What if Rivals 2 actually was the Duel 3
One of the lesser known facts amongst the Challenge fandom is that Season 24 Rivals 2 was originally slated to be the Duel 3, and instead they switched the format and some of the castings around in order to fit the theme. Rivals 2 was incredibly significant in terms of the show’s history; CT and Emily garnered their first Challenge titles, Wes and Paula took home their second wins, and it saw the emergence of great rookies like Jordan, Cooke, and Marlon.
However, wouldn’t it be fun to break down what could have happened in a Duel 3? Along with some friends, I tried to decipher what would occur in different scenarios and I now have the results of the Fantasy Duel 3 season that ended up being Rivals 2. Here they are:
Because the Duel 2 was a 13 person per sex cast, I wanted Duel 3 to be the same, which is difficult as there were 16 males and 16 females on Rivals 2. I decided to remove the two male teams who were eliminated first and second Tyrie/Dunbar and Derek/Robb, and add Tyler Duckworth (who was originally on the cast, but dropped last minute for Ty). For the female cast, I removed Jessica/Anastasia, and Naomi and Trishelle, while keeping Sarah and Cara Maria on the cast.
Males: Chris Tamburello, Wes Bergmann, Johnny Bananas, Frank Sweeney, Jordan Wiseley, Marlon Williams, Ryan Knight, Preston Roberson-Charles, Leroy Garrett, Ty Ruff, Zach Nichols, Trey Weatherholtz, Tyler Duckworth
Females: Emily Schromm, Paula Meronek, Heather Cooke, Cara Maria Sorbello, Camila Nakagawa, Jemmye Carroll, Aneesa Ferreira, Diem Brown, Jonna Mannion, Nany Gonzalez, Theresa Gonzalez, Jasmine Reynaud, Sarah Rice
The Challenges & Eliminations: We decided to re-imagine the original Rivals 2 challenges as individual instead of pair challenges. On Rampage, a single player would be going up and down the ramps. For some of the missions, we had to partner players.
Likewise, we tried to keep the same eliminations from Rivals 2, though we did remove the ones that suck or cannot be done individually. The order of player selection after a male and female wins immunity is the same as the Duel 2.
CHALLENGE #1 Game of Inches
This is the challenge where a player runs and jumps into their teammate’s arms. We paired everyone into co-ed teams with girls jumping. Players got to pick their own partners, all that matters is who wins. Pairs are based on friendships at the time:
CT/Diem, Bananas/Emily, Leroy/Nany, Tyler/Paula, Zach/Sarah, Frank/Jonna, Wes/Aneesa, Knight/Jemmye, Preston/Jasmine, Jordan/Cooke, Ty/Camila, Marlon/Theresa, Trey/Cara
Who wins? Since Emily won the first time, she is the favorite. The only two who could possibly challenge her jumping ability are Theresa and Nany, who acted as sticks in Rivals 2. Nany is a bit afraid of heights and Theresa comes up a little short. Emily and Bananas win the challenge and immunity, and get to pick the first person to start the order.
Emily/Bananas pick Diem first. Leading to an order of: Diem — CT — Nany — Leroy — Paula — Tyler — Sarah — Zach — Jemmye — Knight — Cooke — Jordan — Theresa — Marlon — Jonna — Frank — Jasmine — Preston — Camila — Ty — Aneesa — Wes
Trey and Cara must select someone to Duel. Trey picks Frank and Cara picks Jasmine.
ELIMINATION #1 Hall Brawl
Same elimination from the first episode of the season. Trey has always hated Frank and Zach, and this is his chance to get revenge. Cara goes for the person she thinks she can beat.
Results of Frank vs Trey: In a best of three, Trey is able to win 2–0. He was a college football wide receiver and is able to speed through the first round. He has a tougher time in the second round and barely pulls out the win. Frank goes from winner to first eliminated.
Results of Cara vs Jasmine: Cara wins 2–0 with ease, she is bigger, faster, and stronger. Sorry Jasmine.
