Challenge Double Agents Player Preview: Leroy Garrett
Leroy is now on his 12th season of the Challenge. He has been on the fourth most seasons among male competitors (trailing Bananas, CT, and Wes) and the sixth most appearances all-time (behind Cara and Aneesa as well). Of all Challenge competitors, I think Leroy has one of the best all-time approval ratings as he’s generally been an awesome and chill guy since he debuted on the Real World Back to Las Vegas. For a while there, from Dirty 30 to War of the Worlds 1, it felt like Leroy had become incredibly stagnant, and fans began turning on him. As a long-time Leroy fan, it became increasingly frustrating watching him not make any effort to win. Weird enough to say, I feel like Leroy is having a bit of resurgence that began during War of the Worlds 2. The man showed a passion and desire to win and was actively playing the game. Going into this new season, Leroy looks refreshed. He is in great shape, has a great haircut/facial hair situation, is finally taking ownership of his relationship with Kam, and is in many ways becoming Leroy 2.0 in front of our eyes.
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Introducing Leroy: Most people know Leroy at this point. His original show was the Real World Back to Las Vegas, alongside Nany. Over his years on reality television, Leroy would establish himself on the Challenge as a key supporting character. Leroy was never the star of the show, and at times, he was a bit of a background figure. Yet, there were episodes/stretches where he stepped up big time and filled a leading character role. He was never a lay-up competitor and was more often a dark-horse contender. The guy has made it to four finals, is tied for fourth all-time in male elimination wins (8), and has physical elimination wins over multiple Challenge Champions.
Over his years on the show, Leroy had a lot of bad luck coupled with a teaspoon of good luck. Leroy has gotten multiple terrible partners, such as Naomi, Adam, and Shaleen. Or average partners whose skill-set do not help Leroy in any way like Nia or Ty. Averey was a strong partner, but Leroy came on the season already injured and had to leave after the first challenge. Other than Averey, the only times Leroy got partners who complimented him was Mike Ross replacing Adam on Rivals 1, which gave Leroy someone to handle the mental/puzzle side of the game, and Theresa replacing Nia at the last minute on Exes 2. Basically, he needed his original partners to get kicked off to get a partner who can help him.
While Leroy never got the best partners, he also deserves a fair amount of the blame for never winning. For a long time, Leroy was a contender, and you could tell he somewhat expected a win to come his way, and it never did. When Leroy was at his peak (Exes 2), he immediately fell down the ranks, losing two seasons to medical DQs (one his cousin, the other his). By the time he returned for Dirty 30, he wasn’t the same athlete, and the cast had become stronger as well. It’s only now that I feel we are seeing shades of the old Leroy again. I credit that to his relationship with Kam. They were up and down from Vendettas to War of the Worlds 1, reconnecting on War of the Worlds 2, and have been stable since. Often, Leroy is someone whose friends love him but don’t position him to succeed. Kam wants Leroy to put themselves first, and I think we will see a much more engaged game from him.
Leroy Garrett: 35 Years Old, 6'0, 200 lbs, 12 Seasons, 4x Finals, 8–5 Elimination Record, Highest Finish: 2nd Place Exes 2
Skills and Physical Strength: His career record in daily challenges is quite poor. I believe Leroy has only won 1 daily challenge that was pair-based or individuals since Free Agents. Part of the reason he doesn’t win many is he hasn’t had the best partners, and the other is the fact that he doesn’t care about winning the daily challenges. Leroy usually sleeps through daily challenges because he knows he’s safe 90% of the time. His strengths are raw physicality and endurance. He’s not a swimmer, not a puzzle person, and hates heights. Ironically, even though he hates heights, he’s slightly above average in heights challenges. For a female competitor, Leroy’s ability to carry a lot of weight and keep mobility/endurance is perfect. Leroy has some of the best grip strength in Challenge history based on his performances in climbing challenges, and pole wrestle wins. He’s also willing to eat gross foods.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: When it comes down to popular/house votes, Leroy does not get voted in much as he is very likable and doesn’t get much blood on his hands while playing. Twice he’s been famously thrown into elimination via burn votes (Rivals 2 and Dirty 30), which is characteristic of his Challenge career as a whole. Leroy got voted in because the people voting for him literally thought there was no shot he’d be going in. Kam doesn’t play that way, and Leroy could be shaking things up this time around. Leroy has two females who are ride or die in Kam and Nany. Theresa is a former partner/ex of his, he and CT are long-time friends, and Aneesa has always been on good terms with him. Wes is a long-time rival of his, although they’ve become friends in recent years. Except the game scars may still be there.
Leroy needs to win daily challenges to make big plays. If he makes safe plays, it will likely be another shortcoming. In terms of the mental game, Leroy is near the bottom when it comes to puzzles. He has solved a few in recent years, though.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: His elimination record is 8–5. It is a bit inflated because they have never given Leroy a mental elimination/puzzle. Then again, three of his elimination losses: Exes 1, Rivals 2, and WOTW 1, weigh much heavier on his partners (Naomi, Ty, Shaleen). The two that are heavy on him are the losses to CT on Free Agents and Hunter on Dirty 30. His loss to Hunter on Dirty 30 shocked me and proved to many that Hunter is legit. It’s one of my all-time favorite eliminations to watch. I’d recognize most of Leroy’s win as quality: Wes 2x, Bananas 2x, Reilly, Cohutta, Brad. There was a point when I thought Leroy was the most intimidating person on the Challenge other than CT. The guy has massive arms, ridiculous grip strength, and such a built chest/shoulders. I remember watching Leroy and thinking he played college football, only to find out he was a garbage man.
Could Leroy win? Well, nobody in Challenge history has ever competed in 5 finals and never won. Thus, if Leroy were to make the final and lose, he’d be making history. A Leroy win would require the three former male winners (CT, Wes, Darrell) to get knocked out before the final, as they are too well-rounded. If those players are gone, I think he could compete with everyone else on this cast. It would be awesome to see a Leroy win in 2020/2021. Sadly, I think his best shot might have been War of the Worlds 2 or earlier.
Leroy’s Overall Rating: 86/100 (+3 from WOTW 1)
WOTW 1 Rating: 83/100
Vendettas Rating: 85/100
Dirty 30 Rating: 87/100