The Challenge Season 40 Way Too Early Female Cast Power Rankings

Allan Aguirre
26 min readMar 13, 2024


Thanks to the Spoiler Team at Vevmo, we now have the cast for The Challenge Season 40. I decided to spend way too much time power ranking all the competitors based on who I think has the BEST SHOT TO WIN THIS SEASON. Today’s blog will focus on the women.

I’m not ranking them as all-time players or even purely as individual competitors. We are talking about who has the best shot of winning within the context of this game. When you have a cast full of physical beasts, it’s not just who can win in a Pole Wrestle. To win, you need to be able to run at a high level, crush puzzles, and play the game socially/politically. Some people enter with targets and baggage; others come in with loads of friendships and alliances. Those are things we have to account for when predicting who can win.

Also, when doing the predicting & projecting…some people on this list are at a disadvantage because I know what they can’t do. If I’ve seen someone lose multiple Finals in a row for the same reason and gameplay… Then it penalizes them compared to people I haven’t seen run a Final in a while.

Now, let’s jump right into it.

20 Katie Cooley

I cannot fucking believe that Katie signed up to compete on a full-blown MTV season of The Challenge in 2024. Obviously, Katie isn’t going to be making an extended run; still, it’s just a surprise to see her willing to sign up for this American Gladiators version of the show.

As a Reality TV personality, I adore Katie, and watching her blow up at someone is always great television. To which I’ll say this next thing with no ill intention: I don’t understand why Katie keeps signing up for this show when it does not seem like she enjoys competing, and it hasn’t felt like she’s had a fun experience since… Fresh Meat 1? Katie is deathly afraid of heights and is not a fan of physical activity. Every time she comes back, her interviews are always ragging on about how terrible the experience was. So, her being on the show doesn’t entirely add up? I’m not complaining because, amongst this cast of Goliaths, Katie is a fun cast as a personality and legend of the franchise.

19 Tina Bridges

Tina is great casting for the loud and funny confessionals she’ll give in her 2–5 episodes this season. As a competitor, Tina’s no major threat to win an All-Stars season, let alone in a game like this.

Tina is not an awful player by any means because she’s pretty fearless and is historically solid with puzzles. Cardio has just always been Tina’s defining weakness on this show, and that was before Finals became marathon races.

18 Aneesa Ferreira

Before anyone comes in here claiming that Aneesa might have a shot at winning because she’s lost weight and is in better shape… I have to quickly and immediately note that we got to watch Aneesa compete on this show for many years when she was in significantly better shape than she is now, and even then, Aneesa was still statistically one of the worst daily challenge competitors ever.

I’m happy Aneesa has lost weight, and she undoubtedly will do better because of it. To think it’s enough to give her a shot to win is absurd, even going against a weaker cast. Against a cast as stacked as the one we have this season… Aneesa has no chance. Similar to Josh Martinez, Aneesa makes it farther into every season than you would expect, and she’s still capable of pulling off the occasional elimination win.

Winning a Final is not in the books for Aneesa Ferreira now and forever.

17 Michele Fitzgerald

Michele Fitzgerald played an elite social, strategic, and political game on Battle For A New Champion that would’ve given her a real shot to win the Final had she not gotten purged. Day 2 of the S39 Final itself was so tailored to Michele’s strengths, as it was primarily swimming and puzzles, that she had to feel salty watching it back at home. If there was ever a season that Michele was going to win, it was going to be Battle For A New Champion.

That Championship train has left the station and now Michele enters a Challenge landscape where she weirdly has so many enemies. Laurel, Cara, and Amanda are going to be on Michele’s ass, and those are three enemies that I would not wish upon anyone. I would be shocked if Michele could find a way to make it to the halfway point in the season, as she’s got a big target and is very beatable in elimination.

I don’t want anyone to think Michele is a lousy player because, as I mentioned above, she could’ve won Season 39. Michele is a strong swimmer, great with puzzles, and an excellent communicator when working in teams/partnerships. Unfortunately, Michele lacks raw athleticism, which is what got her purged and makes her an easy option to get taken out in any headbanger or overtly physical elimination.

