Here’s What Joss Mooney Would Change About His Rookie Season On MTV’s ‘The Challenge’

Joss Mooney/Instagram

Typically, I’m skeptical of new faces on The Challenge. After all, I’ve been watching this show for over 15 years, and part of the fun is seeing my favorite players return season after season.

When I heard MTV was amping things up for season 31 and bringing in new cast members from outside their typical pool of The Real World, Road RulesAre You the One? or their Fresh Meat seasons, I was more apprehensive than ever. What did these people do to deserve a spot?

Turns out that contestants from Big Brother as well as several of MTV’s UK shows are a welcomed source of drama and competition on The Challenge: Vendettas. And no one caught my attention like Joss Mooney.

On top of his incredible physique and British accent — be still my heart! — this guy came to play. After dominating the first competition, the alum of the UK show Ex on the Beach nearly survived an epic elimination battle with The Challenge legend Derrick Kosinski.

We got an exclusive interview with Joss, covering everything from the crazy elimination to what he’d change about his time in the MTV house. Read on for all the behind-the-scenes secrets.

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How did you get cast on The Challenge?

It was MTV actually! My best friends and I received a call by my manager one day and were asked to have a Skype interview. It all went from there …

What did you know — if anything — about The Challenge going into filming?

I literally knew nothing about The Challenge as it doesn’t play in the UK. The only clips I could watch were just on YouTube, so I was going in blind — which may have been a good thing as I didn’t know how extreme it actually is. But then again, maybe I should have known more because the game is so much politics to survive! 

You dominated the first event, claiming the top spot. Do you feel like that painted a target on your back?

Oh yeah, 100 percent, but I only realized once TJ told me I won. I was just doing my thing, running like Forrest Gump, not realizing there is a whole game to be played. But nevertheless, I like to set the bar high! And it intimidated the guys for a rookie to come in blazing like that.

The girls in the house definitely took a liking to you. Did any catch your eye?

I was actually in a relationship during The Challenge, so even if I did like anyone, I couldn’t do anything. I’m a free agent now, which is annoying because I think it could have really helped me with creating a game plan during the games. There were a few “dating relationship alliances” going on so people has each other’s backs, and I was flying solo!

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That elimination against Derrick was an epic battle. What did you think your chances were when you found out he would be who you were going up against?

To be honest, I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t care. I underestimated him, the guy is a beast in his own right. He did win, yes, but in my eyes he didn’t beat me as I was the one who messed up. But, yes, it was an epic battle! I have a lot respect for him! And I think it made the rest of the guys even more concerned that they will have to face me in these Challenges and eliminations because they know I won’t back down…EVER.

You lost because you let go of the ring, thinking the round was over. What happened there — and do you feel it was unfair?

I mean, I thought I was out of the ring, but I guess being a “rookie” that was a rookie mistake. It won’t happen again — you can take my word for it. That was the blessing all the guys needed, and they got it. Hope they made the best of it because it’s not happening again!

Is there anything you saw watching the show back that you didn’t realize while filming?

Haha, yes….ALL the game planning, making alliances etc while I was too busy catching some rays in my short shorts outside. Too busy working on my bloody tan! Idiot…haha! But again, I didn’t know how the show worked!

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You teased on Twitter that you’ll be back — what will you do differently if you appear on The Challenge again?

I’d probably sun bath less — a little less — and do more game planning as I was too dependent on my physically ability rather than working on my social game. And maybe this time I’ll make a lady friend…or two! (Eye wink) HAHAHA

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