How would Free Agents have been with the double cross?

Allan Aguirre
9 min readAug 21, 2017


The double-cross has been one of the most intriguing format choices the Challenge has ever done. It has given so much power to the losers of the game and has been used for small moves, to keep players safe, but big moves as well. This prompted me to re-imagine Free Agents, where the person pulling the kill card instead pulls the double-cross. For example, Frank Sweeney pulled the first two kill cards on Free Agents, throwing him into elimination. In this universe, the power is now in his hands, and he can throw people into elimination.

When a player is eliminated, the person who eliminates them, who should have been eliminated already, will now fill their place in the “Draw”, unless they were already in the game and won that challenge, or under special circumstances.


Episode 1

Frank and Jemmye pull the double-cross. Frank picks Dustin, the last time they were on a season together they had a major fight. Jemmye makes the easy pick and sends in Emilee Fitzpatrick.

Elimination Game — Balls In: Dustin vs Chet, Emilee vs LaToya

Result: Dustin bodies Chet, while LaToya mops the floor with Emilee. Both move on to the next week.

Differences: Emilee is eliminated instead of Jemmye.

Episode 2

Frank and Jemmye (in Emilee’s spot) pull the double-cross for the second week in a row. Frank knows it’s too early to throw in CT, so he makes the easy choice by throwing in a rookie (Swift). Jemmye also picks a rookie (Nia).

Elimination Game — Wrecking Wall: Swift vs Dustin, Nia vs Jonna

Results: Dustin and Nia use their size to their advantage and are able to make it up the wall faster.

Differences: Jonna goes home in episode 2 (where she originally beat Emilee). Swift goes home episode 2, a few episodes earlier than his original loss.

Episode 3

No guys elimination as Frank is out due to his bacterial infection. Jonna would’ve been in this draw and as Nia was already voted in, Jemmye takes her place in the draw. Cara Maria pulls the double-cross and decides to make a big move by throwing in Laurel’s enemy, Aneesa.

Elimination Game — Looper: Nia vs Aneesa

Results: While Nia’s endurance exceeds Aneesa’s, Aneesa’s size and experience wins her the elimination.

Differences: Aneesa gets the win and one of Cara Maria’s biggest moments as a competitor flops.

Episode 4

Zach pulls the double-cross and Cara Maria pulls it for the second week in a row. After being disappointed in Isaac in the Hamster Ball mission, Zach votes in Isaac. Since she voted her in the week before, Cara Maria picks Aneesa again.

Elimination Game — Oppenheimer: Isaac vs Brandon, Aneesa vs LaToya

Results: Brandon wins the elimination on a score of 2–1. He knows how to hit and against someone marginally bigger, Brandon gets the win. Aneesa truck LaToya, racking up her 9th career elimination win.

Differences: Brandon wins the elimination keeping him in the game a week longer. Isaac leaves a weak earlier. LaToya leaves the same week she would have.

Episode 5

In Isaac’s spot, Brandon pulls the double-cross. Brandon hates Bananas, so he votes CT in against him. Jasmine pulls the double-cross and goes big, voting Camila into elimination, to face Laurel.

Elimination Game — Balls In: CT vs Bananas, Camila vs Laurel

CT absolutely destroys Bananas, getting a 3–0 win in 5 rounds. Laurel has no remorse for Camila. She dominates her and takes the 3–0 win.

Differences: The season’s winner, Bananas, is ELIMINATED in episode 5!! Wow. Camila is eliminated one weak earlier.

Episode 6

Jordan pulls the double-cross votes CT in after their fight on the bus (Bananas is gone). As he eliminated him a couple of weeks earlier, Dustin has Swift’s spot. Since Laurel was not voted in or in the draw group, Jemmye fills Camila’s spot in the draw. Jemmye pulls the double-cross, in Camila’s place, and goes for the rookie (Jessica).

Elimination Game — Looper: CT vs Dustin, Jessica vs Theresa

Results: CT and Theresa win. Any surprise here?

