Challenge Total Madness Player Preview: Rogan O’Connor

Rogan being a Challenge Champion is bizarre to me. I was shocked he got recast for War of the Worlds 2 after getting purged his rookie season and then showing up for either of the two following seasons. His performance on War of the Worlds 2 was a remarkable exhibition of opportunism. While Rogan never wowed in any of the challenges, he played a game where he allowed others to use him so that he could further Rogan’s game.

He allowed Wes to put them in his giant web alliance because he knew he’d rather not be the first person eliminated again, and so he globbed onto it. Rogan worked a relationship with Dee because she was fiercely loyal and thus was able to use her; likewise, he was able to do the same with Idris, and even his best-friend Joss. Whenever it came to tough decisions on who to vote in, Rogan always let others take the shot. Some call that playing scared, and others call it genius.

There is so much doubt and unknown about Rogan as a player, and it is odd because he has the title of Champion. If Rogan flops, he will get put in the Dunbar category of Champions (bottom tier). If he succeeds, then fans will view his win as much more legitimate.

Introducing Rogan: He was one of the original UK cast members to debut on the Challenge. Rogan was originally on Ex on the Beach UK (Series 2 and 3). However, a back injury put Rogan out of commission on the first daily challenge of Vendettas, eliminating him as it was a purge challenge. The guy who was a personal trainer, devoted his life to his body, and was a Chip N Dales dancer had gotten knocked out on day one. It was the best thing to happen for his Vendetta Kyle Christie as Kyle was able to flirt with multiple girls, hookup with Cara Maria, and finish third place overall. Kyle would then go on to a cornerstone for the show, while Rogan was left off television.

Rogan had to watch while his best friend Joss came seconds within becoming a Champion, and having his enemies and friends become significant figures on the show. He jumped at the chance to be on War of the Worlds 2 and played the game hard politically. Week after week, Rogan’s name would be on the chopping block for elimination (especially because Team UK kept losing), and in the end, he would always be watching in the stands. In reality, Rogan and his alliance of Joss, CT, Kayleigh, and Dee got protected by the bigger Paulie/Cara group. Still, one could argue, Team USA was protecting him because they knew Rogan wouldn’t be able to run a final based on his performance from Vendettas.

In the end, Rogan proved them wrong, and Team UK made them look like fools by destroying them in the Final. Rogan is now 250k dollars richer and will be entering Season 35, trying to win some more money.

Player Vitals

Rogan O’Connor: 30 Years Old, 6'0, 182 lbs, 2 Seasons, 0–0 Elimination Record, 1x Champion (War of the Worlds 2), 1x Finalist

Skills and Physical Strength: His old modeling profile lists at 6'0 and 182 lbs. He does not look 182 lbs in his modeling photos, but 182 is more believable for him in 2020 (though I think he’s closer to 200). I believe with the right shoes that he is 6'0 tall, but also on the wrong day, he could be 5'9. Rogan is a bulky guy, but he is not CT or Fessy size. Being a big guy means less if you’re not the biggest guy.

On War of the Worlds 2, Rogan bragged about the fact he beat Turbo in a swim, but in the overall times, he ended up being average at best, and significantly worse than people like Jordan, Bananas, and Josh. In terms of cardio, he did well during the War of the Worlds 2 final, but that final was walking and carrying weight as a team. Rogan only had to be quicker than the worst member of Team USA. Running long distances and keeping pace with the other top runners is way different.

Because most of the daily challenges on War of the Worlds 2 were team-based, we don’t know if Rogan is good with heights, or whether he can genuinely dominate someone in a headbanger challenge. His team also lost a majority of the daily challenges, so it’s not like we can pretend any wins were because of him.

SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: I think Rogan plays dumb so well. He understands that you don’t need to be the smartest guy in the room to play with people’s emotions and be in control mentally. Rogan acts like a joke because it inherently makes people underrate him and trust him. Nobody thinks they are getting fooled by the village idiot and are cool with him getting to the end game because they believe he’s not a threat.

The Challenge has a lot of self-obsessed males who liken themselves to being these dominant all-around players, yet, their egos often get in the way, and they play awful political/social games. Rogan will empower others to make his decisions because he knows that being the leader of an alliance puts you at the front of a line to get shot. On War of the Worlds 2, he had Joss as his shield, and Dee covering his ass.

Now, this time around, he might struggle because people saw him succeed on War of the Worlds 2. Kyle also might want revenge, and you never know what could happen with him and Dee. Dee and he could be an item, or she could finally wise up and go against him.

As a mental player, Rogan succeeded in one puzzle — the final puzzle purge of War of the Worlds 2 that guaranteed him a spot in day two of the final.

Eliminations & Winning Potential: We will get Rogan’s first elimination this season due to the format. He likely wants a headbanger elimination as he is a bigger male. Part of me feels Rogan doesn’t have the body type to succeed in eliminations. You have to be quick on your feet, work well under pressure, and be a problem-solver. When the idea of going into elimination became real for Rogan, you would see the fear in his eyes. Politics are easy for Rogan, but eliminations are scary because they don’t have the wiggle room to fuck up as everything else does.

Can Rogan win? I’m going to say no. Part of me feels his body is not built to run/sprint through an individual final. I don’t think he can keep pace with Jordan, Bananas, or Nelson, and he isn’t going to be as good of an all-around player in that final as Wes or CT. Those are five of the top players in the game, and it’s hard to imagine none of them being there for the final. Can Rogan make the final? Sure, why not.

Rogan’s Overall Rating: 83/100

25 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.