Everything You Need To Know About This Season Of MTV’s “The Challenge: Battle Of The Bloodlines”

Everything You Need To Know About This Season Of MTV's

I used to watch The Real World on the lowest volume in the den of my childhood house hoping that my parents wouldn’t see me watching the hot tub scenes with wide eyes and tight Umbro shorts. Outside of MTV’s Spring Break, E!’s Wild On, and late-night Girls Gone Wild infomercials, The Real World was the best possible way to get acclimated with horned up coeds without going full scumbag into the porn game.

That being said, I got straight up addicted to The Real World at an early age because I never had a time in my life where I thought girls were icky. I remember where I was when Stephen slapped Irene because she called him out for being gay in Seattle. I remember being disgustingly jealous of Brad during the San Diego season because he was taking down Cameron (who is still, to this day, the best looking person to ever be on any of those shows). And yes, I may have shed a tear or two when I found out that Knight and Joey died after their seasons.

Naturally, my addiction to The Real World transitioned into an affinity for what I consider to be the best reality series on television next to the now-defunct Paradise HotelThe Challenge. Which is why it’s essential to give everyone a primer of what to expect throughout this season, that I’ll be following probably a little too closely.

The Format

This year’s all different. Just like last season, there are characters from both The Real World and Are You The One? (which I still don’t think anyone has ever seen before). They’ve created two-person teams with original cast members and then relatives of those cast members, hence the “Bloodlines” headline.

I assume two teams go into a head-to-head type situation after each challenge, with three teams remaining at the end of the season that will compete for the money. That’s how it normally goes, at least.

The Teams

Cohutta (Sydney) and Jill (Cousin)

Cohutta has been on The Challenge before, and outperformed everyone’s expectations. He has what I like to call “redneck strength.” It’s the kind of strength where if his gun jams while he’s hunting, he’ll hide in a tree and jump on a buck to kill it by using his hands to break its neck.

Jill’s value to the show doesn’t lie in her looks (she has what appears to be a monstrous tattoo on her side which implies a lot of things that I won’t get into), but in her upbringing. She refers to her grandpa as her “pa-paw” which puts out a super country vibe that will serve her well through the season. I mean, she sells car parts for a living and MTV showed a photo of her driving a damn tractor.

Gotta think these two are early favorites to reach the final challenge.

Nany (Las Vegas) and Nicole (Cousin)

Nany isn’t what you’d call… athletic. Let’s just say she did well during last season because she had her hands down the right pair of pants the entire time. She’s got history with numerous guys (Sup, Johnny Bananas and Cohutta), and you have to think drinking glasses of wine this big is a red flag.

That’s a certified GLUGGER if I’ve ever seen one. In the season preview, Nany also claims that she won’t be doing much hooking up this season, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say her and Nicole won’t be sticking around long.

Tony (Skeletons) And Shane (Little Brother)

Tony was on Skeletons where the MTV producers aired everyone’s dirty laundry. His skeletons were that he had numerous girls on lockdown, which sounds pretty baller to me. He was also known for hooking up with Madison, who would easily be the first one out should they hold another spelling bee this year.

He’s a rookie, and Shane can be seen yelling “YOU ‘BOUT THE DRAMA” before Tony tries to kick his ass in the preview which means these two are toast.

Jenna (Ex-Plosion) and Brianna (Cousin)

One of the great mysteries in life is how Jenna and her little twerp of a partner got to the final challenge last year. I get angry just thinking about it.

Here are the reasons these two won’t go far: Jenna won’t eat “gross” things (which means that even if they get to the final, they won’t win), and they can both be seen crying in the preview. Oh, and this.

Sorry, Jenna and Brianna, but ya done and TJ Lavin is probably going to call you out for being shitty competitors.

Johnny Bananas (Too Many Seasons To Count) and Vince (Cousin)

If you’re completely unfamiliar with Johnny Bananas, here’s a breakdown for you: he’s the juiced up godfather of the The Challenge. You roll with him, you’re rollin’ with the best. And if we’re being honest? It looks like Vince can HANG. Dude had 37 D1 scholarship offers to play football out of high school, and he signed with the Detroit Lions which means I couldn’t be more all in on these team.

