A ‘Challenge’ Contestant Said All the Drinking on ‘Total Madness’ Made Him Not Want to Be There
We’ve been watching MTV’s The Challenge for years. While the show has had some stiff competition and difficult moments for the competitors, the typical Challenge environment also looks like fun. The hot tub, nights out at bars, and free-flowing alcohol often set the stage for many nights of mayhem. And we’ve seen a ton of drama erupt each season as a result of contestants not watching their liquor consumption.
It seems the drinking on Total Madness got to be too much for one contestant. He talked to the Challenge Mania podcast about how all the alcohol consumption made him seriously uncomfortable.
Some ‘Challenge’ contestants claim there’s not as much drinking as it seems
While all Challenge contestants play the game for money (and perhaps reality TV recognition), the fans are watching to see how the dramatic storylines unfold. And it seems there’s always at least one contestant each season who does something they regret while under the influence. Given what viewers see, it looks like contestants can drink as much as they want whenever they want. But some competitors who’ve been on the show claim consumption is more carefully monitored than fans think.
Challenge champ Cara Maria Sorbello told Us Weekly that players have access to beer and wine, but vodka is harder to come by, as they’re only allowed a little at a time. And Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio who has been on the show for 20 seasons also told the publication that alcohol is “distributed conservatively.” It seems even when the contestants go out on the town for a night of drinking, they have to pick up their own tab, too.
Other ‘Challenge’ contestants say there’s ‘unlimited alcohol’ on the show
Sorbello and Devenanzio are Challenge competitors to trust, as they’ve been on the show for years. But other past contestants have a different view of how much alcohol they were allowed to have. Susie Meister competed on Challenge seasons from the early days, as she first appeared on MTV’s Road Rules. And she told Buzzfeed that the “unlimited” alcohol provided to them was a recipe for disaster.
“The guys try to take your tops off in the pool or whatever, and there’s unlimited alcohol,” Meister noted. “It’s sort of like a breeding ground for bad behavior. So it does become difficult if you want to maintain any sense of dignity or self-respect when you are a woman on this show.”
When it comes to fame off the show, Buzzfeed notes that bars and clubs would pay MTV Challenge alums to drink with patrons, too. “When I first started on The Real World in 2005 — and I did The Challenge ever since — the bar promotions and college speaking tours were happening all the time, so I was doing that three to four times a week,” ex-player Paula Meronek explained.
One ‘Total Madness’ star said the drinking got to be too much for him
While it seems like the majority of Challenge contestants drink and party all night long, that’s not actually the case. Chris “Swaggy C” Williams competed on Total Madness along with his wife, Bayleigh Dayton. And he told the Challenge Mania podcast that he was uncomfortable with all the drinking that was happening around him, as he’s sober.
“As the weeks got on, I got more and more miserable being there,” Williams said. “I would go to the bar with everybody, and I would just sit in the corner like, ‘yo, I don’t want to be here.’ … But like, being in a bunker with people I don’t like, and I never drunk or smoke anything a day in my life, and everybody’s all drunk and throwing up on the bus and yelling at 2 o’clock in the morning … this is not my way.”
Williams then added that he’s not throwing “shade” at MTV or the producers, as they’re “great and amazing,” but the entire experience wasn’t really for him. “Maybe if it was like, in a house, like it usually is every season, maybe I would’ve had a better experience,” he added.
We’re not sure if we’ll see Williams on the show again. But he was certainly a welcome rookie on the show, so we hope we hear more of what he’s up to in the future.
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