‘The Challenge 35’: Why T.J. Lavin Didn’t ‘Go Hard’ on Melissa Reeves for Quitting
One of the most notable things about professional BMX rider and host of The Challenge, T.J. Lavin, is his disdain for quitters. However, when Melissa Reeves quit in the middle of the finals, he politely let her exit. After the episode aired, the host explained why he didn’t “go hard” on the British native for quitting as he usually does.
T.J. Lavin hates quitters
Ever since joining The Challenge as a host in its 11th season, professional BMX rider T.J. Lavin has always hated quitters. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he explained his “no-quitting passion” comes from his time competing in BMX competitions where not giving up first became “ingrained” in his mind.
In 2010, he crashed while competing in the Dew Action Sports Tour and came down with pneumonia, which put him in a medically induced coma. The host had to relearn almost everything but quickly returned to filming The Challenge and got back on his bike, although he no longer professionally competes.
While the former champion understands when competitors quit due to “extenuating circumstances” such as a death in the family or a medical issue, he didn’t leave the competition during Final Reckoning when his father passed away.
Instead, the professional BMX rider “suffered in silence” for almost two months while they filmed before returning to his family.
Melissa Reeves quit ‘The Challenge 35’
Currently, in its 35th season, The Challenge has pulled reality stars from other shows, including United Kingdom television personalities, to round out their cast. British former pageant queen and DJ Melissa Reeves, originally from Ex on the Beach UK, joined the cast for her third season after an early disqualification for fighting in Final Reckoning.
After being safe for the majority of the competition, she finally landed in the Tribunal after winning the Flags Down challenge. A couple of weeks later, the British native became the house vote to go against Nany Gonzaléz for the coveted red skull.
Reeves ended up winning the elimination round, qualifying her for the finals. After the first part where the contestants had to climb up and down a mountain stacking logs, the British native announced she would leave the competition.
She explained she didn’t think her body could take it and believed she couldn’t beat Jenny West. Even though the former pageant queen quit in the middle of the finals, Lavin didn’t get upset with her as he usually would.
Why T.J. Lavin didn’t ‘go hard’ on Melissa Reeves
In January 2020, a few months before The Challenge Season 35 aired, the British native announced she was pregnant with a baby girl. She stated she would give birth around Summer 2020, which meant the reality star was pregnant while filming the series.
After fans thought she might have gotten pregnant in the Challenge house, Reeves clarified that she conceived in the days before leaving for the show. She has also insisted she never knew she had a child in her belly during the competition until the finals, which is why she had to leave.
In a tweet after the finale, the host explained a producer informed him of the British native’s decision, but not the situation, and asked the BMX rider not to “go hard” on her, per usual.
Although he didn’t understand why at the time, Lavin listened. After discovering that she was pregnant during the entire competition, he called her a “bada*s.” The Challenge 35 reunion airs Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at 8 p.m. EST on MTV.