There are 19 rookies coming on to “The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies,” many of them with impressive resumes on their previous reality shows, but the season will also be the final season for one of its stars. “Survivor” winner Tommy Sheehan revealed that the 37th season of “The Challenge” will be his first and his last in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Tommy, who is a major fan of “The Challenge,” is joining the MTV competition show as one of the American rookies alongside two other big stars of “Survivor,” Michele Fitzgerald and Michaela Bradshaw. The three reality TV stars are also joined on their rookie season with several other “Survivor” alumni from international versions of the show, including “Survivor Spain” and “Survivor Romania.”
While some of these rookies will hopefully be fixtures of “The Challenge” in seasons to come as they all have impressive political and physical resumes, Tommy said he wouldn’t be back to either “Survivor” or “The Challenge” in an interview about his time on reality TV and what he’s been up to since winning “Island of the Idols” back in 2019.
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He Said He Wouldn’t Return to ‘Survivor’ or ‘The Challenge’ If Asked & Announced His Retirement
Entertainment Weekly sent a “Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire” to several former players and shared Tommy’s responses this week. In his questionnaire, Tommy was asked if he would compete again if he got the call to return to either franchise. The reality TV star and teacher replied:
Ahh, I love this question, The Challenge and Survivor were two of the coolest experiences I’ve ever done, especially Survivor since I’ve been a fan of the show forever. However, right now I’m taking my talents to the classroom. I love my life and career too much to leave again. This is where I officially announce my retirement from your television screens.
The fourth-grade teacher revealed that since winning “Survivor,” he returned to teaching and is passionate about returning to his classroom. He said he proposed to his girlfriend the day he returned from filming “Survivor” in April 2019 and then “returned to the classroom to continue doing what I love, teaching.”
He told the outlet, “Getting to hang out with my fourth-graders everyday was a blast. I feel like I’m one of the few people that get to say they love what they do. I also finished my administration degree, so I can one day become a principal.”
Tommy Is a Big ‘Challenge’ Fan & Recently Had a Friendly Rivalry on Social Media With Wes Bergmann
Tommy is actually a major fan of “The Challenge” and said the opportunity to compete on the show was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” He said, “I got to compete in some of the coolest challenges and felt like I was in an action movie.” According to the “Challenge Mania” podcast, Tommy has been a fan of the show and podcast for a long time.
That’s why it’s no surprise that Tommy dove right into the “The Challenge” world and even got involved in a friendly rivalry with Wes Bergmann, who previously revealed that his wife Amanda is a huge “Survivor” fan. After the cast list was announced for season 37, Wes shared Tommy’s cast photo and joked that the red-haired reality star was a “Walmart” version of himself.
Tommy didn’t hesitate to reply to Wes and joke that “The Challenge” upgraded from Wes to Tommy, sharing clips of Wes getting a shoe thrown in his face on “Double Agents” and getting carried by Kenny Santucci in one of the final challenges. Unfortunately, fans won’t get to see the two competing together as Wes is taking some time off from the show.
“The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” will premiere on Wednesday, August 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV. A special episode previewing the cast and the season will air on Monday, August 9.