Challenge Invasion Preview: Anika Rashaun
Who is Anika? That was a serious question I asked myself near the end of the Real World Bad Blood Season when analyzing which members of the cast would do best on the Challenge. While it was somewhat a running joke in my head that Kim and Will were literal background characters that nobody cared about, I did not realize that I never even noticed Anika, one of the original seven members in the cast. Anika’s opening interview about herself was really cool, she seemed really open and very exciting. Then the bad bloods moved in and she got pushed to side for other story-lines: the Stack Sisters, Peter and Jenn, and then Theo and Kass.
I do not think that the past season of the Real World was bad, but it’s struggles came due to the massive amount of people they had living in a house. Fourteen people is a lot, in school the more people you put in an environment, the more cliques become apparent and seclusion rises. The Real World is about seven different people from different scopes of life coming together and going through the motions of day to day life. In the end the Real World cast members should feel like a family, and no not necessarily friends, but family. You don’t always like your family, but you love them due to this shared connection that you all had. On RW Bad Blood there was so much separation in the house, and there were so many people that got pushed to the back.
One of my favorite parts of the Real World Bad Blood finale was when Anika came on screen and went on a lunch date with Will to talk about the adventure they had as they really did not interact much the whole time there. Which is hilarious, as we did not see either of them all season. I was shocked to find out of all the camera hungry people on this past season of the Real World, that Anika was the one that was cast. However, since the season has finished airing, Anika has been a bigger personality since the show ended. She has had a great presence on social media, and does youtube videos. She even did a webcast form of a Real World Bad Blood reunion, and was a better host than half the MTV hosts! Here is a link for anyone interested, you should also give her a follow, because she seems like a sweet girl compared to most of the girls on the Real World. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMWrqfkq3qc
Now here’s my review of Anika as a competitor:
Skills/Physical Strength: Anika is from Philly, and as a big fan of the Rocky franchise and boxing in general, I feel confident in her ability to throw punches if a drunk Amanda or Marie comes after her. In terms of competing, I do not like Anika’s chances as an athlete. While she looks fit, she is only about 5'2 and is very thin, I’m guessing weighing less than maybe even 105 lbs. Being very small hurts a lot in the Challenge, especially in the female division. We have seen someone like Nia who is not a good competitor, excel due to her having a huge size advantages over the other girls. Not being tall also hurts your chances when working with a taller partner either. We will get to see if she adept at balance or swimming this season, hopefully she has some skill there.
Mental Game/Politics: From here interviews she seems like such a nice and intelligent girl. Her 1 on 1 interviews were very congenial and she seems like she could become a fan and house favorite, even if she is not a strong physical competitor. If I had to compare her to another past female competitor, it would probably be Jonna. While Jonna spent a lot of time with guys as a way to support herself in the game, she was always a solid competitor who displayed a lot of heart despite her size making her a non-threat. Anika comes into this season with one Real World cast-mate in Theo, but without a lot of allies she could go into some eliminations quickly due to rookie bias. The other female rookies, Nicole Z and Sylvia have a lot of friends in the cast and Nicole is a beast. Kailah the only other rookie girl is a weak target, but she is an entertainment favorite with some of her antics. Anika’s chances look good for the future, but not this season.
Eliminations: As I have mentioned before, size really matters when it comes down to eliminations. Girls who are above 5'6 always do well in eliminations. A girl being 15 or 20 pounds heavier does not sound like a lot for most people, but when the smaller girl only weighs about 100 lbs in the first place, it’s like dropping a dumbbell on their back and telling them not to drop it while beating their opponent. Anika has some girls she can maybe beat in this cast if she gets the right elimination: Kailah, Sylvia, Amanda, and LaToya. Aside from that, I expect a quit exit from her, but she will be a breath of fresh air.
Final Potential/Endurance: She seems like she has the ability for endurance in higher climates due to her size, but she will need to get bigger in order to go for marathon type distances that the final requires. Maybe she can be a lay-up this season and charm her way to a 3rd place finish, but until then let’s just enjoy the show.
Final Score: 61/100