The Challenge All Stars Season 2 Preseason Male Cast Power Ranking
Challenge All Stars Season 2 Episode 1 debuts this Thursday, November 11th. The premiere is loaded with as much nostalgia as Season 1, and the music will immediately bring you back to the good old days. For this article, I am simply ranking the 12 Men entering the game based on how well I expect them to do/who is most likely to win. While some players may be stronger physically than others, it’s important to remember; the Challenge is also a social/political game!
Let’s jump straight in.
12 Steve Meinke (Road Rules The Quest)
1 Season, 1–1 Elimination Record
Last Seen: The Gauntlet 1
Historically speaking, Steve is the first male to win an elimination in Challenge history. He did so by eliminating Tonya on the Gauntlet 1, lasting eight episodes before getting taken out by Trishelle. That is the totality of Steve’s Challenge career. Steve’s lack of pre-game connections and experience are what put him at the bottom of the list.
Steve has worked in advertising, has been a teacher, wrote children’s books, and most notably has had a successful career as a hand model. Due to Steve’s career as a hand model, I wonder what would happen if he ends up in a Pole Wrestle elimination. Would he opt-out to keep his hands pristine? Eighteen years later, he is back for his second season.
11 Derek Chavez (Real World Cancun)
3 Seasons, 1–3 Elimination Record
Last Seen: Rivals 2
People sleep on Derek as a competitor. He was a track and cross country athlete in high school and moves well in most daily challenges. Derek’s issue is that he’s a smaller gay male, and even as society has moved forward, there is still a perception towards queer men on the Challenge. Historically, they get thrown into the first or second elimination a ton, and Derek is someone who got voted into the first elimination he was eligible for in 2 out of his 3 seasons. The positive is that he comes into this game with Jonna and Jasmine; the negative is those might be his only allies.
One of my favorite moments in Challenge history is when Derek carried Jasmine on his back during the mini Final on Battle of the Seasons (2012), while jackasses Zach and Frank are just verbally berating Sam McGinn. Derek stepped up and proved to be a massive team player.
10 Ryan Kehoe (Fresh Meat 1)
5 Seasons, 3–4 Elimination Record, 1x Finalist
Last Seen: Fresh Meat 2
Ryan, in a standard challenge season, is not a bad player. He has won multiple eliminations, and by the end of his Challenge career, had a stellar social game. Ryan made it to the Final of The Island, and he would have been in the Fresh Meat 2 Final had production not created a twist where the two last-place teams in the final daily challenge went up against one another in elimination. Ryan’s issue is you compare him to the rest of the stacked male cast, and athletically, Ryan doesn’t hold up. Add in that he is statistically one of the worst daily challenge competitors in the show’s history. The key to Ryan’s success is his social game, so while I think Derek Chavez is a better physical competitor than Ryan, I trust Ryan to make connections to get himself further.
9 Teck Holmes (Real World Hawaii)
1 Season, 1x Finalist
1 Spin-Off, 0–1 Elimination Record
Last Season: Challenge 2000/Challenge All Stars S1
Another player where the social game is going to be critical. Teck is one of the funniest and most vibrant personalities in the house and is entering this game with friendships he established on All-Stars Season 1. While Teck is not a lay-up competitor, he is uber thin and would probably get demolished in a more overtly physical elimination. Teck needs to keep the charm up at all times, that is his key to making it to the end. Then again, the way Teck went into elimination last season, it felt as though he is completely content coming in, having a good time for a week or two, and then going back to his regular life.
8 Cohutta Grindstaff (Real World Sydney)
4 Seasons, 3–3 Elimination Record
Last Seen: Bloodlines
Everyone loves Cohutta, and he will make it decently far into the season as he is an excellent daily challenge competitor. Cohutta is great with heights, nature, and has a tremendous strength to weight ratio. You throw a mountain man on the Challenge, and he will thrive. Although everyone loves him, Cohutta often does not play a sharp political game. Once people can’t be friends anymore, they take advantage of the nice guy and throw him into elimination. Cohutta’s true Achilles heel has always been his size; despite all his successes in the daily challenges and his upset elimination wins, people see him as someone they can take down in a size-based elimination or headbanger. While Cohutta has put on some weight and hair since we last him, he is still one of the smaller guys in the house.
