The Challenge Battle for a New Champion Official Trailer Breakdown

Allan Aguirre
15 min readSep 28, 2023

I will be breaking down the Trailer of the Challenge Battle for a New Champion as I do every season. There are no spoilers in this blog that you won’t figure out by watching the trailer super slowly. YES, there are spoilers, but they are spoilers via inference and analysis. Essentially, if I see something with my eyes, I’m going to point it out. Above is the trailer in video form.

The trailer opens with a dramatic filtered shot of Asaf in anguish in a pile with other men — then we see a panned-out shot, and it’s a whole group of men trying to lift their fellow competitors up a wall. This is reminiscent of the opening daily challenge from Invasion of the Champions, where all the players had to build a dirt ramp to climb a wall and started working as teams. That daily challenge led to the immediate separation between Jenna/Kailah/Tony/Cory’s alliance from the rest of the house.

They throw up two simple graphics saying “A New Era Of The Challenge Is Here.”

Sure.

We hear a sound byte of TJ saying, “This is the season I’ve been waiting for.” To which I do not believe for a second that TJ Lavin has the ability to wait for a Challenge season when they have this man filming 87 seasons a year. At this point, TJ Lavin sees Michele Fitzgerald more than his wife.

As TJ says this, we get a panned-out and close-up look at a daily challenge. In the daily challenge, players are inside giant swinging metal cages, while inside the cages, they try to toss balls down to teammates on the ground. It looks like there is a two-team format going on in this daily challenge, as there’s an orange and a blue team.

Michele, Olivia, and UK player James Lock can be seen competing from inside the giant metal orb cages.

We see large elementary school lines of players walking toward one of the first daily challenges of the season. The men have orange jerseys on while the women have blue ones on, though it looks like each woman also has an orange jersey on underneath. I assume they have them prepped in case they get split into teams for a specific challenge.

The generic MTV narrator says something along the lines of 24 past players who have never won will be competing to win a Challenge Championship. During this narration, we get some action shots.

Emanuel is wrestling Corey Lay in a mud pit. Likely a costume dispute. Another man is behind them — I believe it’s James Lock — which, if true, means he’s there for a minimum of one more daily challenge than he was on The Challenge UK. For those at home unaware, he was on The Challenge UK for one episode.

Then, we get a look at a two-team daily challenge. We see two groups pushing opposing sides of a giant panel, trying to knock the other team off a platform over water. Horacio is a competitor you can clearly see competing in this daily challenge.

It looks like there is a daily challenge where players rappel down a giant structure over water as quickly as they can and then potentially do a swim after. We’ve seen numerous challenges similar to this one in the past, although they’re usually scaling down buildings, like on Final Reckoning and Challenge USA 1.

There seems to be a nighttime daily challenge this season, and it has to be early in the game based on the sheer number of cast members pictured. While we’ve seen nighttime challenges before, usually, it’s when the numbers get dwindled.

Players have flashlights attached to their noggins — for some, it’s the first time their heads have ever been bright.

We see a lot more of the mud pit daily challenge. First, we see UK player Zara sprinting towards a ball as Nurys looks to be in prime position to wrestle her for it.

The first player sound byte we get is from Olivia! She says: “I came here to be a Champ, so if I stab you in the back, I’ll do what I need to do.” That quote kind of sounds like they spliced two different confessionals together. As her quote plays, we see Olivia viciously wrestling in the mud in what looks like two separate shots. In one, I believe she’s going for a ball with Berna & Michele nearby. And in the other, she’s at the top of a pile fighting with Ravyn and Colleen.

Nonetheless, it’s crucial to note that Olivia got the first sound byte, as it felt like this season was tailor-made for her and Horacio to take up the mantle as faces of the franchise.

To which we then get the first male sound byte, and it’s from Horacio (of course) saying this time he’s here to win. Riveting stuff.

The generic narrator drops the awful name of the season.

After that they show more action shots, including a heights over water where players have to rope swing for one pyramid structure to another. We see Olivia complete the jump with some assistance from Jay.

