Exclusive -- Preview of MTV series 'The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros,' hosted by Victor Cruz
It's finally happening. The competitors of MTV's "The Challenge" are going to get their toughest test yet ... going head-to-head against pro-athletes.
In a six-week event "The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros," 10 Challenge greats (who will be announced at a later date) square off against 10 pros, including Candice Wiggins, Lolo Jones and Tia Blanco. The series premieres Tuesday, May 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will be hosted by NFL wide receiver Victor Cruz.
"In what promises to be the most competitive clash of teams in Challenge history, viewers will finally get their wish to see how our champs stack up against professional athletes," said Nina L. Diaz, EVP, Head of Unscripted Programming for MTV and VH1. "As a Super Bowl and a Pro Bowl champion, Victor Cruz is the ultimate all-star and we are beyond excited to have him as our MVP and host for this epic Challenge."
"The Challenge" is an iconic MTV series that I grew up watching," said host Victor Cruz in a statement. "The sports world is known for producing remarkable athletes, colorful characters, and memorable heroes, but this competition will give my fellow pro-athletes a chance to test their skills against some of the absolute best Challenge Champs, and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds!"
As with all seasons of "The Challenge," format is everything and here are the details.
Each episode of the event will focus on a different strength: Agility, ingenuity, brawn, brains, endurance and guts. The winning team's captain will choose one member of their team to go into the elimination round, and the rest of the team will decide the fate of that person's opponent. The losing team's captain is sent into elimination while the rest of the team also decides on the opponent.
The best part? The final male and female competitors of the season will run a final that tests each strength for a chance to win $50,000 to donate to their favorite charity.
As a bonus, here is the complete list of the professional athletes competing and the charities they support:
Tia Blanco - Professional surfer (St. Jude's Children's Hospital)
Louise Hazel - Olympian and fitness expert (Save the Children)
Lindsey Jacobellis - Professional snowboarder (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
Lolo Jones - Olympic hurdler and bobsledder (Hurdles of Hope)
Candice Wiggins - Former WNBA athlete (Greater Than AIDS)
Gus Kenworthy - Professional skier and Olympic medalist (The Trevor Project and the Happy Hippie Foundation)
Shawne Merriman - Retired NFL linebacker (Lights On Foundation)
CM Punk - UFC fighter (PAWS Chicago)
Louie Vito - Professional snowboarder and Olympian (Wings for Life)
Kamerion Wimbley - Retired NFL linebacker (Kamerion Wimbley Foundation)
Which champs do you think will be in the house?