‘The Challenge’ Season 36 Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Since 1998, MTV’s reality competition series The Challenge has been a staple for the network. Initially, only consisting of Real World and Road Rules alumni, the show has expanded and now features contestants of a variety of reality shows, including Are You the One? and CBS’ Big Brother.

Despite the changes, The Challenge has consistently remained relevant and popular, with its Season 35 premiere scoring the highest rating in seven years. While The Challenge 35: Total Madness is currently airing, the production team already began calling and assembling their cast for the following season.

Theo Campbell
Theo Campbell | Karwai Tang

However, a couple of contestants who production allegedly contacted revealed filming for Season 36 is postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

‘The Challenge’ Season 35 currently airing

On April 1, 2020, The Challenge 35: Total Madness premiered with seven prospects, Jay Starrett (Survivor), Asaf Goren (Celebrity Ninja Warrior), Jennifer Lee (Amazing Race), Kaycee Clark (Big Brother 20 winner), Fessy Shafaat, Bayleigh Dayton, and Chris “Swaggy C” Williams (Big Brother 20) competing against each other and several notable veterans in an individual season for $1 million.

In this season, the contestants participate in challenges involving speed, strength, and smarts with the top female and male winner, alongside a player of their choosing, forming the Tribunal.

The house then nominates one contestant to compete in elimination, or Purgatory, against the player the Tribunal chooses after interrogating three Challengers.

The winner of the elimination then receives a red skull and stays in the house with the loser going home. Additionally, for the first time in The Challenge’s 22-year history, the players must win an elimination round to enter the finals and compete for the million-dollar prize.

Now, instead of the contestants desperately trying to avoid elimination, as usual, they will have to go through Purgatory to earn their ticket to the finals.

‘The Challenge’ Season 36 filming postponed due to coronavirus

On February 13, 2020, three-time Challenger UK native Stephen Bear announced on his Instagram Live that the producers from The Challenge invited him back for another season.

He also included the MTV logo in the clip and claimed he starts filming in 10 weeks and is “going for the win” this time. However, on March 11, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic.

Because of this, restrictions on travel have been put in place as well as various stay-at-home orders for Americans which are in effect until at least the end of April 2020.

On March 18, a few weeks before production would have started, two-time competitor Theo Campbell announced he received an email from MTV a few days prior, informing him they are “postponing” production due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If Campbell returns, it will mark his first time competing since his traumatic injury after an incident with a champagne bottle cork left him nearly blind his left eye.

While their announcements seemingly confirm the two will compete in the next season of The Challenge, MTV has not officially announced anything yet. Additionally, even though filming is delayed, there’s still a chance Season 36 will air in Fall 2020 as usual.

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