'The Challenge: All Stars': Jonna Mannion Addresses 'Pressure' of Returning as a Champ

After dominating the first two seasons of The Challenge: All Stars, Jonna Mannion is back to try her hand at Season 3 of the competition. This time, she's heading into the season fresh off of a win. She may have been able to fly under the radar a bit during her first two seasons, but it might be a different case this time around, as Mannion explained to PopCulture.com while chatting about the upcoming season. 

Since Season 2 and Season 3 were filmed so closely together, the competitors weren't able to see how Mannion's win played out on TV beforehand. For the reigning champ, this was a big selling point for her in her decision to come back so soon after Season 2, as she explained, "I was debating should I go, should I not? And one of the attractive things to me was the fact that, yes, I won and other people on Season 3 would know that I won. But, they wouldn't necessarily see it and see how I won." 

Even though they didn't get to see how her win played out, the other competitors were fully aware of her new "champ" label. Did this change how Mannion approached the game? She did acknowledge that there was "pressure" that came with her title. Thanks to her time on The Challenge: All Stars Seasons 1 and 2, she also learned a lot about how to combat any issues that could affect her game. Mannion admitted that before going on the spinoff, she wasn't as knowledgeable about the political sides of the game. After picking up some tips from co-stars such as Jemmye Carroll and MJ Garrett, she was able to approach the game from a different perspective. 

"I think that I was just underestimated. That I was in the right place at the right time," Mannion said. "I was in the right room. I'm saying room placement is a big deal. I had the best room ever. I'll help however I can. And I learned, and I observed, and I watched these players that have played for decades and I finally understood something. Something clicked that was never there before. Before, I'm going to do what's right. Or I don't want to hurt this person. I was just there living. And after observing different players and different All Stars. I realized that there's a method to the madness."


Now that she knows what to expect from The Challenge: All Stars and how to navigate its mad waters, would Mannion consider coming back to the show after Season 3? For now, she's ruling out appearing on the flagship Challenge on MTV. When it comes to All Stars, it's something that she would consider if the timing was right. "Now, people are, after winning, [asking] 'what are you going to do with the money? What are your plans?' And I'm like, you know what my plan is to just be a mom. If I think about what I've wanted my whole life and where I want to be, it's right here in this very moment. So, it would just, it would depend on the timing." Season 3 of The Challenge: All Stars drops on Wednesdays on Paramount+.