Everyone in the world knows the definitive Mount Rushmore of Challenge OGs is: Mark Long, Veronica Portillo, Darrell Taylor, and Kailah Casillas. In all seriousness, when Kailah Casillas got announced for Challenge All Stars Season 3, the internet had a stroke because they could not comprehend how someone under the age of 30 would be allowed to compete on a show initially thought to be for “OG” cast members. Well, it’s pretty simple; Paramount has essentially told us that if you are over the age of 28, you are officially old. It’s a tough pill to swallow for some, and as someone who will be 29 in a few years, I will try and make the most of my fleeting youth. Ok, maybe I lied and didn’t become serious; I will now.
What Kailah’s casting for All Stars 3 came down to is productions wants to bring in a fresh face and prominent character who will bring some spice to the show and on social media. As someone who began blogging when Kailah debuted on the Challenge, I never expected to be covering her already on an “OG” related show. Then again, I know from name value alone that she’s driven millions of views to my blog (not me bragging — it’s me wishing other cast members drove as much traffic as Kailah). I’m excited about Kailah’s return because she makes noise no matter what show she is on and physically might be a threat to go far.
Introducing Kailah: Kailah made her Reality TV debut on the Real World Go Big or Go Home in March of 2016. The world was a crazy place back then — it was pre-TikTok and pre-OnlyFans! During her Real World season, Kailah was a polarizing character and became infamous for declaring she had a “Golden Pussy.” Making her Challenge debut on Invasion, Kailah transitioned onto the show with a head of steam, winning the opening elimination, getting into some verbal scraps, hooking up with Cory, and simply looking fantastic in a bikini. Then suddenly, her time got cut short after losing a wild elimination to Sylvia, an outcome viewed as a massive upset, crazy as Kailah herself had little experience as a competitor.
I have to say, Kailah does not get enough credit as a Reality TV character. She was technically the 4th female out on Invasion, yet people were already passionately cheering for or against her in that elimination with Sylvia. Even though she lost to Sylvia, people still thought Kailah was the stronger competitor and immediately looked at her as a contender going into Dirty 30. Props to Kailah for running with the momentum on Social Media during this period, as she got herself in great shape and was active in responding to both fans & haters online.
Kailah went into D30 and immediately established herself by winning the opening Purge, became the first player to beat Jenna in elimination, and went on to get an elimination win against Aneesa later in the season as well. Kailah’s big moment on Dirty 30 was showing she had the cajones to make cutthroat plays to win when she and Jordan rallied the numbers to purge Cara Maria & CT. Things didn’t play out well for Kailah as Cara won Redemption and made it to the Final, whereas Kailah herself got Purged out. Looking back, all Kailah did was make a play that significantly raised her chances of winning, and winning is the goal. She should not regret it. Not to mention, the move elevated Kailah’s status to a foe/rival of Cara Maria during an era where Cara was the face of the Challenge.
When Kailah came back for Vendettas, it looked like she and Cara would square off again. Unfortunately, the format of Vendettas gave the men too much power in the game with the Troika. Because of that, Cara & Kailah didn’t get to take strikes at one another. They were both locks for the Final as the men wanted to run with them as partners as two of the strongest girls; the fact we didn’t get to see the two women plot against each other was maddening.
On Vendettas, Kailah added on another elimination win, qualified for her first Final, and made one of the biggest plays of the season when she and Tony voted Bananas into elimination to face Devin. While Tony got all the credit, Kailah was the first one on board for the plan and sold Tony on the idea of it. Once again, Kailah has some cajones. Kailah’s performance in the Final did not inspire much awe despite her technically being the 2nd Place Female. She trailed for a majority of Part 1 in the Final cardio-wise and only overtook Kam due to a twist in the Final that required Kam to bury a wooden log in the dirt… literally. Then in Part 2, she was 4th out of 4 in the memorization portion. She got outpaced both physically and mentally.
Kailah did one of the Champs vs. Stars spin-offs before Final Reckoning. She performed well throughout the season, took out Ashley in elimination, and was one of the final four pairs in the game. Tragically, Kailah had to deal with a terrible partner and human being in Drake Bell. Still, she showed resiliency when put in a bad situation. We all know the story with Kailah on Final Reckoning, she gets into a scrap with Melissa on Night 1, and they each get DQed.
