Challenge Total Madness Player Preview: Tori Deal

Tori had an MVP performance last season. She went into the house in the best shape of her life and was confident that she was the best girl on her team of elite females. Cara hates Tori’s fiance Jordan and controlled the numbers the last season. Thus, they threw Tori into elimination to face Georgia. Georgia had been 4–0 in eliminations, and in a best of 3 cardio elimination, Tori took her out 2–0. They pitted her against cyborg Jenny in the next female elimination, and despite having less muscle, Tori crushed Jenny 2–0 in Hall Brawl. It was one of the most dominant Hall Brawl wins in Challenge History, and she did it against the girl whose life is fitness and who others thought was maybe the strongest girl in the game.

Then the final happened, and Tori had to watch her four teammates finish the final as she was the last to solve a puzzle. Despite overcoming the odds all season and killing the final, Tori had to watch Jordan get the win without her. I think that moment will always stick with her and will be a positive moment for her Challenge career in the long-run. It’s future motivation to fuel her further. Tori is my female pick to win this because, in terms of competitor abilities, she hits every checkmark you want.

Introducing Tori: She debuted on reality television as part of Are You The One? Season 4. Tori made an immediate impact in the house and was one of the charismatic and dynamic characters on the show. You could tell Tori was going to be on the Challenge and be a mainstay on television for a while. Tori’s confessionals had a bubbly feel to them, where she was confident in front of the camera and seemed like someone you would want hosting TRL or a Challenge reunion. On the Challenge, Tori fills in the narrator role that people like Sarah Rice and Paula have in the past.

Tori went from AYTO to Are You The One Second Chances where she killed the competition physically, finishing in second place. Tori had this massive rivalry on the show with Devin, and you could tell that even though Devin had the edge on Second Chances, Tori was going to be the way bigger star. She came on the Challenge Dirty 30 and immediately established herself by winning the first three daily challenges, being a #1 pick for a daily challenge over other top females, won an elimination, and then socially coasted through the game. She finished third place in a final against Cara and Camila (two champions running their 5th and 4th final ever). Tori held her own with the elite.

The worst part of Tori’s Challenge career has been Derrick Henry. Tori entered the house hand-cuffed by a short relationship she began before the season. She left him for Jordan and was slut-shamed/cheater shamed during the Dirty 30 reunion. Then on Final Reckoning, she got partnered with Derrick. They floundered in the daily challenges, lost their elimination, and were out of the game. Tori was then left off War of the Worlds 1 as an alternate! When she came back for War of the Worlds 2, Tori proved she deserved her casting post as she and Jordan took the hard road by standing up against Paulie and Cara, turncoating to Team UK, and helping to ensure that their rivals went home with no money. Dirty 30 and Final Reckoning Tori was not trying to make enemies. War of the Worlds 2 Tori was tired of everyone’s bullshit and went out and fought. We get War of the Worlds 2 Tori on Total Madness; then, she has a fantastic shot of becoming a Challenge champion.

Player Vitals

Tori Deal: 27 Years Old, 5'8, 3 Seasons, 3–1 Elimination Record, 2x Finalist, Highest Finish: 3rd Place Dirty 30

Skills and Physical Strength: If you want to harp on any flaws of Tori, it’s the fact she doesn’t have any outwardly dominant skills that assist her in common daily challenges. Tori is a fantastic competitor because she’s good at everything. She was an above-average swimmer, is built well for headbangers, has ridiculous cardio, and is comfortable with heights. It makes her perfect for an individual game because she doesn’t need someone to fill in the spots missing in her game. A player like Ashley has always done well when partnered with someone who could take care of the physical aspects for her. Someone like Jenny will probably need a person to solve her puzzles.

Tori has the overall advantage as a more all-around player. Still, if you’re good at one thing and can win a daily challenge, you can then use that power and throw Tori into an elimination where the elimination itself could be a total crapshoot.

SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: Early in her Challenge career, Tori was the one to play the middle. She is now at a point where she needs to pick and chose allies intelligently. Tori is friends with Kailah, Nany, Jenna, and Jenny, etc. Part of me is afraid that Tori is too friendly. When she wins a daily challenge at the final 8–9 competitor point, should be forced to vote someone like Mattie in because of loyalty to a lesser player; could that put a massive target on her back?

Tori is cool with Jordan, CT, Bananas, and Kyle. That’s four of the best male on this cast. Historically, being a top female lets you coast by because sometimes you get partnered in a final, and you don’t want to get partnered with someone who will ruin your chances of winning. On Vendettas, none of the guys wanted Cara Maria out because if not, they’d maybe to have run with a Britni or a Kayleigh.

The only vendetta that I expect Tori to have this season is Ashley. Ashley did create trouble by instigating some of the Turbo/Jordan stuff from last season. Now that Ashley doesn’t have the numbers on her side, it would be interesting to see if Tori tries to get Ashley thrown in. In terms of the mental game, the puzzle from War of the Worlds 2 will haunt Tori, but historically, she is above average puzzles and memory competitions.

Eliminations & Winning Potential: After Final Reckoning, there was a significant contingent of fans who were skeptical about Tori’s abilities. Partially, since MTV has pushed down our throats the fact that Tori was an amazing player based on her Dirty 30 performance. They made her a mercenary for Vendettas and put her on two Champs vs. Stars spin-offs before competing on her second actual season. The Challenge turned Tori into Roman Reigns, where they kept telling people she’s this massive star, and fans were like, “I mean, I guess.”

On War of the Worlds 2, Tori proved doubters and haters wrong by winning two tough eliminations dominantly against other top females.

This was Team USA’s reaction when Tori ran over Jenny in Hall Brawl. It was at this moment that her team realized, “oh my god, Tori is a problem for us.” A lot of people get elimination wins. What Tori made was a statement.

That’s not to say Tori can’t lose an elimination. You put Tori in a puzzle against Dee or Ashley; then, you probably think those two girls beat her (Tori is solid with puzzles). Jenny could probably beat her in something cardio-based, and even though Tori won a great hall brawl last season, Kaycee and Mattie could probably take her out in a headbanger. Tori can beat 8 to 9 out of 10 competitors in most events; it just matters that she doesn’t face someone in their specialty.

Can Tori win? Absolutely. Tori is the most likely to kill a final because she won’t have a portion that will completely stump her. Jenna being unable to eat any food during the Bloodlines final when she had the lead or Nicole being unable to solve the first puzzle during the Invasion final are moments where a player’s chance of winning went out the window. Tori is someone who will remain consistent in a final, has cardio for days, and has the desire to win. She is a force to be reckoned with.

Tori’s Overall Rating: 93/100



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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.