MTV has taken its Challenge contestants to some exotic locations in the past — Mexico, Jamaica, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, to name a few — but this season might really stick out to viewers as an incredible location because the contestants are being housed in a Cold War anti-aircraft missile bunker. Here’s what we know about this season’s filming location.
Season 35 Was Filmed in the Czech Republic
The Challenge: Total Madness filmed in Prague, Czech Republic, which was revealed by spoilers back in October 2019 and confirmed in some recent cast interviews. That was also the location for two past seasons: season 31, “Vendettas,” and season 20, “Cutthroat.”
But this season, the contestants are living in a Cold War bunker that once housed anti-aircraft missiles — and they are none too happy not to be sleeping in some kind of posh house.
“Where are we?” wonders a befuddled Jordan Wiseley.
“I feel like I just arrived at Hell. This looks like the gates of Hell … this is the scariest sh*t that I’ve ever seen,” says Josh Martinez.
Luckily, once you get past the spartan dormitories and less-than-posh bathrooms, there are a couple of common areas that have some nice features: a pool table, couches, a small swimming pool, a kitchenette, football turf, a full weight-lifting setup, and so forth. The one person who is not sweating the accommodations is Jay Starrett, who is from Survivor and has “slept in dirt for 30 days.”
But It Still Made Things Hard on the Contestants
Despite the common areas being full of nice amenities, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio tells TV Insider that the accommodations made things extra hard.
“These were the most brutal living conditions we’ve been forced to live in,” said Bananas. “We were living in a bunker that was created for war. It’s a Soviet, Cold War, anti-aircraft bunker where they actually launched missiles at American spy planes. How fortuitous that here we are years later filming an American reality show in a bunker once meant for the destruction of America. It’s pretty wild to wrap your brain around.”
He also says the fact that they couldn’t get out and enjoy the sunshine made it tough on them mentally — they actually started looking forward to going to challenges because it was a chance to get out of the bunker.
“You’re underground in Prague in the dead of winter, so it’s already cold and with no windows. We’re underground with nothing to do. That was the real challenge this season,” says Bananas. “Normally you go on and you’re living in this amazing villa or mansion in Thailand or somewhere tropical. As brutal as the game is, the living environment is kind of like a reprieve from the game. This season it was not. It was almost like you’re looking forward to doing challenges rather than sitting in this bunker withering away and being left to your own devices. It was pretty gnarly.”
He also said that “Total Madness” is an on-point title for this season because the producers “left no stone unturned as far as ways they could be diabolical.”
“They dial it up. I’m just happy our madness and misery will be out there for everyone’s viewing pleasure.”
The Challenge airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.