Tonight is the premiere of the thirtieth (!) season of The Challenge, nee the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Everyone has their own opinions, of course, but in my mind, here are the top 30 players in Challenge history. Note: I’m considering how entertaining the person was, how many victories he or she has, and appearing on multiple seasons is inherently valuable. For instance, someone like Carley won her only challenge (Fresh Meat II) – but does anyone really remember Carley? Note: All stats courtesy of The Challenge Wiki.
Honorable Mentions: Svetlana; Cohutta; Nany; Johnny Reilly; Dustin; Jenna; Tony; LaToya; Jonna; KellyAnne; Cheyenne; Ace; CJ
Honorable Mentions, as TJ would say, this ends your time here on this blog.
Claim to fame: won every elimination she’s been in; won Gauntlet 2 and Ruins
Claim to fame: two-time champ and two-time finalist; scariest person in Challenge history not named CT
Claim to fame: two-time champ and three-time finalist; along with Tyler and Bananas, a member of a pretty fun “Key West” season of “Real World”
Claim to fame: three-time champ and finalist on Gauntlet III; sacrificed herself for KellyAnne in The Ruins
Claim to fame: two-time champ; having Johnny return the betrayal and leaving Rivals III with no money
Claim to fame: two-time finalist; not being the best strategist
Claim to fame: My favorite moment in “Real World” history (when he explained how he sees birds when someone has died due to his use of acid, and how that means he knew his grandfather was dead before his family told him); 0-2 in eliminations and no overall wins (but lost to Landon and Bananas in eliminations)
Claim to fame: two-time champ; 4-2 in eliminations
Claim to fame: two-time champ out of three seasons total
Claim to fame: one-time champ and three-time finalist; had his face rearranged courtesy of Darrell:
Claim to fame: Carrying Mike to a final in Rivals; 70% elimination record
Claim to fame: gave Laurel her only loss in an elimination; The Camilinator
Claim to fame: Won his first challenge outright and started a “rookie revolution”; finalist his next season with Bananas; 3-0 in eliminations.
Claim to fame: was called “Thor” on his “Real World” season; did this to Jenna:
Claim to fame: one-time champ and one-time finalist; 4-1 in eliminations with the one loss being one of the most famous in history:
15. Cara Maria
Claim to fame: 12 elimination wins; four-time finalist (and one win); calling Jamie “cousin” every five seconds on “Bloodlines”
Claim to fame: three-time champ and one-time finalist; decided to take out Adam L. in the first elimination on Gauntlet II to become new team captain
Claims to fame: Not allowed on the Challenge anymore because of some legal shenanigans involving Tanya, but both of these guys played well when on the show. Kenny is a three-time champ (and reached four other finals), and Evan won two challenges and made another final. Kenny also gets bonus points for one of the more famous kisses in Challenge history with Johanna on the beach a la “From Here to Eternity.”
Claim to fame: 9-1 in eliminations, one win and three other finals, arguably the most dominant female competitor of all time; destroyed Big Easy one night in the pool (on Cutthroat).
Claim to fame: being “The Godfather” of this whole series; two-time champ and two-time finalist
Claim to fame: won three out of the four challenges on which he appeared; 5-1 all time in eliminations
Claim to fame: one-time champ and two-time finalist out of 4 total challenges; 5-1 in eliminations
Claim to fame: two-time champ, 13 elimination wins; once claimed he owned “3o companies, a BMW, a Porsche, and a monster truck.”
Claim to fame: one-time champ and two-time finalist; greatest farewell speech in Challenge history at the Inferno; ripping on Aneesa
Claim to fame: five-time champ (including his first four challenges); destroyed Brad’s face (see above)
Claim to fame: one-time champ and two-time finalist out of three total appearances; 5-0 in eliminations; in my opinion, the best female competitor of all time
3. The Miz
Claim to fame: Now even hosts the reunion specials and countdowns; two-time champ and two-time finalist; 2-0 in eliminations; probably the most successful Challenge alum ever
Claim to fame: I actually liked CT from back in his Paris season, but obviously he’s taken on a larger-than-life mythos since becoming a Challenger, especially when he almost killed Adam:
And the all time best…
Claim to fame: six-time champion (with another two final appearances to boot); all time money winner; best politician in the game’s history; hands down the best all-time player.