The Challenge Total Madness Player Preview: Kyle Christie
It is Kyle’s last chance to prove he deserves a spot on the cast. Now that Kyle is in his fifth season, his appearance check is a significant amount where MTV needs to decide whether they would rather spend 30k-50k dollars on Kyle, or whether they want to pay a rookie 3k dollars. As good as the drama between he and Paulie/Cara was, and as good as he has been at hooking up with people, the shtick is getting a bit tiresome. Kyle had a gutsy and robust performance on War of the Worlds 1, but he hasn’t made a Final since his rookie season and holds a 2–5 Elimination Record. If Kyle wants to continue being a mainstay, he needs to kill it performance-wise, and drama-wise.
Now, if you don’t have the time to read, and need something to listen to on your headphones, you can watch/listen to the Video Player Preview instead:
Introducing Kyle: Kyle was one of the first UK members to come onto the Challenge, and the first member of the Geordie Shore to join the franchise. He had one of the luckiest rookie seasons in Challenge history. Kyle’s vendetta Rogan got eliminated before the game began, and he was able to use his charm and charisma to slide to the final. He played a fantastic social and political game, and then surprised people with his performance in the final, finishing second among males and third overall.
However, Kyle disappointed on Final Reckoning, losing three straight eliminations where he and Brad were physically the favorites going into each game. He buckled under the pressure once the game got real. Kyle did step up on War of the Worlds 1 when Paulie and Cara Maria targeted him. Alongside Mattie, he won daily challenges to secure safety, won a triple elimination against JP and CT, eliminated Bear as a solo competitor, and went toe to toe with season runner-up Theo in Hall Brawl. Kyle earned some stripes, and then regressed on War of the Worlds 2, as he was outplayed politically from the jump and whined the rest of the way through.
This season, we get to see if Kyle learned from WOTW 2. He needs to play a proactive political and social game. Being everyone’s best friend only lasts until a certain point. Kyle needs to make moves, win challenges, and finally move on from the Paulie/Cara stink.
Kyle Christie: 27 Years Old, 6'0, 180 lbs (estimate), 4 Seasons, 2–5 Elimination Record, 1x Finalist, Highest Finish: 3rd Place Vendettas
Skills and Physical Strength: Kyle is the platonic ideal of an average physical challenger. He does not have the best cardio, but he won’t gas out like Cory or Big Easy. In terms of swimming, Kyle is above average because most Challenge swimmers are not great. When it comes to heights challenges or games that mentally test the fears of competitors, Kyle is below average because he does not believe in himself from the jump. If he went all out all the time, then Kyle could easily rank among the best males. Not elite level, but all-star level for sure. Yet, part of Kyle’s character is he tries to make it seem like he doesn’t care. Fearing failure is something very human.
In terms of physical strength, Kyle is underrated. He manhandled Bear in their elimination on War of the Worlds, pushed the more athletic Theo back in their first elimination, and he technically beat CT in a Pole Wrestle elimination. Kyle is quietly ready to fight. I can see him beating at least half of the current cast in a physical elimination.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: Kyle’s ability to hook up with girls, generally rookies, is top-notch. He uses his generic whiteness and height to establish relationships early. I would keep an eye on a potential Kyle showmance with an elite female competitor.
His strategic and political game was keen to start his career, but his play has regressed as he has assumed his friendships would carry him. At a certain point, if you aren’t someone’s #1, that means your “friend” might have to throw you in. We saw it with Dee and Rogan voting him in last season.
Kyle is awful at puzzles or anything mental. He has sharp social intelligence, but he is at the bottom of the heap when it comes to puzzles/memory games.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: He is terrible with pressure and thinking quickly on the fly. His 2–5 Elimination Record is mostly due to the fact he can’t come up with the right strategy whenever playing any “carnival game” elimination. Whereas people like Jordan and Wes excel in the weird stuff, Kyle crumbles more than a warm Butterfinger. When it is a pure physical elimination like Hall Brawl or Balls In, he thrives. Once you add problem-solving to the equation, he is screwed. He’s like an NFL Receiver who can only run vertical routes. Yes, he runs it well, but he won’t be able to run anything more elaborate.
Can Kyle win? Honestly, he’s my dark horse favorite to win. When I look at the returners from this cast, Jordan is the odds on favorite. But if Jordan were to get eliminated for any reason … you look at the cast, and the three most all-around players are CT, Wes, and Johnny Bananas. All of which, are past their prime, so even though I could see all three of them winning, I’m not sure they have the gas to speed through an individual final. After that, only Kyle and Nelson have proved able to run an individual final; and while I think Nelson is a better player, he will likely play a worse political/social game.
I think this Kyle’s only chance ever to win an individual season, but he needs the older men to decline more than they already have, for someone to take out Jordan, and for the rookies to be not prepared to run a final (unlike Theo and Turbo in WOTW 1).