There is a very unique and cool-looking daily challenge where players get their backs strapped to a rotating metal beam that’s attached to the side of a moving semi-truck. As they rotate, there are hula-hoops/rings up top that players attempt to grab. I’d assume that the player/pairs who capture the most rings win the daily. I believe Asaf is one of the players competing in this daily challenge.

Asaf then flexes his muscles and says in a sound byte that he deserves to be a Champion. I don’t know about deserve — that seems a bit much. If Asaf said he deserved a Coke Zero, then I’d be like, “Yeah, you do, Asaf.”

Chauncey gets a confessional and says he doesn’t have time for games. Alright. No Pickleball for Chauncey, I guess.

We get another shot of the team daily challenge where players push against a giant panel. Along with Horacio, Emanuel and Corey Lay are participating. Corey is out there trying to prove to me that he deserved to be ranked higher as a Challenge competitor than Nam Vo.

They begin a countdown clock and show dramatic filtered images. At 03, there’s a picture of Challenge Australia player Ciarran Stott letting a competitor use his shoulders as a step ladder. It’s likely the same daily challenge from the beginning of the trailer.

At 02, Jay Starrett gets mud splashed in his face during the mud pit challenge we’ve seen quite a few times now.

At 01, it’s Jack Bauer.

Just kidding. TJ comes out and reveals the twist — these players will be facing past Champions in eliminations.

In comes a laughing and smiling CT — he’s happy to be newly divorced and away from all the toxicity for a minute.

Then he enters the elimination arena, remembers the alimony payments, and is ready to wreak havoc on some chump. Jay is stunned to see CT and dearly hopes that CT doesn’t eat him as revenge for their elimination from 3 years ago.

CT is swinging a comically large mace as he enters the elimination arena. Either they’re playing some demolition elimination like Darrell & Janelle played against Brad & Jodi on All Stars 2, or CT brought it out to be funny, and in reality, they’re doing a Sudoku elimination. There was a point over a decade ago where CT got banned from The Challenge for violence, and now, if he hit you, you’d say thank you, sir.

They show Kaz Crossley, a 2x Challenge Champ, except hilariously, she is someone who has never stepped foot on the US MTV show before. That’s a fun way to debut.

Next they show us the Puzzle Master, Devin. It would be fun if they made Devin do a Pole Wrestle or a Hall Brawl for once.

Kaycee is there. Or maybe she isn’t. It is hard to tell the difference between her and wallpaper.

Kyland and Emanuel looked shocked watching someone compete in the elimination arena.

We see Laurel competing in an elimination where she is reeling in some chains. She could potentially be playing Jay and CT’s elimination from Total Madness. That elimination itself is a variant of Knot So Fast, which is, ironically, the first elimination that Laurel ever lost. It could be something different, though. Laurel also gives a basic confession, re-emphasizing that if you want to win, you have to beat a Champ.

If there is a Skull Twist to this season where you have to beat a Mercenary, that would be an interesting wrinkle. Well, except for the fact that Skull Twists are bad.

Following Laurel, we get some gnarly elimination action shots. Jordan is competing in an elimination where players are sprinting between two ramps. We see Jordan and the other players racing towards one ramp, and if you look, there are three buttons and lights atop the ramp. They are running towards the button that is lit up, either to score a point or the first person to have all three buttons shut off/on wins/loses.

Be prepared for a spoiler based on the next visual from this elimination…

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Based on the helmet and tattoos, the player Jordan is facing in that elimination is Ciarran. Jordan also cuts a confessional saying that the Champs won’t take it easy and they’ll run the challengers into the ground for fun. I’m glad Jordan used his Challenge World Championship money on a decent haircut.

Glass shatters. Mazel Toh.

Melissa, Ravyn, Horacio, and Asaf excitedly watch an elimination from the crowd. They seem happy, so I’m guessing a big upset likely happened.

They show us two female competitors facing off in a Pole Wrestle. I don’t think this is a mercenary elimination, as both women are wearing orange, and we’ve only seen the mercenaries wear darker colors in the promos.

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.

CARA MARIA IS BACK!

She looks ready to fuck shit up and gets a 1-second line saying: “Do you wanna make it to a Final?”

I know those words look like they take more than 1-second to say, but I swear to God, it was that quick.

