Derrick Kosinski is back for his third straight All Stars season! The 3x Champion and King of the Gauntlet is coming off debatably his worst season to date, and for that reason, you have to think he is going into this season angry and motivated. Which is saying a lot as Derrick is already one of the most passionate competitors in Challenge history. I don’t think there’s a single person who loves and cares about this show more. Derrick is ready to run into a brick wall and maybe even break some bones if it means winning. Will that be enough? Or does he need to shake things up?
Derrick’s Cheat Sheet (TLDR Version)
Introducing Derrick: What a journey it’s been for Derrick. He debuted on Reality TV in 2004 at only 20 years old on Road Rules X-Treme. Derrick immediately fit into the Challenge, filming six straight seasons. His first season (Battle of the Sexes 2) was a tough fit, where he was on the outside as a rookie socially, drank a little too much, and was an early exit. Derrick came back for the Inferno 2, where he was able to cruise to the Final by proving himself as a strong competitor, ultimately losing in the Final through no fault of his own. His next season, the Gauntlet 2, is when Derrick became a legend.
The Gauntlet 2 had a twist where the team’s “captains” would have to face elimination if their team lost and would get prizes like a Nintendo DS, Best Buy Gift Cards, or a neck massage from TJ if their team won. Again on the outs as the rookie of the Vets team, Derrick got sent into the first elimination against former champ Adam Larsen. Derrick beat Adam, won another elimination against Ace Amerson, then pulled out a physical elimination upset against the much bigger Syrus Yarbrough, and finally, he took out Brad Fiorenza. Four elimination wins in one season, a feat less than ten people have achieved in this show’s history, and Derrick is the first man ever to do so (all-solo wins too). Sadly, Derrick would lose the last elimination of the season to Timmy Beggy in a weight-based game.
Derrick had stand-out performances and highlight moments in his next two seasons: Fresh Meat 1 and the Duel 1. Sadly, Fresh Meat 1 ended in another final elimination loss, and The Duel 1 would be a Pole Wrestle loss against his nemesis Wes. At a certain point, it felt like Derrick was becoming the guy everyone admired but wouldn’t be able to pull out the big one.
That is until CT punched Davis on the Inferno 3, and MTV brought Derrick in as an alternate for the Bad Asses Team. Finally, luck was on Derrick’s side. Derrick exorcised his demons by winning the last elimination and taking home the championship alongside his team in the Final. Good karma kept going Derrick’s way, winning two more titles with the Island and the Ruins, staying under the radar in both, and becoming one of only four competitors in Challenge history to win 3 consecutive seasons. He could not make it four, coming up short in the last elimination against Tyler in Cutthroat in a mostly weight-based elimination. Derrick then *retired* from the show.
Around 2016–7, reports came out that Derrick was newly divorced and gearing for a comeback. Derrick returned on Dirty 30 and put up a damn good performance, winning the opening daily challenges, taking out Johnny Bananas in an intense elimination, and finishing 2nd Place while being the only male player not to get taken out via purge or elimination the entire season. Derrick also started the Challenge Mania podcast alongside Scott Yager and has been a significant part of the show’s fan community, doing live shows across the country.
Derrick competed in both All Stars seasons. His first season was underwhelming for his standards; he didn’t win any life shields, no eliminations, and then got purged immediately during the Final alongside Jisela. The following season was somehow more disastrous. Derrick started strong by winning the first daily challenge yet mismanaged the opening nominations leading to what would be a random and epic blindside by Steve Meinke and Casey Cooper, throwing him into elimination to face Brad. Just like that, Derrick had the earliest exit of his Challenge career. Worst of all, Derrick had his outfit roasted by his fellow cast members and the internet. After all that, I expect Derrick to be hungry to compete.
Sidenote: If you’ve never been to a Challenge Mania event, you should go, it’s always worth it. I’m going to their Nashville event this Summer. I’m excited to buy Derrick a beer for every part of this blog he might potentially dislike. Haha.
