The Challenge Season 38 Cast and Way Too Early Power Rankings
At long last, the Challenge Season 38 is upon us. Thanks to PinkRose and the Spoiler Team at Vevmo.com, we have a list of names who are set to depart for filming.
The Challenge: Season 38 - Spoilers
Host: TJ Lavin Location: Argentina Season: 38th Theme: Ride or Dies Departure: Sunday May 22 Note: This list is subject…
Some of these names are alternates — others will get dropped, and names might get added last minute; stay tuned on Vevmo to keep up to date. Be wary of elimination spoilers. The projected theme for Season 38 is Ride or Dies, a format in which we will have co-ed pairs of allies competing. Cast members will be bringing in relatives, best friends, lovers, or people they think will help them win.
I’ve decided to break down the cast into two different power rankings, both based on who I think has the best chance to WIN the season. The first ranking is based on how each player projects in an individual game, where part of me thinks this game will eventually devolve into a solo game because MTV can’t help being extra. I will mention their Ride or Die partners in some sections because the game will open as pairs from the jump at least. The second-ranking is based on the PROJECTED PAIRS. This is crucial because some players rank higher as individuals than in pairs, and others are better in a partnership than they are on their own.
MALE CAST RANKINGS
— Bottom of the Pack —
17 Tommy Bracco
At 5'4 and as a former Broadway performer and dancer, Tommy Bracco is probably agile on his feet and has a good strength to weight ratio. All of which will come in handy when someone stuffs him in a locker during an elimination. In all seriousness, Tommy played a solid game on Big Brother; he just doesn’t have the raw athleticism to compete on the Challenge. People will target him based on size alone.
16 Kenneth Clark
Like Tommy, Kaycee’s brother Kenneth could have a target on him due to size. He is smaller than Kaycee, and while I’m sure they are both athletic, Kenneth will struggle to hold up against the heavyweight in something super physical.
15 James Simon
The guy looks to be in good shape, though I’m not sure what his athleticism level is. He works as a realtor, is Aneesa’s best friend, and has partied with cast members (Devin, Tori, Fessy, Nany, Kaycee). His “social connections” are why I rank James above the other two at the bottom.
— Need to prove themselves group—
14 Jakk Maddox
At first, I thought Jakk’s body was more for aesthetics than functionality, but he works as a personal trainer and will be entering the season with a partner who strikes the fear of God into people. Jakk is 6' tall as well. The question is whether or not he’s a true athlete or a guy who is simply fit?
13 Sam Bird
So many of these players we’ve never seen are either personal trainers or are in immaculate shape. As are many players we have seen flop in recent years. While Sam Bird and most of these guys look amazing, unless they have a sports pedigree that projects onto the Challenge or a show where they physically competed before, I can’t rank them highly until we see them perform. Kailah’s looking better than ever on All-Stars 3, maybe due to Mr. Bird’s training.
12 Josh Martinez
Josh makes it decently far into every season he does. The guy puts in work in the gym, is a great swimmer, has many allies and possesses the natural size to where he’s not a complete pushover. Still, when the game gets real, people pick him as their elimination opponent because Josh isn’t an athlete. Josh has two left feet, gets anxiety when a puzzle gets thrown his way, and he just isn’t a problem-solver. Even if Josh gets to the Final, he doesn’t have the mental fortitude to do well in the face of adversity. Thus, he’s not a real threat to win, which sucks because he will outlast 8–10 people here.
11 Chauncey Palmer
The most impressive-looking specimen of all these new men has to be Chauncey. He is Amber Borzotra’s boyfriend, a multi-certified personal trainer who has turned his body into an immaculate sculpture. Chauncey played basketball at the Community College level, though his body is much different from his basketball days. I think Amber has a target on her. Compared to other pairs, they lack some connections, so Chauncey will need to prove he doesn’t have popcorn muscles immediately.
10 Corey Lay
Corey’s positives are that he’s a massive man who has a high fitness level as he puts a lot of time in at the gym. He’s also a decent swimmer. The negatives are he’s not the most naturally agile or athletic. Corey could sneakily be another Josh, and not just athletically, emotionally too.
— Dark Horse Threats —
9 Nam Vo
On paper, Nam Vo is fantastic. He is 6'3, 215 lbs, moves incredibly well for a hulking man, and has an engineering background, meaning he’s a great mix of brawn and brain. We just haven’t seen those strengths transition much into the Challenge.
