Challenge Dirty 30 Player Preview: Veronica Portillo

Veronica’s first appearance on an MTV related show was on Road Rules season 8, Semester at Sea in 1999. I was 3 years old when Veronica first showed up on MTV. She won her first season of the Challenge, Challenge 2000, the third season of the show, and a season that predated not only eliminations, but people being eliminated. The cast was only 12 people.

The last time Veronica won a Challenge was Inferno 1 (2004), last time she was in a final was Inferno 2 (2005), and the last time she was on a Challenge was the Ruins (2009). Here she is, back again. She still looks hot, she has probably matured, and is here to be Veronica.

Veronica’s last appearance on a Challenge was not a good experience for her. She got aged shamed by some of the younger competitors, hit by Tonya, and was culture shocked by the new environment. Veronica was used to being the mean girl who controlled the game with her best friend, Rachel. On the Ruins, she had no power and was viewed by her time as a liability. In the end, she got scorched by KellyAnne in elimination, and we thought that we would never see her again. Don’t get it twisted though, Veronica is not much older than Bananas, Aneesa, Darrell, or CT.

However, with the return of Road Rules legends of Darrell Taylor, and this season Derrick Kosinksi, we’ve seen MTV shift the spotlight back on some of its former stars. The big pull in that got Veronica back was her friend, Shane Landrum. The King came in on Challenge Invasion after a 10 year break from the show, and was MVP of the season, loved his experience, and almost won the damn thing. He urged his friends, his mean girls, that production has changed and that they should all come back. Veronica made an appearance on Champs vs Pros, and while was not that great to say the least, it was good to see her again.

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

Skills & Physical Strength: During Champs vs Pros, it was a bit jarring to see how small Veronica was in comparison to the other players. None of the girls on the Champs team are massive, but compare her to a muscular 5'4 Cara Maria, and Veronica looked mighty tiny. She’s a bit thick with some curves, but Veronica is a legit 5' flat with short limbs.

Size mattered a lot less in the younger days of the Challenge. In the modern seasons, you need to have good core strength, good endurance, and size. Ashley M and Jenna would not seem look good competitors, yet they’re each around 5'8 with long limbs, making them competent and able to do certain things competitors with shorter limbs are not able to. I’ll take about this more when we get to the eliminations section.

Veronica is a 3x Champ, however, some of the challenges and missions these days are a lot more difficult.

Social & Mental Game: In her heyday, this is where Veronica excelled. Was she a bully? Probably. Is she now? No, definitely not, she’s over that, not into that petty 25 year old shit anymore, or at least not overtly. Can she still fuck with people? Of course. Have you ever talked to someone younger? They are so easy to fool and prank, it’s hilarious. It’s almost unfair that Bananas is still on this show. Part of the excitement of these shows is watching hot dumb asses in their mid 20’s make mistakes while trying to play the game. Bananas is 35 or 36 years old, hardly drinks, and only focuses on creating fake drama to stir the pot and get his paycheck. He’s playing all of you. Like Shane Landrum played most of the Underdogs for most of Invasion.

Veronica is going to be out there scamming these kids, keeping herself in the game, and seeing how far she can take herself.

Eliminations: Ruthie is probably a great example of this. The Battle of the Sexes 1 legend is known as one of the greatest female competitors in Challenge history. Yet, after that run she had losses in the Gauntlet 2 and Duel 2 to who you would definitely rank as far lesser opponents: Beth and Kim. Once Ruthie had to see eliminations, size mattered, she was a small girl and got beat out due to the lack of mass when things got physical.

Veronica is only 5' flat, not a ton of muscles. She will get eaten if she has to see Cara Maria in a physical elimination. We already saw Veronica lose in Champs vs Pros against Ashley, a person who has never won an elimination straight up. Avoid elimination at all costs, Veronica.

Final Potential & Endurance: Veronica enters this Challenge as the female with the most Challenge wins in the history of the show, tied with Evelyn at 3. Is the only multi-winner.

Then you consider that she’s never won a final anywhere near the lengths of a modern final. The only final that Veronica has been a part of near the extent of a modern final was during the Inferno 2, and her team trailed quite a bit. That was also 1 big team vs 1 big team.

This is the first season Veronica is playing as not big teams in her time on the show. She’s been a Road Rules, a female, a Bad Ass, and a Champ, but never on her own. Can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.

Final Score: 77/100



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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.