MTV’s The Challenge: What Would Happen if you Edited Out The Main Character of Different Seasons?

Allan Aguirre
8 min readJun 15, 2020


If you watched last week’s episode of the Challenge, you might have noticed that it was an incoherent 60-minute mess rather than its usual 90-minute mess. Challenge episode editing has always been bad, but last week’s episode was like a math problem with multiple missing variables. The reason for this is that MTV edited out Dee Nguyen as much as possible at the last minute since they cut ties with her earlier in the week. Generally, MTV doesn’t have the episodes completely edited by Monday or Tuesday, but they have a general outline/skeleton they work with. For example, I had an Advanced Screener for an episode of Vendettas back in the day, and they chose to edit out a relationship scene between Kam and Leroy in favor of a Nelson and Kayleigh scene at the last minute. Fans were complaining that MTV didn’t need to edit out 30 minutes of the episode because it wasn’t like Dee took up an extra 30 minutes.

(Plugging the Episode 12 Recap)

However, if you went to MTV Canada at Midnight after the episode aired, you would have found that they aired the original 90-minute episode and… 30 extra minutes of Dee was 100% in the episode. Dee had a WHOPPING 22 CONFESSIONALS in this unaired episode. For reference, that’s the second-highest confessional amount in the last ten seasons. The only one higher is Tori during the Dirty 30 finale, and she only got that much because there were only six players Camila’s confessionals were getting edited because of her racial tirades. Almost every storyline in the original episode ran through Dee, and because they are editing her out, the episode didn’t make sense.

The one funny thing to come out of this is I decided to imagine what certain seasons would be like if they tried to edit out the most essential player/person with the most confessionals from every season.

Here we go:

War of the Worlds 2 without Jordan

Jordan was calling out Wes working with both teams on Day 1 and was part of his inevitable downfall. Without the fight in front of Team USA, Wes’s blindside becomes way more shocking as a whole and elevates Josh’s character a ton. In this world, his fights with Turbo get edited out, and then suddenly, Turbo gets disqualified for threatening the life of someone we don’t see on our TV screens.

Tori’s screentime would get significantly reduced, and the editing team would attempt to portray Cara, Paulie, and their alliance in a more positive light. We also would have gotten more Dee and Rogan content than we already did.

War of the Worlds 1 without Wes

He was the most prominent character of the season. Without Wes, Hunter’s overall gameplay on WOTW 1 seems puzzling. Bananas’ blindside has less power. Bear, DaVonne, and Theo do not have someone to feud with in this world.

The guy created late-game deals with Paulie and Cara, and you wouldn’t have had the debacle with DaVonne. DaVonne’s and Bear’s screentime would have been affected by the lack of Wes. More than anything, Dee probably does not get cast again because they are editing out all her scenes with Wes.

Turbo, Paulie, Kyle, and Cara likely more get screentime as a result.

Final Reckoning without Bananas

In Episode 1 there was the twist that his partner didn’t show up. Tony’s late appearance may get edited to where they pretend he was there from the beginning. Angela Babicz gets zero camera time as her short-lived showmance with Bananas gets wholly erased. If anything, the editing of the Lavender Ladies gets very weird. It’s hard to imagine them giving the Lavender Ladies a hero’s edit because that’s generally not what they do. Even then, it’s hard to be a hero when your main antagonist gets edited.

Shane’s fight with a hair growing helmet never happens. When Cory slams Tony, we never get Devin following Bananas all night, going back and forth with verbal digs. Sylvia and Joss’s elimination means less, Zach and Amanda’s volunteering becomes a solely Tony thing versus a Tonanas thing. Easily the biggest winner of this season would have been Marie and Cara because MTV would have focused far more on their relationship, and I think the Redemption House gets even more focus than it already did.