16 Amanda Garcia

The craziest part about putting Amanda at 16 is that there have been two seasons, Final Reckoning & Invasion, where Amanda had a real shot to win each. Invasion would’ve required a lot of luck, but on Final Reckoning, Amanda & Zach were a phenomenal pair that dominated the daily challenges. On Final Reckoning, Amanda had the mental side of the game down for her & Zach, and she was in the best shape of her life, to where she was keeping up physically. They were a much superior version of the team that won the season (Hunter & Ashley). If Zach doesn’t step off the platform, I think Amanda becomes a Challenge Champion…and also… I think Zach would’ve stolen the money from her…which would’ve been a crazy alternate timeline to live in.

If you think Amanda is a lay-up competitor, you’re wrong. She’s dynamite with puzzles & memory challenges, has sneaky good upper body strength, and has a fighter’s mentality where she’s put up admirable performances against larger opponents in physical comps. As I say all of that…I believe the concept of Amanda Garcia ever becoming a Challenge Champion is long gone. Without a full-strength Lavender Ladies alliance backing her, with the enemies she has, and with Amanda’s limitations as both a physical competitor and someone who won’t devote their life to training for the show… There’s just no shot she can win against a cast like this.

Now, I am thrilled to see Amanda on the cast because she’s The Challenge’s cheat code for good TV these days. Amanda won’t be there for a long time, but she’ll be throwing a 102-mile-per-hour fastball full of drama while she is around. I thought she was the MVP of Spies, Lies & Allies, and her 3–4 episode run on USA 2 was a lot of fun.

15 Nia Moore

When the news dropped that Nia was returning on Challenge All Stars 3, I got hyped up because I thought we were getting a highly entertaining personality and a strong competitor. We didn’t really get either. I’m proud of Nia for maturing, but between All-Stars 3 and World Championships, we didn’t get much from a TV perspective outside of her Jordan showmance. At the least, I thought Nia would be a force competitively as when we last saw her on Exes 2; she won 3 eliminations, performed well in that season’s mini Final, and, importantly — she’s a 6' tall former collegiate athlete. Well, on All Stars 3, Nia did not finish Top 3 in a single daily challenge the entire season…Including the final daily challenge of the season when there were only 4 women remaining!!! Not finishing Top 3 in a single daily after participating in every single one is exceptionally bad.

Also, why didn’t Nia finish Top 3 in that final daily challenge? Simple, she refused to jump out of a helicopter and was deathly terrified during every heights challenge. It’s been an issue for Nia dating back to Exes 2, and it’s one that will get her purged, automatically thrown into eliminations, or voted in an easy target from not competing. Nia has other significant weaknesses, such as cardio (vaping is bad, kids) and swimming. Crucially, what Nia lacks is mental fortitude. Whenever Nia isn’t in her comfort zone, she crumbles. During the All Stars 3 Final, Nia couldn’t push herself through the eating portion, which put her far away in 3rd from Jonna & Kailah with no chance of winning.

I’m being harsh towards Nia right now, and a big reason is that Nia possesses many of the natural skills and abilities to be a great competitor on this show. Nia is super athletic, has great size, and has shown some puzzle/memory comp abilities. With her size, Nia can realistically take out some heavy hitters on this cast in headbanger eliminations. If Nia was a bit tougher mentally, then we could be talking about her as a candidate to win, and instead, she’s ranked 15th.

14 Averey Tressler

As someone who has been heading up the Bring Avery Tressler Back to The Challenge campaign since 2017, I am fucking amped to see her on both All Stars 4 and now Season 40. I used to dream of days like this. That said, I’m getting anxious that my dreams are turning into nightmares.

From what I saw from Averey on Exes 2, I’ve always thought she had the potential to be a strong competitor. Averey keeps her in great physical shape, and as we saw in her fight with Nia on RW Portland and her eliminations, she is incredibly scrappy. Had they thrown Averey onto the cast of one of the first three All-Star seasons or even a season like Spies, Lies & Allies, I think Averey would have the potential and opportunity to establish herself as one of the better female competitors in the game.

