When it comes to Zach’s longtime, on-and-off relationship with Challenge sweetheart Jenna, the Real World: San Diego export himself has decided to finally make some admissions about their on-again romance. During the War of the Worlds reunion, Zach — who’s had a history of getting defensive when faced with critique — let down his defenses. He was contrite, spoke honestly about his shortcomings and accepted complete blame for his role in the rocky relationship’s latest installment.
It all began when the group looked back at Zach’s discord with Amanda, and how Amanda spilled the beans during filming that Zach had been on a dating app while still dating Jenna. While the War of the Worlds cameras were still up, Zach bit back at Jenna — who’d confronted him about possible infidelity — and told her she was making mountains out of molehills.
But at the reunion, and with a few months to consider his actions, he said his behavior was totally unwarranted.
“What I always forget, selfishly, is that it hurts her feelings,” Zach said. “I don’t think she overreacted. She had every right to be mad at me. I’m just not good in those situations.”
“I embarrassed her, and I love her. I’ve been sick about it, and we’ve worked through it and I’m really lucky that she chose to stay with me,” he added.
Still, Jenna said she understood — after years of dating Zach — that he might not take kindly to a confrontation.
“I’m the type of person who needs to talk it over right then and there or I can’t function,” she said. “[But now] we’re in the best place.”
With the couple’s history concerned, though, the question is: Can they stay there?
Zach and Jenna met way back in 2014 on Battle of the Exes II (as seen in the throwback clip above), when Jenna was just 21. They had an instant connection that evolved into a real relationship, and they dated off and on until Rivals III kicked off in 2016. It was during filming, though, that Jenna made a phone call to Zach, who was back home, during which he called her “Brooke.” Naturally, Jenna grew suspicious and learned Zach had been cheating on her. They broke up.
But they came face-to-face toward the end of 2016 during Invasion of the Champions filming, and within a few days, it seemed as though they’d mended fences. Then, when they both moved on to film the second season of Champs vs. Stars in 2017, Jenna was reminded even more of Zach’s good nature: After she took a nasty tumble, broke her foot and learned she’d have to leave the competition, Zach offered his instant support. He admitted that he, too, was glad to have seen Jenna again and was disappointed that their time together would be cut so short.
They began dating again after filming, and in May 2018, finally made their rekindled relationship Instagram-official. They were both contestants on Final Reckoning before the year ended, although Jenna was eliminated straight out of the gates for the first time.
So, as far as Challenge relationships go, there’s a lot of history to sort through. But a relationship that extends over the course of half a decade must have real potential, right?
What do you think — after this many years, are Zach and Jenna finally in this thing for the long haul, and do you think Zach has matured enough to be Jenna’s rock? Or are we just waiting for the roller-coaster’s next steep descent? Share your thoughts, and tell us what you made of this Challenge season!