Surprising MTV Challenge Elimination Records
Last week, Devin Walker shocked many by eliminating Wes in elimination. Even more surprising is the fact that Devin now holds a stout 4–1 elimination record. While there are elite Challenge competitors with less than stellar elimination records, Devin, someone most would consider below average, has put together an impressive on-paper record, just one win shy of joining the 5-elimination win club.
Now, context matters. Devin’s elimination record is 4–1 due to a multitude of reasons. One is the fact he got purged on two seasons, Dirty 30 and Vendettas, meaning he avoided a loss. Cory’s DQ on Final Reckoning also kept him from adding a loss to his resume. Lastly, you don’t notice how he got to 4 wins since half of his wins came in one night on Final Reckoning in the weird mercenary elimination against Zach/Amanda and Jozea/Da’Vonne. Regardless, Devin has still compiled an elimination record one would not expect. Thus, spurring to create this article where I write about some of the most surprising eliminations. I decided to focus on seven of them. They will be surprising for different reasons: the amount of wins, strength of record, weakness of record, or weird mediocrity.
Before I go into focus, here are some honorable mention elimination records that are a bit surprising:
Jordan Wiseley 7–2 (more known for finals/daily challenges)
Jill Zoboroski 5–1 (quietly underrated)
Big Easy 4–5 (9 eliminations is a lot to have been in)
Casey Cooper 5–3 (people forget she won 5 eliminations with Wes)
Brandon Nelson 3–4 (most only remember his 3 wins from Cutthroat)
Jenna Compono 6–3 (meh)
7. Surprisingly Bad: Chris Tamburello 5–5
CT’s elimination record is a massive can of worms. Part of the reason it is lackluster is that people fear CT so much that he doesn’t go into many eliminations. When you exclude the three seasons CT left early due to DQ/medical leave (Diem Exes 2 RIP), he still averages less than 1 elimination a season (only went into elimination 7 out of those 14 seasons). You could 100% make the argument that CT could have a much better record and accumulated a laundry list of wins if he went up against more competition. His losses include his Duel 1 DQ (that is honestly his fault for picking Push Me), the threeway WOTW 1 elimination where he got teamed up on, and the elimination Adam King threw on Rivals 1.
It also doesn’t include his mercenary wins from Cutthroat and Bloodlines. If we counted those, he would probably be 8–5, far more impressive than 5–5, which is a loss away from a losing record. CT haters have too much fun with his elimination record; however, it’s not like he’s not 5–5 either. His elimination record reminds me of the 2010 San Diego Chargers, where they had both #1 offense and #1 defense in the league but went 9–7.
6. Sneaky Good: Sylvia Elsrode 5–1
Sylvia is the 4th Lavender Lady. It sucks to say since I like Sylvia, but the other three Lavender Ladies are such dynamic forces when it comes to the drama, hookup, and political elements of the Challenge. They are all individual hurricanes who, when together, blow entire games up. It doesn’t hurt to be the 4th Lavender Lady since the group has been crazy successful when all together; not everyone can be the leading star. You could argue that Sylvia would never fill the leading star role without her alliance either. Syliva is like Jorge Posada on the late 90’s-00’s Yankees. She’s crushing it and putting up consistent All-Star seasons, yet, people will only talk about Jeter, Pettitte (or Clemens), and Mariano.
Regardless, the girl put up a crazy 5–1 elimination record that included high quality wins: Kailah, Melissa, Tony, Bananas, and Tori. She’s won headbangers, carnival games, and endurance competitions, all while people considered her a physical lay-up. The girl has consistently overperformed expectations and is at the top of the female list to have never won a season, in my opinion.
5 Sneaky A Lot of Wins: Alton Williams 5–1
The concept of Alton being 5–1 isn’t shocking since he’s one of the all-time great Challenge competitors. What’s so crazy is that he comes from an older era of the show where there weren’t as many eliminations, he didn’t do many seasons as a whole, and even then, he still made it into the 5 elimination win club. Part of the reason his elimination wins get forgotten is that he racked up three wins during Gauntlet 2 while Derrick won four eliminations. Captain Derrick was the gutsy underdog outwrestling a dude twice his size and fighting for his life. Meanwhile, Alton lets his opponents pick the elimination to give them a better chance against him, and he kept dominating.