Differences: Dustin gets in a few extra episodes, and his relationship with Jessica ends up becoming a real thing. She leaves a few weeks earlier than she would have and looks a bit more like a flop.

Episode 7

CT again fills Bananas’ place as Jordan’s main target. He is voted into elimination due to the system, sorry. Jordan asks the others in the draw to double-cross him — they do.

Here is where we deviate from the script a bit. Jasmine and Jemmye are both bottom tier competitors, still in the game. They both end up in the draw, making Nany safe. Since Jemmye is the one who threw Emilee into elimination, who was eventually eliminated by Jonna in the original, she takes Jonna’s spot in pulling the kill card (this time the double-cross). Jemmye votes in Devyn (Jasmine is her drinking buddy).

Elimination Game — Wrecking Wall: Jordan vs CT, Devyn vs Aneesa

Results: CT dominates Jordan, as he falls down the wall. Aneesa beats Devyn flat out.

Differences: Devyn no longer makes the final; Jordan is eliminated the same week. Aneesa and CT have each won 3 eliminations now.

Episode 8

Since CT won the daily Challenge where Bananas lost, Brandon fills Bananas’ spot in the draw. Cohutta pulls the double-cross and picks Johnny Reilly to face Preston in elimination. Laurel pulls the double-cross and chooses the only other person in the draw (Theresa).

Elimination Game — Oppenheimer: Reilly vs Preston, Theresa vs Aneesa

Results: Reilly receives his first ever elimination win, while Aneesa wins again due to her massive size advantage.

Differences: Preston goes home the same week he would have and proves his worth. It’s sad to see Theresa leave without making a final again. Aneesa has now made it farther than she originally did and won four eliminations.

Episode 9

Results: Jasmine fills Jessica’s place as the person voted into elimination. Jemmye fills Devyn’s spot in the draw. Cara Maria pulls her third double-cross of the season. She keeps Laurel safe and throws in Jemmye. LeRoy pulls the double-cross, he throws in Reilly as the easy choice.

Elimination Game — Balls In: Reilly vs Cohutta, Jemmye vs Jasmine

Results: The “Jasmine vs Jemmye for the Top 6” is the toilet bowl of the century. Jemmye gets the win. The interesting thing about the Cohutta/Reilly match is that Reilly isn’t a lot bigger than Cohutta, maybe only 20 lbs. This a nail-biter that ends 3–2. Sadly, Reilly wins.

Differences: Cohutta is eliminated the same week, and Jasmine is eliminated four episodes later than she would have.

Episode 10

Results: CT and Nany win the final daily mission. Brandon, LeRoy, Aneesa, and Jemmye go straight into the draw. They vote Reilly and Laurel into the final elimination. CT gets payback for Reilly voting him in earlier in the season. Nany attempts a big move by throwing in Laurel. The other girl eligible to be voted in was Cara Maria, and CT would not vote her. Zach makes it to top 4.

Aneesa pulls the double-cross — Jemmye is in elimination. LeRoy pulls the double-cross for the second week in a row, this puts Brandon in the final elimination.

Elimination Game — Wrecking Wall: Brandon vs Reilly, Jemmye vs Laurel

Results: It’s safe to say Laurel torches Jemmye. Reilly is known for his slow and steady approach in eliminations — this allows Brandon to have the edge and win.

Differences: Reilly does not make the final four, LeRoy and Brandon do. Jemmye makes it WAY farther than an episode one elimination.

Final Four Guys: CT, Zach, LeRoy, Brandon

Final Four Girls: Laurel, Cara Maria, Nany, Aneesa

Episode 11

Flipping the script again, instead of a final draw, they do a final Bloodbath (from Invasion), where everyone does the same final puzzle from the CT/Bananas and Laurel/Theresa match-ups. Last person done gets eliminated.


1st CT 2nd Zach 3rd Brandon 4th LeRoy (eliminated)

1st Laurel 2nd Aneesa 3rd Cara Maria 4th Nany (eliminated)

Differences: LeRoy again makes it short of the final. Nany’s career as a competitor is diminished as she loses her lone final appearance.