In theory, Cohutta would do well in a Final, except he hasn’t even made it to the last elimination of the season before.
7 Laterrian Wallace (Road Rules Maximum Velocity Tour)
3 Seasons, 0–1 Elimination Record, 1x Finalist
1 Spin-Off, 1–1 Elimination Record
Last Seen: Gauntlet 1/Challenge All Stars S1
Going into last season, I ranked Latterian close to the bottom of male competitors as he was someone back in the day who looked like a superhero but couldn’t hold up the other end of the bargain. Fast-forward to 2020/2021, and Laterrian obliterates Ace in a Pole Wrestle and wins the season’s mini final challenge. The Challenge becoming a more physically intensive game made Laterrian better-suited for the modern days than he ever was for the carnival game era.
Laterrian is a personal trainer with a biology degree; he is ready to kill a final. The question is, can he put up with the sillier and more dramatic elements of the show to navigate his way to the Final? He is a straightforward gentleman, and that can get him into trouble. LT needs to be cutthroat, more socially savvy, and cunning, and if he can do that, there is a victory path for him.
6 MJ Garrett (Real World Philadelphia)
3 Seasons, 2–2 Elimination Record, 1x Champion, 1x Finalist
Last Seen: The Duel 2
One of the biggest wild cards entering this season is MJ. The first thing that strikes you when you see MJ is his size, the guy is 6'3, and he was a D1 Wide Receiver at the University of Vanderbilt. MJ is built different. He is the biggest and fastest guy in most houses he walks into. He won his rookie season as part of a stacked Rookie Squad on the Gauntlet 2. MJ was one of their strongest team competitors, though he took a backseat to the heroics of Alton & Landon. He was then an alternate on both Gauntlet 3 and The Duel 2, where he got looked at as a strong player, but then lost eliminations to Frank Roessler and Brad Fiorenza in physical games where he got outsmarted.
MJ was a bit arrogant back in the day, thinking that he would simply win out because he was the best athlete. Over a decade later, if MJ has become a bit more humble, focused, and patient, he can be a real threat to win because we know he has the physical tools. Plus, who wants to go against a guy that big in elimination?
5 Nehemiah Clark (Real World Austin)
4 Seasons, 3–3 Elimination Record, 1x Champion, 1x Finalist
1 Spin-Off, 1–1 Elimination Record
Last Seen: Rivals/Challenge All Stars S1
Last season was a bunch of highs and lows for Nehemiah. He and Yes were unequivocally the two best swimmers in the opening challenge last season; then, he won a lifesaver via the trivia challenge and an elimination against Teck. Then Nehemiah got taken out by his long-time enemy Big Easy in the final elimination, even with Big Easy’s partner going down with an injury during the elimination.
Nehemiah is a long-time underrated competitor who has finally begun to get the recognition he deserves. The fact he was on last season and did well bumps his rep within the house, making him more connected socially. Nehemiah’s relationship with Derrick is something I don’t understand, they seem to have a love/hate relationship, mostly stemming from their friendships back in the day, as Derrick hated Wes, and Nehemiah is Wes’s best friend. Meanwhile, Nehemiah hated Kenny and Evan, and Derrick was their guy. This is cheating somewhat, but Nehemiah was the most featured person in the trailer for this season, so that lets me know he will be in the mix this season.
4 Brad Fiorenza (Real World San Diego)
10 Seasons, 6–6 Elimination Record, 1x Champion, 4x Finalist
Last Seen: Final Reckoning
Brad is one of the great challenge athletes, a fantastic swimmer, moves well physically, and has shown so much ingenuity when playing from behind. In the past, Brad’s pulled off massive upset elimination wins like outsmarting Landon on Duel 2 and beating the much larger Big Easy in Pole Wrestle on Duel 1. For every one of those extraordinary moments, there’s also him coming up short in the Duel finals, getting punched out by Darrell, or him losing three consecutive eliminations on Final Reckoning.
