ByJoby Bongco, writer at
Martial arts instructor, walker stalker, movie lover, Disney fanatic, pop culture junkie, MMA enthusiast and all around nerd
Joby Bongco

Last week, Mountain Dew held an event in NYC: DEWggro Crag. A play off of Nickelodeon Guts' Aggro Crag, and part of their DEWcision campaign, this event had a little bit of everything: free stuff, samples of MD's new flavors (Baja Blast and Pitch Black), '90s Nickelodeon nostalgia and guest appearances from some MTV celebs. After her race against her fellow Challenge competitor, Camila, I got a chance to chat with The Challenge's Barbie Beast, Jenna. Check out what she had to say about her life on the challenge!

How was it running up the DEWggro Crag? I saw Camila beat you up by a little bit, what happened?

Ugh! I know! No, Camila is an awesome competitor so it was cool to go up against her. It was kinda like a mini challenge. You have the butterflies and you get a little nervous. But we weren't competing for a prize or elimination so it was just a lot of fun.

So we've seen you on a few challenges. In fact, you're on the current one right now. How many have you done?

Including this one, I've been on three.

So in both of your previous seasons you made it to the final. You had a few hiccups here and there. What was it like getting to to the finals?

It's pretty crazy getting to the final. Especially with those being my rookie year and the next year after that. But actually being able to place the second time, because the first Jay and I quit, was awesome. And I got to place with my cousin. Third place is awesome for my first real final. It was great!

What was it like getting through all that with your cousin Brianna? You two had some rocky moments but towards the end you seemed completely fine. What was it like getting through that show with her?

I was a little nervous because Brianna isn't as social and doesn't make friends as easily as I do. So having to watch out for her, like if she was kinda b****y at times, I had to stand up for her. And it could mean losing a friend for me but she's family. I obviously had to stand up for her. But I liked having her as a partner. She knew my weaknesses and my strong points and she knew how to push me.

On your first challenge (Battle of the Exes II), you didn't have to enter an elimination. But the second, you went into three, correct?

Jenna's third elimination round vs KellyAnne
Jenna's third elimination round vs KellyAnne
Yeah I went into three out of five girl eliminations.

What was it like going through those eliminations? Like what was going through your head and how did it feel to send home three different people?

It felt great eliminating three different people, especially it being my first, second and third. It's really nerve wracking because obviously you want to make it to the end. Once you go in there it could be the last time that you're there so it's stressful!

Speaking of making it to the end, it seemed like you and Brianna went through a lot. It was like a 24 to 48 hour thing. What was the hardest part of that final for you?

Of course the hardest part of the final was the eating part. I can do physical all day. I can stay up all night. But the eating thing really gets me! I don't even eat regular food!

Yeah I saw on a few episodes they mentioned you're a very picky eater.

I don't even eat pizza!

Wait! How can you not?!

I know! I'm not a fan of cheese and sauce! And now they are like "Eat this blood soup!" And I'm thinking "I don't even want to eat a piece of pizza!" It's horrible!

So how did you get through having to eat either cow brains or cow testicles this current season?

Thank God for my partner! He ate the entire cow brains! I didn't have to put one thing in my mouth. I'd still be there right now! I swear!

Would you have at least eaten the birthday cake if need be?

Even with all the calories I burned that day, I still didn't want to do it. It was hot and disgusting and I was like "Whatever! I'm taking off my clothes! I'm not eating that cake!"

So out of the three season you've been in, who was your favorite partner thus far?

As much as I hated Vincent, he's one of my best partners. I felt like we were going to do okay this season. I wasn't really nervous having him as a partner as I was with Jay and Brianna.

What has been your favorite mission or challenge to do so far?

My favorite challenge so far was definitely the wall one, where we had to pick with the cow brains or balls and stuff like that, I’m really good at endurance challenges. We did end up brining up the wrong mattress that one time and had to do it again. But we still didn't get last which was good. We definitely could have won that one for sure.

Did you watch the show before you came on?

No I actually didn't watch the show before I came on to it. When I got the first phone call for my first one, I actually watched the season before which was Free Agents, just to get an idea of what the hell I was signing myself up for.

So how familiar are you with the different formats of the challenges?

I did a little research just so it didn’t seem I was so out of place. But some of the formats were crazy! I would have loved to be on the show back in the day.

So out of the different ones you know, which one do you hope they bring back and you get the call for? Like you’ll walk in and think “Awesome! We’re doing this again!”

I heard The Island was pretty crazy, so I would like to do that! Just to see who could last and who can’t.

How is it being in that house with all the crazy people and personalities? Does it actually feel better towards the end when there are less people in the house?

It’s definitely easier towards the end because you get to know people more. I mean getting thrown into a house with 30 something people, there are so many different personalities and so many different arguments and drama, it’s too much! So once the numbers start getting smaller it’s definitely a lot easier.

Out of all the shows, who are some of your favorite people you met through the show? Obviously you seem really friendly with Camila and a few others. Who are some people that you really connected with and still hang out with now?

Courtesy of Jenna's official IG
Courtesy of Jenna's official IG
I actually talk to Nany every single day. Camila, KellyAnne. I ended up dating someone, Zach but we’re no longer together. But yeah I came out of this with a lot of friends.

Oh! So you’re available now….? (both laugh) No, I’m just kidding!

Yes! I am single for the first time in like 10 years! It’s crazy!

Well that’s good! Now you can focus on yourself and not worry about anyone else. So outside of The Challenge, what do you do career wise?

Well I went to school for criminal justice but right now I need a job where I can possibly take a week to eight weeks off. So right now I’m nannying, I work in my mom’s building where she has lawyers’ offices and stuff like that so I help out there whenever she needs. And I’m in and out of the city for modeling stuff and different agencies.
Photo courtesy of Maxim and Chris Lobello
Photo courtesy of Maxim and Chris Lobello

Oh so you’re New York based?

Long Island actually.

Oh that’s awesome! So that being the case, how often are you in the city?

I’m here all the time!

What are some of your favorite things to do while you’re here?

Well eat obviously! There’s so much good food out here!

Wait but what do you eat?! You don’t even like pizza!

Well things like pasta, there’s always good spaces and stuff. … actually yeah I don’t really eat (laughs) I don’t eat too much (laughs)

When it comes to The Challenge, there are always some contestants that shine season after season. Whether they are master manipulators, amazing athletes or incredibly lucky, you can't deny that anyone who has made it to a final is a forced to be reckoned with. Sometimes, it takes multiple seasons for players to make it to a final challenge. But that is not the case for Jenna. So far she has been two for two making it to the finals and looking to make it a three-peat appearance in this current season, Rivals III. I can't wait to see if she'll make it to the end this time!


Do you think Jenna will make a third appearance in the finals this season?


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