When I wrote Aneesa’s player preview for Dirty 30, I was a bit pessimistic about her chances on the show. This time I’m optimistic. Not about the concept of Aneesa winning; the idea of her winning a season or even doing well in a final is dead to me. I’m optimistic and joyful in the fact that she is on a Challenge in the year 2020. Aneesa’s first season was Battle of the Sexes (Season 6), first aired in January 2003. When Aneesa debuted, I was in the second grade, George Bush was still in his first term as President, the Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series in over 80 years, Johnny Moseley was the host, and Tyrie Ballard hadn’t won a season of the Challenge.
And yet, I feel every season Aneesa comes on these days, she looks better than the one before. While I’ve never been an Aneesa fan, there are tons of people out there who loved her for over a decade. The fact this person from their youth is still competing as they are now adults in their early 30s is cool to see. The last time we saw Aneesa was on Champs vs. Stars 3 when CT accidentally assisted in breaking her ankle during a daily challenge. Eighteen months later and she is competing on the Challenge, remarkable.
Introducing Aneesa: Similar to Wes, I am going to break down Aneesa’s history on the show into different eras:
Discovery Era — Battle of the Sexes 1 & 2: She started her career showing up on Seasons 6 and 9, Battle of the Sexes 1 and 2. During this time, she is discovering her identity in terms of race and sexuality. Wasn’t much of a competitor, but had a relationship with Rachel Robinson.
Elimination Queen Era — Gauntlet 2, Duel 1, Inferno 3, Duel 2: The actual one on one elimination format didn’t become the consistent norm until the Inferno 2. Once it did, Aneesa became a new player. While she wasn’t great at daily challenges, Aneesa found a home in the elimination arena where her size and love for physicality benefited her greatly. Specifically, Aneesa torched the Duels, as she went 3–1 on Duel 1 (finishing 3rd overall for the season), and 3–0 on Duel 2 (also finishing 3rd). By the end of Duel 2, Aneesa had the most eliminations win ever by a female (6), and tied with Wes and Derrick for most overall wins all-time.
Meh Era — Rivals 1, Exes 1, Rivals 2: After taking a couple of years off, Aneesa returned for three straight themed seasons where she didn’t stand out. On Rivals 1, she and Robin got eliminated episode 1 by Paula and Evelyn. During Exes 1, she got partnered with Rachel Robinson, which was groundbreaking to have a same-sex team playing against co-ed pairs, but overall, she and Rachel weren’t that interesting on the season. Likewise, Aneesa was on Rivals 2, but being Diem’s partner put her in the background of Diem’s journey to win and reunion with CT. She did have a fun fight with Trishelle. Aneesa did get to add an elimination win to her record total; however, her overall record was now a less impressive 7–5.
Gatekeeper Era — Free Agents, Bloodlines: On Free Agents, Aneesa had her elimination record taken after Cara defeated Nia to reach eight elimination wins. Aneesa would then beat Jonna a couple of episodes later to retie for the record. It was in this time, Aneesa started a small rivalry with Laurel that culminated in a Hall Brawl type elimination where Aneesa lost 2–0, but even shocked Laurel with her strength. Cara would take Aneesa’s record by beating Jessica Mccain and has held the female elimination record since. During Battle of the Bloodlines, the two went toe to toe in the final elimination after a heated bus drive fight. In a heated Pole Wrestle, Cara won, and it was her moment where she definitively jumped into the elite.
In this era, Aneesa didn’t accomplish anything huge, but she reminded people that she’s still a threat as she posed a challenge to two elite females. Aneesa is like WWE’s Kane. A bit underrated and overrated at the same time. A fascinating look in her debut, scary early in her career, fell into the mid-card and worked incredibly as a physical creature who would put over stars on the rise.
Still Around Era — Dirty 30 + Spin-Offs: She is around here and there. Not a contender, but always makes for some fun elimination match-ups. Surprisingly better in daily challenges, but only marginally. Sadly, two elimination losses from Dirty 30 gave her a losing elimination record (8–9).
Aneesa Ferreira: 38 Years Old, 5'7, 12 Seasons, 8–9 Elimination Record, 2x Finalist, Highest Finish: 3rd Place The Duel 2/Losing Team of Gauntlet 2
Skills and Physical Strength: If the challenge were only Hall Brawls, then Aneesa would be an elite player. Sadly, it includes heights, obstacle courses, weird carnival games, swimming, and random feats of strength. Aneesa is not particularly amazing at any of those. She is very much better than lay-up competitors, but she’s not good enough to win the challenges. Not finishing last is cool, it’s just winning gives you power. According to 2017 Allan:
“In the 54 individual and pair daily missions that Aneesa has been in, she has won 1. That game was in Rivals 2 when you and your partner were blindfolded and had to pass through a simple maze to the finish line; only caveat was that you get shocked as you get closer.”
Since then, she did kind of got a win on Dirty 30 when she finished in third place to grant her safety in the first round of the purge. Regardless, massive win for Aneesa. Aneesa’s goal should be to not finish last in daily challenges as it’s not likely she is suddenly going to become Landon overnight. All Aneesa should focus on is cardio in case she ends up a final.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: She is a bad political player. Aneesa befriends everyone generally (she also will get into it with anyone), and while that is cool, it only gets you to the midway point of the game. Once all the rookies and obvious targets have gone into elimination, people throw Aneesa into elimination, because even though they are friends, she never draws a line of division where they can genuinely trust she has their back.
Aneesa needs to find an alliance that will look out for her as she would them. It will be fascinating to see how she interacts with CT as he referred to her as the weakest player in the house on Dirty 30 (when Jemmye and Britni were still in the game) and then broke her ankle on Champs vs. Stars. I’d love to see Aneesa finally win a daily challenge and then throw CT in. More likely, he throws her in, implies she is weak again, and then everyone is sad.
In terms of mental games, Aneesa is decent with tangrams. Aside from that, she’s nothing special in anything mental.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: If you look at Aneesa’s elimination losses, most of them are to top 10 all-time females: Paula 3x, Cara 2x, Laurel, Emily, Camila, Veronica, and Evelyn. Her losses to Kailah and Svetlana are not bad either. It’s not like she is losing to scrubs. Aneesa is almost like the benchmark for other competitors. If you can beat Aneesa in elimination, you are going to have a great career. She doesn’t go into early eliminations, so she is not inflating her record by getting wins against the Zahida’s of the world.
Sadly, that doesn’t ignore the fact that in the 2010s, Aneesa went 2–7 in eliminations, with her wins being against Jasmine and Jonna (her win against Jasmine being because of Rachel Robinson). Still, if you put Aneesa in a Hall Brawl against someone like Jenna today, I know Aneesa is going to crush her.
Can Aneesa win? No. Her last finals appearance was over a decade ago, and she lost that final by over an hour. She was nowhere close to either Rachel or Brittini in the finals, and the finals have only gotten harder since. I would like to see Aneesa in a final, mostly because it’s been so long that I’d want to see how she deals with the rigor of a final.