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The Challenge Season 38 - What We Know So Far

Not every reality show can boast a 38-season run, but MTV's "The Challenge" has proven time and time again that there's no beating a good competition show. A part of the show's allure is its nigh-infinite malleability. Instead of following its own strict set of rules and gathering its own contestants, the show has always been happy to feature people whom you already know well from their tenures in other reality shows, as befits a series that itself is a spinoff of "Road Rules" and "The Real World." 

"The Challenge" has been so popular that it's spawned several spinoffs, including one comprised of only CBS reality show stars (titled "The Challenge: USA"). Paramount+ also boasts "The Challenge: All Stars," and will soon feature even more spinoffs set in the UK, Australia, and Argentina. But we have Season 38 of the OG "Challenge" to hold us over until those debut, and there's nothing better than the one that started it all. Here's everything we know about "The Challenge: Ride or Dies," which premiered on MTV on October 12, 2022.

Who's in the cast of The Challenge Season 38?

"The Challenge: Ride or Dies" features a wide variety of rookies, vets, and legends. Newcomers to the franchise include Chauncey Palmer, Emmy Russ, Moriah Jadea, Jakk Maddox, Sam Bird, Tamara Alfaro, Nurys Mateo, Horacio Gutierrez, Olivia Kaiser, Kim Tränka, Colleen Schneider, Johnny Middlebrooks, Ravyn Rochelle, Tommy Bracco, Analyse Talavera, and Kenny Clark. Some of these names might seem recognizable, as others shouldn't at all. A few members of this rookie group are the significant others of vets who are returning, while another is a sibling (more on this twist later). Others from this group hail from other reality series like "Big Brother" and "Are You the One?"

The veterans competing in "Ride or Dies" are Darrell Taylor, Veronica Portillo, Nany Gonzalez, Kaycee Clark, Fessy Shafaat, Jay Starrett, Laurel Stucket, Michele Fitzgerald, Johnny Bananas, Aneesa Ferreria, Devin Walker, Tori Deal, Jordan Wiseley, Amber Borzotra, Turabi "Turbo" Çamkıran, Kailah Bird (née Casillas), and Nelson Thomas. 

What is the theme of Season 38?

The subtitle of Season 38 gives you everything you need to know about the theme of the new installment. "Ride or Dies" is all about partners, as the competitors compete in teams of two that cannot change throughout the season. The partners are dubbed 'ride or dies,' meaning they have a history that's either connected by friendship, romance, or blood. Some of these duos have strong bonds just from competing together on "The Challenge" over the years, like Nany and Bananas and Darrell and Veronica.

"These relationships will be put to the ultimate test as their teamwork, loyalty, and trust will be challenged every step of the way. In this game, it all comes down to who you trust and who has your back, because this season of The Challenge will either break bonds or tie two competitors together for life," the official synopsis for "Ride or Dies" reads. 

What's the location of The Challenge Season 38?

An excellent question! A major allure of "The Challenge" is the various, invariably fascinating, and often exotic locations the show's competition takes place in. The reality series has hopped all over the globe, with some of the most recent host countries including Namibia ("War of the Worlds"), Iceland ("Double Agents"), Croatia ("Spies, Lies & Allies"), Czech Republic ("Total Madness"), and Thailand ("War of the Worlds 2").

"The Challenge: Ride or Dies" will take its contestants back to the Southern Hemisphere, throwing them in a mansion in Argentina. The first time the series was held in the country was for 2011's "Rivals," but that was just for the final portion of the season. "Rivals III" also held its final in Argentina, as did "XXX: Dirty 30." "Ride or Dies" marks the first time a "Challenge" season has started in Argentina, and it's suspected the final will also take place in the South American country.

Who is the showrunner of The Challenge: Ride or Dies?

Leading the charge on "The Challenge: Ride or Dies" is showrunner Emer Harkin. Harkin has been a producer on the MTV competition series since "The Duel II," so we're obviously in good hands. As time went on, Harkin was given more responsibility with "The Challenge," and she'll also serve as an executive producer. Also executive producing are Julie Pizzi and Danny Wascou, both of whom have been with "The Challenge" for over 100 episodes.

When chatting with Entertainment Weekly just ahead of the "Ride or Dies" premiere, Harkin hyped up the season as one of the best yet. "It's time to celebrate the cast and everything we love about the show. This is just a colorful, energetic, effervescent celebration of The Challenge and the relationships, old and new, that hearkens back to old-school seasons in that way and feels a little bit more authentic. It's not trying to be anything else. We all love a great cast, a bunch of great challenges, and lots of drama, lots of hooking up, lots of fighting, and you can expect all the hallmarks of a great 'Challenge' season," she said. 

Where to watch previous seasons of The Challenge

There are many streaming platforms where you can find former seasons of "The Challenge." Boasting the most extensive catalog is Paramount+, with Seasons 10 ("The Inferno II") through 35 ("Total Madness") available in their entirety. The streamer also has the complete catalogs of "The Challenge: All Stars," "The Challenge: USA," and "The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars."

Seasons 32 ("Final Reckoning") through 34 ("War of the Worlds 2") of "The Challenge" are available on Hulu. Also, randomly, Seasons 12 ("Fresh Meat") and 25 ("Free Agents") are on Netflix. "The Challenge" also has its own channel on PlutoTV, which only airs episodes of the reality competition series. You'll have to suffer through ads on the app, though, as it's free. Pluto is always adding and subtracting seasons of "The Challenge" from its channel, so you can never be certain which specific ones will air when. It will play the season's episodes consecutively, but what comes after one season ends is always a mystery.