Player Vitals & Stats
Derrick Kosinski: 38 Years Old, 5'6, 10 Seasons, 9–5 Elimination Record, 3x Champion (Inferno 3, The Island, The Ruins), 5x Finalist, 2 All Stars Season, 1x All Star Finalist, 0–1 All Star Elimination Record
Skills and Physical Strength:
When it comes to balance, agility, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination, Derrick is up there with some of the best competitors. He is a thrill-seeker who loves and thrives in the more extreme challenges. Derrick’s size, coordination, and height-to-strength ratio become a massive advantage for anything that requires climbing or lifting one’s body weight. He has also proven to be a solid swimmer. What Derrick lacks is total weight/raw size, a factor that can be critical in a tug-of-war or backpack-type challenge/elimination.
Derrick has remarkable grip strength, so he does well in Pole Wrestle eliminations. He also can take hits, unlike many other humans. One of his weaknesses is weirdly eating challenges; he just doesn’t have the stomach for gross food and is not a fast eater either.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: Last season, Derrick called himself one of the best political players ever; a bit of an out-there comment as it felt like Adam Sandler saying he’s known for his work in Dramas. In All Stars 2, he tried to take control and play the political game early to show a different side to himself. Instead, he put a target on himself early, was thrown into elimination against Brad, and got sent packing.
Where did Derrick go wrong? For starters, Derrick isn’t one of the best political players ever; however, he is one of the BEST SOCIAL PLAYERS. Derrick knows how to build social bonds — he has such an everyman’s hard-working quality that people trust him. Not to mention, his epic performances in the elimination arena have gained him the respect of his fellow competitors. If you re-watch the Island, you’ll notice every person, regardless of where they stood socially & politically, wanted Derrick on their boat for the Final. Derrick is incredibly good at playing the middle and staying under the radar. It is why him making waves so early on All Stars 2 was such a misguided move.
I do love that Derrick has the ambition to be a more considerable force in the game politically/strategically. Being a good strategic/political is about knowing when to play your cards at the right moment. For success, Derrick should play it safe early on and then try to make high-leverage moves late in the game, even if it means taking a huge risk, like throwing himself into an elimination to take out a more significant threat in the Final. We need to see a mix of old school Derrick with a bit of an added flair at the end. Looking forward, Derrick has allies in Mark, Brad, Darrell, and MJ, which is a solid stable of dudes to have. What matters for longevity is having a few female allies he can trust and who will have his back/want to be a partner with him in the Final. Derrick also goes into this game with a couple of potential enemies with Wes & Nehemiah.
For the mental side of the game, puzzles are not Derrick’s groove. Hopefully, he has been practicing because he likely won’t win a final without being at least average in puzzles.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: You think of headbanger eliminations when you think of Derrick. He is a pitbull who has so much heart and is someone nobody wants to face. Derrick has way more wins than losses, though, like most people on the Challenge, Derrick is beatable. If the elimination is a puzzle, you might favor his opponent. If it’s physical, you favor Derrick unless weight plays a massive factor (his elimination with Timmy). Whereas most people want to leave eliminations in one piece, Derrick doesn’t want to walk out of an elimination arena unless he is bleeding.
Can Derrick win? He’s a 3x Champion and a beast; nobody would be shocked if he won. Then again, Derrick’s never won a solo or pair Final (granted, his sample size in them is small), and to do so, you generally need to be a well-rounded player with no weaknesses. While Derrick is an elite athlete, his puzzle skills and eating prowess are lacking. For this reason, he needs to push the pace cardio-wise as best possible and pray to get a partner who complements him well if it’s partner-based.
Additionally, for Derrick to win, he’s going to need to make sure the more well-rounded threats that are in equally as good shape as him or better cardio-wise aren’t there for the Final (Jordan, Darrell, Yes). The political game will be a significant factor if Derrick has any shot of winning, and he may have to turn some of his friends into foes if he wants to get another championship.