Challenge Double Agents Player Preview: Gabby Allen
Joining Liv as one of our newest UK imports is Gabby Allen. While Liv got cast to bring drama, Gabby got cast to bring some healthy competition to the game. The girl is a fitness model who works as a personal trainer. She is a part of a company where when you buy their subscriptions, you are privy to home workouts where Gabby is one of the instructors. In recent years, we’ve seen Challenge players throw their hats in the online fitness game, often fizzling out as it takes a lot of work and commitment. Emily Schromm is one of the few to succeed, and she supplements that by also having a real-life gym that she operates. Gabby legitimately devotes herself to fitness and to growing her social media following. While fans are rightfully hyped for Natalie Anderson, I think Gabby Allen is a sleeper candidate to go far this season.
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Introducing Gabby: Her original reality show is Love Island UK Series 3. It is the same show that brought us Theo, Georgia, and Idris. Georgia and Theo were on the same season as her as well. On this show, Gabby developed a relationship with Marcel Sommerville, a member of a decently popular UK Hip Hop group known as Blazing Squad. They fell in love, made it to the end of Love Island, and the UK public voted and thought they were the 4th best couple out of the 4 remaining couples. Eventually, they split due to him cheating on her after a year together. She then dated another musician and ultimately separated from him as well for cheating. Gabby later appeared on Celeb Big Brother UK, making it to the end, and then when it came down to a popular vote, finished 6th out of 6.
Her performance on her two reality shows is that Gabby knows how to navigate a house and make it to the end. However, when it comes to popularity, she hasn’t done the best job. Then again, the Challenge is a much more achievement-based show. If she comes in and kicks ass, she’ll get way more love on this show than she did her previous ones. One thing that is maybe holding her back is the fact that she enters the season in a relationship (a former Ex on the Beach UK cast member). When you’re a rookie, the flirtmance/polidicking element is sometimes crucial to socially blending in. I feel a bit misogynist writing that it, but I think it’s true of both sexes. Kyle had an easier time on Vendettas despite Joss being a better athlete because he was single, and Joss wasn’t. Gabby needs to perform from the jump to establish herself.
Gabby Allen: 28 years old, 5'1.5, 121 lbs, ROOKIE, 6th Place Celeb BB UK
Skills and Physical Strength: As mentioned above, Gabby is a legitimate personal trainer. Her fitness level should be on par with the elite girls on this show. I expect her cardio and swimming ability to be top-notch, and she can likely lift her own body weight with ease. Where she will have trouble is the fact that she is a smaller girl. Georgia and Melissa are fit women of similar statures, but they have half a foot on Gabby. Short women have thrived on the show; it’s not like they can’t; three of the most recent female champs (Cara, Camila, Dee) are all short under 5'5. It’s just a bit of an easier curve to go through the game when you’re bigger. There’s less margin for error when you’re smaller. They consistently have to think of their feet and develop strategies to adapt to daily challenges. Especially when it’s a partner-based game, and they have to be physically in-sync with their partner, except their partners’ limbs are a foot higher than theirs. If Gabby can’t think on her feet, her fitness acumen will get minimized.
Being able to run long-distances is obviously helpful for a final or an endurance challenge/elimination. Still, it doesn’t prepare you for when MTV attaches you to a truck driving full speed at piles of boxes. You can only find out how good you are at the weird stuff by experiencing it first-hand. If Gabby can succeed in the carnival games, she has a promising future ahead.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: Based on what I saw from Big Brother clips and social media threads, she is someone who gets on better with men than women. In past seasons, other females have been similar where their time spent in the gym with the men will create a bond. Except in the modern era, almost all players spend a good amount of their time in the house working out on non-challenge days. For Gabby to succeed, she needs to make some immediate bonds with influential people. If she can prove herself as an asset in daily challenges from the jump, she could fit in with some other power players. If not, she will likely see an early elimination, and once you get thrown into elimination as a rookie, it’s a slippery slope. Then again, the Red Skull twist entirely redefined the entire Challenge landscape (often for the worse in my mind).
Regarding the mental and political game, we have to wait and see how she does with puzzles and memory games.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: Size will always matter when it comes to physical eliminations, more-so with female competitors. A 30 lb difference between a man and a woman is way different. A 170 lb man overcoming a 200 lbs man is a 15% weight margin, versus a 120 lb woman against a 150 lb woman, as that’s a whole 25% difference. If the elimination is endurance-based, I will give Gabby the edge as she can go for hours. Gabby could do well in physical eliminations against the weaker/smaller girls on the cast. If the competitor is competent and big, I don’t think she has much of a shot.
If Gabby can find her way into the final, she has the cardiovascular ability to thrive in one. She is my dark-horse pick to win this season, definitely not a favorite or a top contender, but I wouldn’t be shocked seeing her become a Champ one day. It’s more difficult to envision her making the final, though. Even if she kills it most of the season, the female cast is stacked. I won’t be shocked if one of the physically strong females without a Red Skull picks her late in the game because they think they can beat her on size alone.