Challenge: Invasion

Which Newbie Has the Best Shot At Going from Underdog to Champion?

Rookies have it rough on The Challenge, but it seems recent Challenges have seen an increasing amount of success from the newbie population. Whether it’s an underestimated warrior like Cooke on Rivals 2, a team of “lay-ups” like Jay and Jenna on Exes 2, or pure luck like Johnny R. on Free Agents, we shouldn’t overlook the possibility of a newbie making it to the final.

While we keep seeing newbies in the final, we haven’t seen one win since Team San Diego on Battle of the Seasons. With eight newbies entering the playing field on Invasion, which one has the biggest chance of taking home the gold? Here’s my ranking from least possible to most possible.

Lowest Odds

8. Anika 


Definitely one of the prettiest girls on recent Real World seasons, but we haven’t seen much from Anika that screams Challenge champion. I have no reason to believe she’s be a competition beast, it’s unlikely she’ll sleep her way to the end, and she got in approximately zero fights on her Real World season. I’d summarize her in one word: disposable.

7. Anthony


Being an ‘Are You the One’ alum may not be the death sentence it was on Exes 2, but it’s not going to help. Anthony is probably going to be a party boy on the show. Fun for a while, but when the competition gets tough, he’s early to go.

6. Bruno


Perhaps not the most physically intimidating, but I wouldn’t underestimate Bruno on the playing field. However, Bruno is best known for his cocky and explosive attitude. These qualities usually don’t earn allies, and for a newbie they’re going to make you an easy target.

5. Sylvia 


Sylvia certainly has a temper, but I think there’s a rational side to her that will benefit her when making decisions in the game. However, I just can’t see her being a competition beast. I’d be pleasantly surprised if she was, but I don’t see it.

4. Theo


While the former football player’s career ended early, The Challenge may be his second chance at competitive glory. I bet he’ll be good in competition, and he’s social enough to earn some allies. My biggest concern would be Theo losing his cool or making a rash decision that jeopardizes his game.

3. Kailah


While I don’t think Kailah is going to the strongest competitor, I’m guessing she has the ability to be sneaky when needed. Kailah is determined, and will do whatever (maybe even whomever) it takes to make it to the end. Regardless of her outcome, even if she leaves first and never sees the nicer house, her experience will be better than Real World Go Big or Go Home, so that makes her a winner in some sense.

2. Hunter


Hunter looks like he’ll be a physical threat, and he’s likable enough to have allies in the game. While I don’t know if he’ll be the most logical competitor, I think he’ll be a strong performer and could redeem himself in an elimination round. I think he could survive a final, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a puzzle cost him the game.

1. Nicole


Was there any doubt that Nicole would be number one? During The Real World she was really likable and had many friends, but her biggest assets are her muscles. Nicole is in immaculate physical shape, and that will make her a threat in the game. Everyone else on this list has a clear weak point, but I just can’t think of one for Nicole. Let’s hope she can pull through and earn a W for the newbies!

Best Odds



  1. I agree with Nicole plus I think she can make allies easy. I know it won’t be easy with Ashley, Laurel, Jenna C, and a jack up Cara Maria.

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