Typically, the weeks leading up to a new season of MTV's The Challenge bring feverish anticipation and the previews always reveal just enough to cause mass speculation. Who will be the first cast members to hook up? What betrayal will spark the inevitable fight over the dissolution of shaky alliances? And most importantly, who wins the money? While the newly released Battle of the Exes 2 trailer produces the usual excitement, the recent deaths of Diem Brown and Ryan Knight obviously make it bittersweet. Although the decision to air Battle of the Exes was probably very strenuous, giving viewers one final glimpse at Brown and Knight in all their competitive glory is definitely the right thing to do.
With the unexpected loss of two of the show's most popular contenders, Battle of the Exes will certainly be difficult and even painful to watch. However, I'd venture to say that Brown, Knight and fans of the show wouldn't have it any other way. Along with the other contenders, they both found a somewhat dysfunctional yet loving home on these crazy, drama-filled reality TV competitions. As a result, the Challenge contestants have become their own independent community and developed a cult following based off their vibrant personalities. Both Brown and Knight's deaths provide opportunities for dialogue on important issues like ovarian cancer and the struggles that accompany drug addiction, but The Challenge provides a temporary respite from focusing on the sadness that stems from their passing.
So far, there have been a number of heartfelt tributes to honor the memory of Brown and Knight, but being able to witness more of the touching moments between CT and Diem along with Knight's questionable sense of humor and his dynamic with ex-girlfriend Jemmye will serve as the most fitting memorial of all. Their Challenge moments weren't all picture-perfect, but at least they were real.
Watch the The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II trailer below: