Building the Best Realistic MTV Challenge Exes 3 Cast
(Here is the video format, it varies from the article in some ways. Feel free to drop a Like and Subscribe).
In 2015, MTV dropped one of its best seasons ever with Battle of the Exes 2. It’s been ten seasons since then, and we have yet to get an Exes 3. You could make the argument that the Challenge’s history when it comes to third installments of a format generally fall flat. Yet, after a half-decade, now more than ever, it feels as though it’s the perfect time. MTV has spent the last half-decade putting out multiple seasons of AYTO, four seasons of Ex on the Beach, and integrating stars from other reality shows, thus meaning that showmances from other franchises are eligible. They also have half a decade of new hookups to create partnerships, on top of those that existed in the previous decade.
Here’s the best part, I did the casting for MTV. I created a cast where I scoured the globe to create a cast with 15 teams, mixing up old, new, and present ex-relationships, where they are people who got engaged, lived together, had a showmance, or just a one-night stand! For reading purposes, I split the cast up into four categories: OGs, Staples, Wild Cards, and Rookies.
Warning: I had to be realistic with this cast. Thus, a pair I wanted to include, like Sarah Rice and Alton Williams, got left off since based on what they want to return to the show is such a high demand, it’s impossible to imagine we would be able to get one of them, let alone both. Likewise, I had to account for the fact that certain players are retired, and more importantly, some players have been hard blacklisted recently, such as Dee Nguyen and Mattie Lynn-Breaux, to name a few. Initially, this was going to be a 16 team cast with Laurel Stucky partnered with Stephen Bear; however, his actions over the last year have made it clear that he should not be on a TV screen anytime soon. Since I couldn’t imagine Laurel being willing to partner with Nicole Zanatta for a season, I ultimately had to leave her off. Sidenote: I was also bummed out Big T and Da’Vonne haven’t had legitimate onscreen hookups.
Onto the cast!
When you fantasy cast an MTV season, you have to assume MTV will put Bananas, CT, and Wes on the show. Also, even if you are personally tired of these players, feuding with them elevates new stars. Cara Maria has an even more significant impact on the female ranks. Countless players have been their most relevant when feuding with these foes.
Thus, our OG additions are:
Johnny Bananas and Melissa Reeves (Vendettas)
Kyle Christie and Cara Maria Sorbello (Vendetts/Final Reckoning)
Wes Bergmann and KellyAnne Judd (Post Island till right before Fresh Meat 2)
Chris Tamburello and Nany Gonzalez (Rivals 2)
After all the dysfunction between Kyle and Cara that lasted over three seasons of the Challenge, watching them get paired up together would be a dream. Now that Cara’s taken a break, I feel as though they would be able to work together; alas, there will be many speed bumps that will give us entertainment. Bananas had a tryst with Melissa after appearing in the Vendettas finals as mercenaries. She would be his strongest potential partner and is someone who makes for great reality television. Initially, I wanted to partner her with Kyle as their Total Madness relationship was adorable (even if Kyle had a GF at home). I know the world would be upset if I didn’t pair Cara and Kyle.
KellyAnne is someone we haven’t seen since Rivals 3 and is historically an above-average female competitor. Plus, they were a real relationship, not a showmance. CT and Nany are two veterans you put together that should make for a strong pair. They have a sordid history where it’s rumored they were friends with benefits after Rivals 2 and split right before the reunion where Diem/CT linked up again.
Pairs that missed the cut:
Brad Fiorenza and Britni Thornton (Vendettas/Final Reckoning)
Cory Wharton and Aneesa Ferreira (Bloodlines)
These are the pairs who have done a majority of the recent seasons (or at least one of them has) and are ones that would be perfect for Exes 3, or simply a key figure I can’t imagine them having the season without.
Jordan Wiseley and Tori Deal (Dirty 30-Double Agents)
Tony Raines and Ashley Mitchell (Rivals 3)
Theo Campbell and Kam Williams (War of the Worlds 1)
Nelson Thomas and Kayleigh Morris (Vendettas-Final Reckoning)
Jordan and Tori just split up after being a prominent couple in the Challenge sphere since 2017. It would be fascinating to see if Jordan still wants to run a final with Tori after everything that has gone down recently. They should make a formidable duo. Jordan is also a former exes champion. Nelson adds so much to the show. At the bare minimum, he is a comedic-relief character who can potentially add drama and competition, pairing him with Kayleigh, who had solid performances on both Final Reckoning and WOTW 2 (politically), should give us some good content. They filmed an Ex on the Beach UK season together that we never got to see due to the passing of one of the season’s cast members; getting closure for their relationship would be somewhat nice.
Tony is someone we haven’t see since Final Reckoning, and his approval rating when he left was pretty high, meaning a return would elicit a positive response. He’s spent the past couple of years focusing on his family, yet, I can’t help feeling there’s part of Tony who still wants to win a Championship, and the appearance check alone is a hefty penny for his family. Pairing Tony with a firecracker like Ashley would lead to great television, and his friends would allow Ashley to enter the game, not being the #1 target from the jump. You also have to remember that Tony would call Ashley’s alliance on social media the Lavender Losers, and if Ashley is anything on the Challenge, it’s not a loser.
