MTV did a sub-par job of casting War of the Worlds 2. On paper, MTV stacked the cast with some of the heaviest hitters in Challenge history and many of the modern top competitors. While that might seem like a good thing, it skews the game one way too easily as it is a team season. Everyone on Team USA had made it to a final before, except Josh and Faith. Faith then quit, and thus Team USA was a stacked roster of winners.
Likewise, MTV casting Tori, Ashley, and Kam, three girls who operate differently, but essentially play a similar game added redundancy. Having Leroy (generally a follower) be added among a group of alphas seemed meaningless. I like all the cast members individually, but as a whole, MTV needs to diversify their casts. I wanted to suggest 10 castings which would have added some flavor to this season, and I hope whoever sees this comments on which person they’d love to see.
I went for people who are generally younger cast members and add a different element. As much as I would love to see Darrell, Derrick, and Landon, Team USA can beat the UK with the B and C team version of themselves. I also avoided UK cast members as I have not watched enough of UK reality TV.
10 Kenya Scott
I did not watch much of Are You The One? Season 7, or Ex on the Beach Season 3. I do know there is a significant portion of the internet that loves Kenya. Fans of her enjoy how outspoken she is, how funny she is, and the fact she does not take herself too seriously. At the age of 23, she would be one of the youngest cast members (which the show desperately needs).
While I am not sure if she would be a good competitor, Team USA is full of them. She can learn the ropes on a strong team and add an element of youth and excitement to the show. We need more people in the cast who are comfortable being free. It is tiresome watching characters who have certain motives before the season even begins. Adding someone like Kenya would be refreshing.
9 Mark Jansen
The biggest problem in Mark’s reality television career has been his on again off again girlfriend, Elena Davies. Elena is an obvious famewhore whose goal before coming on Big Brother was to, wait for it … become famous. The internet hates her because she is so obvious about it. When you remove Mark from Elena, he’s an incredibly personable guy who is 6'2 and 250 lbs. He is a perfect fit for the Challenge as he’s a competitive human with a bit of a sensitive side. Mark is kind, warm, and hard-working (he lost over a 100 lbs).
We have never seen a rookie with a body type like Mark on the Challenge before (or it has been quite some time). Rogan, Hunter, and Ashley Cain are bulked out, but they are half a footer shorter than Mark. I’d like to see a chonky dude wrestle someone in Hall Brawl or try to run a half marathon.
8 Cohutta Grindstaff
It’s been a while since we have seen Cohutta on the Challenge. MTV is not casting him because he is a low-drama competitor who costs a decent chunk as he’s done four seasons already. However, Cohutta is one of the most captivating characters in Challenge history. He is an excellent competitor who every fan can get behind because he’s a small guy. The underdog angle for Cohutta is perfect.
Even though he stays low drama, he isn’t wall-paper. Cohutta hooks up quite a bit on these shows. He would be a great addition on this season as he is the perfect team player. His commentary is top-notch as he throws shady gems left and right. I don’t know how MTV doesn’t cast him every season for his commentary alone.
7 Melissa Reeves
I do not know whether I like Melissa or not. I know there is a significant portion of the fan base who dislikes her, and a small minority who loves her. Melissa makes for excellent reality television as she plays the villain role perfectly. At the very worst, Melissa will get a reaction out of the fans, whether it be good or bad. Zahida and Nicole are beautiful women, but they don’t add much to the show. Dropping Melissa on the UK team is like throwing some batteries wrapped in tin foil into a microwave.
As a fan, I want more drama, I want more hookups, and I want people I can both root for and against.
6 Kailah Casillas
Just like Melissa, we have not seen Kailah since their shoving battle on Final Reckoning. Kailah was a linchpin on the Challenge from Invasion to Vendettas. She was integral to getting Bananas out on Vendettas, she had a strong performance on Champs vs. Stars 3, and she had a rivalry with Cara Maria (that still exists).
The fact Kailah has not been in the past couple of seasons is a bit odd. MTV invested so much capital into making her a face of the franchise, yet now that she has a legion of fans and haters, she isn’t on the show. It does not make a lick of sense. Kailah plays the game where she makes enemies, and she makes splashes. I’m glad Jordan has lit a fire under Tori’s ass because she was not willing to make a splash on her own. Kailah should have Ninja or Nany’s spot. The fact is, both Bananas and Cara hate Kailah, how she would have fit into team America would have been intriguing.
5 Marie Roda
I think most seasons, Marie is a bit extra as she is historically one of the worst daily challenge competitors ever. On a season like this where she can be a part of a team and add hilarious commentary while truly influencing the game with her social and political ability would be great. We’ve already seen players use the numbers to their advantage in this game to devastating effect. If Marie can get the numbers going her way, she doesn’t even need to be good at the challenges.
Likewise, if you find yourself in the speaker role like Josh, you can flip the game on its head. Most of the Team USA females are more known for their abilities as competitors; a Marie Rode appearance would add some levity and comedic relief.
4 Nelson Thomas
I started writing this before Nelson’s appearance on Dr. Phil. I have not watched the Dr. Phil episode. If it is really really bad, then he is off this list.
The main reason I want Nelson on this season is that he’s unintentionally hilarious, and will not vibe with most of Team USA. Watching Nelson attempt to mix it up on a team with Turbo, Jordan, Zach, and Bananas would be peak hilarity. Whereas someone like Marie could garner the numbers to flip the game, Nelson would likely get voted in by one of his best allies before he can flip the game.
I think he should be in the Leroy spot as they are both great at eliminations. The big difference is Nelson does not go with the flow, and even more intriguingly, he is great friends with Joss.
3 Anthony Bartolotte
Watching the internet get reminded that Anthony from AYTO 2 and the Challenge Invasion is a person is enormous for me. I bought an incredible amount of Anthony stock going into Invasion. I predicted he had a chance to become the face of the Challenge. What did he do? He never made it to the Oasis and lost anti-climatically to Nelson in the final shelter elimination. Anthony was then never cast again.
Anthony is back on reality television, and people see a charming and fit guy. I think on a team season where he can assimilate himself to an actual challenge house and be a piece of meat for the women and a bro for the guys; he would thrive. Anthony is no slouch physically as he listed himself back during Invasion at 220 lbs. He performed at an adequate level in the few challenges he did compete in. I think Anthony could be a better version of Kyle as he is quite intelligent (he figured out the matches on AYTO 2).
2 Frank Sweeney/Sarah Rice
I’m putting these two on here together as they are much different from the rest. Frank and Sarah are hall of fame Challenge competitors. They are both two figures who need one more season. Similar to Jordan, they are players who when you see their names as “retired” you partially do not believe it. Sarah and Frank love competing, and they want to go on again (deep down). The only thing keeping them from going back is the fact they have academic lives outside of the Challenge house and don’t want to get trapped into a toxic reality world yet again.
Then again, neither has fully closed the door on it, which makes you think they want to come back at some point, even if they won’t fully admit it. Sarah on a season with Cara, Wes, Bananas, CT, and Ashley after all these years would be insane.
1 Mattie Lynn Breaux
During the first few episodes, I was wondering what was missing from last season that we didn’t have this season. Then I realized, Mattie isn’t on the cast. She filmed Florabama Shore while this season was going on, so I guess that is a valid excuse. However, Mattie stole my heart on War of the Worlds. She was a bad-ass physical competitor who came off as incredibly charming in all her confessionals.
While Laurel has the same dominant size and stature of Mattie, she is cold and arrogant. Mattie is warm and kind. She is humble and fun to be around. The visual of having Mattie and Laurel stand side-by-side would be a gander. I hope we get to see Mattie again.