The Challenge veterans Cara Maria Sorbello and Paulie Calafiore have spoken out on social media regarding the ratings for Total Madness, and they aren’t happy. The season started out with over a million viewers for the first episode, and slowly the numbers have been dropping week by week. Occasionally, they will rise a little bit, but Episode 14 has seen a 210,000 viewer drop since the show debuted. This is quite a big difference for a show whose viewers are longtime fans, especially considering people are staying home because of the pandemic. Having such a big drop can be due to many factors, but Cara and Paulie think they know why.
Cara first responded to a fan on Instagram (which Paulie screenshotted to Twitter) about the ratings, noting that the first War of the Worlds opened with 840,000 viewers and finished well over 1 million. There was no drastic 200+ thousand drop, only an impressive increase. The longtime Challenger noted that during WOTW1 there was no pandemic, which would cause people to watch TV they normally wouldn’t watch, and that its ratings weren’t due to certain players, hinting that Johnny Bananas doesn’t make or break viewership. Johnny was eliminated early on in WOTW1, but the ratings only got better.
She also added that there is no excuse for the numbers to be dropping and she’s worried it might be a trend for the show. Cara noted there are no sports to watch and no new shows, so the dip in viewers is not acceptable. Paulie took to Twitter to back her up.
“Where’s the lie though? With THIS format AND the elimination twist the viewers/ratings should have never dropped. Cast has been a flop and other than the rookies the competition sucks. Let’s hope this second wave of corona virus can revive the viewers, we need them for the future,” Paulie wrote.
Some slammed Paulie for his comment about the second wave of COVID-19, but he made sure to clarify that he hoped when people returned to their homes again that they would tune back into The Challenge. The Red Skull elimination twist is regarded as one of the best to ever hit the show, forcing all competitors into elimination if they wanted to run the final. This had never been done before and was something viewers were ecstatic over at first, but for some reason, the ratings keep slipping week by week.
For now, it’s unknown if Cara and Paulie will return to The Challenge in the future. It’s also in the air when Season 36 will start shooting and if it will take place overseas as normal or stay put in the United States due to the pandemic.