In the first few episode of Final Reckoning, we have seen two rookie girls (Faith and Angela), latch onto male competitors in order to advance themselves in the game. Faith is hooking up with Kyle, which has paid dividends already as Kyle and Brad’s power vote kept them out of the first elimination. Kyle is a powerful social player with a strong partner and by hooking up with him, Faith is winning in the bedroom and the game. Meanwhile, Angela is hooking up with Bananas. It would’ve been a great move in 2011–2016, but it is not such a great move in this modern era of Challenges, where Bananas simply does not have the same clout or respect from his fellow cast members that he used to. Watching him get beat again and again has diminished his presence. With a significant lacking of allies, he could simply paint a bigger target on Angela.
Polidicking can turn out good or bad. Last season, Britni had a big target due to her very obvious relationship with Brad. Then again, Kyle and Cara Maria had a mutually beneficial relationship on Vendettas that helped them finish 1st and 3rd, respectively. For this article, I decided to look at the 10 best Polidicking seasons in Challenge history.
The focus was be finding players who made it much farther than expected or succeeded a decent amount due to their hookups on the show. I will not include couples like Frank and Jillian because they each went through three eliminations. CT’s hookups with Mandi and Laurel on Rivals 1 meant little as the mob was already against him. While they succeeded physically, they failed at Polidicking. I am also not including legitimate relationships that were ongoing entering the season, no boyfriend-girlfriend type deals. Thus, Brad and Tori are absent. Also, Polidicking can be accidental.
10th Kyle Christie — Vendettas
The reason Kyle ended up so low on this list is because his relationship with Cara Maria did not benefit him for most of the season. If anything, Kyle’s social ability made Cara Maria’s game much easier as he was part of multiple Troikas and made decisions during the season. It did come in handy during the final inquisition where Cara Maria had to choose between her friend of many years (Leroy) or her new arm candy. Her decision saved Kyle from the final elimination, ultimately netting him a third place finish and 20k dollars. Kyle also made out with Marie during the season and was interested in Sylvia.
9th Johanna Botta — The Ruins + The Island
Johanna did nothing on back to back seasons besides cuddle with Kenny. While she did not win or make the final of either, Johanna made it much farther than she ever would have had she not been hooking up with Kenny. On the Ruins, The Champions focused on shedding deadweight before the final, but they actually threw in every single on their team before Johanna. Evelyn is maybe the greatest female competitor ever, Susie is undefeated for her career, Veronica is tied for the most female wins, and even though Tonya was a mess, she had a couple of solid seasons. The only players arguably worse than Johanna were Ibis and Katie. Johanna was the last person to enter the Ruins all season and got eliminated immediately once she went in.
If Tonya was not disqualified and if Evelyn had not quit, there was a very real possibility that Johanna could have made it to the final on her cuddling and social skills alone.
8th Jonna Mannion — Battle of the Seasons
Excluding Rivals 1, Jonna has hooked up with someone on every season she has done. Unfortunately, most of these hookups did not help her much in the game. The one that took her the farthest was Zach on Battle of the Seasons. Her relationship automatically created a close bond between San Diego and Cancun, the teams that held a stronghold on the season for a healthy portion of the game. This relationship came back to bite them when Team Brooklyn pitted the teams against each other. Jonna was able to stay out of elimination, though they lost their best player (CJ). Zach kept Jonna safe for two more challenges until Jonna finished last in the final challenge of the season. Considering Team San Diego kept her and her team safe for four challenges, this was a great relationship.
7th Chris Tamburello — The Duel
The relationship between CT and Diem proved to be authentic when the two began dating after the show. However, CT had his naysayers as many viewed him as kind of scummy. Mid- game, the two were guaranteed to call each other’s names in the Duel line-up, which was huge that season. Looking back, Kina and CT were calling each other out pretty early, making you wonder if there might have been something there. He finished in third on the season.
6th Jodi Weatherton — Gauntlet 2
Not sure whether this is Polidicking or just being horny. Jodi entered the Gauntlet 2 having recently broken up with Mark Long. She then has sex with Adam Larsen on the first night and later ends up in Alton’s bed for the rest of the season. Dating the beloved captain guaranteed Jodi a spot in the final as long as Alton was there. Obviously, Jodi was a strong competitor who could get there on her own physically, but looking through her hookup history (Derrick, Alton, Evan, Mark, Adam), she has an appetite for top competitors.
5th Jenn Grijalva & Mandi Moyer — Rivals 1
On Rivals, Mandi was looking to get it in. Her first target was CT, who played her by feigning interest in her. Eventually, when CT ditched her for Laurel, she hopped onto the Wes train which helped her in the game. Even though Jenn didn’t think anything serious in her relationship with Adam, he was a vote that would never go their way. Having two male teams who will not vote for you is massive, especially as there were very few teams on Rivals 1 to begin with. Polidicking allowed Jenn and Mandi to avoid elimination all season, the only team to do so.
4th Ashley Mitchell — Invasion of the Champions
On Rivals 3, Ashley had two hookups (Jamie and Tony). However, they didn’t benefit her at all. Ashley made a smart move by riding Hunter (literally and metaphorically) all the way into the Underdog Bloodbath. Hunter’s individual performance in the second daily of the season punched Ashley’s ticket into the Oasis without having to do any work. The only other moment where Ashley truly should have felt worried about going into elimination, Hunter won the advantage to send any girl into elimination. Ashley played a great political game on Invasion, her social strategy and hooking up with Hunter made it even better.
3rd Cara Maria Sorbello — Cutthroat
From Cutthroat, Cara and Abram’s relationship evolved into an actual six or seven year relationship. They were kindred spirits, complete psychotic weirdos. Cara’s relationship with Abram infuriated Sarah, Laurel, and Ayiiia. Both Ayiiia and Laurel were enraged when thrown into elimination instead of Cara as Abram was able to get the votes going towards them instead. All Cara had to do was beat Mandi Moyer in the second elimination of the season. She cruised to a finals appearance and 20k dollars. This also set Cara up with Laurel as her partner for Rivals, giving her a double win here.
2nd Jenna Compono — Exes 2
In the first couple episodes of Exes 2, all the men had their eyes on a twenty-one year old, bikini clad Jenna. She clicked with Zach and from there, the rookie team assimilated quickly as Zach protected Jenna. It is also helped Wes control the game for a solid portion and he never attempted to vote a rookie team into elimination. There were multiple opportunities for Jay and Jenna to go into elimination as the rookie team, but Zach always swayed them to go for a different target instead. Hilariously, Jay and Jenna made the final and Zach/Jonna finished in 6th place. This could be the #1 pick, mostly because Jay and Jenna were a bad team who rode people to the finals. Almost all the other competitors were at least decent, this team was a straight up lay-up, who ended up quitting the final.
1st Chris Tamburello — Rivals 2
It is rumored that CT hooked up with at least five women on Rivals 2. We know he hooked up with Anastasia, Nany, and Diem. The other rumored girls are Camila and Cooke. If this is true, CT hooked up with five girls on five different pairs in the game. In a game where the girls controlled the votes, CT potentially put his dick into 62.5% of the teams. CT put his body on the line to win Rivals 2. Considering they never once went into an elimination or even had to worry about going in as there were no votes cast against them all season.
He went on to win the season.