The next season of The Challenge is upon us and the War of the Worlds cast has been revealed. The lineup features your usual suspects (Hi, Bananas!) as well as some old faces... and a ton of new ones. MTV has continued to recruit rookies from other TV franchises for The Challenge, but rather than sprinkle them in like they've done over the past few seasons, each vet is getting a rookie of their own from a different franchise to partner through this season's endurance tests. It's basically the new version of Fresh Meat except instead of random strangers from the internet, it's reality show stars from around the world.
Let's break this down, starting with our returning players.
Amanda Garcia - 5th Challenge
Ashley Mitchell - 4th Challenge
Cara Maria Sorbello - 13th Challenge
CT Tamburello - 15th Challenge
Da'Vonne Rogers - 2nd Challenge
Hunter Barfield - 4th Challenge
Jenna Compono - 7th Challenge
Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio - 18th Challenge
Kam Williams - 3rd Challenge
Kyle Christie - 3rd Challenge
Leroy Garrett - 10th Challenge
Nany Gonzalez- 6th Challenge
Natalie Negrotti - 3rd Challenge
Paulie Calafiore - 2nd Challenge
Wes Bergmann - 11th Challenge
Zach Nichols - 8th Challenge
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
- Hunter and Ashley are going to be sharing living quarters after she shafted him out of half a million dollars at the end of Final Reckoning. That amount of money buys a lot of bad blood between two people who didn't like each other in the first place (or second, because they did date for a minute before realizing they hated each other). That feud will not go away quietly.
- Everyone here is business as usual except for Nany and Wes who return to the show after losing Rivals III together in 2016. Wes has been keeping in shape on Champs vs. Stars, but a couple weeks in a cushy hotel with athletes in Los Angeles is not the same as two months abroad in The Challenge house with a bunch of insane people. Can Nany and Wes return to form?
- With Devin, Tony and Joss all sitting War of the Worlds out, the battle for the big dog title will once again be between Wes and Bananas. Bananas has come out on top almost every time these two have gone head to head, but he's also made a lot more enemies in the house since Wes' hiatus. The tie-breaker for this one may come down to the actual big dog, CT, who is personally much closer to Wes but has become the challenge legend that he is by knowing when to pick his battles with Bananas. Wes always has to go for the jugular right out of the gate.
- Mercenaries! There are a lot of big names not on the list. The three mentioned above along with the rest of Team Young Buck: Cory, Nelson, Tori, Kayleigh, Brad and more are also suspiciously absent from the list. Those are all top competitors who could make their way back as elimination competitors to earn their way into the house just like Ashley and Hunter did during the last season.
- All was well with Cara Maria and Paulie when they left to go film this season, but shortly after returning from War of the Worlds, Paulie's ex Danielle Maltby dropped the bomb that Paulie was dating both her and Cara Maria at the same time after he and Cara got together. The receipts are not pretty. Expect them to look loved up on the show, but check for the start of the tension that was going to explode when they got home. Also make sure to watch the reunion show because it will be awkward AF.
Alan Valdez - Telemundo personality
Ashley Cain - Ex on the Beach (U.K.)
Chase Mcnary - The Bachelorette
Dee Nguyen - Geordie Shore
Georgia Harrison - Love Island
Gus Smyrnios - Floribama Shore
Joao Paulo Andrade - Ex On The Beach (Brazil)
Josh Martinez - Big Brother
Julia Nolan - Big Brother
Liz Nolan - Big Brother
Mattie Lynn Breaux - Party Down South
Morgan Willett - Big Brother
Natalie Duran -American Ninja Warrior
Shaleen Sutherland - Bachelor (Canada)
Stephen Bear - Geordie Shore
Theo Campbell - Love Island
Turabi Camkiran - Survivor (Turkey)
Zahida Allen - Ex on the Beach
THINGS TO NOTE:
- This is the largest number of rookies to be on the show since Battle of the Bloodlines, and those rookies came in with family alliances. The rookie shaming on this show is so bad that they tend to hover together and form their own alliances within the game, which could make things complicated for veterans who have a different game plan in mind.
- Chase McNary is coming in from Bachelor Nation, which means there's a large chance that he's met and knows Paulie's ex Danielle at one of the 20 million fundraisers and events Bach Nation does throughout the year. Will that cause some friction in the house? Please, please, say yes.
- Do not sleep on Big Brother alums. The challenges on that show may not be as physical, but they definitely test endurance, and their house politics are far above anyone who comes in from a dating show. Big Brother people are master manipulators and vary widely on the value of their word (yeah, we are side-eyeing you like whoa, Natalie). With four Big Brother rookies and Natalie, Paulie and Da'Vonne on the vet side, that's a huge potential alliance before the game even gets started.
- Who is getting the American Ninja Warrior for a partner? Natalie Duran was the first woman to qualify for the Los Angeles finals course, which means that she's no joke when it comes to physical challenges, particularly those testing upper body strength and agility. She's going to be a huge asset for her partner when it comes to securing the wins necessary to control the game.
Which rookies do you think are going to make it to Challenge glory and which ones are going to cave under pressure?
The Challenge: War of the Worlds premieres Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 9/8c on MTV.