‘The Challenge’: T.J. Lavin Comes to the Defense of Josh Martinez After Taking a Shot at Him on ‘Total Madness’

T.J. Lavin, the host of The Challenge, is one of the toughest hosts in reality TV history. His disdain for quitters, but respect for great competitors are qualities that fans of the show have fallen in love with. On Episode 14 of The Challenge: Total Madness, though, Lavin took a slight shot at competitor Josh Martinez, who had recently been eliminated by his fellow competitor Kyle Christie. However, less than a week after the The Challenge episode aired, Lavin came to the defense of Martinez, clearing up any idea that he potentially disliked him.

T.J. Lavin, Josh Martinez, 'The Challenge'
(L-R) T.J. Lavin and Josh Martinez | Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic; Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Josh Martinez got eliminated on ‘The Challenge: Total Madness’

Martinez first became known for his performance on Season 19 of Big Brother. He ultimately won the show, and the $500,000 grand prize, by defeating second-time player Paul Abrahamian in the final two. 

He then began competing on The Challenge during War of the Worlds, which aired in 2019. Martinez made it about halfway during his first season of The Challenge, getting eliminated in Episode 7, according to Fandom. He then came back on for War of the Worlds 2 and did much better, making it to Episode 13.

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Total Madness was Martinez’s third season on The Challenge. He ultimately made it to Episode 14 before getting eliminated by Christie. 

T.J. Lavin took a shot at Martinez after he was eliminated

Throughout his reality TV show career, Martinez has been known for crying or getting emotional. He has even admitted this as he once tweeted, “Haters: Josh always cries. You damn right I will cry and I will still check and humble you homie.”

After Christie eliminated Martinez on Total Madness, Lavin then drew attention to the fact that Martinez maybe cries somewhat frequently.

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Another szn in the books! This TV game is crazy man Been at it now for 3 years and 4 shows down. With every show I’ve done its been a learning & growing experience. I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel & compete in one of the biggest shows. But if I’m being honest dealing with all the negativity online sometimes gets hard. One thing I want people to know about me is that good or bad I always stay true to myself. I wear my heart on my sleeves and sometimes my emotions get the best of me but I’m always genuine with how I feel. My heart & intentions always mean well. I’m not perfect and at 26 Ive been able to reflect with each show I’ve done and grow & learn from it. I can only continue to change for the better. I don’t go on these shows for acceptance or approval from the fans I just want to continue to better my life financially and fill it with epic experiences. Even though I didn’t make the final I’m only getting stronger mentally & physically and becoming a better version of myself each day. I’ve faced fears and have proved to myself the heart and ambition I have to succeed no matter how many people have counted me out. All the doubt, hate, and noise can’t stop what God has planned for me. My time on this szn is over but I’m only getting started in the game. To my supporters I love ya thanks for rocking with me & to the haters thanks for the motivation. Till next time

A post shared by J O S H M A R T I N E Z (@josh_martinez_) on

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While addressing Christie, Lavin said, “You took out a guy that cries a lot, but he’s real good.”

The comment was met with laughter from some of the other competitors, but also some comments from fans on social media. 

T.J. Lavin came to Josh Martinez’s defense

Many fans posted about Lavin’s comment on social media. 

On Twitter user said, “Tj saying you took out a guy who cries a lot. Made my night.” Another fan tweeted, “Shout out to TJ for highlighting what you do most… cry a lot. Shouldn’t have done Aneesa dirty.”

Additionally, another fan tweeted, “Lmao cannot believe [T.J.] roasted [Josh] so hard at the end. Hahahahaha ‘And Kyle you beat someone who cries a lot.’ Give my man a damn Emmy.” One Reddit user even questioned if Lavin dislikes Martinez, saying, “I low key think TJ dislikes Josh and I’m high key living for it.”

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However, Lavin came to his defense days later. He tweeted, “[Josh] is a nice guy and anyone that thinks I don’t like him is wrong. Just letting ya know.” Martinez then responded by tweeting, “You are the man TJ!! I’m not worried about it. All love brotha.”

This is not the first time, however, that a fellow star on The Challenge has come to Martinez’s defense via social media. In May 2020, Wes Bergmann tweeted, “To everyone making fun of Josh, please back the f**k off. He has a valid reason to think I’m [going] after him. Yes, I’m having fun with him on this show. And yes, it’s the low key funniest ‘long joke’ in the entire history of The Challenge. But it’s not an excuse to bully him.”

Martinez is no longer on the current season of The Challenge, but maybe he will prove his haters wrong in future seasons. 

The Challenge: Total Madness airs on MTV on Wednesday nights.