Clubhouse favorites and it’s not even close.

Dario (Are You The One?) and Raphy (Twin Brother)

Rookies? Check. Idiots? Check. Allusions to sexual involvement with Jenna? Check. Johnny is going to put a target on these bros back faster than you can say “Jersey.”

KellyAnne (Sydney) And Anthony (Cousin)

It appears as though KellyAnne gets smitten with either Dario or Raphy, which is just foolish because banging rookies just ends in disaster for everyone involved. She appears to be in fairly athletic shape, but it’s kind of in the “I just got divorced and am back on the market” sort of way.

Christina (Are You The One?) and Emily (Sister)

They described themselves as “party girls” and “bad influences.” Something tells me they’re not here for the money or the competition. Furthermore, Emily has a crush on Bananas who is dating pro snowboarder / smokeshow Hannah Teter which means there’s a zero percent chance she’s hitching a ride on his wagon. Next.

Leroy (Las Vegas) and Candice (Cousin)

Oh, boy. Daddy likey the way this team looks. Leroy’s only weaknesses are his swimming and spelling, and those are literally his only weaknesses. I’m not entirely sure how the partners will shake out when they’re a M/F mix as opposed to being all one sex, but I can’t imagine they’ll struggle either way given their size.

My buddy also recently saw Leroy in Vegas over Thanksgiving, and you’re not spending Vegas in Thanksgiving unless you’re in the money and/or Jared from TFM.

Camila (Spring Break Challenge) and Larissa (Sister)

Something tells me these Brazilian firecrackers are going to do just fine this season. Camila has been successful in the past, and she’s also been romantically involved with Bananas. I’d say it wouldn’t bode well for her, but I think Bananas still has a soft spot for her, so he’ll prioritize her over any rookies that come his way. Do they have the make up and intangibles to be in the final? Not at all. But they’ll be mixin’ it up for at least half the season.

Cory (Ex-Plosion) and Mitch (Cousin)

Just going to put it out there: Mitch puts out a super creepy vibe in his preliminary interviews. Like, super creepy. Cory isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed either which leads me to believe that their stint will be short-lived.

The gamechanger here? Cory has a kid at home, so he’s got motivation to bank. He’s also completely willing to hook-up in order to get ahead in the game, which seems like it could either backfire or pay dividends come late in the season. Unless he gets involved with Aneesa. Which he will. And it will go poorly. Because it always does.

Aneesa (Chicago) and Rianna (Cousin)

Maybe they’d win this if it were 2004. Next.

Cara Maria (Fresh Meat II) and Jamie (Cousin)


Cara Maria is a known psycho. And not psycho in the “I’ll throw vodka-soda in your face” way. Psycho in the “I make voodoo dolls out of my enemies” way. She’s athletic, smart, and has also hooked up with Bananas because of course.

Meanwhile, Jamie is the biggest wildcard this season could possibly have. Dude works in a correctional facility which means he not only deals with freaks on the regular, but he also has the muscle in case anything gets out of hand. I almost feel like they’re making Cara Maria’s cousin up just to ensure she goes far in the season for ratings purposes. Either way, I don’t hate it.

They get the Will deFries Seal Of Underdog Approval for my sleeper pick of the season.

Thomas (Ex-Plosion) and Stephen (Twin Brother)

Despite that fact that it appears as though Thomas (who has a girlfriend) gets a hander from Cara Maria (who has a boyfriend) in the back of the bus during the season, I just like this team to do well. They’re twins, so they’re on the same wave length. They’re former state champion tennis partners, so they know how to compete together. They’re dumb enough to get swayed by power players, so they’ll at least piggy back deep into the season.

The Pre-Season Top 5

1. Bananas and Vince
2. Cara Maria and Jamie
3. Leroy and Candice
4. Thomas and Stephen
5. Cory and Mitch

The only potential wrench in everyone’s plans? CT and Diem (RIP). (Update: That is actually Diem’s sister. I was under the impression that this had somehow been taped before Diem’s passing, but I was mistaken.)

Stay tuned.

Image via MTV

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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