Jenna and Zach face an awkward reckoning in The Challenge: Total Madness reunion sneak peek
When Jenny West and Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio crossed the finish line in the finale of The Challenge: Total Madness, winning their respective first and seventh seasons, you didn't think the madness was over, did you? MTV's long-running reality competition series is closing the books on its highest-rated season in eight years — up 17 percent from last year, with the finale earning 1.5 million viewers and averaging a 1.6 rating in viewers age 18-49 — with a remotely shot reunion episode, and EW has an exclusive sneak peek at the drama that gets reignited over Zoom.
It's not a good sign when your biggest story arc during one of your most promising seasons of The Challenge happens because of someone who isn't even competing, but unfortunately Jenna Compono had more to worry about during Total Madness than just getting her red skull and making it to the final, thanks to her boyfriend (now fiancé), Challenge vet Zach Nichols. Since he was a major part of her season despite not even being in the bunker, he also participated in the reunion… and suffice to say, things get awkward when the the couple is forced to watch some of their combative video chat conversations that took place after he looked at some years-old Instagram DMs (from before they were a couple) while she was away filming and became convinced she had cheated on him.
In the exclusive clip above, Zach can't even bring himself to watch the footage, hiding his face in his hands while Jenna cringes, laughs, and makes faces. And when footage is played of Zach's ultimatum to Jenna that she either quit the season and come home or they would break up, Jenna can be seen fidgeting with her engagement ring. You'd think they would be used to having all their relationship lows play out on screen by now!
While Jenna ultimately put herself first and stayed to compete, winning an elimination against Tori Deal and earning a red skull, a.k.a. stamping her ticket to the Total Madness final, the drama with Zach continued throughout the season. He eventually stopped taking her calls, and other competitors believed Jenna was checked out and wanted to go home because she couldn't stop crying about it in the bunker. She was thrown into elimination again against Aneesa Ferreira, and despite giving it her all, Jenna lost and was sent home in episode 9, "Backstabber."
Jenna previously revealed to EW that before the Tori elimination, she was ready to quit this season due to her fight with Zach. "I actually did pack my suitcase. I had it all packed and ready to leave and then Nany [Gonzalez] told me, 'Just think about it until the morning,'" she said. "And then that morning is when I decided to stay but I was all packed up and ready to go… before the Tori elimination. I talked to production, I was ready to be out."
After she was eliminated from the competition, she revealed that she and Zach had "argued a little bit" before working on their relationship.
"Both of us had some explaining to do between each other's social media and whatnot, but we didn't realize the way we handle situations wasn't healthy, so we actually signed up for therapy," she said. "We went to a few of those, and we learned how to handle situations in a better way now instead of just lashing out at each other. We did understand that that was super not healthy thinking about it and now seeing it, so I'm happy that we actually attended those therapy classes, and now we're just better than ever."
The Challenge: Total Madness reunion airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.