Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons

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Battle of the Seasons
Battle of Seasons 281x211.jpg
Presented by
No. of contestants32
LocationCabo San Lucas, Mexico
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes17 (including the Reunion special)
Original networkMTV
Original releaseJanuary 28 (2002-01-28)[1] –
May 27, 2002 (2002-05-27)
Season chronology
← Previous
Extreme Challenge

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons is the fifth season of the MTV reality game show, The Challenge (at the time known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge). The season is directly subsequent to Extreme Challenge.

Battle of the Seasons premiered in early 2002 and took place in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In each episode, the cast competed in a challenge, and the top three Real World and top three Road Rules teams would become the "Inner Circle" and have the power to vote off teams. The "Inner Circle" was determined by a cumulative score that would be tallied on a leader board. The final six teams would compete for a final prize worth $300,000.

This is the first edition of Battle of the Seasons series, with the second Battle of the Seasons, following in 2012 with a completely different format.


This season of The Challenge features a new format. Separated into teams of Real World and Road Rules, each cast member is paired off with a castmate from their original season. Each mission gave points based on finish. After each mission, the players with the most points cumulative from each team became the "Inner Circle" and voted off whichever pair they wanted. The individual winning pair of each challenge would earn an "additional prize." After five pairs from each team were voted off, the final three Real World teams and final three Road Rules teams would compete against each other in a series of challenges before the final race, which would earn the winning teams $300,000 for themselves, $50,000 per teammate.


Hosts: Eric Nies from The Real World: New York and Mark Long from Road Rules: USA - The First Adventure

Real World team
Male Partner Female Partner Original season Finish
Sean Duffy Elka Walker Boston Winners
Mike Mizanin Coral Smith Back to New York Winners
Danny Roberts Kelley Limp New Orleans Winners
Norman Korpi Becky Blasband New York Episode 8
Mike Lambert Flora Alekseyeun Miami Episode 6
Stephen Williams IV Lindsay Brien Seattle Episode 5
Mike Johnson Sharon Gitau London Episode 4
Jon Brennan Beth Stolarczyk Los Angeles Episode 1
Road Rules team
Male Partner Female Partner Original season Finish
Theo Vonkurnatowski Holly Brenston Maximum Velocity Tour Runner-Up
Dan Setzler Tara McDaniel Northern Trail Runner-Up
Timmy Beggy Emily Bailey Second Adventure Runner-Up
Josh Florence Holly Shand Latin America Episode 8
Adam Larson Jisela Delgado The Quest Episode 6
Chris Melling Belou Den Tex Europe Episode 5
Chadwick Pelletier Piggy Thomas Down Under Episode 4
Yes Duffy Veronica Portillo Semester at Sea Episode 1


Challenge games[edit]

  • Hang Man: Teams must hang on a pole as long as they can. The contraption is made so after one team member falls, the other team member will fall immediately.
    • Winners: Theo & Holly B. (Team Road Rules)
  • Musical Inner-Tube Tango: In a game similar to musical chairs, teams will dance around a pool. Once the music stops, they must get an inner tube around their head. After each round, there will be two less inner-tubes. If one person from a team does not get an inner-tube, the whole team is eliminated.
    • Winners: Stephen & Lindsay (Team Real World)
  • Vertical Limit: Each member of the team will climb as high as they can on a rope with buoys on it in three minutes. They will gain a point for every buoy they pass. If they fall off the rope, they cannot get back on, and the number they ended on will be their final number.
    • Winners: Danny & Kelley (Team Real World)
  • Slam Dunk - Teams will bungee jump together back to back and try to score into hoops valued at 5, 10, and 15 points.
    • Winners: Theo & Holly B. (Team Road Rules)
  • Ladder of Doom: A relay race where each member needs to climb down a ladder over a 50-foot basin and retrieve a flag and bring it back to the top of the ladder.
    • Winners: Theo & Holly B. (Team Road Rules)
  • Round 'Em Up: Teams will enter a ring on horses and have a maximum of 15 minutes to round up at least one cow and get it into the pen.
    • Winners: Sean & Elka (Team Real World)
  • Rush Hour: Teams will have to move one car out of the puzzle by moving other cars within the puzzle forward and backwards. The cars are not allowed to make any turns. Cars are also not allowed to hit any other cars; if this does happen, the team will be disqualified, and receive a score of 0. Teams will be sequestered for fairness.
    • Winners: Sean & Elka (Team Real World)
  • Hands on the Saturn: Teams must have at least one whole hand on an ice sculpture of a Saturn sedan at all times. After two, three, and four hours, competitors must place another extremity (hand or feet) until all four are on the ice. Five minute breaks are allotted every three hours.
    • Winners: Dan & Tara (Team Road Rules)
  • Sidekick Showdown: Similar to the game show, The Newlywed Game, team members must match answers to their team member's responses to personal questions.
    • Winners: Mike M. & Coral (Team Real World)
  • Blockhead: Each member of the team has a responsibility: a swimmer and a builder. The swimmer must go into the ocean and retrieve cubes. The builder then must build a tower at least 4 cubes high with all the same color face of each cube facing outwards. Afterwards, one player must stand on the structure and blow a whistle.
    • Winners: Timmy & Emily (Team Road Rules)
  • Siamese Wrestling: Team members will be bound together back to back wrestling another team. The teams need to pin down (a shoulder touching the mat) the other team for three seconds. It will be broken into two rounds: the first round will be two minutes and the second round will be a sudden death.
    • Winners: Timmy & Emily (Team Road Rules)
  • Handsome Reward: Ultimate Teams (Sean & Elka and Theo & Holly) must delegate tasks for each team members to accomplish. The finale is divided into a relay race collecting fish through three components: kayaking, deep-sea diving, a long-board paddling. Afterwards, the whole team uses the fish they collected to figure out a puzzle. Once completed, they must climb a ladder to the top of a cliff to cross the finish line.
    • Winners: Team Real World (Sean & Elka, Mike M. & Coral, and Danny & Kelley)

