"The Challenge" originated when MTV wanted to capitalize on its "Road Rules" and "Real World" franchises and the numerous young celebrities those two shows had created. Stars from each of those shows were pitted against each other. Over the course of thirty-three seasons, so far, its producers have looked for ways to keep it fresh, mostly by varying the cast. Like "Big Brother" and "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" and other reality contest shows, they have pitted various factions against one another.
As in the original "Real World", the contestants are mostly attractive alpha types. Those who have been successful on the show(s) have returned again and again, creating careers. This means some of them have had their egos stroked for years and they bring romantic and rivalry histories with them. This baggage fuels attractions and personal vendettas. These are real contests, but they are also soap operas.
You can expect grueling competitions, plenty of chest beating, and juvenile hookups and alliances. For a prize of $1 million, these twenty-somethings will do almost anything.
The best competitors display heart, intelligence, and physicality.
These shows often come with their own "after shows", where an in-studio host asks probing questions about each episode and they show behind-the-scenes footage.
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