The Final

Stage 1 pairs:

Zach & Laurel

CT & Cara Maria

Brandon & Aneesa

From their years of Challenge experience, Cara Maria and Laurel are pros when it comes to kayaking. CT and Cara totally set the pace and win the first portion with a time of 38 minutes and 57 seconds. Zach holds back Laurel a bit, but they put up 44 minutes and 26 seconds. Due to their lack of experience in the water, Brandon and Aneesa struggle. They finish in 50 minutes and 18 seconds.

Stage 2 pairs:

Zach & Aneesa

CT & Laurel

Brandon & Cara Maria

Aneesa’s size has dominated this whole season, but now she’s struggling due to her lack of endurance. CT and Laurel kill it, while Cara and Brandon also do well. CT and Laurel finish first with a time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, and 11 seconds. Cara and Brandon finish in second with a time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, and 33 seconds. Aneesa and Zach do it in 1 hour, 32 minutes, and 34 seconds.

Stage 3 pairs:

Zach & Cara Maria

CT & Aneesa

Brandon & Laurel

Once again, Zach dies atop the mountain. However, without the temperature shock that came with his kayak turning over in the original final (with Devyn), he does a lot better. Aneesa needs to walk at multiple points. However, with CT coaching her, she does a lot better than she would have with the other guys. Brandon and Laurel are superstars going up the mountain.

Brandon and Laurel put up a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 58 seconds. Zach/Cara Maria finish in 2 hours, 38 minutes, 47 seconds. CT/Aneesa finish in 2 hours, 42 minutes, 50 seconds.

Stage 4:

During the biking portion, CT shows how final experience pushes a person mentally. Cara Maria is angry after Zach set her back and is going hard on the bike. Laurel and Brandon’s fatigue are setting in.

CT finishes in 1 hour, 10 minutes, and 26 seconds.

Cara Maria finishes 1 hour, 23 minutes, and 48 seconds.

Brandon finishes in 1 hour, 26 minutes, and 50 seconds.

Zach finishes in 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 55 seconds.

Laurel finishes in 1 hour, 32 minutes, and 02 seconds.

Aneesa finishes in 2 hours, 03 minutes, and 12 seconds.

Stage 5:

The final mountain climb is where push comes to shove. Zach is in good condition and still thinks he can finish in second. The wear and tear on Laurel and Brandon is now fully set in. Cara is not 100%, but her and CT are in the best condition out of anyone.

CT finishes in 2 hours, 25 minutes, and 52 seconds.

Cara Maria finishes in 2 hours, 59 minutes, and 08 seconds.

Brandon finishes in 3 hours, 02 minutes, and 35 seconds.

Laurel finishes in 3 hours, 10 minutes, and 38 seconds.

Zach finishes in 3 hours, 12 minutes, and 16 seconds.

Aneesa finishes in 4 hours, 04 minutes, and 51 seconds.

Total times:

1st CT (8 hours, 19 minutes, and 16 seconds)

2nd Brandon (9 hours, 13 minutes, and 14 seconds)

3rd Zach (9 hours, 34 minutes, and 58 seconds)

1st Cara Maria (9 hours, 7 minutes, and 13 seconds)

2nd Laurel (9 hours, 9 minutes, and 15 seconds)

3rd Aneesa (11 hours, 13 minutes, and 45 seconds)

The final between Cara Maria and Laurel becomes a battle of endurance. Laurel actually does better than when she won against Nany. The difference is that Cara Maria isn’t Nany, and because Zach didn’t need to be rescued like he did with Devyn, he was in superior condition to run the rest of the final.

In reality, the Laurel vs Cara Maria outcome could go either way. You can decide who wins that on your own. This is all fantasy anyway.

The main difference is that Cara Maria wins and Laurel doesn’t get her first win. This could lead to friendship trouble. Aneesa has her best season ever despite finishing dead last in the final. Brandon does fine for his first final. Zach is straight up not built for this final.



Allan Aguirre

27 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.