Game summary[edit]

Elimination chart[edit]

Episode Winners Inner Circle Eliminated
# Challenge Team Prize Winners
1 Hang Man Road Rules Theo & Holly B. Danny & Kelley, Mike M. & Coral, Norman & Becky Jon & Beth
Chadwick & Piggy, Theo & Holly B., Timmy & Emily Yes & Veronica
3/4 Musical Inner-Tube Tango Real World Stephen & Lindsay Dan & Tara, Theo & Holly B., Timmy & Emily Chadwick & Piggy
Mike M. & Coral, Sean & Elka, Stephen & Lindsay Mike J. & Sharon
5/6 Vertical Limit Real World Danny & Kelley Danny & Kelley, Mike M. & Coral, Sean & Elka Stephen & Lindsay
Dan & Tara, Theo & Holly B., Timmy & Emily Chris & Belou
6 Slam Dunk Road Rules Theo & Holly B. Danny & Kelley, Mike M. & Coral, Sean & Elka Mike L. & Flora
Dan & Tara, Theo & Holly B., Timmy & Emily Adam & Jisela
8 Ladder of Doom Road Rules Theo & Holly B. Dan & Tara, Theo & Holly B., Timmy & Emily Josh & Holly S.
Danny & Kelley, Mike M. & Coral, Sean & Elka Norman & Becky
9 Round 'Em Up Real World Sean & Elka N/A
10 Rush Hour Real World Sean & Elka
11 Hands on Saturn Road Rules Dan & Tara
12 Sidekick Showdown Real World Mike M. & Coral
13 Block Head Road Rules Timmy & Emily
14 Siamese Wrestling Road Rules Timmy & Emily
15 Handsome Reward Real World Sean & Elka

Final results[edit]

  • The final teams on the Real World team were Sean & Elka, Mike M. & Coral, and Danny & Kelley.
  • The final teams on the Road Rules team were Theo & Holly B., Dan & Tara, and Timmy & Emily.
  • Real World won the final challenge, earning $300,000, with each team member receiving $50,000. In addition, Sean & Elka, as the Ultimate Team, received a brand new 2002 Saturn Vue.
  • Road Rules lost the final challenge, earning no money.

Scoreboard progress[edit]

Teams Episode
1 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Sean & Elka 10 29 44 55 74 94 114 131 150 169 186 WINNER
Mike M. & Coral 16 25 43 54 71 87 104 123 143 158 174 WINNER
Danny & Kelley 14 23 43 54 70 89 107 122 138 154 172 WINNER
Theo & Holly B. 20 34 53 73 93 108 127 143 161 178 194 LOSER
Dan & Tara 15 31 46 57 70 87 103 123 139 157 176 LOSER
Timmy & Emily 18 33 50 61 75 93 93 111 128 148 168 LOSER
Norman & Becky 13 23 38 49 64
Josh & Holly S. 12 25 38 49 68
Mike L. & Flora 6 24 34 45
Adam & Jisela 11 20 32 43
Chris & Belou 7 19 29
Stephen & Lindsay 9 29 41
Mike J. & Sharon 5 21
Chadwick & Piggy 19 26
Yes & Veronica 17
Jon & Beth 8
Bold indicates the Inner Circle
     The team won the final challenge.
     The team did not win the final challenge.
     The team came in first in the mission and won a prize.
     The team was eliminated by the Inner Circle.


