Challenge Dirty 30 Player Preview: Cara Maria Sorbello

Allan Aguirre
6 min readJul 10, 2017


Last season, I wrote a way too long piece covering the entire history of Cara Maria’s Challenge career:

Today, I plan on keeping it much shorter, however, with some good punches. What I want to talk about is where Cara Maria stands with the fans and the history of the game, and her place within it right now.

Currently, I would say that Cara Maria is the most popular female Challenge competitor who is not retired. Other stars of past generations are gone, while Cara is still going, has yet to have absolutely everyone turn on her, like most Challenge stars. Cara’s fans are the most passionate in the franchise. When charting fans, you have the people that hipster fans love (Marie, LaToya), the people that casuals love (Bananas, Jenna, Camila), the people that diehards love (Wes, Coral, Darrell, Veronica, Derrick), the because they’re hot fans (Cory, Averey, Ashley K), and then everyone loves CT. With Cara Maria, she has a rampant fan base that includes people who love only her, whether it’s due to attraction, her personality, her vibe, or the growth she’s made as a competitor.

If you take a Challenge poll with like 20 options about who is the best or who is the hottest, Cara will garner the most votes usually as her fans represent a group that will always stand by her. While she definitely isn’t number one for everyone, her fan-base will live and die by her.

To me, the interesting thing about her these days is that she sometimes can’t find her identity in the game. Is she a cool kid or an outcast? Acting as a cool kid now rejects her entire past career. Getting into a Twitter beef with Kailah is lame, Cara was once the girl on the other side of the fence, she was a Fresh Meat, a complete outsider. I think the two are pretty similar in all honesty, and they are both badass female athletes who can deal some hits. In fairness to Cara, she joined the Challenge during a toxic time. Jenn, Paula, and many others shouted this non-sense of paying your dues when they still had not won a Challenge, essentially a moniker for, “hey, I’m training to win one of these fucking things, so please, let me win because I’ve done more of these”.

For a long time, she had to play second fiddle. On her first Challenge she was with the all time Champion, Darrell. From there, she did three straight Challenges where she was in the shadow of Laurel or Abram, then on Rivals 2, Cara was in the shadow of another alpha in Cooke. Bloodlines was perfect for her. She finally got to be the star of her team and was able to pull off her 1st Challenge win. Since then, she’s finally gotten to be proud of herself, but at the same time, she was the silver medalist or the sidekick almost always. Now she’s a power player ready to dominate.

Her focus is on winning, which I love as a competitor, but for the sake of the “show”, the vets need to work on fostering a better environment for the rookies. One that they wish they had, not a continuous cycle of when I was a rookie it was this bad, so it needs to be worse for you.

The key for Cara Maria is to stay hungry. Victory is within her range, she needs to remind herself how felt it good to finally be crowned a champion, being a two time champion probably feels way better.

Now here’s a review of her as a competitor, as well as her social media handles:

Skills & Physical Strength: In terms of physical fitness, there’s Cara Maria and then a gap between her and the next group of girls (Camila, Kailah, Tori). You compare her physically to one of the more average girls in the cast like Amanda, and it is no contest between the two, Cara is so fit that she will beat her at anything with remote athleticism.

This is Cara Maria’s game to lose. She will make the final, I will guarantee you that. From a physical standpoint, she is on another level, and I’ll talk about why in the elimination section a little more.

The funny thing about Cara being the best physical competitor, is that she still has a ton to overcome. Not the best history in daily missions, not a strong swimmer (though she’s probably the best doggy paddle swimmer ever), and is great at finding ways to DQ herself in events. The betting odds are still stacked in her favor.

Social & Political Game: Wait… Cara Maria is entering a season with allies? Her and Camila have become extremely close, CT and Darrell are her boys, and apparently she’s now friends with Jemmye… The world comes at you fast sometimes. If she can ride the game with the strong players, she will make the final easily. Her only fear should be Johnny Bananas possibly finding a way into the female division to throw her into eliminations.

It’s hit the point where the girls look at Cara Maria and go… “well I don’t like her, but I don’t want to face her.”

In terms of puzzles, she self-describes as being terrible. She’s actually not though. Cara trends towards average, just gets flustered under pressure.

Eliminations: The reason I see Cara Maria making the final is due to her skill in eliminations. People know her pedigree when it comes to eliminations, and that’s not something you want to fuck around with. Only girls who could be competitive with her in something heads on physically are: Tori (due to size), and maybe Kailah. It’s tough to see her losing an elimination, unless it’s a puzzle.

You also know that nobody wants to call out a power player like Cara Maria, in this game she is the physical female that you fear.

Final Potential & Endurance: Cara has never done worse than second place in a final. She remained standing during the Cutthroat final when her team fell apart and held her own. Her and Laurel held a lead in the Rivals 1 final until they got to eating portion where Paula destroyed them. Her and Cooke held a good lead on the Rivals 2 final until they go to the eating portion where Paula obliterated them and their chances of winning.

Essentially, don’t run a final against Paula, because Paula eats weird shit better than any competitor ever.

Cara will lose to final if she gets too antsy, has too much water to deal with, and if the partners go the wrong way. It’s hers to lose.

Final Score: 95/100



Allan Aguirre

27 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.