Tori is in the weirdest position that I’ve seen of anyone on the Challenge. She goes on Are You The One? and is a star from the jump. Tori then does AYTO Second Chances and Dirty 30 and makes it to the final of each. MTV immediately pushes Tori as a star, titling her the rookie of the year, giving her hype promos, and then putting her on Champs vs. Stars 2 and as a Mercenary for Vendettas after only one season. Hell, at one point, Tori had been on more Champs vs. Star spinoffs than actual Challenge seasons. MTV thought they were creating a megastar, and instead, they oversaturated us with a character too quickly and had fans waiting for the moment she fucks up so they could criticize her. She’s the Challenge’s Roman Reigns (pre-2020). The only thing fans love more than a genuinely awesome and entertaining character is watching the failure of someone they see as cocky/entitled or overhyped.
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I’ll be honest in noting when I interviewed Tori last season, there were a few quotes she had that were a bit cocky and a bit dismissive of another player, and immediately, Social Media jumped on her. Then she lost to Jenna in elimination, and it became even more exacerbated. Even I made some memes/reaction videos on Twitter. I don’t think she deserves the hate she gets, and there is a great player there who people are a bit too harsh towards. At the same time, I wouldn’t mind if other people on the show got the type of support that MTV has given Tori.
Introducing Tori: Her original show is Are You The One? Season 4. On this show, Tori was a massive character and presence in the house from the jump. She is known for getting into a rap battle and having a general presentation skill much better than her cast members. Tori had the option to do Invasion of the Champions and instead went on Are You The Second Chances to be a cornerstone for that show. She had a rivalry with Devin on the show, with the two players finishing in first (Devin and his partner) and second (Tori and her partner), respectively. Tori went on Dirty 30 and immediately made a name for herself by winning the first three daily challenges and socially blending in from the jump. She won an elimination against Marie, became close with both Kailah/Jenna and Cara/Camila, and of course, began her entanglement with Jordan. Tori would win part one of the final purge to guarantee herself a spot in the final, where she finished a close third, barely trailing Cara Maria for second. After the show, she began dating Jordan.
Tori’s second season, Final Reckoning, was a complete disaster. She and ex-boyfriend Derrick Henry failed in most of the challenges and got wiped out by Joss and Sylvia in elimination. She returned for War of the Worlds 2, where Tori was probably the best female competitor all season as she was a strong team player, and won two hard eliminations against elite females in Georgia and Jenny. In the final, Tori was an absolute unit from the physical perspective and had no issues cardio-wise, keeping up with the men when carrying the gurney. Sadly, she was not one of the first four on her team to solve the puzzle in portion two, and thus, was left out of the win. Tori seemed prime to be the favorite to win Total Madness. In the end (well, pretty early, actually), Tori lost an endurance based elimination to Jenna where everyone thought Jenna was going to throw the elimination. It was an embarrassing loss, to say the least. When interviewing Tori last season, she talked about preferring to have no hype because then you can’t disappoint anyone. This season, she has that.
Tori Deal: 27 Years Old, 5'8, 150 lbs (posted an IG live story weighing herself this week), 4 Seasons, 2x Finalist, Highest Finish: 3rd Place Dirty 30, 3–2 Elimination Record
Skills and Physical Strength: Tori is somewhat like the Bizarro World Nany. They are both incredibly well-rounded and balanced players with not many weaknesses. In a team-game, they are players you want to compete with because they won’t completely drag you down in a particular category (i.e., swimming, cardio, etc.). Except Nany doesn’t train much for this show and gets naturally loved by the fans. Whereas Tori works her ass off training with Jordan, has health updates for fans, and isn’t authentically over with the fans in the same way. I wish there was more Nany in Tori, and that there was more Tori in Nany, and then maybe they’d both be fan-favorite champions.
She is a solid swimmer, great cardio, decent with puzzles, and has the size/build to go toe to toe with the best in headbangers. The problem is, if you aren’t the best at one thing, it becomes difficult to win daily challenges, or you might lose the elimination match-up if it plays to another person’s forte. Tori is built for finals, if anything.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: The rumor mill has churned out that Tori and Jordan are no longer together, and based on all evidence, it seems true. I am unsure if she was single during the filming of this season and if it will affect how Tori operates. She’s been in a relationship or hooked up on every show she’s been on. During her rookie season, her social game was fantastic; however, part of that was the fact that she had no history on the show, and thus, no enemies. Tori needs to quickly get a solid alliance and not be a floater because there are too many strong women on this cast for her to try and sit in the back and coast. If anything, I think one of the smartest moves would be aligning with the rookies because most of the veterans already have the established relationships to not have Tori as an alliance priority.
While Tori wasn’t able to solve the puzzle fast enough on WOTW 2, most of her team members were pretty high-level puzzle people. If you didn’t notice, some of the puzzles were different, with some being much easier than others. She proved to be adept in mental comps on AYTO Second Chances and solved the puzzle that sent her to the final on Dirty 30.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: Her 3–2 elimination record is impressive in that two of her wins have been against two fierce females in Jenny and Georgia, who are a combined 7–2 in eliminations, with two losses being to Tori. Her elimination losses are to Sylvia and Jenna, who hold a combined 10–4 record. Tori has quality wins and quality losses. Generally, she has thrived in the more physical/headbangers, though her win against Georgia was more endurance-based, and that’s Georgia’s biggest strength. Then again, her loss to Jenna was an endurance game, although Tori’s strategy in the elimination for a majority of the early part was completely off. Tori kind of struggles with the carnival games.
Can Tori win? I think if she makes the final, she has a great chance of winning. However, it’s about navigating the field and making it there, and I’m not sure if she has the social connections necessary. While Jordan isn’t there, his scent is still on her, and she could get targeted because of it.
Tori’s Overall Rating: 88/100 (-5 from Total Madness)
Total Madness Rating: 93/100
Final Reckoning Rating: 88/100
Dirty 30 Rating: 89/100 (my D30/Inv ratings were too high)