Every Season of The Challenge, Ranked: #23 — Total Madness

Michael Alvey
16 min readApr 10, 2022

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Host: TJ Lavin

Aired: 2020

Champions: Jenny and Bananas

General Thoughts: The Challenge: Total Madness is obviously a tale of two seasons.

I think the first 10 episodes are up there with nearly any other season. With the rise of the Bananas/Wes alliance, the downfall of Tori and Jordan, Jay pulling one of the biggest upsets ever against CT, Kailah falling into the Bear trap, and Nelson playing the most hilariously bad political game in Challenge history, it was pretty much non-stop entertainment.

But the season climaxed with the Bananas/Wes elimination, and completely cratered after.

In the week after the Bananas/Wes elimination, MTV severed ties with Dee and completely cut her out of her subsequent episodes. The edit led to a horrendous stretch of episodes from 11 to 14, including what I consider to be the worst episode in Challenge history in episode 11.

Cutting out Dee, who was arguably the biggest star of the season, took away a huge storyline with the Dee/Rogan/Jenny triangle that should have been a big part of the show for the rest of the season. But instead, the show tried its best to pretend Dee didn’t exist and completely broke up the flow of the season.

One last thing I’ll say in Total Madness ‘s favor— it has a distinct mood to it more than nearly any other season. With the predominant red backdrop, eerie shots and wretched living conditions, this is definitely the spookiest season of The Challenge.

Having the challengers live in a bunker is one of the cruelest things the show has ever done, but it resulted in a lot of good TV.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

  • Jay beating CT
  • Bear spraying the fire extinguisher, leading to Ashley spitting in his face and a huge fight with with Mattie
  • Bananas and Wes designing a love chateau for Bear and Kailah
  • Nelson accusing Aneesa of throwing the daily challenge (on a girls’ elimination day)
  • Nelson calling Kailah out…

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