‘The Challenge 35’: Fessy Shafaat Explains How Competing on ‘The Challenge’ Differs From ‘Big Brother’

Known for being clueless and JC Mounduix’s “big dumb puppet” on Big Brother 20, former collegiate tight end Fayal “Fessy” Shafaat is now competing on The Challenge 35: Total Madness. He performed well in the opening challenge, and his 6’5 235-pound frame prevented competitors from throwing the prospect into the first elimination.

After competing on both seasons, Fessy explained how the strategy on the reality competition shows differs from each other.

Fessy Shafaat
Faysal Shafaat | Monty Brinton

Fessy Shafaat on ‘Big Brother 20’

In 2018, then 27-year-old Florida-based substitute teacher, Fessy Shafaat, competed on Big Brother 20. He was a member of the doomed FOUTTE alliance and rarely voted correctly.

The former collegiate football player was portrayed as a “big dummy” and seemingly never knew what was going on inside the house. Instead, he focused on chasing college student Haleigh Broucher, who initially rejected him several times although the two eventually became a showmance.

Once Fessy became Head of Household in Week 8, JC manipulated the substitute teacher into targeting his own ally, Scottie Salton, who ended up getting evicted.

The following week, Angela Rummons of the dominating Level Six Alliance won HOH and nominated Fessy alongside his love interest, Haileigh. Although the former tight end came dangerously close, he could not secure the Power of Veto and was evicted in a 4-1 vote.

He also did not win the battle back challenge and became the third member of the jury.

Fessy Shafaat on ‘The Challenge 35: Total Madness’

A year after his Big Brother performance, Fessy returned to reality television to compete on MTV’s The Challenge 35: Total Madness alongside BB20 co-stars Kaycee Clark, Chris “Swaggy C” Williams, and Bayleigh Dayton.

He performed well in the first challenge and finished within the top three. Even though the male rookies were on the block for the first elimination, Fessy’s name never came up because of his size and how well he competed.

His BB20 ally, Swaggy C, was also left out of the conversation as the others were seemingly scared of having to deal with his fiancé, Bayleigh.

Fessy Shafaat explains how the shows differ from each other

In a tweet, the reality star asked his fans their opinions of the “biggest differences between The Challenge and Big Brother.” One fan explained they thought the CBS show “is more real” and “less staged,” whereas the MTV competition series “uses a lot of the same people over and over, which means the same drama.”

The user also noted Big Brother contestants “are smarter with eliminating people.” Fessy responded and said the follower “had a valid point” but feels “like you can be more aggressive” when “taking shots” on Big Brother because “there are no repercussions for seasons to come.”

On the other hand, when competing on The Challenge, the competitor must weigh out if they are “ready to deal with the aftermath” of a big game move “for every season” after that.

Fessy is still dating Haleigh, although she didn’t appear in this season of The Challenge alongside him. The Challenge 35: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on MTV.