Challenge Vendettas Player Preview: Devin Walker
To say Dirty 30 was a disappointment for Devin would be an understatement. Devin’s MTV career has been marked by highs and lows. He was easily the star of his Are You The One? season, with his manipulative ways and the way he was able to figure out all the perfect matches for the house in the end with red solo cups. On both Are You The One and the Challenge, Devin has found a way to get everyone to hate him, then be able to convert about 50% of those haters into loving him, 25% into being indifferent, and the last 25% into virulently despising him. That is what you call skill.
Devin was the first eliminated on Rivals 3, and was brought back into the game due to injuries and DQs from other players. He was able to make the final due to pure luck. He credits Karma, which is what I tell my friends when I win money on a scratcher. After gaining a decent following from both AYTO and the Challenge, MTV cast him as the male star of AYTO Second Chances where he won the show and proved himself. He followed that by losing in the first purge group on Dirty 30 and later in the first Redemption. Where Devin stands as a competitor and personality has people mixed, but is currently leaning towards the spectrum of him being a bad competitor.
For Devin to live up to his “puppet master” name, he NEEDS to make it to at least the halfway point in the game, and at the very least make some decent political and social moves. In his small challenge Dirty 30 appearance, he seemed to be trying a bit too hard, or maybe it was the editing. His only moment in the house was him sucking up to Johnny, in hopes that Johnny would align with him so that Devin could later turn on him. Johnny didn’t buy any of it. After losing parts one and two of the Purge, he told Cory that he would be his lackey if he saves him. Desperate look, and Cory didn’t buy it for a second, Devin was the first person Cory eliminated. It was cute when Devin quickly accepted the fact that he was a snake, it made many laugh, but it showed that Devin may be more a comedian than a competitor.
At the same time watching AYTO Second Chances gave a glimpse of hope for Devin. The AYTO spinoff was far from the physically draining show the Challenge is, but there were missions that were really telling of Devin as a competitor. They had one episode that included a giant obstacle course that was reminiscent to a mini final. In this mission, Tori displayed her true athleticism by dominating the female bracket and even her own male partner. Except they didn’t win that day’s mission. It was Devin and his partner Rashida. Rashida was far from a great athlete, not even average. She was tiny and often struggled physically. Devin completely supported and pushed her through the entire thing. It was reminiscent of Landon on Fresh Meat 2 continually treating Carley the best way he could to get the most out of her. Devin showed he is an incredible teammate and an asset. When he’s not being a manipulator, Devin is a truly caring and funny dude.
Skills & Physical Strength: Surprisingly tall guy, around 6'0 or 6'1 with long legs and arms. Wes once put it well — Devin is an example of an athletic person who drinks beer and eats terribly. He keeps himself in enough shape to not be fat, but he focuses more on drinking foamers and being a chill dude.
Watching him between Second Chances and his few challenges, he seems to be a decently skilled athlete. There is a skill aspect in these games where you have to figure out what you are doing on the spot. Devin does a good job of improvising and watching others to pick up on what type of strategy would work for him. Where he lacks is the brute physical strength. Almost any guy on the cast can wrestle or out-lift him.
Mental, Social, & Political Game: In this game, there are clear differences between the three. From the mental point of view, Devin is not good at linear type puzzles due to his dyslexia (something I also deal with). What is he good at is ingenuity, thinking on his feet and making decisions in order to win the best way possible for Devin. Sometimes it results catastrophically, though for someone like Devin to compete he has to go big or go home. In the social realm, Devin seems like a guy that people have fun with. His dynamic and charismatic personality is key to him gaining favor in the house. This game has so many rookies. By being the guy everyone likes, you will have power in the house.
Devin needs to figure out how to be a sheep herder this season. Last season he had no power due to the amount of veteran players and the format. This season the cast has 10/28 members being rookies, meaning you can manipulate them, and there leads to a lot more variance in the game. If you want to take your shot at Bananas, this is the game.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: In his one career elimination, Devin took a loss. The Redemption round against Darrell on Dirty 30 was similar to an elimination, and he also lost that. He is not the most fitted for eliminations as they have increasingly become about raw physical strength. Maybe if the elimination involves quick thinking and strategy he could pull a fast one on some of the better athletes. If he gets a physical elimination against one of the lesser athletes, he needs to pull out a win to make a statement, or else he’ll be labeled as a lay up forever.
A Devin win would be pretty out there. It’s not unimaginable; it is highly unlikely. Then again, Ashley was able to put together almost as surprising of a win on Invasion. Devin needs to snake his way through the game and play up all angles of his strengths. He needs to highlight that he’s not the biggest physical threat, he needs to make friends, and must use any type of power he has in the game to the fullest of his ability. People have titled him as the new Wes. If Devin’s smart, he should be watching Wes’s Exes 2 game. In that game, Wes showed how to maximize any power you have in the game.
Overall Score: 74/100