Thanks to the Spoiler Team at Vevmo, we now have the cast for The Challenge All Stars Season 4. The cast for this season is all over the place. Competitively, this is one of the weakest male casts I’ve ever seen; however, there are some good characters and interesting returns. On the women’s side, we are stacked to the brim both competitively and in terms of drama.
I decided to spend way too much time power ranking the 12 women and 12 women based on who I think has the BEST SHOT TO WIN THIS SEASON.
I’m not ranking them all time or even objectively as individual competitors. We are talking about who is winning within the context of this game.
Let’s jump right into it.
12 Jay Mitchell
In terms of ability, I don’t think Jay is the worst player on the cast. On Exes 2, Jay was not good, but he wasn’t completely atrocious either. There are multiple guys on this cast who DQ or come in last place at a high rate because they have massive flaws as players, and Jay isn’t like that.
Jay is decently intelligent. There’s a reason a guy who looks like Jay was able to get on The Real World and has hooked up with some gorgeous women in the past; he is smart enough to work himself into a room. Jay isn’t a terrible confessionalist, either.
Why do I have him last? It’s because he’s not an OG cast member and gets viewed in the Challenge universe as a quitter and wannabe; thus, he will likely get tossed into an early elimination.
11 Tyrie Ballard
Statistically, Tyrie is likely the worst player in Challenge history. He’s been on six seasons, is a career 0–5 in eliminations, was the first male eliminated on three of those seasons, and has never made it farther than Episode 6 on any season. Tyrie has DQed himself and his teams in multiple daily challenges, which is impressive as he doesn’t have a large sample size due to the fact he gets eliminated so early. I can’t remember a single time when Tyrie’s performed “average” in a daily challenge, let alone done well.
Based on social media, he doesn’t look to be in bad shape. His performance history just tells me he’s not a good player. I will say Tyrie is the largest man in the cast, and if he gets a physical elimination where size plays a factor, he can beat a good amount of players. Maybe he finally gets an elimination win.
10 Ace Amerson
Ace doesn’t have the greatest track record either — he was the first boot on his original season (Inferno 1), the second guy out on Battle of the Sexes 2, and the second vet guy out on Gauntlet 2. He made the Final of Inferno 3 mainly because he was a nice guy everyone wanted to see get to the end. You can’t expect that in these modern seasons where people play for themselves, and the cash prize is much larger.
On All Stars 1, Ace got thrown in first because he didn’t put in a good effort in the daily, something he’s done repeatedly in seasons. Ace has a great social game and should have an easier time navigating than Tyrie & Jay; in terms of competition, he’s not a threat in any way.
9 Ryan Kehoe
Straight up, Ryan is not a good player. Statistically, he is one of the worst daily challenge competitors ever. Ryan is actually worse in puzzles and mental comps than as a physical competitor. While he has many friends in the house, Ryan never has the balls to make a move that will further him in the game. Ryan only plays to survive, which does not matter if he cannot beat better competitors in the Final. He might go far, considering his pre-existing relationships, and then at some point, he’ll lose.
8 Adam Larson
We haven’t seen Adam compete on The Challenge since he was the first boot on Gauntlet 2. Adam was a competent physical competitor back in the day, won a couple of lifesavers on Gauntlet 1 (a season he won), and has the build of someone who can hold his own in this cast. My only worry is he might not have the most connections, and we’ve never seen him compete in a modern format.
7 Derek Chavez
Based on his track record, I should probably have Derek ranked lower, as he was the first or second boot on three of his four seasons. However, I’ve always been impressed when watching Derek closely during daily challenges. While Derek is undersized, he functionally moves well like an athlete, has a decent sense of balance, and gives 110% at all times. I always think back to the mini-final from Battle of the Seasons where Zach & Frank are cursing out Sam because she can’t keep up with their pace; then you had Derek casually carrying Jasmine as he ran up hills in the sweltering heat.
Derek could easily be a first boot again. Nonetheless, he has more potential than the five men ranked prior.
