The Challenge All Stars 3 Player Preview: Kendal Sheppard

MTV Challenge Twitter’s American sweetheart Kendal Sheppard is back for her third straight All-Stars season. It’s crazy to think Kendal did only one main season of the Challenge and is now about to do her third spin-off in the last two years. Kendal’s been one of the strongest competitors on these All-Stars seasons and hopes to build on her past success towards a championship this time around.

Kendal’s Cheat Sheet (TLDR Version)

Introducing Kendal: Kendal debuted on Inferno 1 as a member of the Road Rules team. Like on her Road Rules season, Kendal was an absolute delight of a human being (still is today too). Kendal had a showmance with Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, proved to be a strong competitor in the challenges, won a heated elimination against Leah Gillingwater, and took home a Challenge Championship (and a car). Then she vanished until about 2017, when she popped out of nowhere on social media, did many interviews, and became part of the MTV Challenge fan community. She wanted to compete again and even went through testing for some seasons.

Kendal finally got to re-debut with other OGs for Challenge All Stars Season 1, where she made a big splash. While Kendal struggled to blend into the social and political scape of the game, with many calling her paranoid, she proved to be a real threat as a physical competitor. She won two eliminations, two individual immunities, most notably the season’s mini final, and then tragically lost the final elimination of the season. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Kendal and her fans.

She returned for Challenge All Stars 2 and was mostly coasting through the game until an untimely positive COVID test took her out of the game. Even though Kendal was going into elimination at the time of her DQ, she was most likely taking out Jasmine in a Pole Wrestle, would have gotten a life shield, and then a path to the final from there was realistic. After two hectic OG seasons, I think Kendal wants a straight-up game where she gets to play like an average person and either wins or goes out on her terms. Maybe Kendal’s destined to have a crazy season every time? Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best for her.

Player Vitals & Stats

Kendal Darnell: 42 Years Old, 5'3, 1 Main Season, 1x Champion, 1x Finalist, 1–0 Elimination Record, 2 All Stars Seasons, 2–1 Elimination Record

Skills and Physical Strength:

Everyone sees Kendal as a physical threat. After thousands of hours of yoga, Kendal has gained balance, endurance, flexibility, and incredible strength to body-weight ratio. The more “extreme” daily challenges sometimes come down to how comfortable you are standing on a tiny perch reaching for an object, or can you go through this obstacle course on a moving vehicle supporting your body weight? Kendal’s body type and skill-set are perfect for each. In theory, she is the female competitor people are afraid to see in a Final, which is why she will likely get targeted before then, to which we need to talk about her negatives.

If you asked Kendal what her weakness is, she’d probably say swimming, and I’d say she is too hard on herself and that Kendal is an average swimmer. To me, Kendal has one main physical weakness: her law of raw size. Going into this All-Stars season, you have some women with decent size, wherein a weight-based elimination skill gets thrown out the window, and bigger competitors could sit on Kendal. Kendal doesn’t have much of a shot in a backpack-type elimination. The target on Kendal’s back is going to be massive. The larger competitors will see Kendal as a Final threat and someone they’d want to face in a headbanger. It enforces the idea Kendal needs to give it her all in every daily challenge to ensure her safety.

SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game:

Looking at the cast list, Kendal has a #1 female ally in KellyAnne and a #1 male ally in Darrell. After that, it gets a bit murky. She is on good terms with a decent amount of people (Laterrian, Nehemiah, Melinda), but they are not strong bonds where they will actively look out for her. The key to success for Kendal’s social game is to form connections with people who don’t have a ton of close allies. For example, someone like Jemmye is already tight with Jonna, Kailah, and Veronica, meaning there’s not much reason for Kendal to try and make her an ally.

If Kendal’s social game doesn’t pan out and she’s on the outside looking in like on All Stars Season 1, then performing well physically could be Kendal’s path to success. If Kendal looks like someone the men want to run the final with, they will try to keep her around. Cara Maria didn’t have a ton of female allies during Dirty 30/Vendettas, and she never had to worry about elimination because most of the men wanted to run a final with her.

When it comes to the mental side of the Challenge, Kendal has good memorization skills as a nurse. The way a nurse can scan a patient’s clipboard in seconds and extract so much information and details is one of the more impressive skills not enough people talk about. Her problem-solving skills are a bit suspect when she gets anxious. When calm, Kendal is a solid mental player.

Eliminations & Winning Potential: We watched Kendal beat Trishelle in Knot So Fast and Katie in an altered version of Tug of War. She’s proven to do well in games of endurance and dexterity. How would she do in a Hall Brawl or a Balls In? Going against 6’ Nia or someone with size on them like Syliva, Kendal would be dead in the water. Lucky for her, the female eliminations thus far on All Stars haven’t been headbangers. Still, you have to avoid elimination at all costs.

Can Kendal win? If she can get to the final, yes. We saw her demolish the mini final alongside LT on All Stars 1. Kendal’s endurance + mental prowess made her a real threat. Looking at the female cast, Kendal probably has the best cardio or is at least close to on par with whoever is at the top. Again though, the question is, can she finally get there? People will see her as a threat, and she doesn’t have the most connections. Kendal will need to give 110% which is what she plans on doing anyway.

Kendal’s Overall Rating: 86/100

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