The Challenge Season 38: Here's What We Can Tell Fans So Far

Since 1998 and throughout the course of an impressive 37 seasons, "The Challenge" (formerly called "Real World/Road Rules Challenge") has captivated audiences with intense physical competitions and interpersonal drama. Throughout its 37 seasons, all-stars from "The Challenge" and other reality television shows, like "Big Brother," "Survivor," and "Amazing Race," have appeared on the MTV show, per GQ. Each season of the show has a special theme, like "Rivals" or "Battle of the Exes" that help viewers distinguish one season from the next, according to E! Online.

Each series is filmed in a different intriguing location, like Iceland and Argentina. As GQ reports, these interesting locations, coupled with the intense physical challenges —in one season, the contestants had to dive deep into the icy waters of Iceland to retrieve puzzle pieces with only a limited supply of oxygen — and captivating cast members, makes for one of the most beloved reality television shows of all time. "You push yourself past the limit, and you just do it because you have to," "The Challenge" host TJ Lavin told GQ earlier this year. "That's the direction we were trying to go. Having a show that's filled with drama is all well and good. There's a place for that, but competition shows are where it's at now."

Read on to find out more about the upcoming 38th season of "The Challenge."

When will the 38th season of The Challenge premiere?

Perhaps given the fact that the 37th season of "The Challenge," called "Spies, Lies and Allies," recently aired on MTV, the show's creators have yet to announce the fate of the reality show's 38th season, per Entertainment Weekly. Despite the fact that MTV has yet to announce anything regarding the 38th season of the show, gossip has been circulating about the filming of the upcoming season. A few months ago, a user on Reddit shared that "The Challenge" spoiler guru PinkRose revealed that filming for the 38th season of the show had been delayed. The Reddit user also theorized that the third season of "The Challenge" Paramount+ spinoff, "The Challenge: All Stars," will also be filmed soon. "Also, the Paramount spinoff was being billed as 'Legends' or 'All Stars,' but from different Paramount networks," the Reddit user posted. "So, I'm thinking notable older alumni from 'Big Brother,' 'Survivor,' 'Amazing Race,' and the like, in addition to standouts from 'The Challenge.'"

A Reddit thread posted in December 2021 contains a screenshot in which PinkRose claimed that the 38th season of "The Challenge" will not begin filming until March 2022. Fans finally got some good news when the spoiler account GamerVev tweeted that cast members were reportedly set to begin filming on May 31 (via Twitter). If this is the case, the season likely won't premiere until the fall or winter at the earliest, as filming allegedly won't wrap until July (per CheatSheet).

Who will be appearing in the 38th season of the show?

As previously mentioned, though the cast of each season has been different,  they typically include past members of older seasons of "The Challenge," along with cast members from reality shows like "Big Brother," "Amazing Race," and "Love Island," per GQ. TJ Lavin, a former professional BMX rider who has been hosting the show for the past 15 years, will return to host the upcoming season of "The Challenge" in addition to Season 39, which has also been greenlit (via Variety). 

A recent Reddit thread said that Season 38 will reportedly feature around 30 cast members from Internationals/CBS, and the remaining eight contestants will be returning from MTV. The thread also mentioned that rookie interviews for Season 38 had allegedly started as well. Now, ScreenRant is providing fans with a more definitive list of who will reportedly join the cast of the highly-anticipated new season. The outlet reports that veterans "Johnny Bananas, Laurel Stucky, Turbai 'Turbo' Camkiran, Kailah Casillas, Devin Walker, Tori Deal, Nelson Thomas, Nany Gonzalez, Fessy Shafaat, Aneesa Ferreira, Josh Martinez, Kaycee Clark, Nam Vo, Amber Borzotra, Emy Alupei, Emmanuel Neagu, Jay Starret, Michele Fitzgerald, and Corey Lay" will all supposedly return for Season 38. However, later reports suggested that Josh, Corey, and Emmanuel were cut from the cast.