6 Brandon Nelson
Most Challenge fans like Brandon Nelson because he’s a very down-to-earth dude who went into the Gulag multiple times on Cutthroat and won three eliminations before getting taken out by Derek. As a human, I like Brandon. As a competitor, I don’t think he’s that great. He won those physical eliminations on Cutthroat against two smaller guys (Derek & JD) and then had one of the weirder eliminations ever against Ty Ruff.
Besides that, Brandon’s never dominated any daily challenges. Brandon is not a puzzle person, is average cardio-wise, and is one of the worst swimmers in show history. So why do I have him ranked 6th? Two reasons. The first being he’s a decent athlete, and in a physical elimination against most of this cast, Brandon would hold up well. The second reason is that Brandon is long-time friends with Cara Maria and Leroy, two of the cast’s strongest and most well-connected players. Brandon being in their inner circle could get him to the Final.
5 Steve Meinke
Steve does not have a large track record on The Challenge, and he went home relatively early on All Stars 2. Despite this, what I saw on All Stars 2 was a guy who seemed highly intelligent and ready to mix it up. Steve came in hot, finishing second in the opening daily, then won the trivia daily, where he and Casey sent Derrick into elimination against Brad.
Steve is willing to play a selfish game and make big moves, which is what you need to do to win. He’s also someone I can see taking out one of the top players in elimination if it comes down to a puzzle. My only worry for Steve is that he may have to quit if he gets put in a Pole Wrestle, as he can’t damage his money makers (his hands).
4 Kefla Hare
Someone came out of nowhere in the first two All-Star seasons and shocked fans with their performances. If I had to put money on someone to do it this time, it’s the OG, Kefla Hare.
Kefla was the first black man to compete on The Challenge, winning the second season (Real World vs. Road Rules). He never got to play in the modern era and is completely detached from what The Challenge became. Although Kefla lacks experience playing the game and he’s not entering as a spry chicken, I have optimism in him because he’s a Doctor with a degree in sports psychology. Kefla is educated and has been devoted to fitness his entire life — he still coaches youth sports to this day.
We saw Yes Duffy come onto the show and excel not just because he was a great athlete but because he had a problem-solving ability in daily challenges. With Kefla’s background, I think he could have that, which is not something I can say about most men in the cast.
3 Tony Raines
Tony looks like he is in the best shape of his life. The guy dominated the daily challenges on Vendettas, won Champs vs. Stars 3 with CT, and came one elimination short of the Final on Final Reckoning with Bananas. He is a great swimmer, one of the best eaters in Challenge history, and should manhandle 70–80% of this cast in a headbanger.
I don’t have Tony at #1 because it took multiple seasons before he began figuring out how to tackle daily challenges, and having taken a few years off, I think he could be a bit rusty. Tony is clumsy, not the best with puzzles, and sometimes has too much of an ego/underrates his opponents. Cardio has never been his strong suit either — he was last in the Vendettas Final.
I can definitely see Tony winning this season — he is going to be a force.
2 Brad Fiorenza
Brad was the best daily challenge competitor on Challenge All Stars 3, a season that boasted one of if not the strongest male casts in Challenge history. Thus, against a drastically weaker male cast, he should be ranked #1, right?
Well… I’ve watched this show enough to know that things rarely ever go right for Brad when the stakes are the highest. Brad often loses in the most heartbreaking fashions. Sometimes the pressure gets to him, and he chokes. Other times it is bad luck, like a penalty shoot-out against Wes or Big Easy dying after running 1/4 of a mile.
We saw Brad improve quite a bit as a puzzle player last season, though I still wouldn’t rate him as strong in the category. He’s also weak as an eater, both faults which could kill him in a Final. I have to mention these flaws because we all know when it comes to strength, speed, swimming, and experience, Brad outranks everyone in this cast. Brad is one of the biggest threats to win, and I’d love to see him become a 2x Champion.
