The Challenge

Challengers Who Redeemed Themselves On Their Second Season

Redemption seems to be an important theme moving forward with The Challenges, and sometimes one Challenge just doesn’t capture someone’s abilities. When given a second shot, some Challengers are able surprise the public and become moderately successful. These are some of the people who displayed an overwhelming improvement on their second season:

1. Katie (The Gauntlet: The Inferno)


Katie was definitely considered a weak link on The Gauntlet, so it was no surprise when her team immediately wanted to test her on The Inferno. While Katie initially did not display a lot of motivation on The Inferno, Revenge served as her ultimate motivator. She was able to make it all the way to the final and win the season, proving to not rule out the underdog.

2. Kina (Battle of the Sexes 2: The Gauntlet 2)

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 3.22.14 PMKina’s less-than-stellar performance on Battle of the Sexes 2 earned her about 14 seconds of air time. However, she was immediately tested on The Gauntlet 2 when she was thrown into the team captain position. After winning multiple Gauntlets and navigating through her team’s bullshit, she made it to the final and won. It was an underwhelming win, but Kina certainly proved that she deserved it.

3. Evelyn (Fresh Meat: The Inferno 3)

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After leaving first on Fresh Meat, Evelyn didn’t really present herself as a top-notch competitor. However, she quickly proved herself as a force to be reckoned with when she was on The Inferno 3. She outperformed all of the girls that season, and many of the guys, and won in the final. This started her rein as the HBIC on The Challenge.

4. Johnny Bananas (The Duel: The Inferno 3)


If The Duel was Johnny’s only Challenge, he probably would have been remembered as a lazy, unathletic frat boy. While this description probably did apply to Johnny on The Duel, the Johnny we saw on The Inferno 3 is more reflective of the Johnny we know today. He was able to hold his own in missions and outperform the other guys. This lead him all the way to the final, where he inevitably lost.

5. Rachel (The Inferno 3: The Gauntlet 3)


Rachel’s cringe-worthy departure on The Inferno 3 probably wasn’t worthy of her ever returning to The Challenge. However, she was fortunate enough to be on The Gauntlet 3 with the bulk of her Real World Austin cast. During this appearance she was able to skate by, avoid all Gauntlets, and make it to the final. While her performance was not the best display of sportsmanship, it is certainly a better legacy than the one she left on The Inferno 3.

6. Cara Maria (Fresh Meat 2: Cutthroat)


The first girl to leave Fresh Meat 2, Cara Maria didn’t show a whole lot of promise. When she returned to Cutthroat she have given the opportunity to prove herself again. This time, when placed in an early elimination, she was able to return victorious and make it all the way to the final. While she didn’t win, she did complete the final, earn some money, and earn a boyfriend.

7. Derek (Cutthroat: Battle of the Seasons)


Immediately pegged as a weakling, Derek lost the first elimination on Cutthroat. So when he was given the chance to return on Battle of the Season, the fact that he won the first mission was nothing short of a miracle. Derek continued to display his improved performance throughout the season and made it all the way to the last mission before the final. Despite losing the final Arena, he did prove that he was much better than Cutthroat made him out to be.

Preston (Battle of the Seasons: Rivals 2)

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Perhaps he likes being the underdog, or maybe he really does have some athletic potential. When Preston lost Battle of the Seasons, no one was surprised. However, he came back with Knight to compete on Rivals 2 and actually stepped his game up. He was an elimination, didn’t finish last every time, and outlasted half of the teams on the season before getting eliminated in the final male Jungle. Certainly an unexpected come back.

Who do you think will be the next person to turn his/her second Challenge into a success story.


  1. If you put Derek on here you have to have jd. Being the second guy out on cutthroat and making the final of seasons is impressive even though he almost lost an elimination built for him. Say what you want about Sarah and Chet taking him to the final because if it wasn’t for him and deyvn they would not of won the immunities they won.

  2. i would say tonya! from the ganuntlet 1, to battle of the sexes 2. she was eliminated in episode 3 of the gauntlet. but redeemed herself in bots2 by making it to the finale 8. i think she redeemed herself. but more in the inferno 3, she was in excellent shape, and made it all the way to the final and won!

  3. Derek was only good because of Captain CJ. Once CJ left Cancun didn’t do anything besides Jonna cuddling it up with Zach.

  4. Why isn’t Dustin on this list. After doing well on exes 1 and dq early to becoming runner up on seasons, dealing with trishelle, frank, and winning two eliminations is impressive.

  5. I’d have a feeling Thomas Buell and Jenna Compono are both going to have good showings in their second seasons. I doubt either one of them will be clear favorites to win or have great odds to do so, but I’d say they both look like they could have decent showings without being handicapped by their exes.

  6. Preston on Rivals II??!!!
    He sucked so bad that season. He got last twice, lost his part of the Ep.3 elimination. Made far because of Dunbar throwing a mission, people targeted Zach/Trey and saved them in Ep.5, Camila was leading the whole mission in Ep.7 … And also Derek sucked on Seasons the only reason he made far because CJ saved him and the whole Zach/Jonna thing.

  7. Jessica from RW: Portland should be an honorable mention. She was the first to be eliminated in the female jungle of Rivals II and then came back on Free Agents to a) be one of the few on her team to cross the heights portion of the first challenge in which many failed and securing a win for her and her team and b) made it to final 6 of the females division and put up a great fight against Cara Maria. Jessica, in my opinion, has made a name for herself. Another good mention is Nany but that’s giving her too much spotlight lol!

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