|Presented by||Jonny Moseley|
|No. of contestants||28|
|Opening theme||"It's" by Ill Kidd|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Original release||September 29, 2003 –|
January 26, 2004
Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet is the 7th season of the MTV reality game show, The Challenge (at the time known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge). The season is directly subsequent to Battle of the Sexes. The Gauntlet featured 28 castmates competing in missions with an immunity life-saver awarded to the best individual performer. Each team would then select a player from their team to go into the Gauntlet elimination challenge. This challenge was held in Telluride, Colorado. It was hosted by Jonny Moseley.
Filming began in July 2003. A casting special, Real World/Road Rules Corral: A Guide To The Gauntlet was aired on September 22, 2003. The season premiered one week later on September 29, 2003, and concluded on January 26, 2004, with the Reunion special. This is the first edition of the Gauntlet series, with The Gauntlet 2 following in 2005–2006 and The Gauntlet III following in 2008.
- Ride 'Em Cowboy: Players have to hold on to a mechanical bull with just one hand. Whoever falls off first loses.
- Played 3 Times: Katie vs. Montana, Rachel B. vs. Sarah, Cara vs. Theo G.
- Dead Man's Drop: Players are suspended 10 feet into the air on a pole. They have to hold on to the pole by hanging upside down with their legs.
- Played 4 Times: David vs. Sarah, Coral vs. Tina, Matt vs. Sarah, Irulan vs. Sarah
- Hangman: Similar to Dead Man's Drop, players are still suspended 10 feet into the air, only they hang on the pole with their hands and are positioned right side up.
- Played 1 Time: Katie vs. Rachel B.
- Perfect Fit: Players first must jump into a pool and pick up their respective puzzle pieces (which are scattered about the pool). The first player to solve the puzzle wins.
- Played 3 Times: Steve vs. Tonya, Steve vs. Trishelle, Sarah vs. Trishelle
- Knock Your Block Off: Players joust on a beam right above a pool. Whoever gets knocked off first loses.
- Played 2 Times: Cara vs. Elka, Abram vs. Mike
- Pole Climb: Players climb a 10-foot pole. Whoever gets to the top first pulls a lever that drops the opponent's pole into the pool.
- Played 1 Time: Alton vs. Laterrian
|Episode||Winners||Freshlook Eyesaver||Gauntlet contestants||Gauntlet game||Gauntlet outcome|
|#||Challenge||Real World||Road Rules||Real World||Road Rules||Winner||Eliminated|
|1||Snake Soup||Real World||David||Sarah||Dead Man's Drop||Sarah||David|
|2||Masquerade||Road Rules||Montana||Katie||Ride 'Em Cowboy||Katie||Montana|
|3||Mud Bath||Road Rules||Tonya||Steve||Perfect Fit||Steve||Tonya|
|4||I Scream||Road Rules||Rachel B.||Katie||Hangman||Rachel B.||Katie|
|5||Holey Canoe||Road Rules||Coral||Tina||Dead Man's Drop||Coral||Tina|
|6||Heavyweight Hustle||Real World||Matt||Sarah||Dead Man's Drop||Sarah||Matt|
|7||Sink My Ship||Road Rules||Norman||Dave||Elka||Cara||Knock Your Block Off||Cara||Elka|
|8||Red Barron||Road Rules||Nathan||Adam||Trishelle||Steve||Perfect Fit||Trishelle||Steve|
|9||Inferno||Real World||Alton||Theo V.||Trishelle||Sarah||Perfect Fit||Sarah||Trishelle|
|10||Rolling On A River||Road Rules||Mike||Roni||Rachel B.||Sarah||Ride 'Em Cowboy||Sarah||Rachel B.|
|11||Turntable||Road Rules||Theo G.||Veronica||Alton||Laterrian||Pole Climb||Alton||Laterrian|
|12||All Or Nothing||Real World||Alton||Theo V.||Mike||Abram||Knock Your Block Off||Mike||Abram|
|13||Vertical Sweep||Real World||Alton||Adam||Irulan||Sarah||Dead Man's Drop||Sarah||Irulan|
|14||Dukes Of Saturn||Real World||Alton||Veronica||Theo G.||Cara||Ride 'Em Cowboy||Cara||Theo G.|
|15[a]||Gold Rush||Road Rules|
- Alton, Coral, Mike, Nathan, and Norman were the final Real World team.
- Adam, Cara, Darrell, Dave, Rachel R., Roni, Sarah, Theo V., and Veronica were the final Road Rules team.