Unfortunately, Averey is getting thrown into two consecutive seasons with some of the strongest female competitors the show has ever seen, with one stronger than the next. Averey lacks the experience that all these legends and even newer generation players have. Unless Averey has become an out-of-nowhere puzzle savant during her off days from Hooters calendar shoots and traveling… I don’t think she has a shot to win. The fact that Averey enters this game in a relationship with Adam Larson also worries me, as she can’t Polidick.

Averey is likable, has friends, is in good shape, and has fewer weaknesses that we are aware of compared to some of the people ranked below her. She benefits on this list because we know what Michele, Amanda, and Nia can’t do.

13 Olivia Kaiser

Genuinely, I don’t know where Olivia fits into this franchise as a character following Battle For A New Champion. Following her betrayal of Nurys & Horacio, she refused to lean into a villain role and won’t ever be truly loved as a good guy/fan-favorite player. She’s in a sort of no-man’s land as a cast member now.

I will say it was ridiculous how many people clamored that she was a weak competitor that Horacio carried after her rat-like move on Battle For A New Champion. While Olivia is not a super elite competitor, I was thoroughly impressed watching her perform in the daily challenges on Ride or Dies. Olivia consistently proved a baseline of competency in almost every challenge, and when it came to raw physicality, she seemed like a solid athlete. Most notably, we watched Olivia literally fling Ravyn in a Hall Brawl-esque elimination, and we know…Ravyn isn’t a scrub.

Now, I don’t think Olivia has the cardio or puzzle skills to win against some of the top players on this cast. At the same time, I think Olivia is better than people give credit. Also, with how this cast played out, I’m not sure if Olivia will even have to pay for her actions on Battle For New A Champion. Clearly, Nurys (& Horacio) will be gunning for her, but they’re only two people out of 40. Hell, she betrayed Kyland, and yet, I think he’s more likely to hook up with her than target her. Olivia has so many friends from her Ride or Die run and from doing The Challenge Mania circuit that she’s actually well-protected for at least the early portion of the game.

Sidenote: I’m not interested in any storyline between her and Aneesa. They’re both too fake for it to matter.

12 KellyAnne Judd

Along with Killa Kam, I think KellyAnne is the best female competitor in Challenge history to never win. From when she debuted on The Island, KellyAnne has been a standout competitor, beating Rachel Robinson in a physical endurance comp, then going on the Ruins and winning multiple eliminations to make it to the Final. Until All-Stars, KellyAnne’s appearances on The Challenge were sporadic and far between. Since returning, we have watched her go to the Final on both of her All-Stars seasons, where KellyAnne tied with Jonna as the top female competitor on All-Stars 1.

KellyAnne is the most hit-or-miss competitor The Challenge has ever seen. There have been moments when we’ve seen her completely wipe out on a 3rd-grade puzzle and have a meltdown. Then, on the next daily challenge, she’ll be the only person able to solve a much more rigorous puzzle. On her most recent appearance on The Challenge World Championship, there were moments when KellyAnne looked like a lay-up and moments when she was the standout competitor in a group of champions and finalists.

As a player, some of KellyAnne’s strengths are her endurance, flexibility, core strength, cardio, and eating portions. Her weaknesses are 3D puzzles and her size, as she’s super thin, making it easy to push her around in any physical elimination or headbanger. I typically rate KellyAnne highly because she has a ceiling as a player. Except her volatility and wipeout moments are too much when going against a cast this strong. Usually, when KellyAnne has a fuckup that gets her tossed into elimination, she’s facing a regular opponent. On this season, if KellyAnne fucks up, she’s likely facing a certified beast.

What also hurts KellyAnne is her natural proclivity for drama. It’s hilarious, as KellyAnne is a well-meaning person yet always ends up on the opposite side of the majority.

11 Nurys Mateo

Battle For A New Champion was the Nurys Mateo season, and it’s bullshit that she doesn’t have the title of Challenge Champion. She had a star-making performance and gained so much self-confidence that will carry into this season. Going into Season 40, I expect Nurys to be in the physical shape of her life, better at puzzles, better in the water, and more adept at tackling any challenge.