CHALLENGE #2 XXX Games
This challenge is memorable as Wes and Preston quit because it was not a male elimination day. In Duel 3, it will be run in male and female heats with the men and women picking their own partners, leading to these pairs:
Bananas/Tyler, CT/Leroy, Jordan/Marlon, Zach/Wes, Knight/Trey, Ty/Preston, Emily/Camila, Paula/Diem, Nany/Cooke, Jemmye/Jonna, Sarah/Theresa, Aneesa/Cara
Who wins? Emily and Zach are the most able people when it comes to carrying another human. Zach carries Skinny Wes to victory and Emily carries little Camila for a win. These two won the original challenge with different partners.
Wes/Zach/Emily/Camila all get immunity, they decide to call out Diem with the first vote. Leading to an order of Diem — CT — Nany — Leroy — Paula — Tyler — Sarah — Jordan — Cooke — Marlon — Theresa — Ty — Aneesa — Bananas — Jonna — Knight — Jemmye — Preston
Trey and Cara are going in again. Trey picks Preston and Cara picks Jemmye. Jemmye talks shit about Cara in her confessional.
ELIMINATION #2 Wrecking Wall
The elimination where you cut a rope is lame and boring. We are switching it out for the classic Wrecking Wall elimination from Free Agents.
Results of Trey vs Preston: It is a pretty easy win for Trey. Preston has good height and is able to get farther up quicker, the difference is, he cannot break the wall nearly as fast as Trey.
Results of Cara vs Jemmye: Cara uses her massive guns to punch through the walls and beat Jemmye who struggles. Quick exit for the RW NOLA duo.
CHALLENGE #3 Mind Over Splatter
In this challenge players had to slide themselves down two unstable tight ropes to a finish line. We will be treating this as an individual challenge where everyone goes one at a time.
Who wins? For the guys heat, the main threats to win are Bananas, and Jordan. Bananas won the original, and is the mix of size and strength you want for this challenge. CT struggled a bit with his size on this challenge. Bananas pulls this one out. Meanwhile, Cara Maria does sneakily well in this challenge. In the original, Emily and Paula win by a wide margin, so much so that they do not even show Camila/Jemmye’s run who ran next to them. Emily gets the win again, like on Rivals 2.
With immunity, Bananas and Emily choose Diem yet again. Leading to an order of: Diem — CT — Nany — Leroy — Paula — Tyler — Sarah — Zach — Theresa — Marlon — Cooke — Jordan — Jonna — Knight — Aneesa — Wes — Camila — Ty
Trey and Cara are in elimination for the third straight time. Trey calls out Knight and Cara calls out Jonna.
ELIMINATION #3 Snapper
It is a blind stick fight. Players pick someone from the audience to be their eyes. Knight picks CT, Trey picks Marlon, Jonna picks Theresa, and Cara picks CT also.
Results of Knight vs Trey: It was Knight who first came up with the strategy of going low during this challenge. He figures it out again and eliminates Trey, shocking the crowd.
Results of Cara vs Jonna: These two faced each other in this elimination on Rivals 2 with Cara winning. Unfortunately for Jonna, the same happens here. Cara needs to win a challenge to get safety.
CHALLENGE #4 Stumped
This is the challenge where players had to navigate a giant bamboo pole through a maze. We re-imagined this as an individual puzzle challenge.
Who wins? In the original, Jordan pulls out the win with Marlon. He and CT seem primed to do well in this challenge. We are going to give the rookie the win. On the other side, the person who did not compete in this challenge originally who is perfect for it, Sarah Rice, wins the challenge, preventing Emily’s 4-peat.
Jordan and Sarah have immunity, they both decide the person they want to pick first is their mutual friend Zach. Which leads to an order of: Zach — Emily — Bananas — Diem — CT — Nany — Leroy — Paula — Tyler — Camila — Ty — Aneesa — Wes — Cooke — Marlon — Theresa
Knight and Cara Maria are left to pick their opponents. Knight chooses Marlon, and Cara Maria chooses Paula. Knight and Marlon got in a blow-up after Knight makes fun of Marlon, and Cara has disliked Paula since the soda situation on Rivals 1.
ELIMINATION #4 Knot So Fast
There was no elimination on episode four, thus we are placing in the classic Knot So Fast elimination.
Results of Knight vs Marlon: Knight was able to win the only elimination he was truly capable of the week before. This episode, he is smoked by Marlon and goes home.
