Older and stronger? Let’s hope so! The cast of The Challenge: All Stars may be a bit older than the usual Challenge cast, but production did not take it easy on them when it came to creating difficult competitions.
“I was like, ‘Dude might’ve made this a little too hard.’ On the first challenge, I was like, ‘The real Challenge kids who are in their 20s couldn’t have done this.’ So some of the stuff we did, maybe we overshot the difficulties. It was very, very hard, and they get it done. I was very impressed,” host TJ Lavin said on the Wednesday, March 24, episode of the “Watch With Us: Challenge Edition” podcast. “Mark Long is a Greek God. Have you seen that guy? He’s strong. He’s working out all the time and Alton [Williams] is the same thing. Then there are some of those people who are more like myself, like, whatever. Just chill!”
The BMX pro, 44, was excited to host All Stars with such a great cast, some of who he hadn’t seen in a decade.
“I was stoked to see Mark again. I love watching Aneesa [Ferreira] compete — she’s real good in eliminations. She’s a force,” Lavin continued. “KellyAnne [Judd] was awesome. There’s some people that are just really standouts, that are really good at a lot.”
Still, the athlete, who has hosted the show since 2005’s The Gauntlet II, spends most of his time with the crew rather than cast.
“It’s an interesting dynamic because I’m kind of the liaison between the crew and the cast, and I’m also part of both — kind of cast, kind of crew,” he explained. “The crew is one big dysfunctional family now, but we function pretty good! We’re all after the same common goal and everybody gets along great. There are no idiots on the crew, because it’s crazy, but you’re living together for a couple of months. The people that don’t really fit in to the crew get weeded out real fast. I don’t think there’s ever been anybody that, that just instantly fit.”
As for whether he’s tempted to try the daily challenges, Lavin says that it “depends” on the competition at hand. However, he did recently get to shoot quite a fun commercial!
“Some of the big rig stuff, I’m like, that looks hard. I want to try that. There’s a couple of shots we did for the Paramount+ ads, standing on top of a big rig, and I didn’t use any harness or anything,” the Nevada native said. “I just stood on top of the rig and we got going the speed, and I just started having to go through lines on top of a big rig with no harness. It was awesome.”
For more from Lavin, listen to the “Watch With Us: Challenge Edition” podcast and subscribe for free for more exclusive interviews.
The Challenge: Double Agents airs on MTV Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET. The Challenge: All Stars premieres on Paramount+ Thursday, April 1.