The date is set! "Battle Of The Seasons" kicks off Sept. 19 at 10/9c, and features seven four-person teams organized by "Real World" season. From Cancun to Brooklyn, there's no doubt this "Challenge" will bring the usual excitement and cutthroat competition. Plus, with only two previous champs in Alton and Wes, and 15 complete newcomers, it's anyone's game.
Before all the mud-slinging goes down, we thought we'd give you a quick debrief of the teams. Take a look at the "BOTS" challengers--from oldest to newest--and tell us if you're ready to place a few bets.
Team Old and New -- Las Vegas (Dustin, Nany, Alton and Trishelle):
Dustin's busted knee kept him from making a dent in "Battle Of The Exes" and Nany hasn't seen a single competition, but Alton and Trishelle have been tearing up the battlefield since 2003's "The Gauntlet." In the only team of mixed seasons, there are no enemies, but no real strong ties, either. Think they can forge a strong enough bond to go the distance?
Team Up And Down -- Austin (Melinda, Danny, Lacey and Wes):
Danny and Melinda fell in love and got engaged all before the "Real World: Austin" reunion, but the romance didn't last, and they eventually divorced. Still, the exes and Wes (who found himself at odds with BFF Danny on "Fresh Meat 2") are strong "Challenge" vets. Lacey, however, hasn't been on TV since her days as a Texan in 2005. Will she hold them back?
Team Boys vs. Girls -- Brooklyn (Sarah, JD, Devyn and Chet):
During their time as New Yorkers, Team Brooklyn's men and women were constantly at odds--Sarah and JD, in particular, had some blow-ups. Sarah and Chet have performed well before, but JD took the early flight home in his single "Challenge" try and Devyn is brand new to it all. Can the team tear down its wall to work as a single unit?
Team Underdog -- Cancun (Jonna, CJ, Jasmine and Derek):
No one expected newbies Jonna and Jasmine to last long on "Rivals," but the pair surprised everyone with a win on Day 1 and strong showings in elimination rounds. Still, neither has seen a final, and CJ and Derek have yet to buck up and deliver. This foursome seems to be on good terms across-the-board, so can they finally grit their teeth and power through?
Team Bottoms-Up -- New Orleans (Knight, Jemmye, Preston and McKenzie):
Let's face it: Real Worlders like to party, but none more than the most recent NOLA cast. The four "Challenge" virgins spent the better part of their time in Louisiana stumbling down Bourbon Street, and with a pair of exes in Knight and Jemmye, there is surely alcohol-infused drama to come. Can this team keep its focus long enough to be a real contender?
Team Hothead -- San Diego (Sam, Zach, Ashley and Frank):
These million-dollar smiles are definitely deceiving--with the exception of Ashley, team San Diego's members saw a number of fights in SoCal. There's no doubt the ex-housemates have the athletic chops to go far, but they collectively share more tension than the other six teams combined. Frank and Zach might have mended fences, but will it be enough?
Team Fresh Meat -- St. Thomas (Laura, Trey, Robb and Marie):
The "Real World: St. Thomas" season hasn't yet ended, but these four have proven they're always up for an adventure. Marie and Trey are as confident as they come, and Laura and Robb are calm enough to play a solid political game. But will the two back-and-forth couples find themselves on an island (ha...) among the less green teams?
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Photos: Rene Cervantes