1 Leroy Garrett
If we get the Leroy that we saw on Double Agents on Challenge All Stars 4, he is the favorite to win. On Double Agents, we saw a version of Leroy finally playing for himself, giving his all in daily challenges, and showing incredible growth as a competitor. He and Kam don’t get enough credit for how much work they put in during the offseason to train. For most of Leroy’s career, he let his partners do all the mental stuff/solve puzzles. Then on Double Agents, he took the lead on certain puzzles and even won a memory comp. We also saw a dramatic improvement in Leroy’s swimming as he proved now capable in what was once his biggest weakness.
Physically, Leroy is one of the most powerful men in Challenge history; he might have the best grip strength of any competitor ever. Leroy’s always had solid cardio — we’ve never seen him slow down a partner. He is one of the best eaters in Challenge history. Crucially, I have Leroy ranked #1 because he is the most well-connected player alliance-wise. Leroy has a power combo of Kam & Cara as his top allies; he’s got friends from past seasons, such as Brandon, Derek, Tony, Jay, Nicole, and Jasmine. Much of the cast is disconnected; Leroy has people who will go to war for him, and we know he plays an excellent social game.
It’s hard for me to imagine Leroy not making the Final, and the storyline of him winning is so juicy for the producers. Leroy’s one of my all-time favorites, and I’d happy cry if he won.
12 Flora Alekseyeva
Flora is an incredibly chaotic casting choice who should make for some messy Reality Television… Tragically, I don’t think she will last very long as she enters the house without many connections, and she’s the least experienced competitor. Flora’s only competed in four daily challenges in her entire Challenge career on one season over twenty years ago. She’s getting thrown into the deep end this season.
11 Jasmine Reynaud
In Jasmine’s prime, she was afraid of heights, not strong when it came to puzzles, a poor swimmer, didn’t have the best cardio, was undersized when it came down to anything physical, and tended to get into drama which made her easy to vote into elimination. Today, she’s the same player, except a little less fit.
Jasmine has always had a lot of heart and was never one for excuses. She’s a Reality TV character who brings drama. Does she bring competition? No.
10 Tina Barta (Bridges)
I adore and ranked her highly in past power rankings with a bit of optimism for one of my favorites. Sadly, the game has passed her by a bit. Tina quit her elimination on All Stars 2, and while she got *redemption* with an elimination win on All Stars 3…she came in second-to-last in the first daily, DQed in hilarious fashion in the second daily, and then broke her hand in the third daily.
There were glimpses of Tina, the cutthroat politician, and the fearless competitor, and those were awesome. What sucks is she also has a high tendency to wipe out, and against a stacked cast like this one, it’s going to be hard to compete.
9 Veronica Portillo
Veronica fucking crushed it on Challenge All Stars 3. She had a firm grasp of the political game and dominated all the daily challenges with a heavy mental focus. If Veronica doesn’t break her toe, I think she had a phenomenal shot of making it to the Final. It was such a good performance that I wish she had retired and left on a high note.
Then she did Ride or Dies for the appearance check, looked terrible in the daily challenges alongside Darrell, and then got beat in an elimination where neither of them could solve a puzzle of all things.
I have the utmost respect for Veronica as a competitor — she is a fearless player who is mentally fierce and has achieved feats players can only dream of. Truthfully, the fitness and athleticism gap between her and the top half of this cast is so significant that it’s too much to overcome. I am excited to see her reunite with Rachel & Tina; they should be able to make some noise if they can win the early dailies. That’s a big IF against this cast.
8 Averey Tressler
I am so fucking excited about the return of Averey Tressler. I’ve written in past blogs that I thought Averey had real star potential and have even boldly said on record that she would have made the Final of Rivals 3 had Leroy not gotten medically removed/DQ’d.
Now that Averey has finally returned, I’m nervous she will be the first boot after all these years and that all the hype/love I threw on her name wasn’t warranted.
