Challenge Final Reckoning Team Preview: Kailah Casillas and Kayleigh Morris
MTV truly tried to balance out some of the teams this season in order to avoid a Paula/Emily or Bananas/Sarah-type domination season. The three girls returning from last season’s final (Cara, Kailah, and Kam), have all been given partners who have not made it far in the game before (Marie, Kayleigh , and Melissa). This is a smart choice by MTV, as we will see the great players truly tested, as they must support not only themselves but another player. Likewise, the other girls must step up their game because their partners are playing to win.
Introducing the rivalry: This rivalry came out of nowhere. The Vendettas edit suggested Kailah, Jemmye, and Britni were going after Kayleigh because of the way she treated Nelson and Natalie. This simply did not make sense because Natalie had just voted Kailah into elimination the previous week and they were not good friends at all. In reality, Kailah’s fight with Kayleigh was sparked by Kayleigh starting rumors about Kailah (according to Kailah). Kayleigh thinks Kailah is an irrelevant bully, and Kailah thinks Kayleigh is crazy. Let’s see how this pans out.
Kailah Casillas: 25 years old, 5'6, 3 seasons, 1 final, best finish: 4th Place Vendettas (2nd for girls), 4–1 elimination record
Kayleigh Morris: 30 years old, 5'3, 1 season, best finish: withdrew midway through Vendettas, 0–0 elimination record
Team Skills and Physical Strength: In order for a pair like Kailah and Kayleigh to compete with a pair like Brad and Kyle, this season will likely differ to a normal season in many ways. Cara holds the belt for top female competitor on Final Reckoning. Kailah, along with Tori, Kam, Jenna, and Amanda are battling for that the #2 spot, and are hoping to usurp Cara this season. However, in a team or partnership, you are only as strong as your weakest member. Last season, Kayleigh performed poorly (to put it kindly).
During the first challenge of the season, she was placed second to last in the Gibraltar rock run, she did not grab a single ball during the soap pit challenge, struggled with the heights on the hashtag challenge, was unable to swim well underwater to get any amount of distance during the gasping for air challenge, and did not even participate in the car crash challenge. Despite the fact that many competitors struggle on their first seasons and many females struggled in the early Vendettas challenges, her performance was not good. People get better at challenges as they gain experience. Challengers truly get tested in the elimination arena, and I was hoping to see crazy Kayleigh forced into a physical elimination where she could fight for her spot in the house. Unfortunately, we never got to see it and therefore, much remains unknown.
Kailah is a strong swimmer, can lift, and has good speed. Her primary weakness is the strategy she employs in challenges, mostly due to her inexperience. She can also be somewhat inconsistent; she will finish at the top in one challenge and then be at the bottom the next day. She is labeled as a strong competitor, and strong competitors do not finish in last because that puts their game in serious danger, as people will likely place strong competitors in elimination against her. Kailah must elevate her game this season to support Kayleigh, and Kayleigh needs to keep up to the best of her ability. Following Vendettas, Kayleigh has posted several workout videos on Instagram.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: Kailah is placed in an interesting position coming into this season. Her main alliance during her first two seasons was Jenna and only Jenna. On Vendettas, she had to make more friends and play a much more political game. This season, she has Jenna, Zach, and her Dolphins (Sylvia, Marie, Kam), and is friendly with several others. However, her best friend in this game has a bigger #1 (Zach as Jenna’s BF), and people in her alliance have different allegiances as well. Marie is partnered with her enemy, Cara Maria, which could make the game easier or more difficult for her.
Kayleigh was put into Inquisitions last season and slept through them while bigger targets were sent into elimination. She was weirdly quiet in the Challenge house excluding the night everything went to hell and she ultimately had to quit. From a mental standpoint, these are not dumb girls, but they have not shown much puzzle prowess. The inability to memorize killed Kailah’s chances in the Vendettas final, though Kailah did win a puzzle-type elimination on Champs vs Stars against Ashley.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: Kailah holds a 4–1 elimination record (1–0 on spinoffs), beating strong competitors like Jenna, Aneesa, and Ashley (on Champs vs Stars). Kayleigh has yet to see an elimination. Kailah operates her best under the pressure of the elimination arena. If Kayleigh can play with the same fire, they could make it far, if not it could be an early exit.
I could see Kailah winning on her own at this point in her Challenge career, if she has been working on her cardio and puzzle ability since Vendettas ended. Can she win with Kayleigh as a partner? No, Kayleigh is basically entering this season as a born-again rookie and she is not ready to win. She is there for the party/vacation, not for the competition. Can they make the final? Sure. It looks a bit difficult with stronger pairs in the game, though it would not be the craziest thing to occur on a Challenge. If there are girl/guy elimination days, at least they will be safe 50% of the time.
Kailah’s Rating: 86/100
Kayleigh’s Rating: 65/100