Challenge Retrospective: Gauntlet 3 Awards

While we have the objective history of the Challenge in the wikias, and the show intact to look back on to see how great the olden days were, we are missing some big things: AWARDS. As a major basketball fan, my friends and I spend hours on discussing who the league MVP is, who the rookie of the year is, and who are the top players per position are. I began with Fresh Meat 1, and now done the Duel 1, and Inferno 3, but here I am today to talk about the Gauntlet 3.

The Gauntlet 3 veterans team is one of the most stacked teams in Challenge history, while the rookies were probably the worst team in Challenge history. The vets either won each Challenge, or threw Challenges to shed the “dead weight” from their team. Gauntlet 3 should have been Duel 2 with an altered cast: CT, Evan, Kenny, Brad, Frank R, Bananas, Big Easy, MJ, Adam K, and Nehemiah for the guys, with Evelyn, Jill, Paula, Robin, Diem, Coral, Tori, Johanna, Janelle, and Beth for the girls. That’s an incredible season right there, instead we got a boring season where the vets dominated, and even worse the vets ending up losing! It was hilarious considering how long they kept Big Easy, but it was terrible to watch the horrible rookie team win. Nobody deserved the win, and the season gave us a bad taste in our mouths. Heck, name this Inferno 4 and this is a fine season; Good Guys: Evan, Brad, Nehemiah, Derek, Big Easy, Diem, Paula, Johanna, Casey, and Melinda. Bad Asses: Kenny, CT, Frank, MJ, Danny, Evelyn, Robin, Coral, Katie, and Beth.

The Rules: I will be giving out an MVP award for both male and female competitors on the season. MVP does not just go out to the pair that won the season, but the individual competitor who brought the most to the show: physically, socially, mentally, entertainment wise, hook ups, arguments, circumstances, etc. I will be naming First Team All Challenge, and Second Team All Challenge. These will be 5 person lineups consisting of the best/most important competitors from that season using the MVP criteria, and it can be 5 guys and 0 girls, or 5 girls and 0 guys, or just 3 guys and 2 girls. It will consist of 5 competitors regardless of gender.

Rookie of the Year awards will be given to both genders, and I will also be giving awards out for Most Disappointing Players of the Season(both genders), Top Physical Competitors, and Underdog of the Season. Here we go:


Male: Frank Roessler Female: Jill Zoboroski
Due to the veterans dominating the season, all of the legitimate drama and storylines of the season were put on the rookies. Jill and Frank met on this season, started hooking up, and from there they each went on to win 3 Gauntlets. Jill took out weak competitors like Brooke and Angel, she also beat Janelle who was coming off a win on Inferno 3. Frank had an ehhh win against Zach (Key West), a retrospectively strong win against skinny Tyler, and a great win against MJ (who thought he was hot shit). Winning the season was the cherry on the top, and these two walked away with their hands together.

Rookie of the Year

Male: Derek Mccray Female: Tori Fiorenza (Tori Hall at the time)
Tori’s annoying personality and pretentious way of acting around people is the worst. However, this is the season where she met Brad(her future husband), and she went on to actually be a good competitor. I’m not saying she is great, but she was very competent in most daily missions, and went on to win 2 Challenges. Derek came on the Challenge for Gauntlet 3 through the Road Rules Viewer Revenge show. He impressed people with his athleticism and leadership, unfortunately he lost to Ryan Kehoe in a puzzle elimination where Ryan was coached by Adam King and the vet team. He hooked up with Paula and had a solid rookie season.

First Team All Challenge

Frank Roessler, Jill Zoboroski, Evan Starkman, Evelyn Smith, Big Easy
Evan was the leader of the veterans team, even with it being only his third Challenge and him never winning prior. His team respected him, athletically, socially, and politically. He was the brains and the brawn for them. Evelyn had a hot hookup with Real World Denver rookie Brooke, where it was very evident that Brooke wasn’t a lesbian, but Ev dearly hoped she was. She was clearly the best female competitor and made a point of it, she also played the game with the guys, and was in on the fact that they needed to get rid of Katie, Beth, and Coral. Big Easy gets the surprise first team nomination, mostly because I have never seen one person carry a 7 person team to victory like he did in the Gauntlet 3 final.

Second Team All Challenge

Chris “CT” Tamburello, Paula Meronek, Kenny Santucci, Adam King, Casey Cooper
CT gets second team for the Gauntlet for being a complete asshole. He said mean things to a lot of the girls, talked major shit to his own teammates, and seemed like he was cycling or possibly hooked on something. This was CT at his worst. Paula had a great season as a physical competitor, she was the second best female on her team, and had two hookups (night one with Adam King), and a showmance with Road Rules rookie Derek. Kenny remained beautiful and brought great commentary. Adam King surprised people as the brains during puzzles for the vets team, he also beat Danny’s butt in an elimination, and dealt with some CT bullying. You may also be wondering why Casey Cooper made it. On this season of the Challenge specifically, her interviews were hilarious, she hooked up with Johnny Bananas, and had one of the great nude scenes in Challenge history where she’s jumping out the window butt naked. She also admirably took one for the team by throwing herself into the Gauntlet against Evelyn, realizing that she was the weakest person and might hold back the vets in the final.

Best Physical Competitors

Male: Evan Starkman/Chris CT Tamburello Female: Evelyn Smith
It was tough to pick a guy betwen CT and Evan. I was going to pick Evan flat out as he was the leader of the team, but this was also CT in his near physical prime, so it would be egregious to also not pick him. Evelyn was at her peak, and nobody compared to her physically.

Most Disappointing Players

Male: MJ Garrett Female: Coral Smith
MJ came on Gauntlet 3 as a replacement for Tyrie, a big improvement for the rookies. MJ was a solid performer, but disappointed despite his giant stature and previous history as an athlete (WR at Vanderbilt), and as a Challenge champion (Gauntlet 2). He lost to Frank in an elimination where he was straight outworked and outsmarted. Coral was the most disappointing female as she quit the season as she could not play the modern game. She did fine in the Challenges, however Coral was used to calling the shots and being a bad bitch. The vets saw her as dead weight when it came to the final. It was sad to watch Coral go out not on top.



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Allan Aguirre

26 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.