Vendettas without Tony

Vendettas was Tony’s season. He dominated the daily challenges, held political power throughout most of the season, and didn’t look like a complete jackass for once. Instead, his wins get edited out/watered down, and the focus switches over to the other player who dominated the season — Zach. What’s interesting about that is that they probably would have given Zach an unfavorable edit (more so than the edit he gives himself). To make the Cara Maria win at the end seem like David overcoming Goliath.

Devin’s win against Bananas would mean way less. Kailah would get viewed as more of a strategist as well. Kyle and Kam probably get more screentime. God, Britni Thornton, maybe ends up one of the most significant overall characters in a world without Bananas. The biggest losers in the equation are Natalie, Kayleigh, and Nelson. For most of the early season, Natalie’s storyline was wrapped up in Bananas, aside from a fight with Devin. The reveal that Bananas snogged Kayleigh never happens, Nelson doesn’t fight with Bananas. Maybe they could edit out the girls throwing Kayleigh’s suitcase from the balcony because the Bananas storyline gets excluded? That’d be a massive win for Jemmye, Kailah, and Britni.

Dirty 30 without Camila

She only got eight confessionals during the final eight episodes of Dirty 30. However, they still showed a decent amount of her tirades. They did not show her threatening to kill Kailah, though, so there’s that.

Invasion of the Champions without Ashley

This one is very weird as Ashley got a massive winners edit on Invasion of the Champions. She was heavily featured in confessionals from the first episode on. It’s hard to imagine them giving more airtime to Jenna and Nicole because the MTV editing team stretches as much content as they can out of a boring Jenna each season, and we can’t understand anything Nicole says. Thus, Amanda likely would have gotten a giant feature. She was a bit silent during the first three episodes and came on strong from Episode 4 on (when she won an Oasis ticket). In theory, they could give Amanda a hero’s edit by playing up the fact that she was playing to earn money for her sick father, was physically limited by her size, able to do well using her brain/strategizing, and ultimately painting Camila and the Vets as villains.

Or they go the other way and go all-in on Amanda as a villain, playing up how she’s controlling the game with Nelson incompetently, popping off unnecessarily, and attempt to make her look like a bully. Hunter is a massive loser with Ashley gone because even though he’s a great competitor, he’s never been interesting as a human being. Hell, the more you know about him, the more you want him to piss off.

Rivals 3 without Bananas or Sarah

It was a two-person show, so I’m not sure how this show would have gone. Maybe they could heavily feature America’s favorite player, Dario.

Bloodlines without Cara Maria

Again, I don’t know how the hell this season would exist. Thomas Buell would lose a storyline, and the Abram coming in as an alternate would be much less exciting. MTV likely would have focused on Abram vs. Bananas more than Cara vs. Bananas. No Aneesa vs. Cara stuff, no final three Cara/Jamie eliminations, and the final win wouldn’t mean as much.

Exes 2 without Sarah or Bananas or Wes

A toss-up because all three dominated this season. What happens if they edit one out is simple; the rivalry between the two not edited out gets a more substantial focus. If Wes got edited out, then Theresa would lose some shine as his standout partner. Jordan is always gets seen as a great player, and Nany is forever likable, so they won’t have any issues if their partners get edited out.

Free Agents without Laurel

Her relationship with Jordan would get edited out and watered down. We never get the moment where Devyn considers voting Laurel in, and Laurel makes a hit list to intimidate/convince Devyn not to vote her in. There is no rivalry or bad blood with Aneesa, and their elimination would have been no interest to fans. Theresa’s rivalry and reunion fight with Laurel get wiped from existence, and I don’t know if that is good or bad for Theresa because it did make her relevant, yet, she wasn’t getting any wins in their rivalry.

The biggest loser is Cara. Cara became the ultimate underdog on Free Agents because it felt like Laurel was undervaluing her as a friend and player. Meanwhile, Cara was gutting out elimination wins. While Cara was never on Laurel’s level, she was the second-best threat, and thus we would force ourselves into comparing the two players, and fans would cheer for the clear underdog. Without Laurel, Cara never becomes the female of the Challenge, not even close.



Allan Aguirre

26 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.