This year marks the 35th season of the MTV reality series, The Challenge, and it has come with the biggest twist ever: “Total Madness” requires that to reach the final, all players must win an elimination round. A spin-off from two of MTV’s original show The Real Worlds and The Road Show. 28 contestants, including 21 veterans and 7 rookies participate in it.
Some veterans, like Johnny Devenanzio, more commonly called Bananas, and Aneesa Ferreira have contested a combined number of 31 times and are still here again! Others haven’t gotten that opportunity. A number of those in the latter group have managed to leave big impressions on us but we just won’t be missing others, for good a reason. Here is a list of the five veterans we are going to miss, and the five we will get over easily.
10 WILL MISS: DARRELL TAYLOR
We got our first view of Darrell when he was on Road Rules: Campus Crawl. He was the only person in Challenge history with four wins for a long time, until Johnny Bananas matched that feat. Even more remarkable is the fact that he won those four consecutively.
He didn’t go into any elimination in his first three seasons and he has always been a vital partner on his teams. Darrell’s best moments came in Invasion of the Champions, where he eliminated Zach and Bananas. In all, he has four season wins, five elimination wins, 37 challenge wins and a grand total of $ 243,055.
9 WON’T MISS: TONYA COOLEY
Not considering whether you love her or you hate her (and let’s be honest, you probably aren’t a big fan of hers), there’s no denying Tonya has been a fairly good performer, but that’s all she is. You never know what version of her was going to show up each new season. She has had really bad seasons, particularly in her final appearance on The Ruins.
She has impressed others as well (most notably on Inferno III). Her final season on the challenge was mixed. She competed very well, beating Diem in the shoots and ladder elimination. In the house, however, she was a disaster; clashing with fan favorites every now and then, was always going to spell doom for a player we were initially indifferent about.
8 WILL MISS: LAUREL STUCKY
In just 6 seasons, Laurel has managed to get to four finals and get one win. Like Cara Maria, she is also a notable elimination Queen, as she has been to eleven eliminations and won nine. Laurel is definitely the most intimidating female competitor and has been from the get-go.
As the Challenge progresses, there are usually fewer participants and fewer things to do, but this is one lady who is never shy of an adventure. Who could forget that time on the Fresh Meat II when she and Kenny almost lost out and the only way they could stay out of exile was to win? They won again and again, slowly gaining the numbers they needed and producing what was, without a doubt, one of the best campaigns in Challenge history. She has won a grand total of $201, 000.
7 WON’T MISS: THERESA GONZALEZ
Theresa is one of those athletes who never really reach their early potentials and enjoy the spotlight. She didn’t make the final in her first four seasons, and she had only one daily challenge win in her first three seasons with partners.
Admittedly, she has come into her own in a few seasons, like on Free Agents, where she eliminated Camila, but her bad political game let her down along the way. It makes you think she just isn’t built to be on the show. We won’t be sulking over her absence.
6 WILL MISS: CARA MARIA
While Bananas and Ashley will forever be remembered for laying sole claim to the prize money which would have been shared with their respective partners, just one solo game-winner exists in the franchise’s history… You guess right.
Cara has a reputation for winning eliminations, going into 19 and winning 13 of them. That’s what makes her so unique. Cara has also been to seven finals and has two wins. With a total of 31 challenge wins and a whopping $ 602,250 won! She’ll be leaving a hole in our hearts this season.
5 WON’T MISS: ERIC BANKS
Eric has never won any of the six seasons he’s been in, and he’s only made it to the final once. That should speak volumes about his prowess. Due to his larger build, Eric has never been the best of partners. You would think that would be an advantage, far from it. When working in pairs, it is difficult to work with someone much bigger.
His adventures are sometimes fun to watch, but that’s just it. You can’t help but think that he’s come for a good time, not to stay. Also, his history doesn’t seem to have come full circle like that of the others.
4 WILL MISS: LANDON LUECK
Landon was a winner of The Inferno II, The Gauntlet II, and Fresh Meat II. Perhaps the most exciting thing about him is the fact that he didn’t need politics to flourish. He was one of the strongest challengers and would always dominate every season physically, affecting one of the most lasting legacies in the history of the show albeit appearing in only four seasons.
He ended his Challenge career with a bang, defeating the ginormous duo of Laurel and Kenny in the finals. We know he has a small sample size, but we would love to see him expand that pool.
3 WON’T MISS: TYLER DUCKWORTH
Tyler is one of those players who aren’t in the love or hate zone. At his peak, this man was unstoppable. Unfortunately, that lasted for only two seasons: Cutthroat and Rivals.
He was anonymous in his first two seasons, and, although he beat Johnny Bananas in a ridiculous match on The Duel, he was eliminated the next day by Derrick. He was eliminated early again on Gauntlet III. Politically, he is difficult to gauge, and he doesn’t really win daily challenges. Overall he hasn’t really been consistent enough to earn a fan-favorite status.
2 WILL MISS: DERRICK KOSINSKI
Fierce and agile, Derrick has been proving his doubters wrong since day one. Although he had an undesirable start to his Challenge career started, when he exited early, he has since made it into 4 finals, winning three of them.
He also has 43 challenge wins under his belt. He took a few years off but returned on Dirty XXX where he went all the way to the final again. It was Derrick who ended Brandon’s three elimination streak, but his height disadvantage caused him to lose in the last elimination. Overall, he is a lovable man and an elite athlete.
1 WON’T MISS: ZACH NICHOLS
Zach did something that is very uncommon among rookies: he won the battle of the seasons in his very first season. Since then, he has gone on to two finals in his 7 seasons. He has since won more challenges and a total of $105, 125 dollars.
Even though he’s been a good competitor, he seems like a freak athlete and has repeatedly fallen short since winning on his maiden campaign. His performance in the Free Agents was one to forget, and it’s probably for the best that he isn’t around now.
NEXT: 5 Contestant We Want To See Make A Return To The Challenge 36 (And 5 Who Can Stay Home)
Dungeons and Dragons: 5 Most Bad Ass Classes (& The 5 Weakest)
About The AuthorAdeniyi is a martial artist and a writer. Influenced by Jet Li, he has brought martial arts/martial arts movies to people in its simplest form through writing.
He is a contributor on smabloggers, a martial arts travel site. He also loves to sing.
More About Adeniyi Makinde