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
I 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
Sweet, 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
Perhaps 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
Svetlana 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
How 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.