CT’s days on The Challenge may be numbered. I’m not saying he’s retiring, but he recently got married and mentioned he doesn’t see himself doing Challenges into his 40’s. Not only is he moving on in life, but Final Reckoning really wasn’t a stellar season for him. While this seems like it may be an anomaly for CT, it’s the worst he has ever done on a Challenge where he wasn’t kicked off. That’s saying a lot, because he has been cast on fourteen Challenge seasons, three spin offs, and appeared as a heavy hitter on two Challenges. Omitting his heavy hitter appearances, here is my ranking of every single appearance CT has under his belt.
17. The Inferno 3
There’s nothing noteworthy here. CT flew into South Africa, sucker punched Davis, and flew home before he could take his cast photo. A huge fail and an unnecessary loss. Especially because his replacement, Derrick, won this season.
16. Final Reckoning
This appearance was more sad than anything else. Having CT & Veronica paired together is basically a wet dream for old school fans. Instead of master game play we saw dad bod CT argue with Veronica about working out. Then they were robbed of their chances to win due to silly twists and random purges.
NOTE: This is where his Bloodlines appearance would fall. He was only having fun when he demoed the challenge, and while he won his elimination there’s a lot of variables that make it less impressive than most of his victories.
15. Champs vs. Pros
I know CT did fairly well this season, but did he do anything noteworthy? He basically gave up his chance in the final to Wes and wasn’t too excited about being a leader. He fell in the shadows of competitors like Darrell and Wes.
14. Battle of the Exes 2
You can’t fault CT for his performance here. He won the first challenge and was a finalist in the second challenge. Then he left because Diem was sick. However, this season will forever be a reflection of his love for Diem and his character. No prize money or production team was going to stop him from being with her, and we’ll never forget the moments this season gave us.
13. The Duel 2
Despite not making it to compete in a single Challenge, CT did dominate in a sense. He nearly killed Adam in a fight, and while I don’t applaud him for resorting to violence, this may have been the most lopsided fight in reality TV history. Plus, this seriously upped his intimidation factor.
12. Free Agents
Getting eliminated right before the final is still a good Challenge performance for most people, but it’s not impressive for CT. For the most part, CT was under the radar this season. He eventually would lose to Bananas in a puzzle right before the final, which is definitely not a great showing.
11. Dirty Thirty
Another season where he was overshadowed by other competitors, this is CT’s only third place finish in a final. Despite this, he did do quite well in the daily challenges and won a Redemption challenge. His biggest fault this time around was his sub-par performance in the final.
10. The Gauntlet 3
Another season where CT did well, but his biggest fault here was a sloppy strategic game. He focused so much on “trimming the fat” in the form of getting rid of the girls, he failed to chance facing Eric in a Gauntlet. When you’re throwing challenges to get the leanest team for the final, it should be obvious to get rid of Eric, even if that means you might have to face him in a physical competition.
9. Champs vs. Stars
Despite winning, CT played a really submissive game this season. He didn’t really step up to be MVP and he only made it into the final because Bananas and Emily took him, not because he fought his way there. He did win against a fairly weak Stars team, but a win’s a win.
An exciting return by CT, marked by a few dominating performances (most notable in the T-Bone elimination, despite being on the losing team). CT was competitive with other teams, but with Adam as a partner his game was seriously hindered. Most competitors were scared of him because of his Cutthroat and Duel 2 appearances, but he didn’t make the final this time around.
7. The Inferno
CT was the stand out competitor this season, but his game play didn’t make him a stellar teammate. He wasn’t allied with his Paris roommates and his motives didn’t always align with leader like Coral and The Miz. Despite this, he was a staggering four Lifeshields. This accomplished was only matched by Veronica, go figure.
6. Battle of the Exes
Perhaps the biggest disappointment in Challenge history, even though CT did really well this season. While he didn’t immediately click with Diem at the beginning of the season, they became a force to be reckoned with as they worked together later in the season. They dominated the first half of the final, but when CT gassed out he narrowly lost to Bananas and Camila. Fans were rooting for CT and Diem, but had to settle for seeing them finish in second.
5. Champs vs. Stars 2
This season demonstrated two things about CT: he is a great leader, and he really is falling into his dad bod role. He was well respected by the Red Team and viewed as a captain, then he continued to do well when he was paired with Tony. When the final came around, we nearly saw a repeat of Dirty Thirty where he was sluggish and unable to keep pace with his competition. Fortunately, he dominated the check points with Tony and secured his second spin-off win.
4. The Duel
CT really was a beast this season, and the rest guys wanted to be on his side. Then, they tried to scheme to beat him. Not only was he in great physical shape, but he was really comfortable in his social game. Of course, he lost right before the final due to a questionable disqualification, but he was delectably the strongest guy on the show. He took out Evan, won a handful of challenges, and started his romance with Diem.
3. The Inferno 2
While I noted that CT’s game didn’t align with his team’s on The Inferno, his cutthroat game play allowed him to excel as a Bad Ass. Plus, he won six of the eight Lifeshields this time around. Nobody else could compete with him on this season, but people like Tonya and Tina slowed him down during the final and took the win from him.
NOTE: This is where I’d put his Cutthroat appearance. Just because his Johnny Bananas backpack was that legendary.
Perhaps he was overshadowed by Darrell early in the season, but make no mistake, this was an awesome comeback season for CT. While the Champion team didn’t dominate as much as we’d expect, CT impressed everyone by playing Knot So Fast so perfectly. He then schooled the Underdogs by taking first in the final challenge, proving he’s still in his prime after 13 years on The Challenge.
1. Rivals 2
I’m sure no one is surprised by my top two choices, but Rivals 2 CT was CT at his best. He was great in the challenges and played an intimating game. While there are times when CT was working with allies, we all like him the most when he can go toe-to-toe with other front-runners (normally Bananas) and scare them. That’s exactly what CT did on Rivals 2, and he kept Bananas from winning his fifth title. Despite the fact that this was CT’s ninth appearance, it was only his first victory… but it was glorious!