He’s had some above-average daily challenge performances but hasn’t had the moment where he wows us all. I think he has the potential to be a top player; my issue is he lacks social connections, and according to rumors, he doesn’t even personally know his partner.
8 Jay Starrett
If you had to put money on a long-shot winner, it must be Jay Starrett. The guy has a good mix of cardio and crafty ingenuity that suits a final. He won the Mini Final with Theresa on Double Agents and has had impressive performances in the elimination arena. Despite all this, people will see Jay as someone they can beat in a headbanger. Even Josh’s uncoordinated ass tried to start drama with Jay on Double Agents because he thought Jay would be his best shot at an elimination win.
7 Nelson Thomas
I love my guy Nelly T; however, we can’t ignore the fact he’s lost 51 straight daily challenges. Nelson’s on a three-elimination losing streak too, and his Final performance last season was abysmal. Nelson has a lot of heart, and his body is made of pure steel; notably, he has the respect of other competitors. I will ride or die for Nelly and want him on every season, yet I can’t take him seriously as a contender to win when his stats say otherwise.
6 & 5 Horacio Gutierrez & Johnny Middlebrooks
Why do I have these two rookies ranked above guys like Jay, Nam, and Nelson? Well, what it comes down to, is I know Nelson & Jay’s limitations, and I’m a bit skeptical of Nam, so when it comes to predicting a winner, I’m going to take a shot on people who have the potential to be top players.
Horacio was a D1 Collegiate Soccer player who competed on Telemundo’s Exatlon, a reality competition program focused primarily on intense physical competition. The guy moves incredibly well as an athlete, and I think soccer players always project well onto the Challenge as the sport involves a lot of on-the-fly thinking, heavy cardio, and footwork/balance.
Meanwhile, Johnny was a collegiate track & field athlete with a superb build at 5'11 and 190 lbs that would allow him to hold his own with the heavyweights and have the functionality of the smaller players. I’m shooting from the hip by putting fate in these two men when in reality, they will likely be early boots we never see after this season.
4 Devin Walker
Love him or hate him; Devin was probably the second-best guy throughout most of Spies, Lies & Allies. He was good in the daily challenges and honed the mental part of the game when it came to puzzles and figuring out shortcuts to give him or his team the best shot at winning. I hope he’s been running consistently at home since the SLA Final because if not, he deserves to get dropped down multiple spots because he’s not quite the athlete most people on the cast are.
— Contender(s) —
3 Fessy Shafaat
If Fessy did not get DQ’d on SLA, I think he likely makes it to his third straight Final and probably finishes in 2nd Place behind CT. Fessy is a top player, he’s big, fast, strong, agile, and even though he can be a bit of a dingus, the guy is book smart when it comes to math, memorization, and puzzles. Nobody wants to see this guy in elimination, and there’s a good chance he goes right back to the Final again this season. Can he win a Final and be a good partner?
— The Favorites —
2 Turbo Turabi
My gut reaction was to put Turbo #1 overall. Then I sat and thought about it more, and we have never really seen Turbo play a game where he’s the known top threat in the house. Don’t get me wrong, Turbo was awesome on WOTW 1, but other people had bigger targets: Wes, Paulie, Bananas, Kyle, Theo, etc. On WOTW 2, it was a team game where he was an asset, except when he got some push back from Jordan, the guy went ballistic. When Hunter said he could take Turbo in a fight, Turbo also went off like crazy. He has a massive ego, and I wonder what will happen when multiple take shots at him? If Devin goes after Turbo like he has others in the past, Devin isn’t getting a flight home.
Turbo is a beast, but he’s not unbeatable.
1 Johnny Bananas
As much as I despise Bananas, he is undoubtedly one of the best and most well-rounded players the show has ever seen. If he gets Nany as a partner, then he has Kaycee and the Big Brother players on his side, and if that happens, he steamrolls to a win against a male cast that outside of Fessy & Turbo isn’t stellar. God, I hope he loses.
FEMALE CAST RANKINGS
— Bottom of the Pack —
15 Emmy Russ
Emmy comes from a show in Germany called Beauty and the Beast, where according to sources, she was a bit underwhelming. As a rookie from a foreign country with no connections coming into the game, I don’t expect much.
14 Olivia Kayser
Olivia is a beautiful cosmetologist and rookie from Love Island. She is a gorgeous girl who seems like an aesthetic casting rather than a competitive one.