Obviously, part of the intrigue/fascination in Averey was her being crazy attractive. However, a major reason I always thought Averey had potential is that she had so much fight in her. During her infamous RW fight, Nia smacked her hard from behind, and instead of being like, “Oh my god, I just got hit,” Averey immediately turned around and began throwing hands with fury. Had the fight not gotten broken up, I think Averey would have won that fight. Averey is scrappy and won two elimination on Exes 2; she and Johnny Reilly crushed the physical aspect of most challenges — they just sucked when it came to communicating. In her elimination against Nia, they went for an hour, even with Nia having a massive reach advantage.
Averey’s remained in fantastic shape over the years and might catch some eyes as a potential ally for the big alliances in the house. She might need more social connections, yet it might play in her favor as she doesn’t have the mess other competitors have.
7 Ayanna Mackins
Ayanna made it to the Final of Challenge All Stars 2, coming in last after gassing out/giving up. Since then, she has dropped over 30 lbs and committed to fitness with a lot of cardio. Ayanna is a former collegiate athlete, and that natural athleticism shined in the elimination arena. As a competitor, Ayanna can do damage in a headbanger, she does puzzles for fun, and now that she’s in much better shape, Ayanna might be a force in the daily challenges.
If you put this version of Ayanna back on All Stars 2, she’d be one of the favorites to win. Against this stacked cast, I think she’s more of a long shot but a real threat to taking down one of the top contenders in elimination. What holds Ayanna back is she’s going to get into with at least one person on this cast, and she and Veronica have bad blood going back to the 90s. People say they’ve made up, and I don’t believe it for a second. Ayanna will eat Veronica’s Greek Salad the first chance she gets.
6 Janelle Casanave
Janelle finished tied for 2nd Place on Challenge All Stars 2 and took part in taking Brad & Jodi in elimination despite having a bad back. She is a very solid competitor physically and mentally who proved competent in whatever got thrown at her. Going into All Stars 4, there will likely be an alliance of OG Mean Girls (Rachel/Veronica/Tina) and new school girls (Cara/Kam, etc.). Janelle has an excellent opportunity to play the middle and won’t get targeted early for being weak like others will.
Don’t sleep on Janelle making it back to the Final.
5 Nicole Zanatta
On both Invasion and Vendettas, Nicole proved to be an elite physical competitor, often able to keep up with most of the men cardio-wise. She’s a strong swimmer, has incredible strength both for her size and in general, and moves like an athlete. Nicole has never gotten voted into the elimination arena in either season she’s fully played — even though she gets on fans’ nerves, she plays a stellar social game.
Nicole does not rank higher on this list because she lacks puzzle-solving ability and common sense. If she has to run the Final on her own or gets a partner who isn’t a puzzle person, it’s hard to imagine her winning. While Nicole is a great athlete, her ego and lack of awareness hurt her big time; she doesn’t have the problem-solving ability that elite players like Laurel and Evelyn have. I also partially think her injuries on Vendettas/Double Agents weren’t random, and she’s kind of an injury-prone person because she’s a bit reckless.
4 Kam Williams
Only six months after giving birth, Killa Kam returns to The Challenge for the first time since Double Agents. Some fans are unhappy that an Are You The One cast member is on “All Stars,” and others are shocked and excited to see her return, especially so soon after becoming a mom.
Regardless, I’m excited to see Kam back. She and Cara Maria ran War of the Worlds 2 with Paulie; they will be a power pair again this season.
To me, Kam is the safest bet to make the Final, as not only is she an individual power player, she has Leroy as her #1 and then a great relationship with both Brad & Tony. Having the three guys who are far and away the best male competitors on this cast in her pocket should allow her to leverage power throughout the game. Kam is the modern-day elimination queen, a phenomenal communicator as a teammate, and she improves in daily challenges every season she does.
I don’t have her ranked higher because it’s difficult to expect her cardio to be in tip-top shape so soon after having a baby. Also, if she goes to the end with Cara Maria, Cara will likely outrun her in a Final.
