Zach Nichols Accuses Unnamed Producer of Preventing Him From Returning to ‘The Challenge’

Mr. Congeniality himself, ladies and gents.

Zach Nichols hasn’t competed on The Challenge since 2019’s War of the Worlds 2, though it’s not for lack of trying, he claims. 

On a recent episode of The Zach Nichols Podcast, the former Real World star spoke about his absence from the competition series, which many fans of the show have speculated about in recent years, given the fact that he competed on nine ‘Challenges’ between 2012 and 2019 before seemingly calling it quits. 

“ … I’ve been seeing a lot of comments being like, ‘Zach doesn’t get his a** back [to ‘The Challenge’] because he’s mean to production,’ and I’m like, well, that’s partially true, but I’m not just like mean to people to be mean to people, there’s a reason behind it,” he said. 

Spoiler alert: the “reason” is because he’s Zach.

Zach proceeded to explain his side of what happened to his relationship with “‘The Challenge’ higher-ups,” telling his co-host that there are actually a “combination” of reasons as to why he hasn’t returned to the show in recent seasons, but he would share how it all started. 

Zach said he wouldn’t use the names of people in production or people from the network that he was referring to in his story, though he told listeners if they wanted to “fill in the blanks, you can figure it out.” 

“Long story short, I’ve always been someone who’s … I’m not really good with people having authority over me, I like to be in charge of my own destiny,” he said. “But anyways, I’ve had some run-ins with a few producers just over stupid things and I don’t really like to back down and so I didn’t. And there was a few times where I pushed things a little bit farther, but I don’t want anyone to walk all over me … .” 

According to Monsters & Critics, Zach explained that, despite getting cleared by his family physician after sustaining an injury during ‘War of the Worlds 2,’ he later received a call from “someone [high-up] from the network– which is different from the production company,” informing him that they were “so upset” that he wouldn’t be able to appear on the upcoming season (Total Madness) with his now-wife, Jenna Compono. 

Zach alleges that the network representative explained to him that, while they were “dying” for him to compete on the upcoming season, he had failed the necessary physical to be cleared for the show. Zach reiterated that he had already received clearance from his family doctor and claims he never underwent the physical exam the rep was referring to; however, the representative informed him over the phone that they were currently “staring at [his] failed physical.” 

According to Zach, cast members are required to undergo a physical once they are notified that they will be on the upcoming season–- a call Zach said he never received for ‘Total Madness,’ despite the network representative claiming to have proof that he took–- and failed–- his physical. The network representative told Zach they would look into the matter and get back with him, but after not hearing anything for a few days, he called back to follow up. 

Zach alleges that during the follow-up call, the person he spoke with acted as if they had no idea about their previous conversation, including the comments about his failed physical. 

He claims he later received a message from an individual connected to someone from production with whom he’d “butted heads with in the past,” who told him that after the ‘War of the Worlds 2’ final, said-producer stated, “I will do whatever it takes to make sure that kid never gets on another show.” 

Zach reportedly stated on a previous episode of his podcast that he wasn’t anticipating a call to join the Season 40 cast of ‘The Challenge,’ nor is he expecting a call for any season beyond that. He has also seemingly indicated that his days on ‘The Challenge’ are behind him. 

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(Photos: MTV; Instagram) 

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