'The Challenge': Kaycee Clark Talks Clocking In on 'World Championship,' Weighs Future With the Franchise (Exclusive)

Over the past several years, The Challenge has seen an influx of Big Brother alumni among its ranks. Kaycee Clark, the winner of the 20th season of the CBS competition, is one of the most successful Big Brother players to transition over to The Challenge. Recently, PopCulture.com had the chance to chat with Clark about her current stint on The Challenge: World Championship, which airs on Wednesdays on Paramount+. Not only did she open up about what it was like to compete for the first time without her girlfriend, fellow Challenge competitor Nany Gonzalez, but she also addressed her future with the MTV flagship show and its many spinoffs. 

Clark made her Challenge debut during the 35th season of the show, Total Madness. She ended up making it to the elusive final that same season, a feat that she also accomplished in the following season, Double Agents. During her third season of The Challenge, Spies, Lies, and Allies, Clark finally took home a win, making her a Challenge and Big Brother champion. While she has navigated multiple seasons already, she has faced possibly her toughest battles during The Challenge: World Championship, which sees competitors from the Argentina, United Kingdom, USA, and Australia spinoffs competing with "Legends" such as herself. 

How has she been able to tackle this most recent, literal Challenge? Read on to see what Clark had to say about the World Championship show, her Challenge career as a whole, and what she wants to take on next. (This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

PopCulture.com: I will say this has been your most dynamic season yet here. You've been thrown into the fire a few times here. So did it feel that way for you while you were actually in the experience?

Clark: It kind of reminded me of going back into Big Brother where I started out with not knowing everybody or not having a solid alliance going in. So this season, after being up to date now, being thrown in three times [Clark ended up facing elimination four times during the season, winning all four], it really came down to the people I was paired up with. Because Ben was at the bottom of his in the US. And then now I'm with Troy, he's always been the bottom [of] Australia. So I just happened to be tied up and partnered up with these guys, which is fine. It's totally fine. I'm not afraid to play the game, go there to compete. And I just think it is interesting who I ended up being paired up with both times. It's the name of the game, got to compete. But yeah, what the heck?

And you are in the unique position out of everybody here. You had two different partners and you had to do that navigating midway through, more than midway through, with a new partner. So, what was that like to both navigate with two different guys, and then of course you have all of your connections solo as well?

Oh man, let me tell you, I definitely had to clock in a lot more this season. Ben is an amazing partner. He knows what he is doing. He's a winner of Survivor. He's great with politicking and strategizing his game. And he's a beast. It was great being partners with him. Unfortunately, he got sick and then now I have a new partner. Honestly, when Ben got sick, I knew the name of the game. Jonna had to leave because her partner got hurt. So I was like, "OK cool, I'm going to have to go home. This is the end of the game. I hope my partner gets better." So as soon as TJ [Lavin] was saying that Ben's not going to show up, I literally walked away, because I was like, "OK, well, I guess it's over." And then the twist came on where I was able to be partners with Troy. And he's amazing. He's quiet. He's amazing. He's good at everything. This kid is so smart, so smart.

And that whole scene with Amber leaving and saying that she wanted for you to have her spot, did you have any inkling ahead of time that that was going to happen? That she was going to make that decision? Anything like that? Or was that just a total surprise for you?

I haven't honestly said this out loud, but I know she wasn't feeling too well. There were a lot of people that were sick in the house. Ben wasn't feeling too well. Amber wasn't feeling too well. And it got to the point where Ben looked really bad and really sick. And she did say to me, she was like, 'Hey, if he's really sick and he has to go home, I'll go home too, and hopefully Troy can be your partner.'

So, it was something that was said, but I wasn't really sure if that was going to be a real thing. That's not usually how it goes down. If your partner goes home, you got to go home as well. It was brought up, but I didn't think too much of it. And when she did that, I knew she was already ready to leave. She wasn't feeling well. And I'm grateful. I'm grateful that she gave me the spot. Honestly, I was OK with leaving, but it just was a sign for me to stay.

And so I did want to move on to the fan reactions to this season because people are really vibing with this season. But, of course, we always have different opinions here, mixed opinions. There's always a lot to say about your alliance there. And I'm sure you've heard it referred to as the Vacation Alliance ... So what would be your response to the people who maybe have something to say about the Vacation Alliance, coming back and working together season after season?

I feel like the Vacation Alliance, I've heard that a few times and I've seen it. People are referring to me, Tori, Nany, Aneesa, Fessy, Josh, both of them, Devin. Because we travel together. When you're in this house and you're playing a game and you vibe out with certain people, but when you can really vibe out with them in the outside world as well because we're very picky and choose. We don't hang out with all challengers because sometimes there's just that, we just don't vibe out with certain ones. 

But, there's a select few where we feel like we can go on vacation with and there's not going to be drama, and we can all be on the same page of just having fun. And so the fans want to say we're the Vacation Alliance, and whatever they want to call it. Whatever they want to call it, we know that we have our strong core and that you vibe out. And if you can have the solid people that you have playing this game, in the game and outside of the game, it speaks volumes.

And it comes down to the connection. It comes down to our energy and our connection, when we play the game in the house, and then when we can do life outside of the game. And we like to have a lot of fun. That's our number one rule, is [to] have fun. If somebody wants be a part of Vacation Alliance, you let us know. OK?

I know you mentioned earlier, [one of the Vacation Alliance members] Nany is not on the season of the World Championship with you. So I wanted to know from you, has she been watching? Do you guys watch the episodes together at all? Or what does she have to say about this season?

Oh, so she hasn't seen any of the episodes. She will eventually. I'm honestly probably four episodes behind. Because sometimes it's hard to watch it. It's like you're reliving it again. And sometimes it's just like, "Ah, do I want to relive and watch that again?" Anyways, love it. Will watch it. She hasn't been watching it, but she knows, I tell her about some of the things that has been happening. I give her the little cliff notes.

And while we're on this topic here, do you have anything that you want to share? Any plans that you and Nany have together? Are we maybe looking forward to maybe an engagement? Babies? Anything?

Oh my gosh, everyone keeps asking us. Yeah. So we've been living together now for two years. She's amazing. We're inseparable. We're together every single day. And, of course, we talk about marriage, of course we talk about kids. And for us, there's really no rush, especially for the marriage thing. But yeah, we do talk about it. As we get older, we want to have kids and raise kids, so it's definitely in the plan. Definitely in the plan.

That's very sweet to hear. I love hearing that. And while we're winding down here, it goes into this next question. Well, you have all these plans going on, so what will that look like with your Challenge future or even your Big Brother future? Are we thinking that we're still going to be on The Challenge in years to come? Or what's our future looking here for Kaycee?

Oh man, I would absolutely love to go back on Big Brother, and I would absolutely love to go back on The Challenge. Honestly, look, I'm 35 and I feel like I'm still at my prime. And I feel that I still want to continue to compete. So does Nany. And then that's the tricky part too. It's like, "OK. If we were to have kids, she would carry first." That's something we've talked about. So she would carry first. And I still don't know if I would carry or not. But everything will work out the way it's supposed to. And if we do end up having a kid, and the future, it'll just all work out. I could potentially still go back on, she could potentially still go back on.