Results of Paula vs Cara: Neither player does a good job at creating knots. It becomes a cardio battle in the second round where Paula outruns Cara Maria to stop the 4-peat.
CHALLENGE #5 Trivia
This was a trivia in which players were quizzed on their partners so we will treat it like regular Challenge trivia.
Who wins? Even though Sarah Rice loves trivia and loves to bring it up whenever she can, she has never officially won a trivia challenge. We are going to keep this streak alive by giving the win to a female who has pulled off trivia wins, and that is Paula. In the guys division, Zach pulls down another win in trivia.
Zach and Paula are now forced to pick someone to start the line-up order. After a lot of back and forth, they decide to pick CT. It leads to an order of: CT — Diem — Bananas — Emily — Jordan — Cooke — Marlon — Theresa — Leroy — Nany — Ty — Camila — Tyler — Sarah
Aneesa and Wes are left and must pick opponents. Wes chooses Bananas and Aneesa selects Camila.
ELIMINATION #5 Breaking on Through
This is the infamous elimination where Zach cheated. Players are forced to break through a three story structure to find their way to the bottom, where they break through a door and ring the bell for the win. This elimination was made for pairs, but can easily be done as individuals.
Results of Wes vs Bananas: One would expect Wes to win this because he would have a better strategy and is better under elimination pressure. Unfortunately, he trips up when it comes to cutting the wires on the second floor. Bananas pulls out the win and Wes has finally lost on a Duel.
Results of Aneesa vs Camila: It is easier for Aneesa to physically break through the structures, however, Camila’s crazy-self figures out how to cut the wires of floor two quicker and can squeeze her small body through the holes she creates easily. Camila moves on.
CHALLENGE #6 Frog Smash
I accidentally flipped the order of Challenge 5 and 6. It is fine. In this challenge, players sit in giant cups and swing at a player running down a beam while twenty feet over water. Trey slipped up immediately on this challenge, putting him and Zach in elimination. Again, this is re-imagined as an individual challenge.
Who wins? CT and Wes won this originally for the guys because nobody swung on them. Same goes for Theresa and Jasmine. Camila sprinted across the beam with everyone swinging on her and made it to the end in record time. This time Camila wins as she does not have to deal with Jemmye’s time penalty. In the male heat, CT pulls the win again with his speed and fearlessness.
CT and Camila must now pick someone to start the draft, and they choose Diem. The order goes: Diem — Bananas — Emily — Jordan — Cooke — Marlon — Theresa — Leroy — Nany — Ty — Paula — Tyler
Sarah and Zach must now pick opponents. Zach picks Tyler and Sarah picks Theresa.
ELIMINATION #6 Balls In
The original elimination was two teammates running on a treadmill, with one player tossing rubber balls to their teammate who places it in a basket next to them to score points. Impossible to do for this format, instead we will be playing Balls In.
Results of Tyler vs Zach: Tyler is a strong guy who has taken hits from CT. He is not bigger stronger, faster, or more skilled than Zach. It is a 3–0 sweep for Zach.
Results of Sarah vs Theresa: Sarah has more weight on Theresa and can probably hold her own for a round or two. The difference is Theresa is much quicker and as seen on Exes 2, can get dirty if she needs to. Theresa pulls out a 2–1 win.
CHALLENGE #7 Blind leading the Blind
Players are blindfolded and forced to navigate a maze while wearing shock bracelets. Another challenge that can be easily re-imagined as an individual challenge.
Who wins? For the male competitors, it is between Bananas and CT. In the actual challenge, Bananas won it with CT coming in second. CT followed Wes’ direction on this challenge, so we are going to give Bananas the win. In the girls heat, it is between Camila and Diem. Diem simply followed Wes/CT’s direction of while Camila carried Jemmye/Knight/Preston. Camila picks up another win.
Camila and Bananas pick Emily first, creating an order of: Emily — Jordan — Cooke — Marlon — Theresa — Leroy — Nany — CT — Diem — Zach
Ty and Paula have found themselves on the outside somehow. Ty picks Jordan, and Paula picks Nany as her opponent.
ELIMINATION #7: Hall Brawl Part 2
We get another Hall Brawl.
Results of Ty vs Jordan: This elimination happened in real life, except they are both missing their more bruting partners in Marlon and Leroy. Ty is bigger, but Jordan played college football and is much faster player. Jordan gets a hard fought 2–0 win over Ty.
