The Challenge All Stars 3 Player Preview: Brad Fiorenza
Big Elimination Wins.
Big Heartbreaking Losses.
Fresh off losing the final elimination of All Stars 2, a hungry Brad Fiorenza is coming back to compete against some of the best men in Challenge history. When it comes to individual competition, Brad has always stood out, and along the way, he’s taken down some massive trophies in eliminations from Landon to CT; can he add another this season? Maybe a Jordan or a Mark? For about eliminations, ultimately, what Brad wants is another Challenge Championship.
Brad’s Cheat Sheet (TLDR Version)
Introducing Brad: After filming Real World San Diego, Brad transitioned onto the Challenge seamlessly, immediately establishing himself on Battle of the Sexes 2 as a top player in the daily challenges. Unfortunately for Brad, he was a rookie, and the vets had an alliance where he got left hanging in the end-game. He learned harsh reality where even though he was a stellar competitor, there was a social/political dimension to the game as well. Brad then went on the Inferno 2 and Gauntlet 2, and while he was a strong player, he ran into beasts in Abram & Derrick in elimination.
He went on to do many more seasons, and the same story kept replaying: beasting the game physically but coming up short in the end. On the Duel 1, Brad pulled off two massive elimination wins, one against Big Easy and the other against CT. Tragically, Brad got screwed by a penalty shoot-out twist against soccer player Wes in the Final putting him at a disadvantage from the jump, to which Brad lost by the slimmest of margins. When Brad came back for the Gauntlet 3, his life changed as he fell for rookie and pageant queen Tori Hall. The two would become an item; later engaged and married with kids. Brad was able to coast to the Final on Gauntlet 3; sadly, his chance of winning sunk when Big Easy DQ’d his entire team. Brad returned for the Duel 2; he again picked up significant elimination wins, this time against Landon and MJ, en route to the Final, where he lost in a last-second sprint to Evan.
His next season was the Ruins, and Brad had a miserable time saddled on a weak challenger team facing a stacked champions squad. Brad spiraled, got crazy drunk one night, and suddenly he’s instigating a fight with Darrell where he gets knocked out, and both get sent home. Things were not looking great for Brad. He went back for Cutthroat alongside Tori as part of the Red Team, finally earning his first and only Challenge Championship. Yet, the season itself was not great for Brad — his team underperformed in the dailies, and he took slack for skirting out of eliminations when all his other teammates went in (Brandon Nelson went in 4x). In the actual Final, his team didn’t overcome anything. They more or less won by default after Abram DQ’d due to dehydration. It was far from a picture-perfect ending… at least he got to finally be a Champion, kiss Tori at the top of a castle, and then live happily ever after…
Following his divorce from Tori, Brad wanted to find himself and feel like a badass again, so he did Vendettas and Final Reckoning back to back. Brad jumped back in the swing of things naturally, performing well in the opening challenges, getting into a showmance with Britni Thornton his first night in the house, and then having a fight over pizza, as one would in a Challenge house. Somehow Brad was on the outside looking in and fought an uphill battle, winning multiple eliminations and then losing right before the Final against Leroy in a weirdly anticlimactic last elimination of the season. Brad did Final Reckoning with Kyle as a partner, where they started hot winning a couple of the opening challenges. Unfortunately, they peaked way too early. They completely nadired from there, losing an elimination to Shane & Nelson, followed by two additional redemption elimination losses to Paulie & Natalie and Kam & Kayleigh. It was a bad way to go down.
Brad announced his retirement, which got thrown out the window once All Stars came into play. He re-debuted on All Stars 2. After randomly coming in last place in the trivia challenge, Brad got forced to take out his friend Derrick in an endurance/puzzle elimination. Things were on the up after that as he got partnered with Jodi, and the two looked like the favorites to win based on their physical pedigree, that is until they lost grasp of themselves in the last couple of weeks. They had no chemistry as a pair, and when the stakes were the highest, they crumbled under pressure, losing an intense elimination to Darrell & Janelle right before the Final. I’d say that loss will fuel him this season; although Brad has been in the last elimination of the season four times in his Challenge career and twice in his four most recent seasons, this guy has enough fuel in the engine to drive from California to New York.
