As anyone even remotely familiar with me or UnitedMonkee.com will know, I’m a big fan of MTV’s The Real World and The Challenge. I’ve been watching these shows since I was a kid and it’s such a great system because Real World leads into The Challenge and then, if they continue to appear, you get to keep up with their story or at least the story that they’re able to portray through their characters on the show.
It might surprise some people, though, that my interest pretty much ended there. Much like comics up until the time I interned at Wizard, I would absorb the material and then move on. But, a few months back I somehow discovered The Derrick Kosinksi Podcast/Ultimate Challenge Radio (it’s known by the former on iTunes if you’re looking, but referred to by the latter just about everywhere else). I listened to an episode and instantly fell down the rabbit hole, going back and downloading as many episodes as I could from iTunes and blazing my way through them.
The podcast’s focus, for the most part, is all things Real World and Challenge. If you’re unfamiliar with Kosinski, he’s one of the few people to play this game that just about everyone respects and likes which is a rare breed in a game filled with back stabbing and talking out of both sides of your mouth. This gives Kosinski the cred to have pretty much anyone who’s ever been on either show on his podcast to talk about their experiences and sometimes clear up leftover drama from the show.
Of course, you also get dosed with Johnny Bananas, a character who has become less offensive over the years, but still drives me a little crazy. A few episodes have even been dedicated to just letting him complain about stuff and this dude hates everything. However, while my opinion of Johnny hasn’t changed, mine has flipped on several other cast members who get a little bit more time on the podcast to explain their side of the story. I tend to roll my eyes anyone a reality show person says they got a bad edit on their show, but I do think it’s difficult to get your entire persona across when someone else is piecing their version of your experience together.
The show doesn’t seem to have much of a regular schedule, but there have been three episodes since The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons started about five or six weeks ago and all three have gone pretty deep into what was going not so much behind the scenes, but on the cutting room floor. I won’t get too much into it, but there are whole characters making deals and moves that we’re not even seeing! It’s a bummer if you’re like me and find this season to be kind of boring. I will say that listening to the new episodes does round the experience out, which is nice.
Want to know the most interesting piece of information I’ve learned about BOTS? There was going to be a Team Road Rules. Kosinski said it was going to be him, Susie, Darrell and Katie Doyle. Unfortunately, he didn’t say WHY that team didn’t materialize. He did say that Susie was pregnant or had just given birth around the time of filming, but the whys were not fully explained for the rest of them. It didn’t get as far as the Real World Sydney team which was chosen and sent to Turkey, but then sent home, which is why the Fresh Meat squad was brought in so last minute. THESE are the kinds of things you can learn form listening to Ultimate Challenge Radio!