So why is Nurys only ranked 11th? It’s because everyone just watched Season 39!!! Even though Nurys didn’t get the title of Challenge Champion, she will be walking into this season with a massive target as people saw her take down Horacio & Kyland in elimination. As a fan, I fucking love how Nurys carries herself like a badass (she should, she is a badass). Unfortunately, I can envision Nurys peacocking and getting targeted for it.

Nurys was fantastic in those puzzle/exile eliminations on Season 39; however, if she has to go in a traditional physical against half this cast… I do not like her chances. Likewise, Nurys’ swimming and eating abilities are real question marks that bring her down when projecting her in a final.

10 Aviv Melmed

Easily, the most shocking person to appear in this cast is Aviv Melmed. Aviv won Fresh Meat 1 and never appeared again, not even on any of the four All-Star spin-offs. During her winning season, Aviv didn’t get much of an edit — heck, neither did Darrell. We mostly only knew Aviv as Darrell’s partner, whom we never saw again after making history. Here we are today, and Aviv is finally getting a second shot. It’s the type of surprise casting that I applaud; if someone deserves a second chance, it should be your first female pairs Champion.

First, let’s acknowledge some of the big red flags for Aviv’s potential run. The major one is that she hasn’t competed in 18 years; thus, Aviv lacks competitive experience and social connections. With her lack of connections and being a short/petite woman, Aviv might get thrown into elimination early as a default easy vote.

Moving into the positives, Aviv has popped up in the last year, appearing at random Challenge Mania shows where she looks stunning and fit. She has a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and Behavior and works as a fitness trainer & coach. Although Aviv hasn’t been on the show in over a decade, she looks more than physically able to jump right back into competition. What makes Aviv an exciting prospect is that in her short sample size on Fresh Meat 1… Aviv proved to be one of the best puzzle competitors in Challenge history. She put up a blistering fast time during the logic quiz in the Fresh Meat 1 combine and solved puzzles to give her & Darrell the edge in both the last elimination against Derrick & Diem and the actual Final itself. While everyone heaps praise onto Darrell, Aviv’s puzzle abilities won them the Fresh Meat 1 Final…and Darrell hasn’t won an MTV season since.

Both All-Stars and recent MTV seasons have taught me there’s always one person who will come from “out of nowhere” to win/almost win. Aviv coming into this season with no negative baggage yet also being clearly capable as a physical competitor might allow her to go under the radar. I can picture Aviv playing an Amber B-like Double Agents game where she becomes a number in multiple alliances and somehow gets to the Final. Once there, Aviv’s puzzle prowess can earn her the win. It’s far more likely that Aviv is the first boot than she does win the season; the path for her to win is one that I can actually somehow envision, though, which I can’t say for many.

9 Jodi Weatherton

I wholeheartedly believe Jodi Weatherton is one of the Top 5 female athletes in Challenge history. When I watch Jodi run, swim, climb, etc, I’m always amazed by how she moves. Jodi is a beast and a true legend of the game; it’s wild that this will be her first MTV season since her win on The Duel 1. On The Duel 1, Jodi had, statistically, one of the most dominant wins the show has ever seen, and we’ve luckily gotten to see her on All-Stars 2 and World Championships, where even though she wasn’t won, Jodi still looks to be the same athlete in and in great shape.

So, if Jodi is a Top 5 athlete (according to me), why is she 9th here? It’s the mental and political game, plain and simple. Despite being a badass, Jodi is not a confident competitor — she gets frazzled under pressure and is insecure, so people can get under her skin easily. Mental lapses have always been how Jodi loses on this show, from Veronica beating her on the Inferno 2 to Darrell & Janelle outsmarting her & Brad on All Stars 2.

With how puzzle-heavy the Finals have become, I’m not sure if Jodi’s athleticism will compensate for her weaknesses.

8 Kaycee Clark

Statistically, Kaycee has one of the best resumes in Challenge history. In five seasons, Kaycee has gone to the Final four times, is Top 3 for female competitors All-Time in daily challenge win ratio %, has controlled multiple games politically, and totaled a crazy 7–1 elimination record. To which, the only elimination that Kaycee has ever lost was with her dud of a brother.

