Invasion of the Champions is the 29th season of The Challenge. This multi-format season features 18 players who have yet to win competing against 8 Challenge Champions for a share of $350,000. The season was filmed in Thailand from September to November 2016.
The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions brings together 18 Underdogs to battle across a series of contests for the chance to move out of squalor and into typical Challenge luxury, The Oasis! Just when the lucky ones get comfortable, they’ll find the game is far from over. The final crop of Underdogs will have to face down eight proven Champions for their share at the $350,000 prize. With devastating elimination rounds, truly baffling hookups and the first-ever three-day final on the way, Season 29 may just prove to be the most unpredictable and gripping yet!
The game started off with 18 Underdogs (players who have yet to win a challenge) who get dropped off a boat and onto a beach, where they were living in "The Shelter." They compete individually in challenges, followed by an elimination round.The male and female winners of the challenge would be safe from elimination, and earn their ticket to "The Oasis" — the season house. The last-place finishers of each gender automatically went straight into elimination for the first challenge.
In the second challenge, the challenge winners will choose a player of the opposite gender to go into the elimination. The remainder of the cast then voted in who goes against them for the first and second challenge. The males voted for the females, and vice versa.
In the third challenge, and the last chance to earn a ticket to the Oasis, the winners will be safe from elimination, and the two remaining players of each gender will automatically compete against each other. In the elimination, each gender will compete. The winners of the elimination round would return to the game, and earn a ticket to The Oasis. The losers of the elimination round go home. Players could not go into The Oasis until every ticket had been earned. Players who earned their ticket to the Oasis will be exempt from elimination and will not compete in challenges until the Champions enter the game.
In Episode 5, eight of the toughest champions (four male, four female) will enter the game, which will become a team competition - Underdogs vs. Champions. Each challenge will be designated as either an Underdog or a Champion elimination known as "The Fortress". The winning team will earn $10,000, $15,000, or $30,000 in their team bank account. The best performing male and female of the team designated for the challenge will then choose one player of each gender to go into the elimination. The remainder of the cast will then vote in the players who will go against the nominated players in The Fortress. The winners return to the game, and the losers are eliminated.
In the final challenge, the teams are dispersed and the money banked from the challenges are split amongst the respective team members. The remaining money in the pot is determined by final placement.
Money for finalists is split as follows:
- Winners: Team bank account + $100,000 each
- Runners-Up: Team bank account + $15,000 each
- Third Place: Team bank account + $5,000 each
- The Shelter: TJ announced to the starting cast of the season that they would be staying in a run-down shelter at the start of the game rather than the traditional luxury house. In order to earn a spot in the luxury house, named The Oasis, players must win a challenge or elimination in the first three rounds of the competition. TJ later surprised the players in the Final Challenge by revealing that they would have to stay at The Shelter for the remainder of the competition.
- Champion Invasion: Eight Champions, four male and four female, entered the game in Episode 5 to the surprise of the other players.
- Champions vs. Underdogs: Following the arrival of the Champions, TJ announced that they would be playing on a team against the remaining Underdogs. This twist lasted until the Final Challenge where the teams were once again disbanded.
- Underdog Bloodbath: The Underdogs will face each other in two consecutive elimination rounds. The first one will be a 4-way challenge in which one player of each gender will be eliminated if they finish last. The second competition will be the first three-way elimination in Challenge history with another one eliminated player.
|Episode||N/A||Winners||Elimination players||Elimination game||Elimination outcome|
|1||The Over Under||Nicole||Marie||Kailah||In the Trenches||Kailah||Marie|
|#||Challenge||Winners||Winner's pick||Voted In||Elimination game||Winner||Loser|
|3||Shell Shocked||Hunter||Theo||Cory||Who's Got Balls?||Cory||Theo|
|4||Caged and Confused||Amanda||Sylvia||LaToya||Thai Rise||Sylvia||LaToya|
|#||Challenge||Fortress team||Winners||Player's pick||Voted In||Fortress game||Winner||Loser|
|5/6||Knockout||Underdogs||Underdogs||Sylvia||Kailah||Tuk Tuk Bang Bang||Sylvia||Kailah|
|7||Roll with the Punches||Champions||Champions||Cara Maria||Ashley K.||Pole Wrestle||Cara Maria||Ashley K.|
|8||Curry Up||Underdogs||Champions||Nelson||Dario||Bell Ringer||Nelson||Dario|
|9/10||Fallout||Champions||Underdogs||Bananas vs. Darrell||Balls In||Darrell||Bananas|
|Cara Maria vs. Laurel||Laurel||Cara Maria|
|#||Challenge||Bloodbath team||Winners||Fortress players||Fortress game||Winner||Loser|
|Amanda vs. Ashley M. vs. Nicole||Inside Out||Ashley M.||Amanda|
|Cory vs. Nelson vs. Shane||Nelson||Shane|
|#||Challenge||Fortress team||Winners||Player's pick||Voted In||Fortress game||Winner||Loser|
|12/13||Caved In||Champions||Underdogs||CT vs. Darrell||Knot So Fast||CT||Darrell|
|Camila vs. Laurel||Camila||Laurel|
|14/15||Final Challenge||CT||2nd place: Nelson, 3rd place: Cory|
|Ashley M.||2nd place: Camila, 3rd place: Nicole|
- The contestant won the final challenge.