Player Vitals & Stats
Brad Fiorenza: 41 Years Old, 5'10, 190 lbs**, 10 Seasons, 6–6 Elimination Record, 1x Champion (Cutthroat), 4x Finalist, 1 All Star Season, 1–1 All Star Elimination Record
Skills and Physical Strength: Brad thrives if it is pure physical competition. He is fast, agile, coordinated, strong, and a natural athlete. Based on performance, Brad is one of the better swimmers in Challenge history. Hilariously, swimming might not even be an advantage for him as this cast has so many elite swimmers (Wes, Tyler, Yes, Darrell, Jordan). A weakness for Brad is eating challenges; he hates them, simple as that.
In recent years, Brad has gone under a massive body transformation where he’s bulked up and put on a ton of muscle mass. From an aesthetic point of view and competitive standpoint, Brad looks intimidating and is not someone you want to face in a Hall Brawl. The counter to his new body type is that it’s way less optimal for running a Final. Brad was a great competitor back in the day because his body was functional for cardio/endurance activities and then capable of going up against the heavyweights. Brad was damn good at finding creative ways to give himself an edge against his opponents in eliminations and challenges. Now that he gained all that muscle, I think there’s a side to him who thinks he can just power through everything with brute force.
Brad is a real threat if he can find a healthy medium between the old version of himself and his new physique. If Brad tries to play like he did last season, he’s just a good player who has no serious chance of winning.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: Generally, I think Brad has a solid social game. He is a kind person and can connect well with people; if anything, he is a bit too trusting in what can be a cutthroat game. Politically and strategically, Brad struggles a bit when in power as he is not good with the damage control element that goes into voting someone into elimination. Brad has a good heart and intentions — the issue is, if that gets in your way, then you might create more problems for yourself than if you played heartlessly. With such a stacked cast, Brad needs to win daily challenges and try to make cold calculated players. I wonder if Brad is able to detach himself from who he is at his core.
Where Brad fits in with the house intrigues me. Last season, Brad aligned with Derrick/Darrell/MJ, and he is likely to be cool with those men again this season. The X-factor this season is Wes, a friend of Brad’s who is actively enemies with most of the people Brad worked with on All Stars 2. Wes and Brad are super close; he was at Brad’s wedding back in the day, and Brad was at Wes’s bachelor party weekend a couple of years ago. They’ve maintained a good relationship without doing a show together for almost 15 years. Potentially, Brad will be in a prime position to straddle the middle of the Derrick/Darrell alliance and the Wes/Nehemiah side.
Mentally, Brad is a below-average player when it comes to puzzles. Hopefully, this game goes to partners where he can have someone assists him on that end, and then he can compensate physically.
Eliminations & Winning Potential:
When discussing elimination resumes, not many are better than Brad’s. He has taken out legends and champions such as Landon, CT, Frank Sweeney, Derrick, and MJ. Brad’s won Pole Wrestle, reverse tug of wars, carnival games, and climbing eliminations. If it is physical, Brad’s chances of winning are fantastic. Then again, Brad has lost his share of eliminations, including three in one season on Final Reckoning. As I mentioned above, Brad does well in the underdog role; what he struggles with is what happens when he has a lead or advantage. Being the underdog is sometimes more manageable because you have a person in front of you to base your pace on, whereas, when you’re in 1st, you drive blindly. Hell, have you ever played Mario Kart? Being 1st in Mario Kart is extremely stressful as you got people breathing down your neck and then blue shells coming at you from out of nowhere. I can’t imagine being in 1st Place in a race when there are 250k or a million dollars on the line. When Brad has those expectations of winning, he gets a bit panicked, and it’s relatable.
Interestingly, Brad is a career 7–3 in solo eliminations and 0–4 in paired eliminations. Partner communication could be an issue for him, which is huge as we’ve seen these All Stars seasons devolve into partnerships many times.
Can Brad win? Well, Brad should have already won multiple Championships in his career, and the one he did win (Cutthroat) was probably his least impressive season as a competitor to date. Suffice to say: there is a lot of luck involved in the Challenge, and Brad is someone who always somehow is on the outside looking in, either through choices of his own or something random going wrong. So yes, Brad is more than capable of winning. Would I bet on it? Nope.