Results of Paula vs Nany: Paula continues her history of failing in physical eliminations. She loses the first round, picks up a close win in the second, and simply cannot hold Nany down in the third round. Nany uses her grit and size to pull out the win and make a name for herself.
CHALLENGE #8 Swingers
A simple swimming challenge where a player launches off a trapeze. Wes/CT and Camila/Jemmye won this challenge when they played it. There is a bar you can leap for to get you closer to the checkpoint buoy.
Who wins? CT and Jordan are good swimmer. Zach, Marlon, Bananas, and Leroy are all non-threats to win. CT reached the bar when he did this challenge and Jordan did not, thus we give CT the win. On the girls side, it is between Camila and Theresa. We give the win to Camila as she has won multiple swimming challenges and won the actual challenge in Rivals 2. Camila and Emily have now each won three challenges.
CT and Camila choose Diem with the first pick. The order is: Diem — Bananas — Emily — Jordan — Cooke — Marlon — Theresa — Leroy.
Nany and Zach are left to pick opponents. Nany picks Diem and Zach picks Marlon. Now we are playing with fire.
ELIMINATION #8 Snapper Part Two
Once again, we are playing snapper. Players pick their eyes and ears. Marlon chooses Jordan, Zach chooses CT, Diem also chooses CT, and Nany chooses Cooke.
Results of Zach vs Marlon: Zach’s bulky target kills him in this elimination. It is hard for him to dodge quickly while shielding his entire body. Marlon pulls off the upset win and Zach is angry that his season came down to a blind stick fight.
Results of Nany vs Diem: Nany lost this elimination originally when competing with Jonna. This time around she pulls out the win. Diem’s nerves prove to be too much yet again and she continues her streak of lost eliminations.
CHALLENGE #9 Color Correction
We are flipping the 9th and 10th challenge as they fit better when flipped. In this challenge, players race across a beach and memorize a color sequence. They then run back to where they started and sort their puzzle based on the colors.
Who wins? The girls who won this challenge originally were Cara and Cooke, with Cara memorizing more than Cooke. This time, Theresa pulls off the win. She displayed her ability to memorize a sequence when she won the giant puzzle challenge on Exes 2. None of the guys competed in this challenge the first time. It becomes a race between Jordan and CT, Jordan probably runs a faster pace, though CT is better at puzzles and memory competitions. In the end, CT pulls it out.
Theresa and CT must pick someone to start the order, and they decide on Leroy. The order becomes: Leroy — Nany — Marlon — Cooke — Jordan — Emily.
Camila and Bananas are shocked to be the last two standing. Camila picks Nany and Bananas picks Jordan.
ELIMINATION #9 Break on Through Part 2
Classic production favoritism to give Bananas and Camila the same elimination twice in a row.
Results of Bananas vs Jordan: Even though Bananas has done this elimination before, he panics under pressure and cannot break the wires. Jordan bosses through the elimination like he did in Rivals 2. He pulls the win and sends the champ home.
Results of Camila vs Nany: Nany has no clue how to use the bolt cutters. Camila wins the elimination with ease as she has done it before and she is in the final four.
Final Daily Challenge: RAMPAGE
Four ramps, four players per sex, and a whole lot of balls. Everyone plays for themselves for a spot in the final.
Who wins? Marlon struggled on this challenge due to his cardio fitness. Jordan does well, and Leroy never competed in this daily challenge. CT dominated this challenge and has dominated it in different forms. He pulls the win to clinch a spot in the final. Theresa and Camila are strong females who probably finish 3rd and 4th respectively. This is a match between Cooke and Emily. Paula and Cara did poorly in this and it came down to seconds after the score was tied. Cooke pulls out her first win of the season in the final daily challenge, beating Emily by one ball.
CT and Cooke have to pick someone to start the final line-up call. They choose Leroy. Order is: Leroy — Theresa — Marlon — Emily
Camila and Jordan have to pick opponents. Jordan chooses Leroy and Camila chooses Theresa. Marlon and Emily are joining CT and Cooke in the final.
Final Elimination Pole Wrestle
The most intense elimination format in Challenge history. Two people fight over one pole. The person who emerges with the pole gets the last spot in the final.
