The last couple seasons has brought the return of competitors from past generations. We got to see the return of Shane, Darrell, Derrick, and Veronica on Invasion and Dirty 30, and now we get the return of Brad Fiorenza. Brad first showed up all the way back on the Battle of the Sexes 2 (Season 9). Despite being a mainstay of the middle generation of the Challenge (appearing on 8 out of 12 seasons from 9–20), Brad has only done a season with four people on Vendettas. Brad did multiple seasons with Bananas and Veronica, he did Battle of the Sexes 2 with Shane (his first Challenge), and Cutthroat with Cara Maria (his last Challenge til now).
In his time off from the show, Brad got a divorce from former competitor and champion, Tori Hall. The two had children and a relationship that was documented through the multiple shows they wound up doing over the years. After they won Cutthroat, Brad chose to retire from the game. Around Free Agents, Brad got the itch to return, however he decided at the last minute to drop out. Since then, Brad and Tori have split, and is now jumping back into the game.
It is rumored Brad may have accepted the original availability call for both Invasion of the Champions and Dirty 30, with him not making the final cast due to limited spots of Champions for Invasion, and the amount of veterans already cast for Dirty 30. Being newly single made Brad want to re-visit the place where he felt like a man. The Challenge for male competitors is the closest they will ever get to being professional athletes. The sensation of competition is an addicting feeling, and is one of the reasons why male veterans have been so willing to return after all the years. Because at the end of the day, people want to show they still got it.
Brad is almost like a born-again rookie due to the amount of time he has taken off and the lack of connections for him in the game. He did do club appearances with Cara Maria in Florida a month before the show filmed, which may have created a pre-game alliance between the two. He is “dating” or is something with Britni Thornton. And for his Vendetta, he got into it with Tony on Twitter, stating he would be sending him home on the next Challenge .
Skills & Physical Strength: Most fans on the show are noticing Brad looks to be a hell of a lot more bulky and muscular than he ever was on his past shows. He was slowly getting bigger over the seasons, but it is at a level of size he’s never been at before on the shows. His arms have always been impressive, the difference is his chest and back seems much more defined this time around. This choice of training will help Brad in the elimination arena where he has always needed a bit more raw physical size. It may not help him in the daily missions though. On Cutthroat, the Duel 2, and the Ruins, Brad was much bulkier than his past seasons and did not do as well in the daily missions.
Skinny Brad made it to the end of Battle of the Sexes 2 because of his ability to move quickly and efficiently through obstacles. Then again, bulking up with age may be a smarter choice because he isn’t getting faster or more explosive with age, those are things that go away with age. Like a basketball player who has to move up a position due to loss of speed — Brad is entering a new weight division to create mismatch advantages.
Social, Mental, & Political Game: His mental and social game weakness is probably alcohol. If you go through Brad’s seasons, he has gotten into with other competitors (usually when and with females): Camila (Cutthroat), Darrell (the Ruins), KellyAnne/Casey (the Ruins), Svetlana (the Duel), the wedgie incident (Inferno 2), and Derrick (Gauntlet 2). It looks from the trailer that Brad gets into it with Marie. He needs to keep himself under control.
The reason Derrick and Darrell were able to do so well on these shows was because they were quiet and nice. They stayed under the radar and performed when they had to. Based on the trailer, Brad is trying to make a bang, versus keeping a low profile.
Usually, the vets have found themselves playing the game with Johnny Bananas as the veterans stick together. Brad was never a big fan of Johnny during his previous seasons of the show — expecting the two to play together would be a bit of a stretch. The key for Brad is to stay loyal to Cara Maria. Cara is the best female competitor, meaning she will win challenges and have political power. Whether he wins or loses, he could gain security through her winning. Almost like insurance.
Final Potential & Winning: Brad has never done poorly in a final. He lost the finals of the Duel 1 and Duel 2 by inches, lost Gauntlet 3 due to the death of Big Easy, and won Cutthroat. Besides Gauntlet 3, none of the finals were pushovers. His performances in finals was not enough to beat Evan and Wes, but he has the desire to win and has shown the ability to do it.
Holding a 4–2 elimination record, Brad might need to add a notch or two to his belt in order to win this season. The biggest goal for Brad should be to eliminate Johnny Bananas. Bananas is the only person on the cast who is unquestionably more experienced and more prepared to run a final than Brad. There are players within the cast who can beat Brad in a final, at the same time he can also beat any of them.
He has a great chance to win with a cast filled of mostly rookies. Does he still have the gas in the tank to go the distance?
Overall Rating: 87/100