Fans wouldn’t see Kailah again until Total Madness, where she didn’t stand out competitively, had an entanglement with [redacted] that got the internet buzzing, and then she exited the show. After all this, Kailah entered a relationship with UK Reality Star Sam Bird. The two fell in love — she moved to the UK, got engaged, and as of typing this, they are married. Now a married woman, Kailah is ready to make her All Stars debut.
Player Vitals & Stats
Kailah Casillas: 5'6, 29 Years Old, 5 Seasons, 4–2 Elimination Record, 1x Finalist, Highest Finish: 2nd Place Female Vendettas, 1 Champs vs. Stars Season, 1–1 Champ vs. Elimination Record
Skills and Physical Strength:
Let’s kick off with strengths: Kailah is a good raw athlete in terms of speed and explosiveness. She moves well on her feet and has a quick first step that comes in handy in challenges that come down to dead-sprints or in headbanger eliminations where having momentum on your opponent can decide the outcome. Kailah has a scrapper mentality and good physicality; she’s someone who would do well in a Hall Brawl or a Balls In. To add on, Kailah is a solid swimmer, is super strong for her size/build, has some climbing experience, and has shown real heart in moments of adversity.
Moving into weaknesses: while Kailah is super fit, she hates running & cardio with a passion, and it’s something she’s made a note of before. Which is a fatal flaw considering you need to be at least an average runner to win a Challenge Final. Now, Kailah’s cardio is probably better than the average competitor — however, we are talking about winning. If you aren’t a puzzle savant, you need to be able to push the pace athletically and have great cardio to win. Another flaw Kailah has is she never really became a problem-solver in daily challenges. Kailah is great when it comes to simple physical stuff. Where she struggles is the carnival game aspects of the Challenge. Although Kailah has shown heart in key moments, she’s also looked check out mentally at different points, including the last purge against Camila on Dirty 30 and in her original Invasion elimination with Sylvia.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game:
It’s hard to define Kailah’s social game. I actually think Kailah is worse off when she goes into a game with her best friends (Jenna/Nany/etc.) because she closes herself off and sticks to the people she likes. I get it — I prefer playing video games with my small circle of friends over going to big house parties with randoms. When Kailah is forced to be social, she opens herself up more politically and makes alliances that make more sense game-wise rather than just friend relationships would. Inherently, Kailah is a divisive figure where people either love her or hate her from the jump. She got voted into 4 out of the first 5 eliminations she was ever eligible for in her Challenge career. It is almost impossible for Kailah to go under the radar. Going into All Stars 3, Kailah has allies/relationships with Jemmye, Sylvia, and Wes.
I don’t think enough people talk enough about Kailah as a savvy strategic player. She is unafraid of making big plays and taking risks to win. Kailah went after Cara & Bananas, something most people go into seasons saying they want to do yet, usually don’t have the gumption to pull the trigger. Even on Total Madness, Kailah was pushing for Nany & Jenna to force a Jenny or Dee vs. Tori elimination which got thrown off the path because Jenna threw herself in as she was unsure about her situation at home. Basically, Kailah Casillas is kind of a badass who is not afraid to make waves.
When it comes to the mental challenges part of the game… Kailah is close to the bottom. Kailah came in 4th on Vendettas because she got out-memorized by Kyle in Part 2 of the Final, the same guy who has the memory of a Gold Fish. Puzzles are not her strong suit. I hope she was playing some puzzle apps in preparation for this season because if you don’t have that part of the game locked down, it’s hard to envision a win.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: You look at Kailah’s two elimination losses, and they were both cardio-heavy games against good competitors in Sylvia and Kaycee. It beats home the fact that cardio is the #1 thing Kailah needs to work on. Most of her elimination wins have essentially come down to her being the better athlete who has a simple task where you have to outspeed your opponent.
Can Kailah win? Well, what do Finals mainly consist of? Running and puzzles. What are Kailah’s two biggest weaknesses? Running and puzzles. That’s tough. It’s not a zero percent chance as I believe she is a great athlete who is good in eliminations and has the strategic chops to set herself up well going into the Final…it’s just…I can’t overlook those weaknesses. Her chances of making the Final are solid; to win, she needs to have put in work to improve her cardio/puzzle skills, and if not, she’s a serious contender.