‘The Challenge’: Fans Are Concerned About the Growing Trend in Pregnancies While Filming
The Challenge requires its contestants to compete in physically demanding challenges for a grand prize. Therefore, the show does a series of testing to guarantee the players are fit for the conditions. However, a female player has discovered they’re pregnant while filming for multiple seasons in a row. There are also competitors that viewers believed were unknowingly expecting on the show but haven’t been confirmed. Therefore, fans are beginning to grow concerned over the back-to-back seasons featuring players competing while unknowingly pregnant.
[THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED 11/3/21]
Fans are concerned about the growing trend in pregnancies while filming ‘The Challenge’
When Melissa Reeves revealed she unknowingly filmed season 35’s Total Madness while expecting a child, fans, including host TJ Lavin, called her a “bad a–.”
Impressed that she eliminated veteran Nany González and completed one leg of the finals, at about four months along, before discovering the pregnancy, many viewers celebrated her performance and strength. She gave birth to her daughter, Vienna, in Mar. 2020.
Their reaction to pregnancies while filming changed during season 36’s Double Agents, when anticipated Survivor champ Natalie Anderson withdrew from the competition after many thought she had a chance. The fan-favorite later revealed she went home due to an unknown pregnancy but lost the baby.
Also, believing a few other players filmed while pregnant, several fans voiced their concern about the growing trend. Some challenged the network to test its competitors and “do better,” while others explicitly called the multiple mishaps “wildly negligent” and “irresponsible.”
Natalie Anderson left last season early due to pregnancy
Two-time The Amazing Race competitor Natalie Anderson tried her hand on The Challenge after winning Survivor and placing second in an all-winners season.
She debuted on last season’s Double Agents and teamed with multi-season champ Wes Bergmann. However, the partnership backfired, and she found herself in the first elimination.
She proved herself by sending home two-time champ Ashley Mitchell, earning her gold skull that gave her a ticket to the finals. Therefore, she was almost guaranteed a spot to compete for the half-million grand prize.
However, Natalie withdrew from the competition a couple of weeks later for unknown reasons at the time. The Survivor star later revealed she left due to a pregnancy.
Three other confirmed players have competed on ‘The Challenge’ while pregnant
Gladys Sanabria is currently the only player to compete while knowingly pregnant. After appearing on Road Rules: Latin America, she competed in Battle of the Exes (2002) while expecting a child.
While she appeared in the show, the producers didn’t allow her to participate in most competitions due to the pregnancy. Her team eventually voted her out in the fourth episode.
The Real World: San Diego’s Robin Hibbard competed in six seasons, making the finals three times before she realized she was pregnant following an early elimination from Duel 2. She has since returned twice and welcomed a daughter in 2015.
Finally, veteran Melissa Reeves put up an impressive performance during Total Madness (2020), winning an elimination and daily mission. However, she withdrew from the finals after believing she couldn’t beat the other competitors. She later admitted she quit due to a pregnancy. Melissa has since given birth to her daughter. The Challenge 37 airs Wednesdays at 8/7 Central on MTV.