Challenge Dirty 30 Player Preview: Darrell Taylor

Back again, Darrell is not a one and done Challenge returnee. When Darrell came back for the Ruins, he went on to do the following Challenge right after in Fresh Meat 2. When Darrell comes to play, he wants to win, that’s all that is on his mind. Remember when TJ asked why Darrell was competing? Darrell said “to win money”. TJ asked “why?” and he said, “because I like winning money. (crowd uproar)”

He is an OG who has never been about the bullshit that is reality televsion, and that’s not a thing of the old days, that’s a Darrell thing. Shane Landrum was a sloppy reality bitch when he came back, in the best ways possible. Darrell’s signature is that he is a chill, low-key dude, who thrives in competition when his back is pushed up against a wall. Even back in the old days, you would see Darrell get completely fired up during the final when it meant money was on the table or in elimination.

Darrell and Bananas are in a league of their own, the only two competitors with more than 3 Challenge wins. Darrell is also the only person to have ever 4-peated. Derrick K and Jaime Murray have 3-peated, while the best that Bananas has ever done is back to back. However, Darrell has not a won a Challenge in his last three appearances, putting some pressure on him. He loves to bring up his record with Johnny, but if he can’t win a title in the modern era, it becomes harder for him to cement himself as the greatest of all time.

Other competitors are fighting to make a name for themselves, Darrell is competing to be the best ever and win some money.

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

Skills & Physical Strength: Darrell is in better shape now than when he was winning Challenges.

He currently owns a gym, and works as a personal trainer. His wife and his family have committed themselves to complete physical fitness. Their meals are filled with protein (lean chicken), as well as good carbs, nothing refined, and only treating himself occasionally with pizza and cookies on weekends. Add in that he has the athletic background of being a two time Golden Gloves boxer, Darrell is a true champion and athlete.

Not the best swimmer, still a good one, much better than Cory or Nelson. Darrell is historically bad at heights as it is his biggest fear. Almost like Indiana Jones with snakes, Darrell is like that with heights. He failed on nearly every heights Challenge last season. His motto is that nobody wants to face him on the ground. Which is true, he out-manned both Zach and Bananas in two of the most physical eliminations: Pole Wrestle and Balls In.

Historically, Darrell is not the best at daily missions. He likes to take it easy until it’s time to compete, whether it is late in the season to guarantee a spot in the final, or in elimination. The famous Darrell move is not hitting the gas, unless he sees the finish line.

Social & Political Game: Everyone who comes back from a Challenge has the same remarks when talking about Darrell: the realest, most chill guy out there. Darrell is a good veteran to have around, he’s been kind to Amanda, Ashley, Nelson, Cory, Dario, and just about everyone. Like the old days of the Challenge, he has been important towards fostering a better environment for the game and show, one that has been made toxic by Johnny Bananas. Darrell believes in competing, Johnny believes that people should bow to his feet as the champ and that they owe him something.

Often the guy who chills in the back of the room and likes to pounce when he can, Darrell has not had the best politics in recent seasons. He saw two eliminations in the Ruins, once making the deal that he would see elimination if it meant he would be safe for the final, which is a terrible deal, you should never see an elimination. He went into the first elimination of Fresh Meat 2, and saw all three eliminations during Invasion (though two were due to performance). His social game is good, but this dude needs a solid alliance. Derrick K is there, CT is there, maybe they can all link up.

When it comes to puzzles, Darrell is bad. Aviv clutched them for him on Fresh Meat 1, he lost on Fresh Meat because he and Cara Maria were not able to do any of the puzzles.

Eliminations: Darrell is a career 5–2 in eliminations. In both of his losses, he was outsmarted. One was in the puzzles for the Fresh Meat 2 exile, with the other being CT crushing the Knot So Fast puzzle part of the elimination in a way we’ve never seen before.

His body is built perfectly for the eliminations. Darrell is around 5'11 with 200 lbs of pure hard muscle. The muscle that cuts you if you get nudged in the wrong spot. His arms are massive, and he has the dad strength that he is able to conjure whenever.

Final Potential & Endurance: For Darrell to win the final, he needs to ensure that Johnny Bananas is not there. Bananas is better at daily missions than Darrel, Darrell is a better athlete than Bananas, Darrell can torch Bananas in physical 1 on 1’s, but Bananas is not the person you want to see in the final.

Bananas is a better swimmer, puzzles person, runner, and has better overall endurance than Darrell. For Darrell to take the crown, he needs to get Bananas thrown into elimination or take care of the business himself. There are two main threats to who could beat Darrell in the final: Bananas and Jordan. They’re two lean dudes who could Darrell could beat the fuck out of in a fight, but in a marathon, they have the edge and skill-set to succeed.

CT and Derrick are threats. Then again, Derrick can’t do puzzles, while CT only beat Nelson in Invasion by 2 minutes. Darrell is much better than Nelson.

I believe in Darrell, he just need to ensure that Bananas does not make it to the final in order to win.

Final Score: 94/100

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Allan Aguirre

26 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.