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Several guys chose not to compete in a daily mission during The Challenge 36disqualifying them. Even though they claimed they didn’t participate for strategic reasons, their decision disappointed host T.J. Lavin and viewers, including former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky. The ESPN analyst called their “softness” out on television and in numerous tweets. A few of the male competitors have responded, clarifying the reasoning behind their decision. 

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quarterback Dan Orlovsky #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Al Messerschmidt

Several guys were disqualified during ‘The Challenge 36’ daily mission

For the daily mission in the Jan. 27 episode, the contestants had to hold onto a hanging net with the goal of pushing the other contestants into the water.

The last person on the net won their heat, and the player who held on the longest, and their partner, would become go the double agents.

While the girls fought it out, several of the guys didn’t compete, disqualifying them. Even though they insisted it was a strategic decision, host T.J. Lavin and many viewers were disappointed.

As a result, Lavin also disqualified the votes from those who didn’t compete. However, it ultimately didn’t make a difference as Theresa Jones and Jay Starrett, who the house wanted in, were still the compromised agents.

Dan Orlovsky called the guys out on NFL Live and Twitter

The following day after the episode aired, former professional quarterback and analyst Dan Orlovsky called the guys out in a segment on ESPN’s NFL Live where he compared them to NFL managers “not showing up.”

A fan acknowledged the shout-out in a tweet, to which Orlovsky responded, “their softness needed to be addressed.”

The Challenge official Twitter account quote tweeted the former quarterback and noted, “T.J.’s not the only one who hates quitters,” and then tagged the culprits Fessy Shafaat, Darrell Taylor, Kyle Christie, Nam Vo, and Devin Walker.

Orlovsky responded and claimed the host should have “taken a skull away” as a result. 

Several of the players explained their performance

Shafaat replied to Orlovsky in a series of tweets explaining why he didn’t compete in the daily mission. He claimed they couldn’t pull someone off without themselves falling as well. Therefore, he didn’t think it made sense to get one person off because it would also eliminate him.

Additionally, the two-time competitor explained it was a strategic decision because it prevented Christie and Walker from winning. He also claimed they were disqualified after two or three minutes and didn’t know it was timed. Finally, Shafaat denied quitting and claimed other guys previously discussed “sitting out” altogether.


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Vo also weighed in and expressed disappointment in his performance. However, he also claimed he strategically chose not to compete. Additionally, Walker responded to Orlovsky’s call out by poking fun at the quarterback’s passer rating.

Josh Martinez claimed in a now-deleted tweet that he and Shafaat wanted to participate, but the others threatened to throw them into elimination if they didn’t go along with the plan not to compete. They both insisted fans would hear the “real story” at the reunion. The Challenge 36 airs Wednesdays at 8/7 Central on MTV.