The Challenge Season 37’s Production Resumes: Report

Arissa Hill Says TJ Lavin Was ‘Loud & Wrong From Sidelines’


The Challenge’s TJ Lavin

The Challenge‘s 36th season, Double Agents, is well and truly over now that the reunion’s aired but several reports from reliable spoiler accounts have already indicated that filming for the 37th season started weeks ago despite MTV not yet announcing a date for the show. Note: This article does not contain any spoilers for the cast or content of the 37th season.

After reports came out that filming for the season had started, the same sources revealed on April 26 that production for the season was shut down over a positive COVID-19 case among the cast. The cast and crew went back to quarantine following this development and there was no timeline for how long production would be shut down.

On May 6, 10 days after news of the halt in production, reliable Challenge spoiler accounts began reporting that filming of the season had resumed. The fact that filming was able to restart 10 days after another round of quarantine likely means that no other cast members tested positive for the virus.

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Reports of Production Getting Halted on the 37th Season of ;The Challenge Came Out on April 26

On April 26, a source revealed to The Ashley’s Reality Roundup that production was shut down after a cast member, not crew, tested positive for COVID-19: “[The cast member] tested positive after [he/she] had already been in the Challenge House and had completed and filmed the first daily challenge,” the outlet wrote. “That’s especially problematic because [that person] was in close contact with many other cast members and crew.”

According to the outlet, the positive test was returned five to six days after filming started and after a quarantine period and numerous weekly COVID-19 tests. “Everyone is wondering how it was possible for someone in the situation they have here to test positive,” the outlet reported the source saying.

“The only explanation is that [the person] had COVID [upon arrival] but, because it takes up to 14 days to show positive sometimes, they initially tested negative.”

A ‘Challenge’ Producer Previously Revealed the Plan If a Cast Member Were to Test Positive for COVID-19 During Filming

Double Agents filmed its entirety during the pandemic without a single incident involving a positive COVID-19 case, in large part thanks to a strict protocol developed by producers, showrunner Emer Harkin told Variety. She said, “For everybody [in the cast], it was about getting [their] head wrapped around [the new] steps that would get us to the show, and then once they were in the house they could proceed as normal.”

Harkin said the case was treated as one bubble or one person, with all of them going through quarantine and regular testing. She continued, “Now that we’ve done it we’re in such a privileged position to know how to do it,” including how to get cast and crew to travel to filming locations and around the area, “the types of countries we should shoot in; we know the types of properties and vendors we want to work with, right down to catering providers and cleaners.”

Harkin said the plan if a cast member tested positive after filming started was to medically disqualify the competitor with viewers receiving an explanation why. Harkin said the reason for this was that they “couldn’t keep people there for months on end, just waiting.”

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