Maybe they should rename the show, The Challenge: Champs vs. Fans?

MTV's new special mini-series, The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros, premieres tonight, with your favorite Challenge champs competing against star athletes (Think Olympians, NFL stars, etc.) for the charity of their choice. But it turns out some of the pros are huge fans of the MTV reality hit.

"I was aware of Darrell, Wes, and some of the other faces also," Olympian Lolo Jones admitted to E! News when we visited the set of the six-episode special. "Veronica, obviously, she's like the original it's like, wait, what? We're going against these people who've just been vicious?! So it was pretty fun to be like literally be like, 'Oh my gosh, I've literally been watching you for ages!' But you can't say that to them because they low-key get pissed."

Former WNBA player Candice Wiggins also admitted to having a bit of a fan moment when she saw which Champs were competing, saying, "It was crazy. It just brought back nostalgia, for sure. It was so awesome, and I couldn't believe I'm part of this rich history now!"

But not all the pro athletes were ready to gush over the MTV reality stars, with NFL star Shawne Merriman singling out "that damn" Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio.

"He never stops running his mouth. I hope by the end of this Challenge, he just shut up," he said. "We're gonna shut him up, and we're all gonna tie him up and stick bananas in his mouth so he stops talking."

The Challenge


Johnny "Bananas" running his mouth? That's no surprise. But was surprising was Olympian Louise Hazel's reason for being "disappointed" by the 13- time Challenge vet.

"He's really likable," she admitted. I just thought I was going to hate that guy, but no, he's really charming."

To hear more from The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros' star athletes, press play on the video above.

The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on MTV.

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