There have been some Challenge fans who have claimed in the last couple of seasons that the show is rigged and producers intervened to achieve desired results, such as with Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio’s seventh win on Total Madness and with the first elimination of Double Agents being a female rather than a male elimination, which would have featured two-time champ Wes Bergmann vs. three-time champ Chris “CT” Tamburello.
More recently, following the 11th episode of Double Agents in which Lolo Jones left the show, the Olympian accused MTV of “staging” the show and forcing her to quit. Josh Martinez, who was recently eliminated from the season, hinted that he had a harness issue during his loss to CT and production didn’t step in to fix it.
In light of these recent claims, the longtime host of the show, TJ Lavin, responded to a fan’s question on social media about whether the show is scripted and strongly denied those claims. One person wrote on TJ’s Instagram, “A lot of players claiming it’s all 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.'” TJ replied, “100% NEVER been scripted. I can promise you that because from season 11 on I’ve been there to see it…”
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Lolo Jones Accused the Show of ‘Staging’ the Competitions & Josh Martinez Hinted That Production Ignored His Harness Issue
Lolo left Double Agents during a recent episode of the show and after the episode aired, the Olympian put MTV on blast and said the competition was “staged” and that she was forced to quit. Lolo was referring specifically to the daily challenge in the 11th episode where competitors jumped from a speedboat onto ropes hanging from a helicopter. Contestants then dropped into the water and swam to a platform with the fastest team winning the challenge.
The winners were Chris “CT” Tamburello and Tula “Big T” Fazakerley, who went last in the order chosen by the previous double agents, Devin Walker and Gabby Allen.
In a series of now-deleted tweets, Lolo said, “mtv the challenge forced me to quit, and that is facts. I’ve never quit anything in my life. Heck I’m one of the oldest Olympians bc I don’t quit, I was pulled aside before the show and told to make it look like I needed to leave.” She also said The Challenge is a show first and foremost and not a “real” competition.
Lolo said the daily challenge won by CT and Big T was “staged” and they “technically did not win.” She explained that there was a specific drop zone and the two did not land within it. She concluded, “Once I realized the producers can change the rules to fit who they want to win, I was still willing to stay and fight.”
Josh Martinez also made comments on social media about the show’s production after his elimination against CT. The Big Brother star explained that after CT dropped, his own harness also dropped and he could not reach the final puzzle piece. He said, “Just sucks that part isn’t shown while I was screaming at production to reset my harness, much rather a headbanger than that Elim. Wasn’t my night.” His tweet has since been deleted.
Devin Walker Slammed Lolo’s Claims of ‘Rigging’ & ‘Cheating’ on the Show
Like TJ, Devin Walker also disputed claims of rigging on the show for certain outcomes. He slammed Lolo for her comments and accused her of “belittling” The Challenge:
Anyone that says BIG T and CT didn’t win that challenge by the rules that were laid out is lying. I’m happy to discuss this LIVE with any of them.
What I saw was a team learn from other teams mistakes and execute a close to perfect performance.
He said during the helicopter challenge, the rules were simply to hang on as long as possible but contestants who fell too late would be carried farther away from the platform. “It’s not that Big T and CT cheated or that it was rigged,” Devin explained, but that he and Gabby made the order for teams to compete and Big T and CT went last and learned from others’ mistakes.