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The Challenge: What Is Derrick Kosinski Doing Now?

It takes a special kind of person to succeed on MTV's reality competition show "The Challenge." The best contestants possess strong athletic backgrounds, physical endurance, mental toughness, and — in the case of Derrick Kosinski — a tremendous amount of heart. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Derrick started his reality TV journey in 2004 on season 13 of MTV's adventure competition show "Road Rules." That same year, he was cast on "Battle of the Sexes II," MTV's 9th season of "The Challenge." Today, Derrick's name is a fixture on many fans' rankings of the best challengers of all time, and he has carved out a niche for himself as a respected "Challenge" pundit.

Since his first appearance on "The Challenge," Derrick has had a short-lived acting career, dabbled in CrossFit, and launched a successful podcast — but what else has he been up to? You don't build a "Challenge" career that spans almost two decades without serious luck, tenacity, and vision. Here's the story of how one of the smallest male competitors in the show's history made a big name for himself within the franchise — all without compromising his personal life.

Derrick's six years of success and seven-year break

After debuting on "The Challenge," Derrick quickly became known as an underdog and fan favorite. Now a three-time "Challenge" champion, Derrick is beloved for his athleticism, indomitable spirit, and inability to quit. Following back-to-back wins on "The Island" (2008) and "The Ruins" (2009), Derrick suffered a loss on 2010's "Cutthroat." He took a seven-year hiatus from the show to spend time with his now ex-wife, Amy Manchin, and to help raise the couple's son, Derrick Jr. During his "Challenge" intermission, Derrick also experimented with acting, accepting the role of Bobby in the 2011 horror film "Hyenas." And he channeled his athletic prowess into CrossFit, where he was ranked from 2011 to 2016.

Derrick made a triumphant return to "The Challenge" in 2017 as a cast member on the show's "Dirty 30" season. Later that year, he launched an independent podcast called "Challenge Mania" with co-host Scott Yager. Designed to cover all things "Challenge" related, the podcast has released over 600 episodes in the last six years and interviewed hundreds of former and current competitors.

Despite clinching the runner-up title on "Dirty 30," Derrick didn't return as a full cast member during 2018's "Vendettas." Instead, he made one of his most memorable appearances yet, as one of eight mercenaries flown in by production to compete in an elimination against the current challengers. Derrick defeated Britain's Joss Mooney in a physical battle royale, an elimination win that was arguably as impressive as the one in 2010's "Cutthroat" when CT wore Johnny Bananas like a backpack and carried him out of the ring.

Derrick has reconquered The Challenge

Thanks to his big heart, Derrick has also gifted the show with some of its most memorable and human moments. In 2006, he was cast on "The Challenge: Fresh Meat" where he selected Diem Brown, one of "The Challenge" contestants who has since passed away, as his rookie teammate. Derrick was the first cast member that Diem confided in about her recent ovarian cancer diagnosis, and his commitment to supporting her throughout their partnership earned him major props from "The Challenge" community.

Derrick put that big heart to use in January of 2021 when he proposed to Nicole Gruman after three years of dating. That same year, he also began filming the first-ever season of Paramount+'s "The Challenge: All Stars." Derrick is one of the only cast members to participate in all three seasons of "All Stars," although he has yet to take home the win. When he's not touring the country and performing live shows with "Challenge Mania," he lives in West Virginia where he continues to train, and cheer from the sidelines at his son's athletic competitions.

Derrick's "Challenge" career is unique for many reasons: He started on the show before the advent of social media, took a multi-year break away from the spotlight, and managed to return to the fold and give this new generation of challengers a run for their money. One of a select number of competitors who have been successful on both the old school and new school iterations of "The Challenge," Derrick Kosinski is amongst the franchise's top-tier athletes — and he's not showing any signs of stopping.