When it comes to raw athleticism and coordination, Kaycee is one of the best competitors I’ve ever watched. She is super agile, explosive, and has a great sense of balance. Kaycee is a thrill seeker who crushes heights competitions. Despite her slender frame, Kaycee is a bottomless pit in eating competitions. Physically, she’s someone adept for any headbanger, whether it be a Hall Brawl, Balls In, or Pole Wrestle.

Calling Kaycee wallpaper is generous because you at least notice when there’s cute or ugly wallpaper in a room. That said, there’s an undeniable charm and charisma to her that we don’t get to see because her social game is on another level. On the MTV seasons, the only reason Kaycee has ever gotten voted into elimination is because of the Skull Twists. If not for that twist, Kaycee would be able to cruise based on the connections she’s made and the fact people are intimidated to face her.

Kaycee is highly likely to go to the Final of any season she appears on, including this one. What’s keeping me from rating her higher is that we’ve now seen Kaycee compete in multiple Finals, and her cardio and puzzle skills just don’t seem up to par with those of the top-tier finalists.

7 Jonna Mannion

When I first saw Jonna’s name, I thought I would rate her lower as she isn’t near the athlete players like Kaycee & Jodi are. Then, as I thought about it more… That’s a good thing.

We just watched Jonna walk onto USA 2, where her status as a 2x Champ put a target on her from the jump, and she got taken out early. Jonna killed it in her first two All-Star seasons by playing an under-the-radar game where she wasn’t a lay-up, yet she wasn’t the biggest threat (that people could see). The other big names in this game should give Jonna ample room to enter incognito mode. That loss on USA 2 also did a good job of lowering her threat level.

Similar to Devin on the men’s side, I think Jonna has figured out that you don’t need to dominate the game to win; you have to get to the Final itself, and once there, you have to be ready to run and crush puzzles.

6 Tori Deal

If you include Challenge USA 2 and World Championships, Tori has gone to the Final in four consecutive seasons and went to the Final in 6 out of 9 seasons she’s competed in. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I like to make fun and talk shit about how disingenuous Tori is and how production shoves her down our throats.

Something I find insulting on Tori’s behalf is the people who insinuate that Tori has only been successful in recent seasons due to some power players not being around. That’s a simple-brain take. Tori has been a GREAT Challenge competitor since she debuted on Dirty 30. The moment Tori stepped foot on the show, the veterans treated Tori like one of them because they saw the athlete she was, and also, the girl socially managed her way through the house well. On top of that…we all saw War of the Worlds 2, right? War of the Worlds 2 had the strongest female cast in Challenge history (prior to this season), and in that game, Tori was clearly the standout women’s competitor. From crushing swimming challenges to outlasting Georgia in a cardio battle to squashing Jenny in Hall Brawl — Tori looked to be at the top of an elite class of women.

As a Tori Deal hater, I hope for her downfall. As a content creator & Challenge fan, I would love to see Tori make a far run and take down some legends so that people can stop pretending like she’s not a great player. A Tori win would legitimize her as a legend and also elevate the era of seasons she has played in.

Tori is a great athlete and is an all-around balanced competitor with no giant weaknesses in her game. Knowing who she is and how connected she is in The Challenge world, Tori is definitely entering with 1,000 pregame alliances. She has a great shot of making it to the end yet again. We talk about some negative about Tori, though. While Tori is a balanced player, there is lack of expertise in Tori’s game that may be an issue. Tori is someone who can beat anyone on this cast in an elimination and is someone who can seemingly lose to anyone given a certain game. We literally watched Tori beat Jenny and lose to Aneesa in a three-season window. The lack of dominant skills also hampers Tori in a Final. To win a Final, you need to be able to crush checkpoints, and without Devin, I’m not sure Tori has the puzzle skills as a solo player, and we know she isn’t a good eater either. Those are red flags when going against a cast like the one we have this season.

I also think Tori having enemies in Cara Maria, Amanda, Jodi, and potentially Nurys are detractors from her game as it might take one vote on a random day for her to get tossed in.

5 Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson’s entire life is fitness, and over the last couple of years, she’s become a more significant part of The Challenge community again with her YouTube workout series. Even though Rachel has yet to compete since Exes 1, she has a plethora of connections through this workout series. So many cast members respect and are on good terms with Rachel that have never been in a Challenge house with her. Considering she has kids at home; Rachel returning means she’s here to win.

