‘The Challenge’ Stars & Fans React to Shocking 1st Episode

The Challenge

MTV The Challenge: Double Agents cast

The Challenge: Double Agents premiered on Wednesday night and it was an action-packed episode with some shocking moments and twists that had cast members as well as fans of the show reacting online.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the first episode of The Challenge: Double Agents which aired on December 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. 

During the episode, host TJ Lavin revealed some key information about the format of the season, including the twist that winners of elimination rounds could pick a new partner. One of the key talking points of the episode was the general consensus of the house to send home former Challenge champions, seemingly led by veterans Aneesa Ferreira, Kam Williams and Leroy Garrett alongside the Big Brother alliance.

Those power moves, supported by the majority of the cast members, resulted in three-time champion Chris “CT” Tamburello and his partner, two-time champion Ashley Mitchell, getting voted into the elimination by the house. The Double Agents, Aneesa and her partner Fessy Shafaat, voted in two-time winner Wes Bergmann and his partner, rookie Natalie Anderson.

Until TJ revealed that it was a female elimination day, fans and former Challenge stars took to social media to share their shock at what appeared to be an early exit for one of the MTV show’s biggest names and their thoughts on the power move.

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Fans & Cast Members Reacted to What Was Lining Up to Be a Dramatic Matchup Between Wes & CT

As the drama on-screen developed, fans took to social media to share their shock at the power move. Sending in major competitors so early in the game is something that’s rarely seen on the reality show as it can often backfire and put a target on someone’s back. One fan wrote, “This is why don’t make a power move in episode 1 when you don’t know the rules yet. Rookie mistake from vets showing why they’ve never won.”

Another posted, “I never get why people make ‘big’ moves in the very first challenge. You don’t know the rules and you won’t know until after the first elimination. That’s why these people can’t make it to a final, let alone win one. They don’t think!”

However, despite many fans commenting about the power move and how it may have backfired, many fans also praised the house’s decision to send in veterans and champions. One person wrote, “Aneesa setting the tone for #DoubleAgent speeches at the Crater! I really feel like this is going to be Aneesa’s season to shine! #TheChallenge36.” Another posted, “Wes & Natalie vs CT & Ashley, YAAAASSS!!!! That’s how you do this shit Aneesa! You put the two teams that might have an alliance up against each other esp when they have the two most manipulative veterans. #TheChallenge36.”

Cast members also reacted as the episode was airing, with Kam writing, “Of course it’s a girls day” along with the face pal emoji and Leroy sharing, “Girls day huh ? Smh.” Nelson Thomas joked and posted:

Olympian and rookie Lolo Jones wrote, “When we all thought we were voting to get CT the biggest threat out but really it was girls elimination day dayum we messed up #TheChallenge36.”

Fessy posted:


TJ Announced That It Was a Female Elimination & Ashley Ended Up Getting Sent Home by Natalie

As the suspense built, TJ finally announced that the eliminations would be done individually and the first episode was a female elimination day. Despite Wes and CT being let off the hook, it did turn out that a champion was sent home early, Final Reckoning and Invasion of the Champions winner Ashley.

After the episode showing her elimination aired, Ashley took to social media to explain her thoughts about the elimination. She wrote, “If I had to go home at least it was to a TRUE REALITY TV QUEEN AND BEAST!!! @NatalieeAnd AN HONOR TO COMPETE AGAINST YOU #TheChallenge36.”

In an interview with Heavy, she added that even though she lost to a strong competitor, the loss was hard to swallow: “I hate losing, especially like that,” she said. “It’s embarrassing. It sucks, there’s no other way to put it.”

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