Kam has become one of the female faces of the Challenge, and Theo is her only option as an ex, and they should immediately become one of the top contenders to win. Theo hasn’t been on the show since his eye injury. He’s been sorely missed as the guy is an all-around Challenge talent. Reintroducing him here would be fantastic.
Pairs where one or both of the players are somewhat coming out of left-field.
Joss Mooney and Amanda Garcia (Final Reckoning)
Jay Starrett and Morgan Willet (Ex on the Beach US Season 2)
Mark Long and Liz Nolan (Dated Off-Screen)
Everyone has feelings or an opinion towards Amanda, which means she is doing her job correctly. She recently became a mother (one of the reasons she took a break). After a few seasons off and dumping her fiance, Amanda might be open to returning, and giving her an excellent physical partner like Joss would make them a sleeper pair. She and Zach killed Final Reckoning from a competitive standpoint, and if Joss can fill the physical role that Zach did and let Amanda drive the car, they should do well. Meanwhile, Jay has become a bit of a fan favorite recently. His main on-screen hookup on the Challenge was Dee, and she is now banned; thus, we go into his EOTB past, and we pair him WOTW competitor and Big Brother OTT winner Morgan Willet. Morgan is Johnny Bananas’ current girlfriend adds an extra layer to it all as well.
The last wild card pair I’m bringing out is the team of the Godfather Mark Long and WOTW 1 first boot and Big Brother 17 runner-up Liz Nolan (not the one Hunter hooked up). Darrell recently set the record for the oldest Challenge competitor ever (41), which means it’s the perfect time for 49-year-old Mark Long to squash it. Mark stated recently that he doesn’t do a main season of the show because it’s too much a time commitment, even though he had been somewhat pitching himself for previous recent seasons on social media. With him getting the WeWantOGs movement off the ground, I wouldn’t be shocked if he got brought back for a main season to cross-promote the spin-offs. Luckily for Mark, he has a 29-year-old reality TV ex-girlfriend who stays in shape and has potential as a competitor based on her Big Brother performance. Historically, first boot competitors generally have a better track record than uneventful players who get knocked out relatively early.
Pairs that missed the cut:
Devin Walker and Marie Roda (Ex on the Beach S3)
Ashley Cain and Zahida Allen (War of the Worlds 1)
Marlon Williams and Jemmye Carroll (Rivals 2)
Every season needs rookies and these pairs have at least one player in the partnership being a rookie.
Fessy Shafaat and Haleigh Broucher (Big Brother 20 to Double Agents)
Max Gentile, Justin Palm, and Amber Martinez (AYTO Season 8)
Wendell Holland and Michele Fitzgerald (Survivor)
Georgia Steel and Calum Izzard (Ex on the Peak)
Fessy skewing towards becoming a Challenge villain is something I never expected. Nonetheless, his actions on Double Agents have made him a lock for the next couple of seasons. He and long-time Big Brother girlfriend Haleigh Broucher recently split, and their drama has been all over the Twitter-sphere. Hilariously, they both dished out “tea” on their Patreon pages, meaning they monetized their relationship drama, which makes Exes 3 perfect for them. Haleigh has declined the Challenge calls in the past; however, as she becomes further removed from Big Brother, the social media growth might stall. With her starting her own swimsuit line, going on the Challenge to put eyeballs on yourself and to gain more followers isn’t bad for business.
For Survivor fans, we bring in two Survivor winners in Wendell Holland and Michele Fitzgerald. Michele was in the casting pool for War of the Worlds 1 and got dropped around the same time Jay Starrett was; however, after Survivor Winners at War performance, I think MTV should have a lot of interest in her. Her personality and lifestyle vibes with the old school Challenge house aspects. She and Wendell’s relationship was a weird subject on Survivor Winners at War, she called him an Ex, and he said they kicked it. Wendell might be a bit older (35), but he looks a lot younger and is a Challenge fan. If you were going to bring in a Survivor exes duo, it has to be this one.
Georgia Steel appeared on Love Island UK and Ex on the Peak. She has gained a ton of fans, is still only 23 years old, and was supposed to be on War of the Worlds 2 but dropped due to a last-minute emergency. She and Callum Izzard got together on Ex on the Peak (an MTV show), got engaged, and have now split. Georgia already has 1.6 mil IG followers and, as a personality, has star potential.
The last team is a twist; it’s a team that would compete as a thruple instead of a couple. On the sexually fluid season of AYTO, Double Agents rookie Amber Martinez had a friendship/fling/threesomes with the couple of Max Gentile and Justin Palm. Instead of pairing her with one of them, you treat them as a thruple where Justin and Max switch off as Amber’s partners for every daily challenge/elimination. In a final or endurance challenge, they would run those competitions all together as a unit. If you hate this twist, I apologize; if you love it, you’re welcome.
Pairs that missed the cut:
Ashley Mckenzie and Danielle Kedward (Ex on the Beach UK Series 11)
David Alexander and Kat Dunn (Big Brother 21)
Tevin Grant and Kenya Scott (AYTO S7 and EOTB S3)
Hope you enjoy this season!