Host T.J. Lavin Explained Competitors Will Be Playing as Individuals on ‘The Challenge: Total Madness’

We’ve been watching MTV’s The Challenge for decades, and starting April 1, it’s back with Total Madness. Certain contestants, like Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio and Wes Bergmann, have been playing the game for years. But newcomers from other shows are also trying their hand at winning the grand prize of $1 million this season. And we’re all excited to see who teams up with who and what goes down in the Challenge house.

Now, we’re getting more intel than ever on what we can expect from Total Madness. Host T.J. Lavin has made it known that this season is going to be the most brutal yet. And a clip from the show exhibits him explaining to the competitors that this season, they’ll be playing individual games instead of being teamed up through the whole competition. Here’s what we know.

Host T.J. Lavin mentioned no one’s skating by on ‘The Challenge: Total Madness’

On Season 34 of The Challenge, we saw the U.S. go against the U.K. in War of the Worlds 2. And it was clear some veteran competitors had a ton of social pull through the game. This brought them to the finals without them ever having to prove themselves in an elimination round. Now, on Season 35, that’s all about to change. It’s clear Lavin has had enough of veteran players using their social gameplay to manipulate their way to the end without getting their hands dirty in head-to-head showdowns.

In the trailer for the new season, Lavin tells the competitors, “This season, you’re here to prove that you’re the best. I’m done with people skating by. The only way to make it into a final is to win an elimination.” And it’s clear some of the competitors weren’t prepared to hear such news. One player comments that they’re living and playing in what looks to be a “war zone.” And Devenanzio notes he’s back to being surrounded by “liars, scumbags, and cry babies.”

Contestants are living in a ‘nuclear bomb shelter’ this season

Not only will winning Total Madness be seriously tough, but the players won’t be surrounded by their typical luxuries. The Challenge house is always huge, beautiful, and fully stocked with alcohol, a home gym, and many other amenities. But on Season 35, the competitors are shocked to see that they’ll be living with a lot less than they’re typically given.

“For the first time ever, we are living in a nuclear bomb shelter,” Devenanzio tells the cameras in a clip about their living space. “This place is terrifying.”

And other competitors comment on how their new digs are a lot like “prison,” as they’re given a roll of toilet paper and a bar of soap at the end of their beds, and their shelter has zero windows.

It’s not all bad, though. At the end of the clip, it’s revealed that the bunker has a huge and beautiful workout space as well as a stainless steel kitchen, hot tubs, and a pool.

Contestants will compete as individuals for $1 million

It looks like MTV is giving fans a treat before the premiere. The first five minutes of Total Madness released, and Lavine explains to the contestants exactly what they’re in for.

“This will be the most dangerous season we’ve ever had,” Lavin says. “For those of you that can embrace the madness — and survive — $1 million is at stake. … This will be the hardest thing you have ever done. You must prove you can adapt to any situation because you’ll be living in a world with constant uncertainty.

While plenty of Challenge seasons in the past demand competitors partner up, it looks like each player will compete individually this season. “Sometimes, you guys are gonna be put in teams,” Lavin continued. “Sometimes, you’ll be paired up. But make no mistake — the only person you can trust is yourself. This is an individual game. I guarantee you no one knows what’s coming.”

We’re excited to see both veterans and rookies alike scramble to form alliances and fight for their lives starting on April 1!

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