Results of Jordan vs Leroy: Leroy has won pole wrestle twice against elite competitors (Wes and Bananas) in his Challenge career. Jordan only having one whole hand comes back to bite him. Leroy wins with ease and is in the final. Jordan has one of the greatest rookie seasons but comes up short.
Results of Camila vs Theresa: This one led to a great debate. Camila’s actual Rivals 2 performance is one of the most underrated in Challenge history. She carried Jemmye to a final … Jemmye. Yes, Theresa has the size and beat Camila on Free Agents. In the end, we finally came to the conclusion that it would result in a 2–1 victory for Camila where she would play dirty and eventually wear down Theresa. It must be noted, Theresa came into Free Agents in better shape than any prior season and then got in even better shape on Exes 2. Camila goes to the final.
THE FINAL PART ONE
The six players swim to shore where they must complete a 3D puzzle. Once completed, they get a key to unlock a kayak where they will row their way over to a ship to complete day one. First two males and females go to part two of the final.
Men’s Heat: CT obliterates the other two males in the swim and is the only one to finish the puzzle. The battle between Marlon and Leroy comes down to the swim and kayak. In the end, Marlon edges Leroy by the slightest margin. Marlon will be facing CT in the final.
Women’s Heat: Camila is the first to shore from the swim, Cooke is second, and Emily is third. It was a team effort for all of them when they did the puzzle first time. Since Camila was the person who could not solve the puzzle the first time, she sadly takes third place again. She has possibly the best overall season and comes up short due to a puzzle. Emily and Cooke are going head to head in the end.
THE FINAL PART TWO
Everything remains the same as the Rivals 2 final. Running a five stage obstacle course with a puzzle, math puzzle, eating contest, heavy-lifting mixed with cardio, and a final dig.
Men’s Heat: CT dominated the Rivals 2 final. Wes died out in the final and CT picked up the slack and they still won by an hour. Marlon does okay in the final for a rookie. In the end, CT wins by over an hour and is finally a Challenge Champion.
Women’s Heat: When these two faced each other in the original final, Cooke had the lead until the eating portion where Paula gave them a lead. In this world, Cooke has a slight lead after the food portion and it all goes down to who can carry weight back and forth longer. Ultimately, it was decided that Emily slightly edges Cooke to win the final. The biggest what if is what happens if Camila is running the second half as she generally is good at puzzles (despite faltering on day one) and is a better eater than any of the other girls.
1st Chris Tamburello (0–0) elim record, 4 daily wins
2nd Marlon Williams (2–0) elim record
3rd Leroy Garrett (1–0) elim record
4th Jordan Wiseley (2–1) elim record, 1 daily win, eliminated by Leroy
5th Johnny Bananas (1–1) elim record, 3 daily wins, eliminated by Jordan
6th Zach Nichols (1–1) elim record, 2 daily wins, eliminated by Marlon
7th Ty Ruff (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Jordan
8th Tyler Duckworth (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Zach
9th Wes Bergmann (0–1) elim record, 1 daily win, eliminated by Bananas
10th Ryan Knight (1–1) elim record, eliminated by Marlon
11th Trey Weatherholtz (2–1) elim record, eliminated by Knight
12th Preston Roberson-Charles (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Trey
13th Frank Sweeney (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Trey
1st Emily Schromm (0–0) elim record, 3 daily wins
2nd Heather Cooke (0–0) elim record, 1 daily win
3rd Camila Nakagawa (3–0) elim record, 4 daily wins
4th Theresa Gonzalez (1–1) elim record, 1 daily win, eliminated by Camila
5th Nany Gonzalez (2–1) elim record, eliminated by Camila
6th Diem Brown (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Nany
7th Paula Meronek (1–1) elim record, 1 daily win, eliminated by Nany
8th Sarah Rice (0–1) elim record, 1 daily win, eliminated by Theresa
9th Aneesa Ferreira (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Camila
10th Cara Maria Sorbello (3–1) elim record, eliminated by Paula
11th Jonna Mannion (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Cara Maria
12th Jemmye Carroll (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Cara Maria
13th Jasmine Reynaud (0–1) elim record, eliminated by Cara Maria