No. in
No. in
Title Original air date
140"Hang Man"February 4, 2002 (2002-02-04)
241"Hurricane Juliette"February 11, 2002 (2002-02-11)
342"Who To Vote Off?"February 18, 2002 (2002-02-18)
443"Musical Inner-Tube Tango"February 25, 2002 (2002-02-25)
544"Vertical Limit"March 4, 2002 (2002-03-04)
645"Slam Dunk"March 11, 2002 (2002-03-11)
746"Montezuma's Revenge"March 25, 2002 (2002-03-25)
847"Ladder of Doom"April 1, 2002 (2002-04-01)
948"Round 'Em Up"April 8, 2002 (2002-04-08)
1049"Rush Hour"April 15, 2002 (2002-04-15)
1150"Hands of Saturn"April 22, 2002 (2002-04-22)
1251"Sidekick Showdown"April 29, 2002 (2002-04-29)
1352"Blockhead"May 6, 2002 (2002-05-06)
1453"Siamese Wrestling"May 13, 2002 (2002-05-13)
1554"Handsome Reward"May 20, 2002 (2002-05-20)
1655"Inside the Inner Circle"May 27, 2002 (2002-05-27)

Reunion special[edit]

The reunion special, Real World/Road Rules Challenge Battle of the Seasons: Inside the Inner Circle, was aired live on May 27, 2002 and was attended by the contestants who were in the Inner Circle until the season finale. The special was hosted by Lindsay Brien from The Real World: Seattle and Mark Long from Road Rules: USA – The First Adventure.

Memorable moments[edit]

  • Belou was judged for bringing her infant child along to live in the Challenge household, who in turn, excoriated her fellow Road Rulers for questioning her competence as a mother.
  • Jisela confronted Theo, Holly B., Piggy and Chadwick on their alliance in the Inner Circle.
  • A hurricane stopped production and the cast had to be relocated to a hotel where they threw the toga party. Many events had to be thrown together due to the logistical turmoil brought by the storm.
  • Veronica & Yes and Beth & Jon were the first people voted off their teams. The former team was voted off because the Inner Circle had decided to knock out stronger teams, while the latter team was out because everyone wanted to get rid of Beth, who singularly blamed Norman due to old jealousies.
  • Emily got into a confrontation with Chadwick, Holly B. & Piggy after she had told the other teams about the Inner Circle's alliance. While being confronted by Jisela, Chadwick denied all claims of an alliance and called Emily a liar. Even after being voted off, Chadwick sent Emily a nasty e-mail, blaming her for manipulating the game and having him sent home.
  • Although Holly B. and Chadwick had been advocates of the plan to vote off strong teams, when Chadwick and Piggy finished outside the Inner Circle, Holly suddenly decided that they should vote off the weakest team instead of the one that Chadwick (her husband) was on. The rest of the Inner Circle didn't like the hypocrisy and did end up voting out Chadwick and Piggy.
  • Coral got into an argument with Stephen on the first day.
  • Team Real World devised a contract stipulating that the teams would be voted off according to the point system that was given to them. They followed this contract, except in the case where the team decided to vote off Lindsay & Stephen, mostly because Stephen was driving everyone crazy with his hectoring personality.
  • Hookups during the challenge included: Mike M. and Tara, Timmy and Holly, and Theo and Coral.
  • The Real World teams and Road Rules teams all decided that whoever won the final challenge would split the money with the opposite team. The teams formulated contracts so each cast member would get a share of the prize money. Holly B. thought that this was stupid and thought that the Road Rules team was going to win, and indicated that she would not split her money with Coral. Consequently, when they lost Coral decided to keep her money and gloated over it.
  • This challenge would mark the last challenge that Real World ever won the final reward challenge and prizes.
  • This challenge also marked the end of the six versus six challenge theme.
  • Lori from Back to New York was Mike's original teammate but she dropped out at the last minute and was replaced by Coral. According to Mike's appearance on Bill Simmons' B.S. Report podcast, Lori dropped out due to fear of flying following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • During a 9/18/2013 appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live, Danny Roberts dished that, on one of the challenges, he hooked up with a straight male cast member who is now married. He did not share any additional details until later in the show, stating that Trishelle Cannatella (someone he had never met), "hate called" him. The call was connected to the hookup he previously mentioned. Immediate thought was that Danny hooked up with Steven Hill, Trishelle's Real World Vegas ex. However, Trishelle used Twitter to clarify it wasn't Steven. Current thought is the hookup in question is Adam Larson, another ex of Trishelle's who participated in this challenge with Danny.
  • Stephen's belligerence and violence towards the women at the Musical Inner-Tube Tango infuriated both teams.
  • Although the Real World was unified in their hatred of Stephen, Norman became upset at the inner circle when Stephen and Lindsay were voted off.
  • Jisela exploded at the inner circle after discovering the alliance between the top three teams, calling a team meeting and annoying her teammates. The Road Rules team would admit on the reunion that they were overjoyed to send her home.
  • Holly nearly quit the Sidekick Showdown challenge after Theo told her he had read that she wanted a breast enhancement on the Internet.


  1. ^ Amatangelo, Amy (January 28, 2002). "MTV casts prepare for `Battle'". Boston Herald (All ed.). p. 034. ISSN 0738-5854.

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