Every Season of The Challenge, Ranked: #1 — Rivals

Michael Alvey
9 min readMay 31, 2022

Location: Dominacal, Costa Rica

Host: TJ Lavin

Aired: 2011

Champions: Johnny/Tyler and Evelyn/Paula

Overall Thoughts: We have finally reached my pick for the greatest season in Challenge history. When the cast, theme and trailer were dropped back in 2011, the expectations for this season were sky high.

(CT’s “Now it’s my turn” still gives me chills.)

Rivals lived up to the hype, and then some.

The best seasons of The Challenge have excellent combinations of competition and drama, and no season does this better than Rivals.

Rivals isn’t a flawless season —the dailies aren’t great, the politics are boring and Kenny/Wes were robbed in the final.

But there’s no season that’s as epic and that has as many incredible moments, both on and off the field.


  • TJ showing up to host after suffering a brain injury while riding BMX and being in an induced coma
  • “Kenny’s still Kenny, Johnny’s still Johnny, Evan’s still Evan but he looks pregnant now.”
  • Robin’s horrible attempt at politicking
  • Adam Royer’s “Don’t call me a guy, Ty” and throwing arguably the worst punch in Challenge history
  • CT screaming in Wes’ face for four hours
  • Kenny losing his mojo
  • Jasmine punching the mirror
  • Mandi telling CT she’s into choking
  • Camila/Theresa faking like they were going to throw the elimination
  • Sarah getting overconfident about facing Jonna/Jasmine in elimination, then losing a puzzle elimination to them
  • “We’re playing a game with a bunch of bitches, and I’ve got the biggest one on my team”