Challenge Invasion Preview: Sylvia Elsrode

Allan Aguirre
4 min readJan 19, 2017


The Skeletons have arrived. With Bruno, Tony, Nicole, and Sylvia making their splashes as a group together on the Challenge, we finally get a solid presence from a Real World season for the first time since Battle of the Exes(where we had good presence from Portland and Explosion). It feels as if Skeletons has brought on the right people from their season to the Challenge. While I love Madison’s bubbly and optimistic personality, I prefer that she takes care of her child at home(Tony take care of your kids). Jason was just a bit boring and did not seem like a super athlete. I can live without Violetta. Byeee.

To be clear, I was not the biggest fan of Sylvia from her Real World season. Opening up the season in her beginning interview, I really enjoyed Sylvia, I thought she had a great voice and was a free spirit. It felt like MTV was going in the right direction in terms of casting. Then the season went on, and the line between speaking your mind, and being rude was just crossed far too often with Sylvia. I fully appreciate defending your friends, defending your loved ones, but the way she put her hands on Madison after Violetta instigated everything, and how she sometimes attacked the skeletons verbally was just too much.

One of the interesting points about Sylvia is that she is making her first appearance on the Challenge at the age of 28, which is a bit old for someone to make their debut. Her and Tony are almost like vets coming in the first time as rookies.

I really love Sylvia, and when she is happy she is just a joy to have around, but in the Challenge house she is going to need to chill. If you cannot handle living in a posh loft in Chicago, then being isolated in a home with no music, bad food, and no going out will kill you. Sylvia needs to prove that she can keep her cool, be mentally and physically strong, and more than anything not be a quitter. As fans, that’s all we want of the new generation of the Challenge, just put your head down and keep your mind in the game.

Now here’s my review of Sylvia as a competitor:

Skills/Physical Strength: Looking at Sylvia’s Instagram, she spends a lot of time taking car selfies, working, and drinking with friends. This is not a problem, except for when you are trying to compete to do well in the daily challenges and the final. Everyone likes somebody fun who they can drink with, but to be able to compete, time needs to be put in at the gym. Not everyone could be Laurel. Peaking from her throwback Thursdays, Sylvia did cheer-leading and played softball in high school. Though she almost ten years removed from high school. On Skeletons she was not afraid to get into a physical altercation and through a couple suitcases, so in the moment she definitely gets some good strokes of adrenaline. Being a good swimmer could give her an edge in this competition and put her slightly above the average.

Mental Game/Politics: Sylvia is a talker. She goes around to everywhere telling her story, and explaining herself to everyone, getting friends on her side very quickly. Being able to make friends and alliances quickly is helpful, and if she keeps herself on the down-low, she can go far in this game. On the MTV preseason bio’s Sylvia was described as the relationship match-maker, which if true will help her game mightily. Everybody loves to get laid, and if someone can easily aid in that, they owe them hard. In the end it’s about keeping your friends close, and you always keep your wingman/wingwoman close.

Eliminations: Crazy people do very well in eliminations. Their ability to make quick decisions whether good or bad in real life is accelerated in eliminations usually for good. Eliminations are usually physical and involve quick emotional fighting decisions, where a person who is prepared to fight often excels. In the Challenge, we have seen people win by just instincts. Sylvia is not elite in any way in terms of strength, but she will try to win.

Final Potential/Endurance: Sylvia could finish a one day final, and she might be able to drag herself through a two day final. However, knowing that this season involves a three day final, I think her chances of finishing are going to be very poor. Unless you get paired up during the last two days, I do not see Sylvia finishing her first try at a final. Endurance for the Challenge is something that comes with experience. We have seen many people improve at Finals and endurance competitions as they compete more: Kenny, Johnny, Jordan, and LeRoy. It will be fun to see Sylvia compete this season, but she most likely will not get very far.

Final Score: 64/100



Allan Aguirre

27 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.