In terms of who will be joining the rookies, ScreenRant has indicated that "Analyse Talavera ("Big Brother 21"), Tommy Bracco ("Big Brother 21"), Johnny Middlebrooks ("Love Island 2"), Olivia Kaiser ("Love Island 3"), Nurys Matteo ("EOTB 2," "AYTO 6"), Horacio Gutierrez ("Exalton Telemundo"), Ravyn Rochelle (an Instagram influence), Moriah Jadea (an Instagram influencer), Emmy Russ ("Beauty and the Geek Germany"), Colleen Schneider ("The Mole Germany"), and Kim Tranka ("Prince Charming Germany")" have reportedly all made it onto the cast.

Two alumni sparked casting rumors

While fans anxiously await confirmation from MTV of the cast list for Season 38 of "The Challenge," one of the show's veterans is sparking rumors about her participation in the new season. Melissa Reeves, who has appeared on "The Challenge: Vendettas," "The Challenge: Final Reckoning," and who became a finalist on "The Challenge: Total Madness" may be prepping for a return (per CheatSheet).

In an Instagram post uploaded on April 24, Reeves shared a photo of herself in a bikini with an eyebrow-raising caption. "Missing Miami. Had so much fun catching up with my challengers & meeting new friends. can't wait to be reunited," she said. While Reeves didn't post any further information, her caption has definitely renewed interest in potential casting news for Season 38.

Another "Challenge" alum, Johnny Bananas, sparked rumors of his return prior to being announced as a veteran cast member by ScreenRant. In an interview for his podcast, "Death, Taxes, and Bananas," the 39-year-old sat down with "The Challenge" host TJ Lavin to discuss the show. Bananas said he was considering the idea of making a return to "save the franchise" after the last few seasons were generally unsuccessful, so it seems likely that he'll actually be returning for Season 38.

This season of The Challenge may come with a brand new twist along with the new theme

While casting announcements for Season 38 of "The Challenge" have recently been revealed by ScreenRant, rumors are still swirling about the possible twist taking place in the new season. According to GamerVev, who often posts spoilers for "The Challenge" shows on Twitter, "There will be non-tv cast members on 'The Challenge' 38." Per GamerVev's apparent insider information, this means the spouses, partners, siblings, friends, and parents of "The Challenge" stars may be joining them on the latest season of the hit MTV series. This theory was backed up by ScreenRant when the outlet reported that the theme for Season 38 will be "Ride or Dies," and that "friends, family, and significant others" of the returning veterans will play a role in the new season.

According to ScreenRant, these non-TV cast members are set to include "Chauncey Palmer (Amber B's boyfriend), Jakk Maddox ("Ex on the Peak" and Laurel's friend), Sam Bird ("Love Island UK" and Kailah's husband), James Simon (Aneesa's friend), Kenny Clark (Kaycee's brother), and Tamara Alfaro (Turbo's girlfriend)." The new season is reportedly filming in Argentina, per GamerVev, though it's still unclear as to who is already in the country of this newly surmised cast. Though this bodes well for fans who were looking for exciting new updates, MTV still has not officially confirmed any of the news one way or the other, for what that's worth.

Last minute cast changes were made for Season 38

As any "Challenge" fan knows, just because a favorite cast member is set to film, that doesn't mean they're guaranteed to compete. The show makes sure to have alternate cast members ready in case someone needs to drop out for personal reasons. According to Cheat Sheet, Corey Lay, Josh Martinez, Emy Alupei, and Emannuel Neagu were rumored to have been sent home before cameras started rolling. It's certainly disappointing for them, but as Johnny Bananas says, "All's fair in love, war, and 'The Challenge.'"

While Martinez and Lay's removal was presumably the result of too many cast members, Alupei's removal is rumored to be tied to a past controversy. Video resurfaced of the rapper's 2016 performance on "The X-Factor," where she performed a song by Nicki Minaj and rapped the n-word several times. The resulting controversy resulted in her being cut, along with her would-be "Challenge" partner Neagu.

The Romanian apologized for her performance on Instagram, saying, "During the broadcast I sang all of the words to her song including words that are very offensive in western culture ... I am sorry from my heart for saying these words in the song. I now understand the impact and heaviness of using this word and how offensive my performance was to an entire community."

Of course, Challengers have returned from controversies in the past. Maybe in the future, Alupei will have a chance to reunite with "Uncle C.T."