'The Challenge' Recap: God Save the Queen

8 min read
After a few major shake-ups, it is time for Big T—and her bodyguard, CT—to take over
The global pandemic has shut down all modes of normal life. But MTV's The Challenge stops for nothing. What—you thought they'd take a season off? The NBA returned, the NFL returned, the NHL returned, MLB returned—why wouldn't America's fifth sport also find a way to compete? This past September, production plunked down in Reykjavik, Iceland, to begin filming the 36th (!!) installment of The Challenge. They're in their own bubble—though, it's worth noting, they are not being held underground like last season—and they're ready to kill each other for a million dollars. And we're ready to document every moment: from the feats of strength to the bad decisions, from the bonkers late-night fights to the extraordinarily dope shit TJ Lavin does.

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Before the group challenge, TJ announces that Natalie is going home. He does this by using the spy lingo of this season, which is both ridiculous and hilarious: "I've received some intel, and I have no other choice but to deactivate one of our agents." This makes it sound as if Natalie, like, leaked spoilers or called in a bomb threat to an Icelandic high school. The actual story is much more serious: Though she'd only say that she had a "personal matter" to attend to on the show, in an interview with Us Weekly she revealed that she was pregnant. "It was like this weird wave of happiness, shock, surprise, disappointment. I didn't even process what I was actually feeling. I was just like, 'How am I pregnant? I want to win this money!'" Natalie said. Sadly, weeks after returning home, Natalie had a miscarriage. "It was really difficult because I had just kind of come to peace with leaving the game and saying goodbye to the competition of the challenge, which I love, came back home and changed my mindset into this new journey. And that was then taken away from me."

In terms of the game—which, admittedly, feels a little silly in the context of Natalie's story—this is a huge…
Andrew Gruttadaro
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