His ex-wife Tori Hall did a fantastic job keeping Brad’s head in the game mentally and was a significant part of Brad’s lone Challenge Championship from Cutthroat. As an athlete, Brad stacks up with the best in Challenge history, where he falters is everything else. Politically, Brad tries to be everyone’s friend and then gets shocked when they throw him into elimination. He is very under the radar for being one of the dumbest people on this show, as Brad is not only bad with puzzles, he feels the need to pretend like he isn’t and just gets loud and assertive for no reason. Brad is simultaneously someone who can beat anyone in elimination and someone who can lose the game in ways you cannot even imagine.
Brad’s skill-set is similar to Derrick Kosinski, and I actually would rank Brad as the better athlete; what separates them is the social game as Derrick has more connections. It will be intriguing to see how Brad mixes it up with different people. All-Stars 2 will be the first time we see Brad on a Challenge season with Darrell since their “fight” on the Ruins.
3 Tyler Duckworth (Real World Key West)
4 Seasons, 4–2 Elimination Record, 2x Champion, 2x Finalist
Last Seen: Rivals 1
Tyler was the second-male eliminated on his first two seasons (Duel 1 and Gauntlet 3) and then went on to win back-to-back seasons with Cutthroat and Rivals 1. The big difference between Tyler on his first two and last two seasons was that he put on a ton of weight, filling out his body frame to hold up against opponents in size-based eliminations. Adding that size was crucial as Tyler was an upper-level collegiate Swimmer from an upper-level Academic University. On paper, Tyler’s cardio mixed with his intelligence and size could make him the biggest threat in a Final. Tyler is a guy who would run Iron Mans and Triathlons for fun. Hell, he won the Rivals 1 Final with Food Poisoning (and outperformed his partner, Johnny Bananas, in it too).
My biggest worry about Tyler is that he now weighs 235 lbs, which should not be too big of an issue for the Final as we saw CT win a Final on War of the Worlds 2, weighing well over 235. Being 235 could be an issue regarding how a player functions carrying their body weight in a daily challenge or elimination. Tyler doesn’t have a ton of strong social connections besides Janelle entering this game.
2 Derrick Kosinski (Road Rules X-Treme)
10 Seasons, 9–5 Elimination Record, 3x Champion, 5x Finalist
1 Spin-Off, 1x Finalist
Last Seen: Dirty 30/Challenge All Stars S1
Hosting Challenge Mania has helped Derrick’s already impeccable social game on these shows. He has been in contact with veterans of the game long before they were getting brought back for All-Stars. Derrick is someone who carries the respect of the other people in the house because they know he will run through a wall for them in an elimination/challenge/final. He is a 3x Champion and is one of the elimination kings of this franchise for a reason.
Now, we need to talk about why Derrick might not win. Derrick is not good with puzzles, he does not do well eating gross foods, and he shit the bed in that kayak purge last season. Based on all his connections and his aptitude as a competitor, I expect Derrick to be a lock to make the Final. The question is, can he come through?
1 Darrell Taylor (Road Rules Campus Crawl)
9 Seasons, 6–3 Elimination Record, 4x Champion, 4x Finalist
2 Spin-Off, 1x Champion (Champs vs Pros), 2x Finalist
Last Seen: Double Agents/Challenge All Stars S1
I ranked Darrell as the #1 guy going into last season and had Yes Duffy not put up an all-time performance in the All-Stars 1 Final; Darrell walks away with the win. Luckily for Darrell, there is no Yes to be found this season, and thus, we keep him in that #1 spot. Darrell is the guy in the house that everyone has the utmost respect for, all the women want to run the final with him, and none of the men want to face him in elimination. Whether it is a headbanger, a puzzle, or something cardio-based, while you maybe could beat Darrell in something, you’d rather not risk it.
If Darrell is on a season of the Challenge, he is automatically a top contender.