Before they were champions, the 8 Champion Challengers invading the upcoming Challenge were underdogs. As underdogs, they played the game like underdogs. Here are their biggest mistakes that held them back from taking the victory.
Let’s start off the the two who really didn’t make any mistakes.
Ashley (won on Battle of the Seasons, first Challenge)
Biggest Mistake: Not defending Sam. As the stronger of the two females on her team, Ashley was considered more valuable than Sam. However, Zach and Frank were brutal to Sam and Ashley usually did nothing about it. While she didn’t contribute to the verbal (and even physical) lashings, these outburst created animosity on the team that Ashely could have diminished.
Darrell (won on The Gauntlet, first Challenge)
Biggest Mistake: Doubting Sarah. Being a strong member on a dominate Road Rules team, Darrell played his first season nearly flawlessly. While most of the Roadies voted Sarah into multiple Gauntlets, Darrell had more reason than anyone to doubt her abilities because he watched her shortcomings on Road Rules: Campus Crawl. However, voting Sarah into multiple Gauntlets allowed weaker competitors to skate by, and Sarah never even went home.
Zach (won on Battle of the Seasons, first Challenge)
Biggest mistake: Favoring Jonna. Despite winning his rookie season, Zach had one rookie mistake: falling for the first girl to show interest. While Zach won the season, his allegiance to his showmance and her team created hardship among the “rookie revolution” alliance and took his head out of the game. In the end, he survived his mistake, but it certainly made him fight harder than he had to.
Camila (won on Battle of the Exes, third Challenge)
Biggest Mistake: Being too honest. On her first season, Cutthroat, Camila found herself in multiple Gulags. While it’s not unusual for rookies to be sacrificed into multiple eliminations, Camila proved herself with multiple wins. Right as her team was starting to respect her, Camila confessed that she voted Brad into the Gulag. As a vet and leader, Brad had most of his team supporting him and no one took kindly to Camila’s vote. Ultimately, this resulted in Camila going into more Gulags where she eventually lost to Laurel.
Laurel (won on Free Agents, fourth Challenge)
Biggest Mistake: Her ego. It’s hard to point out flaws in Laurel’s gameplay. Despite being a runner-up on her first three seasons, she always made it to the final. There’s no doubt Laurel is a tough competitor, and she’ll be the first to tell you that. This makes her a bigger target, and perhaps that’s the season she went into eight eliminations (though winning them all) before finally getting the win.
Johnny (won on The Island, fourth Challenge)
Biggest mistake: Relying on “friends.” Perhaps the most humbling moment in Bananas’s career was his loss in the first Duel on The Duel. Though it was his Key West roommate Tyler who was sent into The Duel, Tyler wanted to compete against Bananas and Bananas underestimated his friend’s abilities, allowing Tyler to win. Flash forward to The Gauntlet 3. The notorious “Johnny/Evan/Kenny” alliance all appeared, but when Evan found himself in That Gauntlet, he wanted to go against his friend Johnny, and ultimately Johnny lost.
Cara Maria (won on Battle of the Bloodlines, eighth season)
Biggest mistake: Not politicking. There’s something noble about Cara Maria’s gameplay: don’t give a shit about who likes you and prove yourself in elimination. However, this has cost her the game multiple times and lander her in multiple fights. Seasons like Rivals, Battle of the Seasons and Free Agents would have been a lot smoother is Cara played with political savvy and forged some alliances.
CT (won on Rivals 2, ninth season)
Biggest mistake: Punching Davis. CT never even competed on The Inferno 3, and we sent home before the first challenge. Ultimately he was replaced by Derrick who won the whole season. If the odds were ever in CT’s favor, it was on this season. If Derrick could win, CT would have won. CT lost four more season until he snagged a win, and he would have been a champion, and richer, if he just kept his cool on The Inferno 3.