13 Ravyn Rochelle
A model and actress, Ravyn has some decent size to go with a fit body that has my interest. Although, her lack of connections worries me.
— A step above the bottom —
12 Nurys Mateo
Nurys has wanted to compete on the Challenge for half a decade since her AYTO season, and finally, it’s her time to shine. She will likely be competing alongside her ex-boyfriend Nelson. He is not a great partner, considering communication is not his specialty, and he has a 51-daily challenge loss streak. I don’t know what to expect from her competitively, as she always seems more glam than fitness-oriented.
11 Aneesa Ferreira
Similar to Josh, Aneesa makes it decently far into most seasons. Aneesa’s won eliminations and daily challenges over the years; however, we know she will never be a threat to win a Final as she doesn’t have the cardio or willpower needed.
— Interesting Potential —
10 Tamara Alfaro
She is Turbo’s girlfriend and is the sister of Ninja Natalie’s boyfriend. Tamara has a dance background, and based on her IG — she’s put in a ton of work at the gym over the last year or two. I don’t think Turbo would have come back with a weak partner.
9 Michele Fitzgerald
A former Survivor winner, Michele won the first elimination of SLA alongside Corey Lay and showed a lot of heart last season. She is known for a great social game, is good with puzzles, and will try her best athletically. Will she get targeted due to an inherent rookie status, and can she physically keep up with the top girls? Those are the questions she needs to answer. Similar to Jay, I like Michele as a sneaky pick to go far.
— Nany Category —
8 Nany Gonzalez
Nany, on her own, is a perfectly competent and average player. She has no significant weaknesses and no outstanding strengths. Besides Bloodlines, we have never seen Nany make an early exit as she has a good social game mixed with general respect from her fellow players as a physical competitor. You never see someone upset they got paired with Nany.
— Dark Horse Threats —
7 Analyse Talavera
I got tempted to rank Analyse as high as third. She is a former D1 Soccer player, and as we know, I’m a sucker for soccer players. Analyse is gorgeous and is someone the guys will want to hook up with, all while physically being able to crush a final and has the size/athleticism to hold her own in eliminations. Part of me has always thought that if she was in Amber B’s spot during Double Agents, the season goes the exact same way with Analyse winning alongside CT instead.
My worry about her is she’s not the brightest crayon.
6 Amber Borzotra
If we are talking only about the Final, I’m not sure anyone on this cast, male or female, can keep up with Amber outside of Turbo/Bananas. She has wheels on her. Amber improved a ton in the daily challenges between the first and second season, which is impressive as she won the first season. Why is she ranked 6th? Well, I expect Amber to have a target on her similar to SLA, where comparable to Ashley Mitchell, they are both extremely beatable as good as they are. Coming into the game with her boyfriend will give her a more challenging time as she’s likely to be more closed off politically.
5 Moriah Jadea
I don’t know anything about this woman other than that she’s an amazing physical creature who lives in the gym. Jenny West 2.0? We have to wait and see whether or not she’s a natural athlete. All I know is that her body is something special. Even with cosmetic surgeries, you have to put in a lot of work to look the way she does.
— Contenders —
4 Tori Deal
No female performed better in the SLA Final last season than Tori; she just didn’t get the win in the end. Tori’s a good balanced player who has gone to 3 Finals and has taken down strong players in Jenny, Georgia, and Amanda in the elimination arena. She loves physical contact and trains non-stop for this show. Why is she not ranked in the Top 3? I think Tori plays a scared game and the next person, who is probably not as good of an athlete, plays a game I wish Tori did.
3 Kailah Casillas
Kailah would have gotten ranked a couple of spots lower a few weeks ago. Right now, Kailah is on a tear in All-Stars 3, where she’s come into the game focused, engaged, and playing from all angles. Kailah is physically looking like a top female, has mentally improved when it comes to puzzles, and brings a cutthroat political game where she’s willing to make big moves. With Nany and Kaycee by her side, Kailah might have the power to make some earthquakes.
2 Kaycee Clark
Kaycee won Spies, Lies & Allies, has gone to the Final in all three of her seasons, is a career 3–0 in eliminations, and has the highest daily challenge win ratio percentage of any player regardless of gender in Challenge history. To top it all off, Kaycee is a phenomenal social and political player who has held a lot of power over the last two seasons. So why is Kaycee not number #1? Two reasons. The first is I’ve never seen her kill a Final, and the second is the person I ranked #1.
