Challenge Invasion Preview: Nelson Thomas
This preview is weird. I have been more hyped for this guy than probably any of the other guy challengers this season, and nobody knows anything about him or really cares for his personality. Nelson’s feeder show was Are You The One? Season 3, and while the season was incredible, he was mostly just a background character who popped up for some hot-headed moments. He was probably best known as the guy that wore hats and dress shirts, who also hooked up with half of team princess, Cheyenne.
Nelson is not a rookie, he made his debut as an early season replacement on Rivals 3; being partnered with Amanda and replacing LeRoy and Averey. The funny part of that was that TJ explaining it as well as clips were required in order to prove that Amanda and Nelson were Rivals, as most people probably had no clue who either of them were. The rivalry did not seem very real, but the two had a definite impact on the house. Amanda was a freckled firecracker exploding in the house, while Nelson who did not have a single impact on the house in terms of drama, entertainment, or interviews, he showed off as a possible physically strong competitor. Checking from his social media, Nelson spends so much of his time on his body. He’s massive and does the cross-fit training that helps so much in the Challenge. It is almost like the best of both worlds when it comes down to his physique. While guys like Bruno want to tout their physicality, he is nowhere near as big as Nelson. Cory is physically very big, but he’s not as shredded or agile as Nelson.
Now here’s my review of Nelson as a competitor:
Skills/Physical Strength: As I mentioned above, Nelson is a dominant physical competitor. Last season, him and Amanda lost in a puzzle ice bath elimination, but before that he did well in the daily challenges and helped be the muscle to assist Amanda in winning the memorization contest. From social media I have seen him dead lift over 500 lbs, so being able to hoist up his massive body will be easy for him. Hopefully, he is a strong swimmer, then he could be juggernaut in daily challenges. Some people have labeled Nelson as the next LeRoy, which physically make so much sense. If Nelson can be an average swimmer, not even a great one, he could be much better than LeRoy was in the Challenge. Swimming and water sports have been the only physical portion of the Challenge that held LeRoy back.
Mental Game/Politics: This is where I feel Nelson and LeRoy are very similar, but vastly different. LeRoy is one of the most like-able and funny guys ever to be on the Challenge, but when it comes down to politics and playing a social game, he has always been a dud. He focuses on joining an alliance and just following it as part of the muscle, leading him to eventually get thrown in if the alliance gets scared, or if they need him to be the executioner. Nelson is very quiet, and we have not really seen him give many interviews that get a ton of laughs. I did enjoy how he had a focus towards winning the game in his interviews, which is the focus you want from a new competitor. However, for Nelson to do well in the Challenge, he will need to make friends and create real alliances. There are 3 other AYTO guys in the underdog group, he also has his partner from last season in Amanda. Nelson has to be mentally tough in order to win a Challenge.
Eliminations: This guy is built perfectly for the physical eliminations. Whether it’s duel pole dance, or hall brawl, I do not see any guy besides Zach or Darrell beating him. He’s got massive biceps and a strong core, he can rip anyone’s head off. I would describe him as a gladiator. Where Nelson could lose would be in a game of skilled athleticism if it was something that involved a ton of footwork, or if it is just a straight up puzzle. Nelson might be a ringer for the physical eliminations this season.
Final Potential/Endurance: Even with all the working out that Nelson does, I still feel the extensiveness of a final could put a tear on his massive body. Considering this season’s final is going to be put over 3 days, I think this will be tough to manage. However, out of all the new generation guys, I see him with the best chance to win the final if there, as long as he is a decent swimmer. The final is usually like a triathlon, it tests your skills as an athlete in multiple ways. Had there not been so much water sports in the Exes 2 final, then LeRoy would have won, if there was swimming in the Bloodlines final — then maybe Cara Maria does not win. Finals are tough, and I like Nelson’s chances of taking down one of the champs if there.
Final Score: 89/100