For those holding on to the days where it was called the Real World/Road Rules All Stars Challenge…I think it is time to accept that the show is now just the Challenge. With Road Rules being gone, and Real World essentially dead, this season of the Challenge has ten new rookies, none of which are coming from Real World. On top of it all, we are getting the first ever rookies from outside the MTV realm. Natalie Negrotti and Victor Arroyo from CBS’s Big Brother franchise will be making their debuts.
Many think this is a move by MTV in order to gain ratings. It’s a smart move if it is. Big Brother has a gigantic and rabid fan following. People live for Big Brother and the characters that are on the show. Almost every contestant has a fan base, even the most hated ones. When news came out that Big Brother players will be entering the Challenge, the ratings for Dirty 30 actually saw a decent boost.
Before every Big Brother season, competitors get preseason interviews before they enter the house. Here is Natalie’s from eighteen months ago:
She may come off as the barbie princess type…and well…she kinda is. And it’s not in a bad way either. Natalie loves the color pink, enjoys being a people pleaser, and is known to cry a decent amount (some people are one with their emotions).
You may be turned off from Natalie being on the Challenge if you have never seen her before because all she seems to be is a pretty girl. Natalie is more than a pretty girl, though she does play that factor up to her benefit. On her season of Big Brother she placed sixth for many different reasons. One of them being she found a way to stay out of the cross-hairs of many competitors sights, was solid in competitions, and was able to flip to different alliances when it mattered.
Natalie’s one show was defined by her relationship with James Huling of BB17 & BB18. The short red-neck Asian guy who America fell in love with for his pranks on BB17 got old during his second season of the show. He and Natalie created an unlikely pair and proceeded to date off the show. It was then people realized James might not be the cool guy we see on television. Saying their relationship ended tumultuously is a understatement.
Natalie being able to go on the Challenge is a great thing because she can leave that relationship in the past and create a new identity again.
Skills & Physical Strength: The Challenge favors bigger and taller competitors. They will occasionally use missions that favor smaller bodies. Most of the time, bigger competitors get the edge. We’ve seen Jenna win missions because how lengthy she is, and we have seen Cara Maria get whooped by Laurel many times because of size. Natalie is 5'0, maybe leaning closer to 4'11. While we have seen players succeed despite their size, those are often the outliers.
What are Natalie’s physical strengths? Surprisingly, it’s her size. At 5'0 with an athletic career of dancing, gymnastics, and cheerleading, Natalie can spring off a board and support her own weight quite easily. These strengths are more exaggerated in Big Brother endurance competitions where a play must support their own weight for extended periods of time. We rarely get a mission like that on the Challenge, though the wall sitting competition from Dirty 30 was very similar to a Big Brother competition. Lately, with the amount of height challenges, balance has become a major factor into how well people do. Natalie might have to overcome fear, but she has the innate advantage of incredible balance, and knowing how to land. She will always lack when it comes to tackling or wrestling with another competitor.
Sidenote: She was also a cheerleader from the New York Jets.
Mental, Social, & Political Game: We won’t know how strong Natalie is for the mental game that is the Challenge. I am sure she will do fine when it comes time for puzzles. I am not sure she will be able to deal with the poor living conditions, and how bad the quality of food is. While Natalie had to endure Slop on Big Brother, the food on the Challenge isn’t much better, and is said to be portioned terribly. How is Natalie going to react if one of the more famed drama starters gets in her face?
From the social standpoint, people are either going to love or hate her. By being a Big Brother player entering the Challenge, she will either have people wanting to be her friend, or hate her for coming from another show.
Natalie’s political game will rely on gaining friendships with more experienced players. As a rookie there will always be the target on her back for eliminations. She is rumored to be friends with Cara Maria, as Cara met many Big Brother people while doing some club appearances in Florida. Latching onto stronger players is a great way to get far.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: Most eliminations are geared towards raw physical size and explosive athleticism. Natalie is likely the smallest girl on the cast. If Natalie gets an elimination that is about balance, climbing, or dexterity, she will have a chance. Eliminations are not looking like a strong suit for her.
Natalie will not win. She is physically not ready to win a final. If Natalie can find a way to make it to the mid-way point, this game will be a major success for her. Going into this game as a rookie from a different show, the target will be large. Here’s hoping to a good showing from the Big Brother fan favorite!
Overall Score: 65/100