They give us a dramatic shot of Darrell. This will be Darrell’s 10th Challenge appearance since reappearing on Invasion in 2017 — a crazy thing to say about a guy who made two appearances during the decade span between 2007–2016.

Based on the footage, Darrell’s elimination looks to involve fire, balance, and upper body strength.

The generic narrator teases that upsets will happen.

More mud pit wrestling! Melissa is trying to choke out Colleen — they’re fighting over who gets to be the Blonde European in the house. I believe Emanuel is jumping on Jay — they’re battling over who gets to be Michele’s wiry best friend.

Asaf cuts a generic “Lets Go, Baby” confessional.

He is getting a surprising amount of screentime in this trailer.

They show yet another look at what is likely the opening challenge that feels like a total callback to Invasion.

A new shot we haven’t is a bunch of players swimming through open water. Horacio and Kyland can clearly be seen competing; I believe James and Jay are the other two men in the picture.

We see actual footage of them in the house, finally! Holy shit, it took over a minute till we did. An angry Nurys yells, “they had no reason to go after you if it wasn’t for her,” as she points at someone. Olivia is standing right there, and Jay is walking away — not sure which of them she’s directing this statement towards. It could be an additional person who is never not even in frame.

They show Kyland competing in an elimination this season. It looks like he’s dropping a giant exercise ball down somewhere. The ball has the number 10 on it, leading me to believe that this is a math/puzzle challenge where a player has to find the ball with the correct answer and drop it down a shute or that the ball weighs 10 lbs. It’s probably a math/puzzle elimination.

More action shots are coming. We see a swerving semi-truck, and then one player stands atop it while another player pokes their head through the roof. If I had to guess, it’s some memorization game. It always is when it comes to extreme-looking challenges like this.

The editor of this trailer is giving us so many daily challenges and so little house content. Ravyn is shown dropping down from a hatch into some cold water surrounded by puzzle pieces. I believe she has a sound byte as well saying: “The house is definitely divided.”

Considering that sound byte comes after Nurys’s scene, I wonder if these two have beef again this season.

Two players are shown paddleboarding in the dark. I wonder if this is part of the nighttime challenge we saw earlier or if we’re getting multiple late-night dailies.

Asaf gets mad at someone and says: “I was fighting for you, and you know that.”

Behind him, there’s a bunch of cars parked, and they don’t look like junk cars at all. I’m curious what could be going on there.

It looks like there is a giant tug-of-war challenge at some point. I see at least 16 people in frame for that challenge. Then we hear a sound byte (I believe it’s Corey Lay), saying: “Every friendship, every alliance, everything you have is about to come to an end.”

As he says this, we see a muddied Nurys and a muddied Melissa (???).

We then get yet another look at a completely different daily challenge. A bunch of men are holding onto rope from above as they run across a giant moving logo. Either they keep their balance or use their upper body to lift themselves. Let’s assume that the last man standing wins.

Invasion had a similar daily challenge — you might remember it from Shane Kamikaze-ing himself into CT & Bananas and from when Camila almost hung herself to win.

The last two shots are competitors looking shocked at some news TJ has dropped on them. Berna took time off from the Circus and went to the Tori Deal School of Reactions.

For some reason, there is an additional random shot of Darrell’s elimination to cap it off. I think they only show it because fire is cool. Actually, it’s not, it’s hot.

Premiering October 25th at 8 PM.

QUICK NOTES

The people we see most prominently in this trailer are:

  • All The Legends/Mercenaries. It’s their show.
  • Olivia Kaiser
  • Nurys Mateo
  • Asaf Goren
  • Jay Starrett
  • Horacio Gutierrez

People We See a Decent Amount:

  • Ravyn Rochelle
  • Melissa Reeves
  • James Lock
  • Kyland Young
  • Emanuel Neagu
  • Corey Lay
  • Ciarran Stott

People We Don’t Really See:

  • Zara Zoffany
  • Big T
  • Moriah Jadea
  • Michele Fitzgerald
  • Jujuy Jimenez
  • Jessica Brody
  • Berna Canbeldeck
  • Colleen Schneider
  • Hughie Maughan
  • Ed Eason
  • Callum Izzard
  • Chauncey Palmer

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Allan Aguirre

27 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.