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‘The Challenge’ Premiere Recap: Meet the Vet-Prospect Matchups

Screaming, tears, a game-ending injury and the first elimination. The Challenge: War of the Worlds didn’t waste any time. The season 33 premiere, which aired on Wednesday, February 5, began with the vets coming face to face with the prospects in the middle of the desert. The newcomers were made up of fresh faces to The Challenge franchise who had competed on other reality shows, including Big Brother, Survivor, Ex on the Beach, The Bachelorette and more.

Right off the bat, the vets realized that there were 16 of them, while there were 18 rookies. Host TJ Lavin revealed the first challenge – running down a sand dune, collecting balls and completing a puzzle – he shared that the last prospect female and male would be heading home. The order each group finished in would be some sort of ranking. It didn’t take long for the vets to realize this was important, as they assumed it’d be the order they got to pick their partners in.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds Premiere Recap
Cast of ‘The Challenge: War of the Worlds’ MTV

In the male heat, Paulie Calafiore won first for the vets and Ashley C. (Ex on the Beach UK) won for the prospects; Big Brother season 19 winner Josh Martinez came in last and was eliminated. When it came to the females, Da’Vonne pulled out the win for the vets while Natalie Duran came in first for the prospects. She previously competed on Ninja Warrior, so it didn’t surprise many competitors that she was a complete beast. Big Brother 17’s Liz Nolan was sent packing – leaving her twin sister, Julia, there solo.

After the competition, the group moved into the house, immediately began drinking and drama ensued. Ashley, fresh off her Final Reckoning win, flipped after Love Island UK’s Theo Campbell said, that the way she speaks, “reminds me of 8 Mile, which is Eminem’s mom.” She took it as him calling her trash and told him that she’d be happy to make him her partner and then go home just to ruin his game “’cause bitch, I’m rich.”

Meanwhile, others were getting closer in the house. Cara Maria and Paulie seemed happier than ever. Leroy admitted he was still holding feelings for Kam after they had a brief relationship.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds Premiere Recap
Ashley MTV

Nany Gonźalez returned to the show after getting out of a three-year relationship and was immediately attracted to The Bachelorette’s Chase McNary. However, he called her out being flirty with Johnny Bananas – who she casually dated years ago outside The Challenge and competed with on Battle of the Exes II – “literally five minutes” after kissing him. Nany was a bit confused since she had known Chase for all of 24 hours.

Later, it was time to pick partners. However, it wasn’t the vets that got to choose. Instead, TJ threw a twist at the teams, letting the prospects pick in the order that they had won. Here’s how it all shook out:

Natalie D. picked Paulie
Ashley C. picked Kam
Morgan picked Johnny
Bear picked Da’vonne
Georgia picked Hunter
Theo picked Cara Maria
Julia picked CT
Turbo picked Nany
Dee picked Wes
JP picked Natalie
Maddie picked Kyle
Chase picked Ashley
Shaleen picked Leroy
Zahida picked Zac
Gus picked Jenna

Alan was unfortunately unable to continue in the game after breaking his arm in the first challenge, and Amanda was never chosen. But they couldn’t send her home that easy (although Zac would have been thrilled), so Josh returned for a second chance. Anyone who watched his season of Big Brother knows he has a temper, as does Amanda, so it should be quite the match up.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds airs on MTV Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, with an after show at 10 p.m. ET.



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