‘The Challenge’ Season 37: ‘4 or 5’ Contestants Had Coronavirus, Including Big T, According to Amanda Garcia

Fans watching MTV’s The Challenge Season 37 likely noticed a few bumps in the road early on. At the beginning of the season, The Challenge Season 37 cast veteran Nam Vo left unexpectedly. And it seems this was due to production enacting coronavirus (COVID-19) protocol. According to contestant Amanda Garcia, “four or five” contestants got coronavirus while on the show. Here’s what she shared.

Early ‘The Challenge’ Season 37 spoilers noted production halted due to coronavirus protocol

Prior to the season airing, early MTV’s The Challenge Season 37 spoilers noted filming had to temporarily halt due to coronavirus. It was unclear whether a cast or crew member (or multiple people) were flagged as positive for the virus, but it caused a hiccup in filming early on. Once T.J. Lavin announced Nam’s exit, fans started to wonder what exactly happened to the tough competitor — and if it had something to do with the pandemic.

The production team for The Challenge had a whole setup to ensure the safety of its cast and crew, too. “For everybody [in the cast], it was about getting [their] head wrapped around [the new] steps that would get us to the show, and then once they were in the house they could proceed as normal,” showrunner Emer Harkin told Variety. “By ensuring they were all in quarantine and all had negative [test] results, it meant we could afford ourselves that position. There was really no way we could execute our show otherwise.”

‘The Challenge’ Season 37 cast member Amanda Garcia said ‘4 or 5’ competitors contracted coronavirus

MTV’s The Challenge Season 37 cast member Amanda Garcia talked on Instagram Live with Michele Fitzgerald and Ashley Mitchell about the alleged coronavirus outbreak. According to Amanda, a number of contestants were affected by the virus despite frequent testing by production.

“I don’t know if [production] could say that [Nam Vo] had covid, or that Big T [Fazakerley] had covid, or that any of them had covid,” Amanda shared during the Instagram segment. She then explained the timeline of events and how everything went down. According to Amanda, everyone in the competition picked their partners and went back to the house. Then, Big T was pulled away from production for being “obviously positive.” After that, the contestants stayed in the house for another few days.

“Then, some people were coughing, some people were sniffing, some people just didn’t feel well, and then, all of a sudden, those people that were starting to say, ‘Hey, can I have medicine for this? It’s just a cold,’ got pulled,” Amanda added. “And that was, like, four or five people.”

Michele also noted production was “so safe” when it came to protocol. “They really tested us every single day,” she said. “I feel like they did a really good job, so it was pretty shocking that it happened.”

Spoilers note more twists are coming to the game due to the production delay

A far-away photo of MTV's 'The Challenge: Rivals II' final episode and reunion party. Many of the cast members are also part of 'The Challenge' Season 37 cast
MTV’s ‘The Challenge: Rivals II’ final episode and reunion party | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

It seems like the production team doesn’t plan on addressing the alleged coronavirus debacle. But early MTV’s The Challenge Season 37 spoilers suggested more twists will come as a result of what happened.

“I have, from a very good source, that they added some twists toward the end of the season to speed it up to reach a faster end date,” the host of the Challenge Chronicles podcast shared. “So, a lot of the stuff that happens is apparently very blind-siding to the cast because of their production schedule. So, we will have to wait and see how that plays out. But you can tell from the trailer that there is some chicanery that will go on.”

ViacomCBS did not return a request for comment regarding the coronavirus outbreak by the time of publication.

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