Decorated track/bobsled star and Olympian Lolo Jones holds the American record for the 60-meter hurdles, but can she hold on to her spot on the newest season of The Challenge?
On the premiere of tonight’s Champs vs. Pros special event, a team of 10 professional athletes made a mockery of a crew of 10 MTV Challenge champions straight out of the gate. Olympians, professional skiers and snowboarders and veteran NFL players banded together to win the first game, “Against The Ropes,” and team captain Louise Hazel, a track and field Olympian, earned $5,000 for her charity, Save The Children.
Still, the victory was short-lived, as host Victor Cruz delivered the bad news that the Pros — like the Champs — would still have to eliminate a woman from their team.
Lolo seemed particularly upset that whichever member of the Pros team was cut first would have earned no money for her charity, especially as her chosen organization — Hurdles of Hope — was so close to her heart.
“My dad spent the majority of my life in prison,” she said. “So my foundation helps kids with parents that are incarcerated, and that’s why I’m so passionate about it… To walk away with nothing would be absolutely frustrating.”
And her attitude rubbed some of her teammates the wrong way.
“I think we’re all here to raise the profiles for all of our charities, and I felt like what Lolo was saying about her charity being more important because it was her foundation than everybody else’s was a little bit out of line,” Louise said.
Gus Kenworthy, pro skier, seemed to agree and directed his frustrations squarely at Lolo.
“I understand that you’re passionate and it’s your thing, but we’re all very passionate about our stuff,” he said.
Lolo didn’t want to hear contrarian opinions, though, and soon, she and Gus wound up in some pro-on-pro dogfighting.
“Now I think the Pros are actually getting a taste of what this show is all about,” Johnny Bananas observed while watching. “Five minutes ago, the camaraderie was through the roof. Now, all of a sudden, the wheels have come off...They were not prepared for the infighting.”
As luck would have it, Lolo found herself squaring off against WNBA legend Candice Wiggins in the game’s very first female Pro elimination round, “Pull No Punches,” which was a spin on the “Wrecking Wall” game from Free Agents. Candice had volunteered, while Lolo’s name was randomly drawn, and though Lolo’s irritations hadn’t wavered, she won in decisive fashion and made Candice the team’s first casualty. But even Candice, a big fan of Lolo’s, could sense that the Pros had reason to be wary of upsetting her again.
“If I were the Pros, I would be very worried about the wrath of Lolo Jones, and what that means moving forward into the competition,” she said.
What do you think — will Lolo’s passion help her to endure the pro team’s tension, and will she survive the game? Or will The Challenge pressure be too much, and will she eventually crack? Share your thoughts, and see how the game’s next leg goes next Tuesday at 9/8c!