Fresh Meat is a season that made history on The Challenge by being the first season to include previously unknown contestants as part of the cast. Previous to Fresh Meat, all seasons functioned solely by the program's trademark: strictly using contestants that were previously cast on past seasons of The Real World or Road Rules. To date, Fresh Meat's most notable debuting contestants who've both continued on in further seasons of the show and won Challenge seasons are: Kenny Santucci, Evelyn Smith, Evan Starkman & Diem Brown.
Filmed in Australia, Fresh Meat featured two-player teams; each team had an alumnus of The Real World or Road Rules partnered with a newcomer to the Challenge (collectively known as the "Fresh Meat"). This is the first edition of the Fresh Meat series, with Fresh Meat II following in 2010.
Prior to the season, each of the 12 newcomers (referred to as "Fresh Meat") participates in a series of challenges to test their skills. Each alumnus selects one of the rookies of the opposite sex to be their partner for the entire season, using the stats from the pre-season challenges.
In odd-numbered episodes, teams participate in a challenge. (Challenges are sometimes called "missions.") The winner of the challenge has immunity from going into Exile, and selects one team to go into Exile. They also get the chance to pick the order in the next challenge. The remaining teams get together to vote for the other Exile team; the winning team and their pick for the Exile are not present during the process. Each individual gets a vote, and voting is not secret. The team with the most votes is picked to go into Exile.
In even-numbered episodes, teams participate in another challenge. If one of the two teams picked for Exile wins the challenge (sometimes referred to on the show as winning the "pardon"), they can select another team to go into Exile in their place, however, they cannot pick the team that won the previous challenge as that team has immunity. They also receive a prize and will get to pick the order in the next challenge. The challenge of this episode is followed by the Exile.
Exile is a race between two teams. Unlike the elimination games of other seasons of The Challenge, the remaining teams do not watch the battle between the two Exile teams. The Exile teams run a course and whoever crosses the finish line first stays, while the other team goes home. Along the way, there are two optional puzzle stations where, if the puzzle is solved correctly, they will get a prize that will benefit them in the race (such as dropping their bags or taking minutes off their total time.) To make matters more difficult, each member will be carrying bags equal to the weight of the luggage they brought to the Challenge.
Host: T. J. Lavin
|Alumni||Original season||Fresh Meat Partner||Age||Origin||Finish|
|Darrell Taylor||RR: Campus Crawl||Aviv Melmed||21||Columbus, OH||Winners|
|Tina Barta||RR: South Pacific||Kenny Santucci||22||Cedar Grove, NJ||2nd Place|
|Wes Bergmann||RW: Austin||Casey Cooper||18||Houston, TX||3rd Place|
|Derrick Kosinski||RR: X-Treme||Diem Brown||25||West Hollywood, CA||Episode 15|
|Theo Vonkurnatowski||RR: Maximum Velocity Tour||Chanda Sneed||21||Long Island, NY||Episode 14|
|Shane Landrum||RR: Campus Crawl||Linette Gallo||21||Palmetto, FL||Episode 12|
|Coral Smith||RW: Back to New York||Evan Starkman||20||Ontario, Canada||Episode 11[a]|
|Katie Doyle||RR: The Quest||Eric Banks||23||Nicholasville, KY||Episode 10|
|Tonya Cooley||RW: Chicago||Johnnie McBride||24||Brooklyn, NY||Episode 8|
|Johanna Botta||RW: Austin||Jesse Stark||19||Albuquerque, NM||Episode 6|
|Melinda Stolp||RW: Austin||Ryan Kehoe||24||Paramus, NJ||Episode 4|
|Danny Jamieson||RW: Austin||Evelyn Smith||18||Harrison, NY||
Each of the 12 Fresh Meat cast members participated in a multi-challenge obstacle course, testing their strength, stamina, and mental ability. The multi-challenge obstacle course included:
- A 40-yard Dash
- A series of wall climbs
- Precision throwing
- A brainteaser puzzle
The alumni used the stats from each player's obstacle course performance to determine their partner.
|Pick #||Alumni||Draft Pick||Gender||Team|
|1||Danny Jamieson||Evelyn Smith||Female||Danny & Ev|
|2||Coral Smith||Evan Starkman||Male||Coral & Evan|
|3||Darrell Taylor||Aviv Melmed||Female||Darrell & Aviv|
|4||Tonya Cooley||Johnnie McBride||Male||Tonya & Johnnie|
|5||Theo Vonkurnatowski||Chanda Sneed||Female||Theo & Chanda|
|6||Tina Barta||Kenny Santucci||Male||Tina & Kenny|
|7||Wes Bergmann||Casey Cooper||Female||Wes & Casey|
|8||Johanna Botta||Jesse Stark||Male||Johanna & Jesse|
|9||Derrick Kosinski||Diem Brown||Female||Derrick & Diem|
|10||Katie Doyle||Eric Banks||Male||Katie & Eric|
|11||Melinda Stolp||Ryan Kehoe||Male||Melinda & Ryan|
|12||Shane Landrum||Linette Gallo||Female||Shane & Linette|
- Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat Winners: Darrell & Aviv (won $250,000)
- Second-place: Tina & Kenny (won $30,000)
- Third-place: Wes & Casey (won $20,000)
MTV donated $5,000 to Diem's charity organization liveforthechallenge.