The Challenge

10 Memorable Single-Challenge Challengers

It can take some Challengers years to build a reputation on the show. For others, one season leaves a lasting impression. Here are 10 Challenge competitors who managed to stick in the memories of Challenge fans with just one appearance.

Note: Anyone whose only Challenge appearance is Free Agents or Battle of the Exes 2 is not eligible for this list.

10. Arissa- Battle of the Sexes 2


Known as the weak link of the girls team, Arissa managed to hang on until the end of Battle of the Sexes 2. She lost, of course, as she was doing the entire season. However, the fact that she was so bad that Mark Long voluntarily eliminated himself from the competition so Arissa was stuck in the final solidifies her as one of the weakest links ever.

9. Dave- The Island


I’ll never argue with someone who thinks the living conditions on The Island sucked, because they did. However, Dave was the lone rookie who couldn’t take it. He left the show to return to his girlfriend of two-weeks and to have a slice of pizza. Hope it was worth it.

8. Leah- The Inferno


If Arissa is one of the weakest links, Leah may be one of the few people who is weaker than her. Her time on The Inferno consisted of hooking up with Darrell, befriending Coral, and having a massive panic attack that prevented her come competing in half of the missions. Once she finally found herself in The Inferno, her presence intimidated veteran Timmy. Of course, Leah lost but Kendal volunteered to compete against Leah so Timmy wouldn’t have to.

7. Jo- The Gauntlet 2

oneseasonjoI don’t know what went through Jo’s head when she decided to return to reality TV after 10 years. Once she got in front of the cameras, she had a massive freak out and fled the island of Trinidad. She threatened to sue production and walked off of the show. Needless to say, she has not been seen since.

6. Jamie- The Inferno 2

oneseasonjamieSweet, innocent, and a surprisingly good competitor. Jamie showed up to The Inferno 2 and won the show, a feat that took her San Diego roomie Brad 8 tries. Perhaps her legacy is enhanced by the fact that she’s now famous, but she will always be a shining representation of the Good Guys team.

5. Marie- Battle of the Seasons

oneseasonmariePerhaps the loudest member of this list, Marie screamed her way through Battle of the Seasons… and people loved her for it. She made it close to the final, “defeated” Alton in an elimination round, and shoved Sam into a potted plant. If she never shows up again, she will always be remembered for her willingness to engage in a fight and her New York accent.

4. Cooke- Rivals 2


Cooke had a mixed reputation after her Vegas season of  The Real World, but she definitely shined on Rivals 2. Her understanding when Naomi had to leave showed her in a positive light, but when Cara Maria replaced Naomi Cooke rose to the occasion. She gave the Challenger her all and won multiple eliminations. She came close to winning, but her performance as a rookie will not be forgotten.

3. Svetlana- The Duel

onechallengesvetlanaSvetlana always finds her way onto my lists, and it’s rightfully so. The veteran/rookie divide was as strong as it ever was on The Duel, but Svetlana befriended a veteran and defied the odds by making it to the final. She almost lost to Beth in a Duel, but the second time she found herself in a Duel she took a “bitch for a ride,” and won. Some fans hope that she will someday return, but if she doesn’t she leaves us with a strong legacy.

2. Puck- Battle of the Sexes

oneseasonpuckHow can Puck not be memorable? Not only did he bring his Puck antics to Battle of the Sexes, but he also got married on the season. Between spitting in someone’s face and performing well in missions, Puck was everything production could have hoped for. Then, he suddenly left in the middle of the night when his wife got detained by customs when returning to the States. While is abrupt departure ended his run on Battle of the Sexes, he certainly reminded fan why Puck is Puck during his stay on the season.

1. Sarah- The Gauntlet


Sarah is the original elimination queen. Best known for being sent into 5 Gauntlets on The Gauntlet and winning them all, she proved that you don’t have to be popular to be successful. Her reputation from Road Rule made her a target on The Gauntlet, but after the season aired no one was thinking about Road Rules. Sarah became a Challenge champion and erased the memories of her poor performance on Road Rules while on The Gauntlet.


  1. Colin from the real world Hawaii on battle of the sexes 1. He was on the leader
    Board on top for almost the entire challenge and won even with a broken leg. Also brittini from real world Hollywood on the duel 2. Even though some of her immunity wins were because of Landon she still beat rachel in a strength challenge won two elimations and was runner up.

  2. Lol, I’m glad you put Dave on here. Just re-watched The Island (still sucked btw), and Dave talked up such a big game, and went on to criticize Dan for his drunken outburst and calling him a weak player, Only for him to wasted a few nights later and quit. Probably doesn’t matter if he wanted to ever come back and do another challenge. His MTV days are over.

  3. Don’t forget Dave wanted ranch and a Mountain Dew with that slice of pizza lol.
    BTW some honorable mentions: Christian(ExtremeChallenge) Stephan, Belou, Holly (Battle of theSeasons) Ellen(Battle of the Sexes) Matt, Dave (Gauntlet) Kendel, Christina (Inferno) Steve, Angela (Battle of the Sexes 2) Brittni(Duel 2) Pete, Noor, Carley (FreshMeat2), Adam, Michael (Rivals), Heather (Exes) Marlon, Anastasia (Rivals 2)

  4. It’s a shame that some of the players are known for the wrong reasons. I feel some deserving folks got cut . . .

    Ellen (BOTS1): She’ll go down as the one Puck tormented most, in addition to her showmance with Adam on Road Rules: The Quest. It takes away from her performance, where she kept up with Ruthie through most of the season, even surpassing her at one point.

    Antoine & Melissa (BOTS1): The comic relief of their season. Antoine came out of obscurity to provide fun moments. Melissa shocked everybody by winning the first mission with Amaya (another girly girl), then proceeded to run Julie out of the game . .. .something everybody on that season should have thanked her for.

    Lori & Colin (BOTS1): They gave good online commentary, even if Colin’s takes were a little indulgent.

    Dave (The Gauntlet): Hey, if Jamie made the list, why not Dave? Sure, he was mostly invisible (save for a smart-alecky remark about then-girlfriend Cara’s bull-riding prowess), but if Jamie Chung got mentioned, why not a guy that didn’t join in on the Sarah hate mob?

    Sophia (BOTS2): This is a sympathy pick, since she let me interview her in 2001. She had breakdowns on the Hill, particularly when Coral and Tina voted Ruthie out of the game over her. I figure Coral and Arissa threw her a bone in picking her to go on the final mission over Tina, who’s a discount version of Coral.

    1. It’s no accident most of your list is comprised of BotSexes1 cast members. That season was so perfectly cast and was filled with great moments. It’s my favorite season by far.

  5. What about Mallory from RW Paris and the first Inferno? I Believe she would have made it longer if it wasn’t for Coral and David. Also I will add Michelle from Road Rules Europe and Extreme Challenge, who knows if she would have done another challenge(s) if she didn’t in a car crash.

  6. Love this list. I had high hopes for Dave but he was a let down.

    Fingers crossed that Marlon, Marie and Cooke still have a couple challenges in them.

    I can’t believe Kendal (RR) never returned for a challenge 😦

  7. Actually Kendall volunteered for Timmy, Timmy had no say like the Miz didn’t have a say in Landon going in for him in the Inferno 2. Also technically Jo shouldn’t even be on the list in the first place. She quit before she could EVEN competed unless she count the battle of the team captain they had.

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