From a physical perspective, there are no worries about Rachel. She has elite cardio and is in better shape than when she dominated on The Duel 2. Physical ability isn’t the question; it’s the mental side of the game. Rachel was never a big problem-solver or team leader in daily challenges back in the day. I am curious as to how Rachel would do in a more puzzle-intensive final with some gross eating portions. Those are questions we don’t know the answer to, which is why I have to rank her a bit lower than you might expect.

4 Laurel Stucky

Anyone who has followed more for an extended period knows I think Laurel is the most dominant female competitor in show history. Laurel is the only player ever to win 9 straight eliminations, she beat multiple heavy hitters and champions in those eliminations, has one of the best daily challenge win ratios ever, made four Finals in a row to start her career, and finally won when getting to compete as an individual on Free Agents. At her peak, we saw Laurel upend Wes’s massive alliance on FM2, winning 5 out of 6 dailies to start her career, carry a rag-tag group on Cutthroat to 100k in daily challenge wins, and take out all of her biggest threats in elimination herself on Free Agents.

To the haters who say Laurel is only good because she’s tall. Being tall definitely helps, but we’ve seen other tall girls on this show, and not a single one has ever been close to Laurel. What sets Laurel apart is her natural athleticism and the way she’s able to mentally tackle daily challenges with ease. Whether it’s riding a tandem unicycle with Cohutta on Free Agents, transferring a ball by carrying a gigantic martini glass on Cutthroat, or running a human hamster wheel on Invasion — Laurel has a knack for figuring out and accomplishing some of the most difficult carnival-game daily challenges the show has ever. This makes the fact that she is an intimidating 6' athlete who can stomp most competitors into the ground in a Balls In or Pole Wrestle super scary. Laurel is a strong competitor across the board where even the stuff she’s weak at (swimming & cardio) are things she probably ranks above average in compared to the typical challenge competitor.

We do have to acknowledge a few things as to why Laurel is 4th after I heaped all that praise on her. First, she has not made the Final in the last three MTV seasons she played. Explaining all the loss becomes complicated as Laurel has stated she threw her Invasion elimination to Camila as she was injured/not ready to run a Final. Then Laurel had the controversial elimination against Ninja, which was not a clean loss by any means, and on Ride or Dies, Laurel got brought down by her best friend Jakk as a partner. There hasn’t been a Laurel loss that felt like it was her fault, and yet, when it all adds up, not going to a Final on three straight has Laurel feeling beatable. For the longest time, Laurel was the unstoppable Terminator, and now, it feels like there’s a hydraulic press or a vat of molten steel option if you want to take her down.

I do think there is a myth that Laurel is a bad Finals performer. People say she struggled on Fresh Meat 2, and while I don’t think it was her best performance, Laurel wins that Final 9 out of 10 times, except we live in the world where Landon put on the most superhuman performance ever. From there, Laurel performed damn well in all her Finals, with really only her teammates being the ones letting her down/not being able to keep up. I’m not saying Laurel is the most dominant Final threat either because, as I mentioned before, cardio isn’t her biggest strength, and many on this cast can outpace her. We also haven’t seen Laurel run a Final since Free Agents in 2014… which has been a decade now. Although Laurel hasn’t been to a Final in a decade, she enters this game with a massive target. Everyone knows how big of a threat she is. For those reasons, we have to put Laurel down at 4.

Something interesting to note after this long Laurel section is that in the last year, Laurel’s been training hard and recently got herself into the best shape she’s been in since Fresh Meat 2. This is huge as Laurel has repeatedly noted that she never trains for the show… Some of these recent losses have gotten to her, so now we might be getting super soldier Laurel…I got her 4th, but I would not be shocked if Laurel got the win at all.

3 Cara Maria Sorbello

There’s an endless amount of stats and accolades that I can list off for Cara Maria. For starters, Cara has made it to the Final in five consecutive seasons (Dirty 30 — War of the Worlds). She’s been to the Final in 7 out of her last 9 seasons, won two of them, including Vendettas as the first true solo winner. Cara holds the record for most finals appearances and elimination wins by a female competitor. A key notch in her belt that she has over others is that Cara has competed in the two hardest Finals in Challenge history (War of the Worlds 1 & Rivals 1).

