For the Love of Nelly T — MTV’s Newest Dating Show That Doesn’t Exist (Yet)

Intro (Skip the first 2 paragraphs if you have zero interest in my personal life)

In 2008, I fell in love with Reality Television watching VH1’s Rock of Love and Flavor of Love. At 12 Years Old, these shows were my guilty pleasure. I was too afraid to tell any of my male friends that I watched them, did not have the confidence to speak to any females in general, and Twitter wasn’t what it is today. When they stopped airing those shows in late 2010, there became a pit in my heart and soul, and from there, I ignored Reality TV.

That is until I got kicked out of college for coming up short on my tuition payments. I spent 9 months at home after, aimless. It was during this time I started watching the Challenge, and as you can maybe tell from the 600+ Challenge articles I’ve written over the last five years, I ended up liking it a decent amount (if this is the first article of mine you’ve ever read, sorry). More importantly, though, I went back and watched those old Flavor of Love/Rock of Love/I Love New York seasons, and man, do I ever feel stupid calling those shows my guilty pleasures because those shows are still to this day the peak of Reality TV Gold and entertainment. Dating shows built around a deeply flawed yet charismatic lead bachelor/bachelorette surrounded by hot men and women desperate for fame with silly challenges, unlimited alcohol, and hilarious editing makes for great television every time. The worst VH1 dating show was better than the best season of the Bachelor.

This leads to my main point and the article’s title, MTV/Paramount Plus needs more original content, and Reality TV fans devour dating shows. The Challenge is one of its big existing franchises, and they have so many candidates to be their bachelor or bachelorette of choice to build a new franchise around. There is one clear option to take that step with, and that is Mr. Nelson Thomas.

Why Nelson?!?!?

Shows like the Bachelor focus on finding the perfect human to put on a poster to create what they believe will be a wide appeal to their audiences’ expectations. Since you are MTV and not ABC, you do not create a lesser version of that; what you do, is you follow the VH1 format and pick someone that will make your mom or sister wonder what the hell you are watching when they walk by. You want them to ask, “who the hell is this bozo that all these hot women are fighting for?” Nelson Thomas fits that profile perfectly. For starters, Nelson is physically attractive and has the base level of fame (10 seasons of MTV reality shows) for women to want to date him. He is also incredibly charismatic and corny in a good way. Nelson is willing to make a fool of himself if it makes for good television. I do want to openly note that we aren’t going to pretend like Nelson isn’t problematic.

The guy constantly makes terrible life decisions, especially when it comes to women. Yet, that inherently makes him perfect for an absurd entertainment based dating show. Nelson will make choices that will surprise fans and keep them engaged. If you have not gotten convinced this will work, don’t worry; I outlined the entire season with twists, surprise guests, and challenges.

Cast & Format

Hosts: Cory Wharton & Amanda Garcia

On I Love New York, Tiffany Pollard had Sister Patterson (her mom) by her side to be her consultant, and she added so much to the show. The show hosts will be Nelson’s male and female best friends from his time on the Challenge, Cory and Amanda. Since becoming a dad, Cory has come into his own in recent years and will be the person to defuse intense situations while throwing in some jokes. Amanda is Nelson’s ride-or-die who is willing to cut a bitches throat with words if she feels they give out fake vibes or are not there for Nelson.

Female Cast: 15 Single Women. So we want people who are desperate for fame, yet, we also will not cast anyone with more than 3500 Instagram Followers. We want people desperate and willing to do whatever to advance their careers. The original Rock of Love/Flavor of Love thrived because the cast was loaded with Strippers and Amateur Porn Talents. I say Amateur Porn Talents because they definitely were not Stars.

We will build a racially and ethnically diverse cast — Black, Asian, Latinas, White Women, etc. As a bit of a cherry on top, we are throwing in 2 Australian and 2 Swedish women on the cast in hopes that Nelson does a bad Australian or Swedish accent at some point on the show.

