comments. They argued about whether or not Jonna Mannion counts as black, and that’s where the fight started. The fact that MTV edited this out also makes me skeptical of how a future incident might have really gone down.

Cory’s Love Pyramid (Episode 2)

There’s been a lot (A LOT) of crazy love situations on The Challenge, but I honestly can’t remember a situation quite like what happened in Episode 2 of this season. So it starts off with Cory flirting with Kailah. Kailah says to Jenna she thinks she was different from Cory’s numerous other hookups, and her and Jenna laugh off the situation. Afterwards Cory is talking to Aneesa, and then randomly they start making out. About five minutes later, everybody is wondering “Hey, where’s Camila? Where’s Cory?” Nelson, Jemmye, LeRoy venture out to the beach to find Camila and Cory hooking up, which of course they deny happened despite video footage.

The Vets Call Out Cory (Episode 2)

The Challenge generally starts similarly in all their seasons. The Vets start out by picking off the rookies and other inexperienced players before eventually lines are drawn and they start pointing their guns at each other. However, there have been exceptions to this, like the JEK vs. Wes seasons, but that’s the usual development. However, since this season started off with The Purge, the vets lost one of their core members when Cory eliminated Darrell. The vets used this as a reason to vote in Cory, saying he specifically he voted off Darrell because he didn’t think he could beat him in a final and the vets took this as him saying they were next on the list. This may have seemed insignificant at the time, but it sent Cory on his crusade to take down the power players in the game and created a rivalry between Cory and Bananas.

Battle Royale (Episode 3)

Hall Brawl (competitors run throw a narrow hallway straight at each other to try to hit a bell before their opponent) is a pretty common elimination on The Challenge, having been played on Battle of the Seasons (2012), Rivals II, Free Agents, and Battle of the Exes II. While the version in Rivals II did have a partner aspect, there hasn’t ever been a situation where we’ve had large teams straight at each other. The Challenge started out with Kailah and Dario picking teams, with Dario going for the all-size team and Kailah going for the all-speed team (although considering CT, Hunter, and Cory were all collegiate athletes I wouldn’t exactly call them slow). Dario’s Green Team dominates the guys round, but the girls round comes down to a partial second, with Veronica beating out Britni by 0.02 seconds getting the win for the Green Team. Hall Brawl is always an awesome elimination, but having it happen between two teams of elite physical competitors was a sight to behold.

Jordan vs. Jemmye Fight (Episode 6)

It’s quite the season when you can say this season wasn’t the most distressing incident to come from it. The challengers had just finished a grueling daily challenge and spent the night out at the club, and there was a rap battle going on where everyone was throwing in their bars. Jemmye started to really get it going when she threw shade at Kailah for hanging on Jordan, but then Jordan came back saying Jemmye had a Down Syndrome face. The bus falls silent, before people start jumping on Jordan for the comment. Once they get back to the house, Jordan tries to find Jemmye to apologize and he does a Simeon Rice swim to get by Aneesa. Aneesa takes exception to this, and starts ranting at Jordan about him being entitled and owing an excuse to all the women in the house. This incident caused Jordan to be thrown into the next elimination and also showed that despite his veteran status, Jordan wasn’t immune to being put on the chopping block.

Jordan vs. Ammo Elimination (Episode 6)

And after Jordan was put on the chopping block, they come up with a heck of an elimination for him to compete in. Derrick threw in Ammo for him to compete against, setting the rookie up for his second elimination. This elimination was also incredibly original in design, requiring competitors to try to strip Velcro patches off each other’s jackets while blindfolded. Jordan and Ammo are first up, and it’s Intense from the start. Jordan gets the first point, but Ammo gets the next three. Realizing he needs to make his move now or be sent packing, Jordan ramps up the already high adrenaline and repeatedly slams Ammo to the ground in the next round. Jordan grabs the win in the next round, and Ammo starts to look real shaky. Jordan gets his fifth point, netting him the win and sending Ammo packing. After the match, Ammo is trying to stand up, but then falls over passing out in a panic attack. This elimination is significant because it showed Ammo isn’t just there for screen time and pay checks, he is there to compete. It also showed Jordan hasn’t lost a step from his older challenge days and is still here to win.

Camila vs. LeRoy Fight (Episode 9)

It felt gross writing LeRoy’s name in that title, I wanted to write Camila vs. Camila, Camila vs. alcohol, Camila vs. racism (those give off a very wrong impression.) Camila’s had an innumerable ammount of blowups in her challenge career. She’s blown up on fellow crazies like Paula, nice guys like Brandon, complete disasters like Tony, and even the big chief himself Johnny Bananas. She’s even convinced a fellow competitor to appear in blackface before. But she’s never had an incident like this. Her actions against LeRoy were the most disturbing thing on The Challenge since the CT-Adam fight on the Duel 2. She should’ve been kicked off the season, and she shouldn’t be on any future Challenges. LeRoy dealt with her assault incredibly, and let her dig her own grave.

Hunter vs. Nelson Elimination (Episode 9)

It was hard to really recover from the horrible first part of the episode, but Hunter and Nelson sure did their best effort to recapture our attention. Hunter is thrown in by Jordan for the second week in a row after taking out Cory, and is now taking on Nelson, who was thrown in by Tony and Camila. This elimination entails competitors being latched to each other via their back and their feet and having to pull each other down a ramp of their color (Hunter is Pink, Nelson is Blue.) In the opening round, Nelson seems to be moving Hunter pretty well, but right before they reach the blue ramp Hunter is able to muster up an extra bit of strength and pull Nelson onto the pink ramp. In the next round, Nelson comes out hard, dragging Hunter and flipping him onto the blue ramp giving Nelson a point. In the final decisive round, the two are in a dead lock. Both are struggling to gain ground and are just shaking against each other as the rest of the cast looks on with an invested but scared stare. Eventually, Nelson slowly gains ground, and is able to grab the side of the platform and pull the two down the ramp; netting himself the win. This moment really showed Nelson as a force to be reckoned with, and a true threat to take down the power players one-on-one. The way he was able to impose his will on Hunter (certainly a physical specimen himself) should put fear in heads of any of the big dogs in the house for the rest of the game.