The OG spinoff season of The Challenge: All Stars premieres on April 1 and fans will be able to see the return of some of their favorite cast members ever to the competition show. Ever since the cast list was released a few weeks ago, there have been questions about why certain legends of the show are not on a season titled “All Stars.”
In a recent interview, Mark Long, who is credited with being the driving force behind this spinoff show, provided more context as to why some of the show’s biggest stars won’t be on the All Stars season but hinted that his goal would be to have multiple seasons of the spinoff show.
In an interview with Us Weekly, Mark said while the show has a shortened filming period to accommodate the OG stars who now have regular jobs and families, the casting process for this season was a bit more difficult because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 10-day quarantine period required to appear on the show in addition to the filming time is “a lot of time to ask someone,” he said.
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Many of the Legends Who Declined Did So Because of Conflicting Schedules or the Length of Time Required to Quarantine & Film
Some of the OGs who declined did so due to the longer period required to film because of the 10-day quarantine, either because of their work schedules or family commitments. On the Watch With Us podcast, Mark said, “Landon [Lueck] it was an issue of him leaving work and not being able to commit the full time for what he thought his worth was… I think once he finds out that the grand prize is half a million dollars, he probably had a great shot of winning it, I think he’s gonna be a little pissed off there.”
He also spoke about Evelyn Smith, who was considered a powerful female competitor on the show, tied with Veronica Portillo for most wins by a female player with three. He said, “Evelyn was hugely involved in the Democratic primary and the election. She has now gone and started working with them.” He also said she would be interested in doing future seasons.
Returning competitor Aneesa Ferreira spoke about Rachel Robinson not appearing on the All Stars season during a Challenge Mania podcast appearance. She said, “With the quarantine week, I know Rachel’s like, ‘I don’t go that long without seeing the kids.’ So I totally understand why, I think Rachel would have been a force, would have been awesome to have that kind of competitive spirit there.”
Mark also spoke about Coral Smith, a fan favorite OG, and said the timing wasn’t right for her because she’s now a doula and delibers babies. He said, “We had to kind of speed rush this thing, so a lot of people needed more time. I mean, she’s involved in a lot of things up in San Francisco, so would she be one that I’d love to see back? Absolutely.”
Mark also shared his thoughts on WWE star and Challenge legend Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, who couldn’t compete because of wrestling commitments. He said, “I spoke to him about being able to come down and maybe guest host one of the challenges and he was very interested but he can’t leave the wrestling circuit for ten days to quarantine just to do a one-off so, I mean Mike would have been great to have.”
Some Stars Are Still on the Current Show & the All Stars Show Is About Giving Some Time to Original Stars Who Haven’t Been Back for Years
Some fans questioned why the season was titled All Stars when certain major personalities weren’t on it like Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio or Wes Bergmann. Wes tweeted soon after the season was announced, joking that he had “too much good s*** to watch” on TV, including on Paramount Plus where All Stars will air.
Mark said Bananas told him, “I’d rather come back to the OG thing than the other Challenge because from what I’ve heard, it sounds like it was so much fun but very competitive.” He said Bananas, Wes and CT have done many Challenges in a row and although he’d like to see them on future seasons, the current one was more about getting people who hadn’t been on the shows in a long time.
Neither MTV nor Paramount Plus have confirmed whether The Challenge will see future All Stars seasons with other OGs competing for the victory, but in an interview with Heavy, Mark revealed that he’d love to see future seasons of All Stars.
The Challenge: All Stars premieres on Thursday, April 1 on Paramount Plus.