Battle of the Sexes is the 6th season of the MTV reality game show, The Challenge (though at the time, known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge). The season is directly subsequent to the first Battle of the Seasons. Battle of the Sexes featured cast members from The Real World and Road Rules. The cast stayed in the Round Hill Hotel and Villa Resort near Montego Bay, Jamaica. The show premiered on December 30, 2002 and concluded on May 12, 2003.
This is the first edition of the Battle of the Sexes series, with Battle of the Sexes 2 following in 2004–2005.
This season of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge features the same format as Battle of the Seasons, but instead of dividing teams by Real World and Road Rules teams, they are instead divided by gender. Each mission gave points based on finish, either with a partner or individually. After each mission, the players with the most points cumulative from each team became the "Inner Circle" and voted off whoever they wanted to. The winner of each challenge would earn a "lifesaver" which could be given to a member of either team; the recipient of the "lifesaver" would enjoy total immunity from being voted out, which created many interesting situations. After thirty people were voted off, fifteen for both genders, the final three Girls and final three Guys would compete against each other in a final race, earning $150,000 for themselves, $50,000 per teammate.
- Before the show even began, Puck and David E. (both of whom were kicked out of their house by their roommates during their respective seasons) got into a very heated argument. The conflict ended with Puck spitting in David E.'s face, who then demanded that Puck be ejected from the show. Executive producer Jon Murray was torn with the decision to send Puck home after half of the cast rallied to keep Puck on the show, while the other half of the cast did not care if he went home. Murray was able to negotiate between the two and put an end to their squabble without resorting to Puck's removal from the game. David E. would later go on to be the first one eliminated from the show on his own accord.
- Melissa developed a deep animosity toward her former Real World cast member Julie over speaking arrangements that were made outside the show. Melissa had claimed that Julie misrepresented her services to a particular college which thereby prevented her from being booked. Melissa made it very clear that the two were no longer friends upon arriving to the show and she was very instrumental in getting Julie voted off first, even though she had received a high score in the mission. Their dispute continued outside the show where each side of the girls' argument was displayed onto their own respective websites, as well as the homepage for the show on MTV.
- Gladys was pregnant and was ultimately voted off third because of it. She was also forbidden to partake in the Dead Man's Drop mission, after hanging upside down could do substantial harm to her unborn child.
- Amaya planned to have the Inner Circle vote her out because she had a family crisis to attend to and didn't want to quit, but to the surprise of viewers who had followed her bitter feud with Veronica on a previous challenge, Veronica said she didn't want Amaya to leave and wouldn't vote her out. Melissa wrote on her blog that the two women had become friends since that challenge.
- Rachel was voted off by the Inner Circle (consisting of Ellen, Emily, and Ruthie) in the sixth episode, which many believed to be unfair since she did not have the lowest score on the scoreboard. She then proceeded to deliver a rant in which she declared, "This game is ugly, the inner circle is ugly, and I don't want to be a part of it anymore!"
- Puck and Ellen constantly came into conflict with one another, and Puck had even threatened to "kick her ass" at one point.
- A feud erupted between Veronica and Emily after Veronica allegedly slept with Emily's boyfriend James while he was helping her move into her apartment.
- Puck married his girlfriend, Betty, and mother of his infant son, Bogart, during the show. A special episode was aired that depicted the wedding, without any challenges or eliminations. Ellen, Tonya, Melissa, and Amaya were the only players in the game at that point who did not attend the wedding, abstaining out of protest because of the way Puck treated the women.
- Puck left the show after trashing the residence when his wife was detained at departure from Jamaica for not having her green card. Because the teams had to be symmetrical, the previously voted off male, Dan, was put back in the game. The women were thrilled to see him return, but he only lasted one round before getting voted out again.
- Emily's plotting against people that she did not like caused a large amount of controversy and resulted in both Rachel and Veronica's eliminations. Ellen and Ruthie would take most of the heat for these decisions, which made them very upset. Emily would later quit the show after her boyfriend, James, was voted off.
- When Veronica was voted off, Jamie tried to use his Life Saver to keep her in the game, but because he didn't inform Johnny of his choice, as well as openly admitting to choosing Blair beforehand, Veronica was sent home.
- During one of the missions, Antoine began to hit on one of the judges while still involved with the competition. He was lying down in a pool of water, so he was wearing his challenge issued speedo. The revealing swimsuit led the judge to tell Antoine that he had a "nice boner" while she couldn't stop laughing.
- Several of the women refused to participate in the "Battle of the Opposite Sexes" mission after they were insulted at the prospect of taking off their clothes, even though the rules stated they only had to remove an article of clothing if they answered a question incorrectly.
- In the final mission, titled "It Takes Three," the men had an early lead until they got to the second part of the challenge, which was a puzzle. Their difficulty with it led to the women catching up and even getting ahead of the men. After they left, the men went over to the women's puzzle and took it apart piece by piece, since it was still intact and put theirs together using the portions of the women's that had already been completed. Once finished, the men caught up with the women and ended up winning, completing the final challenge an hour ahead of the women. This had caused controversy after some viewed this as cheating, but it was not outlawed under the rules that were set, and was therefore not disallowed.