Hello darkness, my old friend. There is no pain in this world, like being a fan of Nany Gonzalez. She comes on this show and wants to win, yet, doesn’t make the game-related moves necessary, train hard enough beforehand, and always make awful choices when choosing friendships and hook-ups. Last season, Nany was in a prime position early in the game where they could have forced a Tori vs. Jenny or Tori vs. Dee elimination or even given herself Big T to face. Instead, she let Jenna volunteer herself for an elimination where she didn’t know whether she was going to throw it or not. Even though Jenna won, it didn’t help Nany any bit. That’s only Total Madness; Nany’s Challenge career is full of little problems that could easily get fixed by better judgments. Yet, her terrible judgment is the most human element about her, and why so many fans cling to her.
If you want the Quick Scoop, watch the Video Breakdown instead, or read and watch, there are little gems in each. As a whole, I’d appreciate if you click through the link and Subscribe to my new YouTube Channel. I plan to put up a ton of Reality TV content.
Introducing Nany: In four months, Nany will have been on reality television for 10 years. She debuted on her screens with Real World Las Vegas in March of 2011. On that show, she began a tumultuous showmance with former crazy person turned lawyer, Adam Royer. Don’t worry, he’s not a defense attorney. We know he only throws punches and doesn’t take any. They were supposed to be a pair on Exes 1; sadly, it got reported that he did not pass the psych test and had gotten disqualified his previous season on day two for fighting.
When she eventually debuted on Battle of the Seasons 2012, Nany proved to be a star from the jump. Her fights with Knight and Frank were another level of drama and entertainment that we do not see anymore. She also killed the challenges, won an elimination with Dustin, and almost won a second with Alton, despite Alton seemingly throwing it based on his lack of effort. Looking back, Battle of the Seasons might have been her best shot of winning as she and Dustin would have been a more formidable pair than Dustin and Trishelle (they would have spent exponentially less time bickering).
Over the years, Nany has had many ups and downs. Her most significant up was finishing 2nd Place on Free Agents to Laurel, almost pulling out on an individual win. She’s achieved other successes like winning 4 exiles with Bananas on Exes 2, winning two eliminations with Wes on Rivals 3, and a handful of impressive daily challenge wins and performances over the years. She’s also racked up a laundry list of rivals and exes. Nany is a fan-favorite because she fills every box on the Challenge checklist. She’s not fulfilling an A+ in the competition box, but that doesn’t matter, or at least that’s what I tell myself when she loses her elimination late into every season.
While Nany has a 3–9 career elimination record, she feels like a much better competitor than that stat. The Challenge is such a luck-oriented game at times, and I feel like she’s someone where if a few things go different, she’d have a 6–6 record with 3 finals and be a 1 or 2-time Champ. I don’t think the gap between Nany and someone like Paula is that different, but the way fans regard them as competitors is vastly different.
Nany Gonzalez: 31 Years Old, 5'8, 8 Seasons, 3–9 Elimination Record, 1x Finalist, Highest Finish: 2nd Place Free Agents
Skills and Physical Strength: There was a point in time on this show back in the mid-2010s where Nany was one of the biggest girls on the show and often had an advantage due to her size. In 2020, she has lost weight, and the casting department has brought in a lot bigger and stronger females, nullifying her once advantage. As a competitor, Nany is someone who proves to able in almost every daily challenge. Not that she’s dominant in any category, but it’s more or less the fact that Nany is also never on the bottom in any one challenge. She is a solid swimmer and runner, is decently strong and is well above average in heights challenges.
One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that when Nany competes in paired challenges, she generally plays to her partner’s level. There is something human about where she does not want to disappoint someone, and thus, she elevates her game to her actual potential. Yet, self-doubt creeps in when she is by herself, and she is much more likely to fail. As someone with few self-consciousness issues, this is a quality of Nany that I find somewhat captivating. I can empathize with her because I know with these articles that there has to be a particular quality/insight for people to keep reading them. She succeeded on Free Agents as a team player in most challenges. If Double Agents is similar, maybe she has the potential to go far. Also, they keep teasing there will be partnerships, and if Nany gets someone like Darrell, who is an excellent motivator, then sky is the limit.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: She enters this game with solid friendships and allies. Last season, Kailah and Jenna were her best friends, but they weren’t her best allies. Nany has two loyal ride or dies with Leroy and Kaycee. She had some issues with Kam on War of the Worlds 2, except that was more of a bigger schism between her and the big Cara cult. As individuals who are both close with Leroy, I expect them to have an alliance of sorts this season. Nany is also close with Wes, and was part of his Patreon series, which she filmed with Devin. Her relationship with Josh and Tori is healthy as well. In terms of enemies, Aneesa and she did not have a great time together on Total Madness. Likewise, she and Ashley have never been on great terms. Then there is the fact that Theresa is returning to the show, and these two had a blood feud when Theresa was last on the show a half-decade ago. Considering Theresa hasn’t been on the show in nine seasons, she maybe has to be nice to Nany because at least she’s a familiar face.
Nany is set up pretty well entering the season. Working with Leroy and Kam to make power moves is her best chance to thrive. If not, she will lose around the same time she does every season because it hits a point where the more talented/stronger competitors win out. In terms of the mental game, Nany is not great with puzzles. She has solved a few, unlike some competitors. It’s more or less, don’t expect her to win any puzzle challenges.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: Again, I don’t think the 3–9 elimination record is indicative of her abilities. Her loss on Rivals 3 was due to Wes, the loss on BOTS 2012 was Alton’s fault, and the War of the Worlds 1 elimination was the most BS/poorly designed elimination ever. Those are three eliminations where you can legitimately argue that she makes the final if she wins them. Her elimination loss to Melissa was highly disappointing. Nany had done well/excelled in the more physical challenges/eliminations in the past. If she doesn’t have that physical edge on people, it’s hard to envision her picking up an elimination win against anyone on this upcoming cast. Nany’s biggest weakness is that she doesn’t have any skill mastery. She is a balanced overall individual, almost like a video game stock character. The problem is, to win an elimination, you have to be better than your opponent at a specific skill, so Nany needs someone to be worse than her at something for her to win.
Can she win this season? It’s not a non-zero chance. It is sometimes less about being a strong competitor than not having glaring weaknesses that will DQ you and give you time penalties when it comes to finals. Kaycee and Nicole are great athletes, but they can’t solve puzzles. Kam is a beast; however, she is a terrible swimmer. In a world where Nany faces those types of people in the final, and those competitors get a massive roadblock put in front of them, and everything aligns perfectly, only then could Nany win the Challenge in 2020.