‘The Challenge’: Jodi Reveals Why She Returned For ‘All Stars’ After 15 Years Away From The Show
Despite thinking she would never return for another season of 'The Challenge,' Jodi Weatherton is making her comeback on season 2 of 'All-Stars.' She dished to HL about the decision, what she did to prepare and more.
Jodi Weatherton has not appeared on The Challenge since she won The Duel in 2006. Now, 15 years later, she’s shocking even herself by returning for The Challenge: All Stars 2, which premieres on Nov. 11. “I never thought I would come back, honestly,” Jodi admitted to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I told my husband before we got married that I was done with the show and I wasn’t planning on doing it ever again. But when this opportunity came up, it just felt different. It was a chance to get together with people I hadn’t seen in 15 years and kind of reconnect. My kids are at a good age now where they’re not babies anymore and I just felt like I COULD do it.”
After appearing on Road Rules: X-Treme in 2004, Jodi solidified herself as a solid competitor. She didn’t make it far on her first season of The Challenge, which was Inferno II, but she was victorious on The Gauntlet 2 and The Duel before leaving the franchise. Now, Jodi hopes she can prove that she’s still a physical force at age 40. “It was definitely in the back of my mind where I was thinking, ‘Should I even go back or just leave it on a high note and just call it a day?'” Jodi revealed. “But then I thought, you know what — I just turned 40. I taught group fitness for the last 10 years. I kept myself in reasonable shape. So I wanted to see what I could do at 40 vs. 26, which is how old I was when I ended the show. I know I’m not as strong as I used to be, but I wanted to see if I could even come close to competing like I used to.”
Overall, Jodi had a positive experience on All Stars 2, but isn’t sure that it will be in the cards for her to come back in the future if she’s asked again. “The timing would, honestly, have to be like a unicorn,” she explained. “We’re in the process of potentially moving next summer and we’re finishing up our last 8 or 9 months here in Europe, so we have all our trips planned out. The timing would have to be really amazing for my family. I would personally love to do it again because I loved competing so much and I loved seeing everybody, but it’d have to be the right time for my family and life.”
The Challenge All Stars 2 airs on Thursdays beginning Nov. 11 on Paramount+. Check out more with our interview with Jodi below, where she dishes on which cast members she was most excited to see again and more!
Did you do anything specific to prepare for the show physically? I just kind of kept up with my regular routine. I started a full time job — my first full time job since having kids — two weeks before I left to go film. So that was not ideal, and definitely interrupted my preparation physical-wise. But I got a cycle bike for my 40th birthday, so I used my Peloton app, rode on my bike and tried to lift some weights. It was all at-home workouts. I just did the best I could to prepare at that point.
Did you keep up with the show after leaving 15 years ago? I have not watched the show since I left at all! I feel terrible saying that. I never really kept up with it and it’s more because my husband wasn’t into it. He didn’t really watch reality TV. When people were on it that I knew, I loosely maybe tuned in for an episode or two, but I didn’t really watch except for following on social media. I was out of the loop.
Was the game what you expected when you came back? I think I had to get back into the political and social aspect of it. I forgot how much that is part of what we do. That was definitely a learning curve for me, for sure. That’s just not how my every day life is and it was definitely interesting getting back into that part of the game.
Did you know who you wanted to align with going into the show? I really didn’t know who was going to be there. I knew two people, that was it. I was honestly nervous about whether or not I’d know enough people to benefit me at all. I haven’t kept in touch with people aside from social media, occasionally. So I knew I didn’t have that angle, which could work for me or against me. I didn’t really know anybody and hadn’t cultivated those relationships over the years. I’m a very emotional person, so I feel like having connections with people would almost make it harder for me to make decisions. So I was kind of hoping it’d be a good thing not to have the connections.
I was really excited to see Brad [Fiorenza], really excited to see Darrell [Taylor]and obviously Derrick [Kosinski] from my season. Kendal Shepard, I had never met before, but we connected on social media, so I was excited to meet her. MJ [Garrett], I haven’t seen him since Gauntlet 2! He was on my team and I hadn’t thought about him or seen him since then, so it was crazy to see him.
What are you excited for people to see? I’m mostly excited for my kids. They probably can’t watch a lot of it because of language and whatever, but I want them to see me compete. And I want my husband to see me compete and my friends. I just want them to see all the fun, cool things we get to do. We get to do things that are so out of the box and you would never even be able to pay money to do them. It’s exciting and fun and there’s things you can’t even really explain to people. So I’m excited for them to watch.