- The contestant did not win the final challenge.
- The contestant won safety from the elimination round.
- The contestant won the challenge, but was subject to the elimination round.
- The contestant was exempt from participating in the elimination round.
- The contestant was not selected for the elimination round.
- The contestant won in the elimination round.
- The contestant won the elimination round by default.
- The contestant lost in the elimination round and was eliminated.
- The contestant withdrew from the elimination round.
- The contestant came in last in the daily challenge and was eliminated.
|Ashley M.||Tony||Theo||Tony||Dario||No voting|
Votes in bold are the votes made by the player who won safety.
- The first three elimination rounds were not given a name. Beginning with the fourth challenge, the elimination round is known as "The Fortress."
- Theo was disqualified from elimination for refusing to jump off the cliff. As a result, Cory was declared the winner by default.
- The Champions (Ashley K., Bananas, Camila, Cara Maria, CT, Darrell, Laurel, and Zach) entered the competition at the fourth challenge as a season twist.
- The Underdogs participate in individual challenges from Episodes 1–4. When the Champions enter the competition in Episode 5, all contestants will be separated into two teams — Champions and Underdogs.
- T.J. first announced that no elimination round would be held following the "Crossover" challenge in Episode 10, and instead that each contestant was treated to a house party. However, that was a part of the Bloodbath twist and it was a underdog go-away party where the Underdogs will face each other in two consecutive elimination rounds. The first one will be a four-way challenge in which one player of each gender will be automatically eliminated and the second elimination will be a three-way elimination with another one eliminated player.
|Episode||Air date||Viewers (in millions)|
|1||"Gimme Shelter"||February 7, 2017||0.69|
|2||"Skeletal Fracture"||February 7, 2017||0.65|
|3||"Helter Shelter"||February 14, 2017||0.65|
|4||"Four Tickets to Paradise"||February 21, 2017||0.76|
|5||"Underdog Eat Underdog World"||February 28, 2017||0.78|
|6||"The Mile-High Club"||March 7, 2017||0.80|
|7||"Achy Breaky Heart"||March 14, 2017||0.86|
|8||"A Low Down Dirty Shane"||March 21, 2017||0.81|
|9||"An Officer and a Gentlewoman"||March 28, 2017||0.82|
|10||"Go Your Own Way"||April 4, 2017||0.75|
|11||"The Bloodbath"||April 11, 2017||0.78|
|12||"Caged"||April 18, 2017||0.79|
|13||"A River of Endless Light"||April 25, 2017||0.76|
|14||"Math Is Hard"||May 2, 2017||0.75|
|15||"The True Champions"||May 9, 2017||0.73|
The reunion was filmed in New York City, New York, and was hosted by Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. The contestants who attended the reunion were: Amanda, Ashley M., Bananas, Camila, Cara Maria, Cory, CT, Darrell, Hunter, Jenna, Kailah, Laurel, Nelson, Nicole, and Shane.
- Dylan Moore (Real World: Go Big or Go Home) and Emilee Fitzpatrick were flown to Thailand with the initial cast to serve as alternates in case anybody was disqualified. They were eventually sent home after being unused.
|The Challenge Series|
Road Rules: All Stars • Real World/Road Rules Challenge • Challenge 2000 • Extreme Challenge • Battle of the Seasons (2002) • Battle of the Sexes • The Gauntlet • The Inferno • Battle of the Sexes 2 • The Inferno II • The Gauntlet 2 • Fresh Meat • The Duel • The Inferno 3 • The Gauntlet III • The Island • The Duel II • The Ruins • Fresh Meat II • Cutthroat • Rivals • Battle of the Exes • Battle of the Seasons (2012) • Rivals II • Free Agents • Battle of the Exes II • Battle of the Bloodlines • Rivals III • Invasion of the Champions • XXX: Dirty 30 • Vendettas • Final Reckoning • War of the Worlds • War of the Worlds 2 • Total Madness • Double Agents • Spies, Lies & Allies