Challenge Vendettas Final Preview: Leroy and Nicole’s Redemption Time

Do you remember the last time Leroy was in a final?

Leroy reached the final on his rookie season (Rivals 1) in 2011, finishing third. He had to wait a few years to make it to his second final in 2015 (Exes 2), and is now finally back to compete in his third final in 2018. Leroy has been on the show for eight years now, coming in as a muscular 25-year old garbage man, he is now a grizzled Challenge vet focusing on getting his barber’s license at 33.

At his breaking point, this could be Leroy’s last real chance to ever win a season. Leroy is running the final against challengers who, aside from Zach and Cara Maria, do not have a lot experience in the game. The biggest question mark for Leroy has always been his desire to win; he plays the game of least resistance, dating all the way back to his original Rivals season. Leroy plays the role of everyone’s friend, everyone’s personal barber, and the big guy who intimidates you if anything gets physical (with him or others). This game allows him to make it far most seasons, but has also resulted in many close losses to better competitors near the end. Last week, an angered Leroy eviscerated Brad in the final elimination. Can he keep up this momentum?

Obstacles for Leroy?

  1. Puzzles: Anyone who has watched Leroy on the Challenge knows puzzles and trivia are not his forte. His partners completely took over puzzle duty in the Rivals 1 and Exes 2 finals, as he provided support from afar. Leroy needs a partner who can solve puzzles quickly in order to give him an edge. If he is partnered with Nicole or Kailah during a puzzle portion, winning the final is over for him.
  2. Pace: Leroy needs to push the pace. In most challenges, he focuses on not coming in last. In every final he has been in, Leroy has played the game from behind. To win a final, you need to gain the lead at some point and actually win sections.
  3. Kam (?): If you could not tell, Leroy has a deeper connection to Kam than any other girl in the Challenge. They are each other’s #1’s, and you can expect them to want to run the final together. Kam is a strong physical competitor in eliminations. However, she has performed worse than Leroy in most of the daily challenges. A good partner will lift you up, a partner like Kam could bring Leroy down considering it is her first final.
  4. Water: This destroyed his chances on the Exes 2 final. He began the final with a big deficit which led to Sarah/Jordan getting the head-start in the final sprint. Leroy better pray there is no major swimming portion in the final.

If Leroy can limit his losses, push the pace, and have the will to win, then Leroy can finally become a Champion.

What about Nicole?

When Nicole ran her first final last year on Invasion, she was shocked to find she placed in 3rd. Nicole finished in first place on days two and three of the final (when you account for time penalties). Yet, she still lost the overall final due to the time difference between her and Camila/Ashley in the simple puzzle on the first day. A puzzle that took Camila and Ashley seconds ended up taking Nicole half an hour. In the end, her physical dominance meant little when she could not solve the puzzle at all.

Can she win it this time?

Nicole’s season has been completely underrated. She completely outclassed the other girls in the Gibraltar purge, but only Joss won money for it. She grabbed two balls in a solid performance in the “Who’s Got Balls” challenge. Finished top 3 in her heat for the #Vendettas challenge, was one of the few females to attempt the eating challenge, and was the top female swimmer in the “Gasping for Air” challenge (she did not win money as her team lost). Nicole also won the “Spanish Torture” purge to add a sizable 12,500 dollars to her bank account. All around, Nicole has been the best female competitor from a physical perspective by leaps and bounds.

Yet…. She still remains an underdog going into the final because of puzzles. Nicole has proved she can run and swim the fastest, lift the most, and, possibly, has the most endurance. Can she solve a tangram, though? It is crazy to consider that her winning could be based on something so simple, yet, for her, incredibly difficult.

MTV is not teasing a great performance from Nicole in this final.

If Nicole does have an injured ankle, she definitely needs to solve her puzzles to have any chance of winning.

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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.

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Allan Aguirre

Allan Aguirre

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.

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