3 Laurel Stucky
I’ve never ranked Laurel this low on any list before. She is the most dominant female competitor I’ve ever watched on The Challenge. Laurel is the only player to win 9 straight eliminations, beat multiple heavy hitters and champions in those eliminations, has one of the best daily challenge win ratios ever, and made four Finals in a row to start her career. There is an emotional intensity to Laurel that is unmatched, and when it comes to the problem-solving element of daily challenges, she is one of the best.
Unfortunately, Laurel, in her last few appearances, has shown that she can no longer come on the show without training and expect to tear through the competition with ease. Don’t get it twisted; even without training, Laurel is one of the best players in any season. To win against elite players, you have to condition for the Final as the margin for error becomes much smaller.
As much as I believe in Laurel, I know that Kam/Cara alliance has quality numbers who will be targeting her. There’s also the Nicole element where mentally/emotionally, Laurel’s focus might get taken off the game, or it’s another power player gunning for her head. For Laurel to win, we need to see the Fresh Meat/Rivals version of her, who was ready to dominate every daily challenge or go into the arena every time and fight. It’s going to be a steep mountain to climb. If it were any other cast member entering the game with this many hurdles politically, they wouldn’t be ranked 3rd.
2 Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson’s entire life is fitness, and over the last year and a half, she’s become a more significant part of The Challenge community again with her YouTube workout series. Even though Rachel has not competed since Exes 1, she has a plethora of connections through this workout series, through her long-time friendship with Mark Long (who definitely gave her number to some people), and she has her OG Mean Girls (Veronica & Tina) that she can always bank on. I don’t envision Rachel getting into it with anyone; she has a clear path to the Final as long as she puts her head down and competes.
If we’re being honest, the biggest potential detractor to Rachel’s game might actually be Tina & Veronica. I despise saying that, as they were such an iconic trio on the Inferno 2. Within the context of this game, though, those two are some of the weaker physical competitors on the female side. With alliance beings crucial to the game, Rachel might get put in tough situations where sticking her neck out for them could put a target on her back.
Aside from those sour thoughts, Rachel likely has the best cardio on this cast and has the experience of winning a Final as an individual. I will note that Rachel’s win on Duel 2 was against a female cast much weaker than this season. And although Rachel is a physical beast, she was never a big problem-solver or team leader in daily challenges back in the day. I am curious how Rachel would do in a more puzzle-intensive final with some gross eating portions. Those are question marks keeping her from the #1 ranking for me.
1 Cara Maria Sorbello
Cara is finally back — she is the female record holder for most elimination wins and most Final appearances. She was the face of the franchise during the War of the Worlds era! Based on everything I’ve seen, Cara remains in fantastic shape and continues to make terrible social media posts.
If Cara were on this season without Kam, her ranking would be 2–3 spots lower on the list. Without Kam, Cara would be entering the season on the outside, with potential enemies in Laurel, Nicole, and even the Mean Girls seeing her as a threat.
Instead, Cara enters the game with a powerful, loyal #1 ally who will align Cara with the three strongest men in the game. Kam can assist Cara in relationship mending and building as well. It sucks that I have to mention the men so much when breaking down the female competition. The problem is there’s such a stark drop-off between the three top guys this season and the rest of the cast that it will play a significant factor. Hell, a large reason why Cara Maria went to the Final on Vendettas without seeing an elimination is that the men controlled the Troikas, and all of them wanted to run the Final with Cara as a partner. Little did they know that she would beat them in said Final.
Cara is a 2x Champion and a 9x Finalist. Nobody here has seen or competed in as many Finals as Cara. It is essential to point out she is a 7x Finals loser, and most of the Final losses were her fault in which she got outran or outworked. Her Final win on Bloodlines was against a rookie Cory with no ACL in his leg, and Jenna, who cannot solve puzzles, can’t eat, and quit the previous season’s Final. There are better resumes; still, Cara’s completed the most difficult Finals this show’s ever had. There are things Cara has seen in a Final that Rachel and even Laurel haven’t. Considering her likelihood of making the Final and her experience, Cara’s got the best shot to win.
That said, I could envision more than half these females hoisting the big check.