Challenge Dirty 30 Player Preview: Dario Medrano

Allan Aguirre
6 min readJun 16, 2017


Here we are, back again. Last season I did a bunch of coverage of all the players before the Challenge Invasion premiered. I wrote a preview for all 26 players, and will be doing the same for season 30, where I will write about all 30 players.

Today, we get to talk about the wonderful, Dario Medrano. If you wanted to glimpse my preview of Dario from last season, here it is:

Ironic how things have changed. I was asking rhetorically last season if fans even liked Dario. After Invasion, he walked out one of the most likable characters of the modern generation. The same cocky kid who embarrassed himself on Bloodlines, generally acted as a calm, reserved “veteran” on Invasion, and an occasional voice of reason. Made honest and funny comments, had a great showing in daily missions, played the game the right way by not showing his hand until forced, and won the heart of Ashley Kelsey. He’s now in a committed relationship with a much hotter and older woman. America loves Dario, even if he still has not made a final.

As departure speculation began to occur, I was truly wondering whether Dario would be back for Season 30. He had a good showing on Invasion, but after 3 failed attempts of not making the final, I figured MTV might stop casting him, or give him a 1 or 2 season break. Instead, he is back again for his fourth straight season, four being the most by any AYTO cast member ever (Nelson, Amanda, and Simone are back for their 3rd). This is the make or break season for Dario, if he cannot make the final or do something like win 3 eliminations, he will be viewed more as a bust competitor.

What I enjoy about Dario is that he seems like a legitimately cool guy you would meet at a party. He is a good looking, funny, and will not blow up on you unless you push him.

Now here’s a review of Dario as a competitor, as well as his social media handles for reference:

Skills/Physical Strength: Dario trimmed of a good amount of his baby fat from his first two seasons. He always had muscles and looked to be in shape, but he seemed toned and trimmed on Invasion. His estimated height and weight are about 5'11 at 180 lbs. Dario will not overpower you, he’s not going to be a complete pushover either. His sneaky skill is his speed, Dario is a fast guy on the ground. On Invasion, he won the first daily mission, which gave him a bye until the Oasis. From there we saw him compete in 3 daily missions, he did well in the first two missions, and struggled during the curry eating challenge. Winning 2 individual daily missions may not seem like much over 3 seasons, but considering Bloodlines and Invasion were separated into big teams for a majority of the game, getting wins matters a lot in this modern era for younger players when the game gets dominated by the super vets.

Dario has strong athletic history, he even played college baseball at the University of Rhode Island. Funny, because he evens looks like Alex Rodriguez. His profile and attitude is so much like a baseball player, yes he’s a skilled athlete, but sometimes it feels like he is not hustling enough or taking the game not as seriously as he should.

Mental & Social Game: His interviews have improved mightily since we were introduced to him on Bloodlines. He makes people laugh, and acts as the person you want to get into a beer pong game with. Whenever someone has to partner up, Dario seems like a partner nobody would be disappointed to have. Last season I discussed how Dario’s political strength could be aligning with his AYTO family. This season, it feels as if he is a bit more removed from those days. Dario still has allies in Nelson and Hunter, was on AYTO 2 with Briana LaCuesta, and from there it gets a little dicey. Is he cool with Cory anymore? What about Tony, and his former Rivals partner, Nicole Ramos. Does he keep in touch with the new generation of AYTO? Is Devin still salty about Rivals 3? It’s going to be a lot to overcome for Dario from his own generation, let alone the older competitors.

My take on Dario’s social game is that he needs to start making big moves and playing a more overtly political game, it may not be his style, but it feels like every season his game crumbles abruptly as the rug is pulled from under him.

His mental game is average, he’s not a puzzle person, not a great speller, and although I view him as bright in the business and people sense, he is not book smart.

Eliminations: His most famous elimination moment was pushing his brother in excitement on Bloodlines when he thought they had won, instead this move got them eliminated in one of the most bonehead moves in Challenge history.

He has a record of 1–2 in eliminations, losing to Nelson in Invasion, and Bananas in Rivals 3. Neither are embarrassing losses, and he did admirably in his elimination against Bananas. However, his only win is against Wes in Rivals 3, which is impressive when you consider the figure Wes is in Challenge history, but he was a personal trainer who was 10 years younger than a guy who had stopped working out 6 years earlier. That should be guaranteed, right? It will be interesting to see how he competes this season. Looking at the roster, he will see at least 1 elimination this season.

Final Potential/Endurance: Dario winning this season would be such an epic twist or surprise. I would enjoy watching a genuine nice new guy win a Challenge rather than the same veterans. Winning the season seems a bit far-fetched for a guy who has never seen a final, and not competed in many endurance challenges.

He has a good demeanor in the way he carries himself throughout competitions, rarely complains, and this mindset benefits people in finals. I just need to see more out of Dario to ever expect him to win a season, or even make a final. If Dario can make a final this season, it would be something he could be truly proud of, even if he finished in 3rd.

Dario stays winning, his worst case scenario is coming home to Ashley Kelsey. Better than most people’s best case scenario.

Final Score: 81/100



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.