He is the all-time great who doesn’t get enough credit, and that’s partially due to his piss poor performance and attitude on Battle of the Seasons 2012 (a season he only did as a favor to a producer).
4 Shockingly Terrible: Theresa Gonzalez 2–6
Alton’s last impression was a bad one, while Theresa’s Exes 2 performance was easily the peak of her Challenge career and left the show as one of the top females of that period. It globs over the fact that Theresa racked up one of the worst elimination records ever. At one point, she was both 0–4, and at another 1–6. Those are Tyrie/Danny numbers, except nobody with a brain would regard Theresa anywhere close to their level as competitors. Theresa got dealt a terrible hand in terms of partners (Ryan and Jasmine), elimination formats (the Cutthroat mercenary twists), and opponents she went against (faced Laurel twice in elimination).
Theresa did pull out two eliminations wins on her final two seasons, including an impressive Pole Wrestle win against Nany and a Looper win against Camila.
3 Surprisingly Average: Evelyn Smith 4–3
Evelyn is one of the greatest all-time female competitors, and to me, is at least top 2. Thus, her 4–3 elimination record is somewhat confusing compared to Laurel/Emily, the other two mega elite females. It’s why context is essential. On both Fresh Meat’s, Evelyn got bottom tier partners in Danny and Luke, and those account for two of her losses. With Luke, it wasn’t from lack of trying, as they won two exiles together, and Evelyn even began carrying Luke’s male-weighted bag from the end of their first elimination until their loss to Landon/Carley. Even then, Evelyn’s time recorded during the final was still the second-best overall-time in elimination all season, only falling short to Landon by a couple of minutes.
Her other loss was to Kellyanne, an elimination she threw as Kellyanne was her best friend, and she hated her team for throwing her into elimination. Before throwing it, Evelyn physically dominated it and proved she had the win if she wanted. Looking back, had Evelyn not thrown that elimination, it’s not crazy to think she could have eliminated the entire Challenger team and stacked up one of the most impressive elimination records ever.
2 Shockingly Good, But Actually Not Great: Cory Wharton 6–3
Cory’s 6–3 elimination record feels fake because he’s more known for his losses than his wins. The soccer elimination to Nelson and the loss to Nate Siebenmark on Rivals 3 are two of the most embarrassing elimination performances ever. His loss to Matt Rife on Champs vs. Stars also doesn’t go against his record but is in our memory.
Like Devin, Cory got blessed two elimination wins in one day with his mercenary wins over Amanda/Zach and Da’Vonne/Jozea. Two of his wins are the one where Theo Bradley didn’t even attempt, and the other the threeway elimination where more people remember Nelson snaking both Cory and Shane to win part one. It’s the fakest 6–3 in Challenge history. His most impressive clean win is probably against Swaggy C on Total Madness, which isn’t saying much. I will defend Cory in saying they’ve never given him a Balls In, Pole Wrestle, or Hall Brawl, and he’s a strong raw physical competitor.
1 Surprisingly Good: Jenn Grijalva 5–2
When most people think of Jenn, they think of the person who always avoided eliminations by politicking and using her mouth to spread rhetoric that veterans should never see eliminations before rookies. It was toxic rhetoric that led to stale television and gameplay but was effective for Jenna as she made it to 4 out of 5 finals in a row. Although Jenn is known for not going into elimination, she earned her stripes early into her Challenge career. She won two eliminations twice in her early seasons, the Inferno 3 and Duel 2. Jenn then tallied the 5th win on Fresh Meat 2 against Theresa/Ryan to send her and Noor to the final. Ironically, had there not been a twist where the last-place finishers of the last daily challenge would have to face each other in the final elimination, her political game would have kept her safe. Jenn is maybe the most underrated political player in Challenge history.
Her spot in Challenge history is a weird one. A 5–2 elimination record along with four finals puts her in the Top 30 women in the show’s history. Then again, she is the only woman in Challenge history to go to 4 finals and never win, which makes you wonder whether she’s a lay-up or simply has bad-luck. I think it’s somewhere in the middle.