If you were to bet on a winner, Cara would be a safe choice as she has the experience factor over all these players.

Now, the real question is…How will Cara fit into this game politically and socially? She enters this game friends with Laurel after squashing their longstanding beef that was preceded by an intensely close friendship — that relationship can go in any direction of ways. Cara has a lot of animosity against Tori these days, and if Jordan is there, they have a historical rivalry. Emily Schromm is someone Cara has beefed with, both on Twitter back in the day and when Emily denied Cara training with her on Rivals 2. The relationship between her and Johnny Bananas today is unknown, and that’s a big question mark as they had an ugly rivalry before that turned into a friendship, and then they were enemies again. God, I can go on and on about Cara’s interpersonal relationships in this game because her lore goes that far.

Maybe all that drama doesn’t matter though because as I mentioned before, Cara’s made five Finals in a row and she’s been at the center of drama in essentially all those seasons. Assuming Cara does make the Final… I still have her firmly at #3… In large part, because Cara is a 7x Final loser. We know Cara’s strengths are her physicality and heart, and her weaknesses are swimming and certain puzzles. When you look at Cara’s two Final wins, they came against either inexperienced or poor Final runners or both. When you look at Cara’s Final losses, they were in the face of elite competition. I’m not saying Cara needs to face scrubs, but there is a track record that maybe she’s a little too flawed to beat the best.

2 Emily Schromm

Emily has competed in three seasons, gone to three Finals, has a 5–0 elimination record, and won Rivals 2 after dominating the daily challenges all season alongside Paula. Since then, Emily has gotten into even better shape than when she won and dominated. She appeared on Champs vs. Stars (which she also won) and is finally back.

Straight up, I’m not a fan. I think Emily is a boring Reality TV character, and some of the dietary health stuff that she preaches & teaches borders on unhealthy/unsafe (I did one of her programs back in the day).

My feelings don’t matter, though. Well, if you’re reading this portion, you’re over 4,500 words into this blog, so they may matter to you. Objectively speaking, I have no reason not to project Emily this high when I’ve never seen her get eliminated, and I know that she has the cardio to dominate a Final. Emily has otherwordly strength and endurance, where the only way I see her getting taken out before the Final is via a carnival game or puzzle elimination. Those aren’t guaranteed losses either because Emily is a competent puzzle competitor and isn’t bad at carnival games either.

There’s nothing wrong with Emily as a player, yet there’s also something missing with her that I can’t place. I hope she doesn’t win because that would mean we would likely have to regard her as the top female player ever, and she’s too boring to hold that spot.

1 Jenny West

I’m putting Jenny West at #1 because I believe she checks all the same boxes that Emily Schromm does — the difference is, I think Jenny has a better social game via her likability as a human and doesn’t come with as big of a target. Everyone knows Jenny is a beast, but the only people on Total Madness with her were Tori, Kaycee, and Aneesa. Whereas, Cara, Laurel, Rachel, Jonna, etc., are all very cognizant of who Emily is. Emily Schromm, in some ways, created who Cara Maria is as a competitor today, and I think Cara would like to get one over on her. I think Laurel gets constantly pitted against Emily in the female GOAT conversation, and maybe Laurel would want to get one over on her.

Jenny doesn’t have that type of baggage. All she does is eat her protein, lift her weights, make friends throughout the house, communicate with her twin back home via telepathy, and focus on the game.

What’s always impressed me about Jenny is her passion for the game and self-improvement. After her loss on War of the Worlds 2, Jenny came back having worked on two things massively. The first was puzzles & math, where Jenny went from being a zero in the category to being a solid puzzle player on Total Madness. She also prepared for physical contact as her Hall Brawl loss against Tori strung. Once again, it’s not rocket science to work on the stuff you suck at, yet people on this show refused to do so. I get this because it quickly becomes discouraging when you practice something and fail. It takes mental fortitude to push through, and Jenny consistently shows that mental fierceness. And that’s why she’s my female pick to win.



Allan Aguirre

28 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.