Episode Formatting: Generally, each episode will include a goofy daily challenge where the women who win can get a more intimate small group date or a 1 on 1 date with Nelson. There will be a big group party scene every episode, and then at the end, an elimination ceremony. The Bachelor/Bachelorettes gives out Roses, Flavor Flav gave out Clocks, and Brett Michael gave out backstage passes. Over the years of the Challenge, Nelson has worn loads of headbands. On For The Love of Nelly T, the women will be receiving Headbands that say “Nelly’s Girl” on them.

Nelson has a new clothing brand as well called Level Up. Nelson can give a girl his Level Up hoodie during any episode, exempting them from the elimination ceremony early.

Episode Layouts

Episode 1 — Nelly’s Nicknames (From 15 Girls to 11)

In Episode 1, Nelson and Co. meet the ladies one by one. The ladies try their best to impress the trio, and Nelson gives each of them their own signature Nelly T nickname. At the end of the introductions, Cory tabs a girl as his “Angel,” and Amanda tabs one as her “Devil.” They each get the special seal of approval as potential mates for Nelson and bypass the first elimination ceremony.

They then have a house party where Nelson and the ladies try to get to know each other before the first elimination ceremony. People are getting drunk, maybe some drama is happening, and Nelson gives out headbands to 9 females at the end. Meaning, we eliminate four girls on the first night.

Episode 2 — Nelly’s Boot Camp (11 to 9)

The show opens with a majority of the house hungover from a wild first night in the house. Sadly, they have to jump into their activewear as Nelson and Cory will be leading them through boot camp. ODODOS will be the activewear sponsor for this season. We tried to reach out to Under Amour; they did not pick up the call. We called a second time, they picked up, asked who Nelson Thomas was, and then hung up.

As the boot camp wraps up, Nelson reveals that the players will compete in an obstacle course. The woman with the fastest time gets to go on a 1 on 1 date with Nelson to a Tequila Bar (a callback to Nelson’s first episode of the Challenge). Those who come in 2nd-5th place get to go with Nelson to the Spa for massages, manicures, pedicures, and facials. Meanwhile, the bottom six get put on cleaning duty. They have their nightly mixer the next day, and Nelson gives 9 women their headbands, eliminating two from the game.

Episode 3 — Nelson’s Only Fans (9 to 8)

Guest Appearances from Hunter and Britni

On Rock of Love, Brett Michaels would have challenges where women have to wow Brett inside a glass box for 90 seconds or try to woo him via phone sex. We will adapt this to 2021 with these women trying their best at sexting Nelson via Snapchat. For this challenge, we bring in Nelson’s long-time friends and AYTO buddies Hunter Barfield and Britni Thornton. Hunter and Britni each have a long history of exhibitionism, having sent copious amounts of pics to people as both amateurs and now professionals with their OnlyFans. They will teach a class on how to best highlight their features, and then the women will put into play their picture-taking skills.

The three women who impress Nelson the most will go on a group date with him to a Strip Club (he used to work as a manager at a strip club). Of the three, there will also be an individual winner who will get a private room dance from Nelson and then will have dinner together that night. Another mixer the next night, followed up by the elimination ceremony. Nelson sends one girl home to bring the total down to eight women.

Episode 4 — Chef BoyarNellyT (8 to 7)

Guest Appearance from CT.

The women will be tested on their abilities to cook in this week’s episode. Thus, we bring in noted Challenge House Chef Chris Tamburello. According to legend, CT makes a wicked grilled ham & cheese sandwich and is one of the best at making the most of the few options in the Challenge house. The remaining 8 women split up into two teams for this challenge and are required to make a four-course meal consisting of an appetizer, a soup, a main course, and a dessert. They will then get judged by Nelson, CT, Amanda, and Cory. The team with the better four-course meal gets to enjoy an Austin-style BBQ with Nelson, while the losing teams get put on cleaning duty (which, there will be a ton of dishes to wash after this challenge).

No individual dates in this episode; instead, the losing girls join the winners and Nelson at a rodeo-themed bar during the nighttime. One or two maybe end the night in bed with Nelson. Drama ensues. They have their typical mixer, and after Nelson gives out 7 headbands, eliminating 1 female.