1 Laurel Stucky
Look, I know Laurel hasn’t been to a Final in 8 years, and when she’s been in Finals, she hasn’t been the #1 cardio person on the planet. Still, something inside me does not want to bet against Laurel Stucky. When Laurel was at her apex, she was the most dominant force in Challenge history. Laurel won 4 out of the first 5 daily challenges on Fresh Meat 2 to dismantle Wes’s alliance, and when they lost, she went into the elimination and won there too.
We are talking about someone who, at one point, won 9 consecutive eliminations, the majority of which were against quality opponents: Cara Maria (2x), Camila (2x), Theresa (2x), Sarah Rice, Aneesa, and Jonna. Laurel is known for her size as she’s a legit 6' tall woman. I met her in her person, and I felt like a tiny baby standing next to her. Not only is she big, but Laurel also has the mind of an athlete where she moves fluidly and is a natural problem-solver.
There aren’t many Laurel Stucky’s in this world, so I’m willing to put money on her whenever.
POTENTIAL PAIRS RANKINGS
Disclaimer: we don’t know all the official pairings yet, or all the cast members even. So bare with me.
— Bottom of the Pack —
15 & 14 Horatio & Olivia and Johnny & Ravyn
These pairings lack social connections and will likely be going into the season’s first elimination.
13 Nam & Emmy
There is zero indication these two humans actually know each other.
12 Analyse & Tommy
Their connection to the Big Brother alliance could keep them out of the first few eliminations.
— Not the Bottom, Not Great Either —
11 Aneesa & James
It’s hard to get excited about a pair with Aneesa in it.
10 Nelson & Nurys
They will look pretty!
— Solid Teams with Potential —
9 Amber B & Chauncey
Amber is a great competitor, and Chauncey is an Adonis. I rank them 9th because I think their relationship will likely get in the way of their game socially/politically and in the challenges. As good of a player Amber is, she’s not a communicator/leader; she is someone who listens to their partner and meets their demands. In a Vet/Rookie pairing, she has to take the lead.
8 Kaycee & Kenneth
The sibling aspect will probably give Kaycee & Kenneth excellent chemistry as partners. It might be a disrespectful ranking as Kaycee is a Top 10 female competitor in Challenge History; I just can’t shake how small her brother is.
7 Jay & Michele
This Survivor duo has real potential as I see them as a deadly pair in any challenge with mental aspects, especially carnival games where you have to think on your feet. Michele and Jay double down on cardio and puzzles and are an actual threat in a Final together. They are also lay-ups for headbanger eliminations.
If Jay gets Analyse as a partner, I like his chances in the game better because Analyse is much more athletic. If Michele gets Corey Lay, I think she does about the same; while Corey gives her size, he’s not as agile and puts a target on them with his personality.
6 Turbo & Tamara
Nany held Turbo’s hand throughout the early portion of WOTW 1, and I don’t know if he will be able to do the same for Tamara, especially as they will have a big target on them. Regardless, he’s a top competitor, and she looks quite fit.
5 Kailah & Sam
Sam is there to look pretty and add some muscle in crucial moments. Kailah is there to look prettier and play a high-risk game that gives them the best chance to win. If Sam is capable in puzzles, this becomes a team to watch closely.
4 Laurel & Jakk
We know Laurel is a boss; can Jakk keep up with her?
3 Tori & Devin
Optimistically, they are a great pair due to Devin’s puzzle skills and Tori’s physicality. Pessimistically, his bad cardio and low athleticism bring them down, and her lack of mental fortitude keeps them from winning.
2 Fessy & Moriah
The best male athlete in the house paired with the fittest female sounds like a dangerous duo. Can Fessy be a good communicator and teammate with a rookie partner?
1 Bananas & Nany
Nany usually performs to the level of her partner. When she was with Turbo, she stepped up on WOTW 1 and even outperformed him in some challenges. On Double Agents, when Kyle was a shithead, she competed to that level. With Bananas, I think the two have the experience and chemistry over other teams and a plethora of social connections. Did they lose on Exes 2? Yeah, twice, except I don’t think there’s a pair as good as Wes/Theresa or Jordan/Sarah on this season. Bananas & Nany should be the favorites considering the circumstances.
Disclaimer: There is a chance Bananas has a mystery partner, which if he is bringing someone out the blue, they are probably a ringer. In that scenario, Nany would likely pair with Josh and they’d rank probably around 8th-11th. Josh’s partner could be a mystery girl or his sister.