- Team Road Rules pulled off the win.
- Bank Accounts
- Real World - $60,000
- $12,000 each
- Road Rules - $230,000
- $25,555 each
- The contestant is on the Real World team.
- The contestant is on the Road Rules team.
- The contestant won the final challenge.
- The contestant lost the final challenge.
- The contestant won the Freshlook Eyesaver Winner and was safe from the Gauntlet.
- The contestant was not selected to go into the Gauntlet.
- The contestant won the Gauntlet.
- The contestant lost the Gauntlet and was eliminated.
- The team was removed from the competition due to illness.
|Title||Original air date|
|1||74||"Howdy Telluride"||September 29, 2003|
|2||75||"Masquerade"||October 6, 2003|
|3||76||"Mud Bath"||October 13, 2003|
|4||77||"I Scream"||October 20, 2003|
|5||78||"Holey Canoe"||October 27, 2003|
|6||79||"Heavyweight Hustle"||November 3, 2003|
|7||80||"Sink My Ship"||November 10, 2003|
|8||81||"Red Barron"||November 17, 2003|
|9||82||"Inferno"||November 24, 2003|
|10||83||"Rolling on the River"||December 1, 2003|
|11||84||"Turntable"||December 8, 2003|
|12||85||"All or Nothing"||December 15, 2003|
|13||86||"Vertical Limit"||December 29, 2003|
|14||87||"Dukes of Saturn"||January 5, 2004|
|15||88||"Gold Rush Part 1"||January 12, 2004|
|16||89||"Gold Rush Part 2"||January 19, 2004|
Instead of a reunion special, Battle Scars - From the Gauntlet to the Inferno, a follow-up special aired on January 26, 2004 introducing the next season, Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno with commentary by few of this season's contestants.
- Before the final challenge, Coral was bitten by a spider, resulting in an allergic reaction. After struggling, she quit, penalizing the already lagging Real World team. The Challenge crew stepped in when they noticed Coral was having trouble breathing. She was airlifted to the nearest hospital where she was treated in the ER.
- Trishelle suffered a bicycle accident and needed to be taken to the hospital. She suffered minor injuries, but was able to continue. She spent two episodes in bandages.
- Sarah Greyson, who was eliminated from the Campus Crawl season of Road Rules, was seen as a weak link and nominated to the Gauntlet five times. She won the Gauntlet all five times, and ultimately shared in the overall win with the rest of the Road Rules team.
- After Abram was defeated by Mike in the Gauntlet, he engaged in a threesome with Rachel and Veronica. Coral was invited, but declined.
- Following a 48-minute-long competition, Sarah defeated Irulan in the Gauntlet. The Road Rules team then began to antagonize Irulan, who was seen as a bad sport and toxic personality the entire competition.
- Mike and Trishelle entered a relationship on the challenge, creating tension between them, Coral, and the rest of the team. Mike would vote Coral to the Gaunltet multiple times over perceived weak link Trishelle.
- Matt was a controversial figure during his time on the show, creating enemies in both Coral and Tonya, the former of whom was an integral part of him being voted into the Gauntlet.
- Theo made the tie-breaking vote that sent Abram to the Gauntlet over Sarah.
- Roni won the "Rolling on a River" mission over Mike.
- Katie snapped at Veronica following her Gauntlet win, believing she played a role in her being voted in. This would lead to the mutual animosity displayed between the two on The Inferno.
- Despite Theo and Adam's best efforts to have her sent home due to what they perceived as undesirable behavior before the final challenge, Veronica won the Eyesaver at the last challenge, "Dukes of Saturn", sparing herself from the last Gauntlet.
- Adam was hellbent on eliminating Sarah from the show, playing a key role in sending her into her five gauntlets. Sarah claimed he was simply trying to vote off all the women on the team, which created friction between Adam and the girls.
- After accidentally knocking Sarah off the rolling pin at the "Rolling on a River" mission, Laterrian refused to accept responsibility during the team deliberation, ultimately making Sarah seem to be at fault, which led to her being voted into the gauntlet once again.
- The challengers were forced into an ice cream eating contest in which the ice cream was eventually mixed in with their own vomit and mucus as the challenge wore on.
- Although they had an existing friendship after winning together on Battle of the Seasons, Mike voted Elka into the gauntlet, where, as the overwhelming favorite, she shocked everyone by slipping off of the ledge unprovoked, handing Cara the win.
- Coral was removed from the final challenge due to an allergic reaction to a spider bite that needed medical attention.