Episode 5 — Do you speak Nelson? (7 to 6)

Guest Appearance from Devin

My personal favorite Nelson moment is when I wrote an article about him for Vendettas, and he reposted it on Twitter, then deleted it because his reposting had a typo. He then reposted it again, then deleted it due to a typo… and then a third time again, posting and deleting. On the fourth attempt, he admitted defeated by simply putting the 100 Emoji three times.

Nelson needs someone who can be his personal spelling/grammar checker. The remaining women will compete in a Spelling Bee hosted by Nelson’s AYTO compadre Devin Walker. The winner of the Spelling Bee gets to go to an Ashanti concert with Nelson. No joke here, just appreciation for Ashanti.

Another mixer, and another elimination, taking us from 7 to 6 females.

Episode 6 — Headbangin’ for Nelson (6 to 5)

Guest Appearances from Kam and Laurel.

Nelson is known as one of the headbanger/elimination kings of the Challenge. While he’s compiled many wins over the years, Nelson became immortalized when he pulled the ultimate homie move to throw himself into the final elimination to guarantee Cory a spot in the Final. The remaining six women will replicate Nelson’s iconic moment by facing off against Kam and Laurel in Hall Brawl. Pray for these women. The person they deem to have performed best gets a 1 on 1 date; we then have the mixer the next night and then an elimination ceremony. We go from 6 down to 5.

Episode 7 — The Nelson Ex-hibition (5 to 4)

Guest Appearance from Ashley Mitchell

A classic trope on these dating shows is to bring in the contestants’ exes so that the Bachelor/Bachelorette can find out what ended their past relationships and if they and the exes might still be in love. To also add chaos into the mix, we bring in Ashley to make a mess. She hangs out with the girls, dishing the dirt on Nelson as Nelson hangs with the guys. We would have brought a more legitimate ex for Nelson; unfortunately, they hate him too much ever to consider coming on something like this. Ashley will take a free paycheck, flight, and trip to hang out with Amanda whenever.

Following a traumatic day filled with exes, Nelson and the girls go mini-golfing. They have a mixer the next night, and Nelson sends another woman home.

Episode 8 — Do You Ryde with Nelly T? (4 to 3)

Guest Appearance from Ryder

In this episode, we see how prepared the women in the house are to handle a child. We bring in Cory’s daughter and Teen Mom Star, Ryder. We split the four women into pairs of two, and they get tasked with creating a puppet show. The puppet show that entertains Ryder more receives a 2 on 1 date at the beach with Nelson. They then have their final mixer of the season, Nelson eliminates one player, and then the last three find out they will have a location change to end the season. The season finale will be filming in Jamaica.

Episode 9 — Nelson’s Final Headband (90 Minute Finale)

Guest Appearance from Alison Brie

Nelson and the three ladies left soak up Jamaica. After an initial group date, he spends 1 night with each of them over the next three nights. It culminates with a final family dinner consisting of Nelson, Amanda, Cory, and the three remaining women. The women argue over why they are most suited for Nelson, why their connection with him is deeper, and hopefully, some drinks get thrown. At the end of the dinner, Nelson sends one home, with the other two finding out who will be the winner the following night.

At the final ceremony, Nelson comes draped in an All-White suit with a Golden Tie. He carries one golden headband to anoint the season’s winner and who he will be proposing to on the spot. Boom, that’s your season.

REUNION & Aftermath

The reunion is a 1 hr special airing directly after the finale. Spots get blown up during this episode, and we likely find out that Nelson and his winner have probably broken up at this point. We also get teased that Season 1 of “Hotter than Hell,” a dating show with Amanda Garcia as the Bachelorette, with Nelson and Ashley as the hosts, is set to film in a month. They also tease the potential of “For The Love of Nelly T” Season 2 and the possibility of Ashley’s Mitchell’s Millionaire Matchmaker show.

We have a whole dating franchise here and a potential feeding ground for the Challenge. You’re welcome, MTV.

(BTW, if you liked this article and are looking for more Challenge Content, I posted a video Ranking Every UK Player in Challenge History on my YouTube Channel today.)

25 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.