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Friday, March 30 2018 12:26

MTV's “The Challenge: Champs vs Stars” is Back with WWE Superstar The Miz as Host...

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I do enjoy when WWE Superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin does his "Miz TV" shtick in the ring, and it's always been kind of a nice throwback to his days on MTV.  Having been a cast member and competitor in numerous Challenges over the years, The Miz returned to MTV's The Challenge as host last fall and will once again be leading the charge this spring during an epic ten-week special event The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars. This new season will feature ten celebrities and all-star athletes along with ten highly skilled, fan-favorite champions from past Challenge seasons. For the first time ever, teams will be mixed with both celebrities and Champs where they will face off in weekly eliminations, until one team will prove they are the ultimate “Challenge MVP.” Winners will compete for a chance to take a share of the $150,000 cash prize to donate to their beloved charities. The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars premieres April 17, 2018 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV. Check out the trailer below...

THE MIZTHE HOST - Mike “The Miz” Mizanin

Before evolving into “The Most Must-See Superstar in WWE History,” Mike Mizanin broke out on MTV’s “The Real World: Back to New York,” introducing his alter ego, “The Miz.” An MTV stalwart for several years, starring on several seasons of “The Challenge,” Mizanin was offered a WWE developmental contract after placing second on WWE’s “Million Dollar Tough Enough” in 2004. Over the next decade, “The Miz” climbed through the ranks to become one of the most recognizable faces in WWE. Mizanin is a former WWE Champion, two-time United States Champion, six-time Tag Team Champion and a seven-time Intercontinental Champion. He is the 25th Triple Crown Champion in WWE History, only the 14th Superstar to complete the Grand Slam, and main evented WrestleMania 27 opposite John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Mike just added father to his impressive resume, wife WWE Superstar Maryse Mizanin welcomed Monroe Sky Mizanin on March 27th, 2018.

THE STARS:

Drake Bell

Charity competing for: Global Down Syndrome

This former child star was once known for his leading role on the hit Nickelodeon series, Drake and Josh. But now he’s all grown up and straying away from his traditional good boy image by sporting a new body and growing collection of tattoos. As a TV, movie, and voice actor, look for Drake to also be skilled in his knowledge of trivia and pop culture, which could make him make him a good competitor in a game where you must always expect the unexpected. 

Lil Mama
Charity competing for: Man Up! Inc

Lil Mama (aka Niatia Jessica Kirkland) is not just a hip- hop artist and dancer, she has also judged 7 seasons of America’s Best Dance Crew, and adds actress to her resume with her portrayal of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in VH1’s biographical film, CrazySexyCool.  She is sassy, outspoken, and the eldest girl of eight siblings, which is how she earned the nickname, “Lil Mama.”  When her hit single “Lip Gloss” debuted, Lil Mama sprang into the spotlight on the Billboard charts and was nominated for several awards. 

Casper Smart

Charity competing for: Inner-City Kids

Actor, dancer, choreographer, MMA fighter- if there is one thing to know about Beau Casper Smart, it’s that he’s tried it all…and excelled at most. Best known for his choreography with world renowned artists including Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, and Sean Paul, this self- proclaimed “jack of all trades” is ready to give any Challenger a run for their money. But if there is one thing about Casper that he hasn’t yet mastered, it’s the ability to play nice with others.

Brooke Hogan
Charity competing for: PETA

No stranger to the spotlight, Brooke Hogan has literally grown up on camera, as the daughter of famous pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and star of her own series, Brooke Knows Best. And as a former pro wrestler herself, this current actress/ singer/songwriter has an intimidating physical presence that will have most other females shaking in their boots.

Hennessy Carolina 
Charity competing for: BronxWorks

She may be small at 5’1”, but Hennessy Carolina, known to most as just “Hennessy,” packs a powerful punch in a small package. As rapper Cardi B’s sister, Hennessy is no stranger to the glamour of Hollywood, having appeared on Love and Hip Hop and countless red-carpet events. But she is also a rising star in her own right, a budding fashion designer with over 2 million Instagram followers, and a motto of “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there’s footprints on the moon.” 

Daniel Gibson
Charity competing for: American Diabetes Association 

Nicknamed “Booby” by his grandma, this former NBA star knows there is one phrase that always rings true: “If you wanna win, put Booby in.” Playing aside the likes of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the Cleveland Cavaliers for 7 seasons, Booby’s athletic ability is a force to be reckoned with. But make no mistake, this budding hip- hop artist is also smart, calculated, and more interested in learning the game within the game.

Selita Ebanks
Charity competing for: New Yorkers for Children

This Cayman born actress/model is best known for her appearances in Sports Illustrated, Vogue, and Victoria’s Secret. She may be tall, dark and gorgeous, but don’t underestimate her as a competitor because she is also fierce and ready to win. Having once appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice, Selita knows how to play the game, and as a humanitarian and activist, she is passionate about her charity and giving back to foster kids, as she was once in foster care herself. 

Arian Foster
Charity competing for: Arian Foster Foundation 

It’s easy to think that former NFL Houston Texans running back Arian Foster is just an elite athlete, but before his retirement in 2016, he was also once referred to as “The Most Interesting Man in the NFL.” He also founded the Arian Foster Family Foundation, which strives to help families and children in underserved communities, and with a passion like this, there is no doubt that Arian will be a fierce competitor.

Louise Hazel
Charity competing for: BLSYW

English Olympic athlete and fitness expert Louise Hazel is no stranger to the Challenge. On her first Champs vs. Pros appearance, she showed that she could play just as dirty as some of the most notorious Challenge competitors when she schemed to put Lolo Jones into elimination. And now she is back, looking to prove that this time, she can make it all the way to the finals…by any means necessary.

Jozea Flores
Charity competing for: Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund 

After his run on Big Brother 18, Jozea is no stranger to manipulating the game and its players. This model, makeup artist, and self-proclaimed “messiah” is known for speaking his mind and leaving it all on the table. But aside from the politics, he is also an athlete at heart with a passion for yoga and extreme hiking. And with former Vendettas Challenger Natalie as his BFF, it is certain that Jozea will have some tricks up his sleeve to ensure he stays in the game as long as possible.

This year’s returning “Champs” include: Wes Bergmann, Kailah Casillas, Tori Deal, Aneesa Ferreira, Shane Landrum, Ashley Mitchell, Tony Raines, Chris ‘CT’ Tamburello, Devin Walker and Kam Williams.

“The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars” was created for MTV by Bunim/Murray Productions. Gil Goldschein, Julie Pizzi, Scott Freeman and Trish Gold serve as Executive Producers, and Matt Ruecker and Jack Reifert serve as Co-Executive Producers.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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