Making a final is an impressive feat, in fact, it’s now enough to make you a Challenge “champ.” While some competitors are destined for Challenge glory, others have seen multiple finals and came up short of the victory multiple times. Then there are the people who have a good mix of Challenge wins along with losses in the final.
These are the people who have the most losing appearances in the final. They may have won at one point or another, but only the losses count for this list.
The only competitor who has lost five finals, CT has actually seen seven (eight with Champs vs. Stars). His first two Challenges, The Inferno 1 & 2 marked his first two losses. A few years later, he appeared on The Gauntlet 3 and lost due to Big Easy’s disqualification. His fourth loss on Battle of the Exes may have been his closest call, and the hardest to watch, but it didn’t stop CT from returning. His next appearance on Rivals 2 was his first win. In recent years, he has appeared in the finals of Invasion and Dirty Thirty, winning the former and losing the later.
Kenny– Kenny almost always made the final challenge and always put up a hell of a fight. While he won three of them, he lost in four. In his rookie season of Fresh Meat, he made the final with his partner Tina and came in second. Like CT, he lost in The Gauntlet 3 final, but at that point Kenny had one win under his belt. His last two appearances on the show were runner-up seasons: Fresh Meat 2 and Rivals.
Denver alumnae Jenn was great at making the final, just not at winning them. She made the final on more than half of her Challenge appearances, but came in last every single time. On The Island, Fresh Meat 2, Cutthroat, and Rivals she ran the race, but never defeated an opponent. In fact, prior to Vendettas she held the honor of being the only 4th place finalist for her appearance on Fresh Meat 2.
Cara Maria– Cara Maria’s road to victory was a tough one, and she had a bunch of close calls prior to her Bloodlines victory. She exceeded expectations just by making the Cutthroat final, even though she finished in second. She then make the Rivals 1 & 2 finals, finishing in second both times. More recently, she has been winning in the finals (Bloodlines, Champs vs. Pros, Vendettas), but sandwiched in her victories is her last place finish in the Dirty Thirty final.
Coral– Early Challenge fans will know Coral always made it to the end of the game, but after her Battle of the Seasons win, she had a hard time scoring win #2. She made it to the end of The Gauntlet, The Inferno, and Battle of the Sexes two without a second victory.
Robin– After nine seasons, Robin never won. She came close a few times, losing on The Gauntlet 2, The Island, and of course The Gauntlet 3. If it weren’t for that season, a lot of people on this list would be ranked differently.
Finding himself facing tough competitors, Brad didn’t see his first final until The Duel. He barely lost on the first Duel and then had deja vu when he barely lost The Duel 2. His third loss? The Gauntlet 3.
Paula– Paula’s early career was quite impressive, making the final on The Inferno 3 and The Gauntlet 3. When she wasn’t picked to be in Johnny’s boat on The Island, she got her third runner-up seasons and appeared to be cursed not to see a final again. After three seasons without getting to the final, Paula broke all of her curses by winning Rivals.
Sarah– Similar to Paula, it would take Sarah eight seasons to finally win. A string of bad teammates disqualifying her would take her out of a couple of seasons, but she saw the final on The Ruins, Cutthroat, and Battle of the Seasons.
Laurel– Despite not winning until her fourth season, Laurel excelled in the game. She made the finals on her first three Challenges: Fresh Meat 2, Cutthroat, and Rivals. She later won Free Agents and secured her position as a Challenge legend.
Leroy– Seeing the final on his rookie season, Rivals, made Leroy a fan favorite. However, a series of bad partners and medical issues would make his path to success longer than anticipated. He did see the final on Battle of the Exes 2 and Vendettas, but he has not won yet.
No one expected much from Jenna when she debuted on Battle of the Exes 2, but she made it to the end of the season (as a lay-up), though she quit with her partner Jay in the final. She redeemed herself by making the Bloodlines and Rivals 3 finals, but she had not won yet. On Invasion and Dirty Thirty she was eliminated on the purges right before the end.