Challenge Dirty 30 Player Preview: Tony Raines

It is difficult to gauge how good Tony is when it comes to the Challenge. At 6'3 around 205 lbs with long limbs, Tony seems built for the Challenge. His build, his love for women, and his smile is reminiscent of a thinner version of young CT. Except when you realize that Tony is 29 years old, and despite only being a part of the MTV universe for 3 years, he is much older than most of his cast-mates from the newer generation. Tony was 18 during the Duel, which is crazy to wrap your mind around. Considering Casey was 19 and Wes was 21 then, he easily could have been on the show with them.

MTV wants Tony to be one of their future stars. The amount of individual interviews that he gets, the amount of focus he gets for his life outside the Challenge, and the overall screen time he gets is equal to that of 3 wallpaper characters. Tony would also like to be the star of the show considering he continues to do these Challenges with a child at home, and a child elsewhere, and possibly more children around the globe. These appearance checks do help out back home, it still feels like not the most responsible thing to do either, and if he were a woman, he would probably take more shit for it. He is Tony, so what do you expect.

Last season we got a new and improved Tony, one who was no longer drinking, no longer being belligerent, and did not cheat on his girlfriend at home. Made me proud to see him make such a huge leap. I was also disappointed as he was an all star dumb-ass with his antics. Lovable and a train-wreck. After his behavior on Rivals 3, you hoped he would change, expecting him to be the same Tony as most reality stars do not change that much that quickly. The other Tony was better for television, this Tony is a better person, which is more important at the end of the day.

I fully believe Tony has the potential to be an incredible Challenge competitor, however, his past history says otherwise. He has been on four seasons so far, and is yet to make it to even the halfway point in a season. For him to make his stake in this game, he NEEDS to make it top 5 for people to view him as a legitimate threat in the game.

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

Skills & Physical Strength:

Tony was in great shape before he entered the Real World house. He had man strength from working at a chemical plant. After the show aired, he became a “personal trainer”, which means he became a reality television personality who works at a gym.

After Rivals 3, it seems as if he has taken his workouts to the next level. Compared to a scrawnier Tony, he has put on a good amount of muscle mass, his back looks shredded, has abs you can grill meat on, along with a powerful chest. His body reminds me of Kenny Santucci’s from Rivals 1.

Tony can excel at some of these daily challenges. He has speed and size, can lift weight, he is lengthy and able to do well in some of the extreme sports, and has the core strength to be a supreme challenge athlete. So far he has not shone any of that skill even with perfect body for these missions. He did not win a single mission on Rivals 3, when he had one of the best female partners in the game; on Invasion he only was able to participate in 2 missions. Maybe he and his brother could have destroyed Bloodlines, then again he ruptured his spleen on the same mission that Candice Fowler completed.

Social & Mental Game: It scared me that Tony was sober on Invasion. Mostly because he was playing a bad social and political game. As one of the few “veterans” on Invasion, people in the house should have been afraid of Tony and wanted to play with him. Instead, he created a divide and became public enemy number one. Both chances the house had, Tony was thrown directly into elimination.

If the whole cast been in the game from the start it would have been much different. Tony would not have had the gull to become the alpha dog with Bananas, Darrell, and CT in the house. This season he will have his best shot at a final if he plays the game with Bananas and his crew. Although they are scummy, they are good at the game and will be to consolidate power in the game. There is no Wes to shake up the game, CT does not care enough to take on the whole house anymore, and it’s not Darrell’s style to be a power political player.

With the kill card in play, anything can happen.

Eliminations: After getting eliminated his first two seasons without ever seeing an actual jungle elimination, we finally got a Tony Raines elimination on Invasion, two of them even! In the first elimination, they played a Hall Brawl like game where they had to take sandbags from their opponents side over to theirs until 10 was on one side. It was an endurance and physical elimination. Tony faced Bruno, who he had about 35 lbs, as Bruno’s muscle mass had deteriorated a good amount after going vegan and being homeless. He got the win like he should have.

When he faced Shane in Tuk Tuk Bang Bang, he broke his Tuk Tuk by hitting it too hard, leading them to have to rebuild the Tuk Tuk and redo it. Once it was rebuilt, he did not use his brain and kept hitting up top and hard like it was the sleds they use in football. Except a Tuk Tuk is bottom heavy and only has 3 wheels, you need to hit it lower and centered, hitting it up top leads to recoil and will spin the wheels backwards. It was a game he should have fun won if he used his brain. Even more stunning is that he went after Sylvia, and could have seen early on that Shane was beating him, so why not just copy what they were doing?

Tony has the physical tools to win eliminations, he needs to use his brain when it involves skill, or he is going to lose to worse athletes.

Final Potential & Endurance: The only endurance competition that Tony has ever participated in was the laps of judgement mission on Rivals 3 where players had to get naked. This was the challenge where Camila cheated by stealing Christina and Nate’s token. They did fine, but the challenge was nowhere close to what an actual final is.

Does he have the gas? Does he have the intelligence? Does he work well enough with others? He can eat gross stuff based on the bug buffet from Bloodlines. There are still a lot of questions looming around him. Something in my gut says that Tony would do well in a final. Getting there will be the difficult part.

Final Score: 76/100

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Allan Aguirre

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.