‘The Challenge 35’: Jenna Compono Defends Relationship With Zach Nichols After Criticism

Fan-favorite couple Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols began dating six years ago after meeting on the 26th season of The Challenge. They are now engaged and plan on marrying in February 2021. However, while filming The Challenge 35: Total Madness, Zach found old direct messages on Jenna’s phone and became so angry about them that he demanded she returns home. Fans then began criticizing the couple, so The Real World: Ex-Plosion star defended her relationship on Twitter.

Jenna Compono
Jenna Compono | Matt Winkelmeyer

Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols dating

In 2014, rookie Jenna Compono and four-time competitor Zach Nichols met each other on MTV reality competition series, The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II and began dating.

Jenna made it to the finals on her first season and immediately returned for Battle of the Bloodlines alongside her close cousin, Brianna Julig, seeking a win.

When The Real World star called her boyfriend during filming, she found he cheated on her as he mistakenly called her another girls’ name. They eventually got back together and have since returned to The Challenge for Invasion of the Champions, Final Reckoning, and War of the Worlds, where they got into an on-camera fight.

The couple lives together with a dog, and Zach frequently appears on Jenna’s YouTube channel. The Real World: San Diego star proposed around Christmas 2019, and they have announced their wedding date of February 13, 2021. 

Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols get into a fight during ‘The Challenge 35’

Last season, Zach competed on Team USA in War of the Worlds 2. However, Cara Maria Sorbello and Paulie Calafiore ran the house based on strong alliances and threw anyone in elimination who didn’t want to work with them.

Therefore, veterans, including Laurel Stucky, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, and Wes Bergmann, were sent home very early. Even though Zach routinely expressed his annoyance with the system, he benefited from it and made it to the finals without ever seeing an elimination.

Unfortunately, he narrowly lost to Team UK and went home empty-handed. The veteran then chose to take a break from Challenges, and Jenna returned for Total Madness.

Even though the Real World star is in an alliance with close friends Kailah Casillas and Nany González, she admittedly misses her fiancé. In a sneak peek for the upcoming episode, Jenna finds out that Zach is upset with her over old direct messages he found in her phone and wants her to come home.

When she called him, they got into an explosive argument that left the 27-year-old in tears and debating if she should leave the competition.

Jenna Compono defends her relationship with Zach Nichols

After viewers saw the sneak peek, they began criticizing Jenna’s relationship with her fiancé. Therefore, she addressed everyone in a lengthy note on Twitter.

The Real World star first explained that they are only able to make phone calls once a week for 10 minutes. Therefore, fans are not getting the “full picture” as they’re only seeing “clips that happen in 10-minute intervals over a few weeks,” which isn’t enough to accurately “judge” her relationship.

She also asked viewers to stop “bringing up things that happened five years ago” because she and Zach have gotten past it and don’t want to be “constantly reminded.”

Additionally, Jenna admitted they had a “stupid argument” and both “overreacted.” However, they were both “stressed” and “had to wait each week to talk to each other.”

The Real World star continued and explained she was “mentally drained from the living conditions” and doesn’t think the argument would have happened if she weren’t “a world away” at the time.

Jenna also insisted the couple are “happier than ever” and don’t have any real “issues.” Therefore, she doesn’t believe they deserve viewers speaking about them as if they’re a “horrible couple.”

The Challenge 35: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on MTV.