As predictable as half of the Challenge cast tends to be, the other half of the cast tends to be a wild crapshoot. Let’s look at Vendettas for example. Of course there’s Bananas, Leroy, Cara Maria and Zach. Then, we have Brad returning, Natalie from Big Brother, Kyle from Georgie Shore, and Veronica continuing her “born again rookie” era. A good returner can make for an interesting addition to the show, and we were blessed with a bunch of good returns on Invasion, Dirty Thirty, and Vendettas. Final Reckoning, being the end of a “trilogy,” lacked a good return. War of the Worlds emphasized the outsiders competing with the veterans and cool new faces of The Challenge (though we did get Wes and Nany). This makes me unsure whether or not I’ll see a surprising return on Challenge 34.
Here are ten Challengers who could really spice things up with a return. I’m not saying these people aren’t going to be on the show, even if they’re “unlikely” according to the season 34 rumors. They are just ten people I’d like to see make a come back.
For purposes of this list, I will only consider a person a returner if they: have appeared on at least one Challenge and have no appeared in the “trilogy” or War of the Worlds.
We all know Cara Maria is one of the biggest names in The Challenge right now and she’s now going to be in a record-breaking four consecutive finals. We also know her kryptonite: Laurel. Last time Cara Maria was eliminated it was by Laurel on Invasions. Before that, she was eliminated by Laurel on Free Agents. Add in the fact that the two aren’t exactly friends right now, and we’re looking at the biggest threat to Cara Maria’s game.
Normally, I just post cast photos on these lists, but I feel I wouldn’t be doing Marlon justice if I didn’t include a recent picture. He has gained a lot of muscle since we last saw him on Rivals 2 and he’s ready to compete. He has earned his Instragram name “Black Zeus,” because he’s now built like a black Greek god. Plus, Marlon’s story line has always been interesting. I don’t know why he isn’t being put on the cast.
Having been off screen since Rivals in 2011, Jenn is another person who’s been getting in great shape. She appears to be in better shape than she ever was on The Challenge. She may have had her arguments, but she was really good at the game and saw four finals without ever winning. With her improved strength and a permanent spot on the Bananas Boat, she’s likely a candidate for a strong return… if she agrees to come back.
With Nany coming back, it seems natural to throw her way-too-nice-of-an-ex Cohutta back into the mix. He’s always been a wildcard. He left Bloodlines early, but he’s also the first person to ever eliminate Wes. So, his inclusion on the show is likely to give us an interesting story.
After Bananas took her money on Rivals 3, Sarah swore off The Challenge. She hasn’t appeared since that happened, but to say that she’s “over” the Challenge is a lie. She’s still taking about it on her Podcast and she’s still bitter. I’d love to see her go into the game wiser than before, with a vengeance, and knowing she may have to screw people over. She’s always tried to take the clean-cut approach, but now she knows she can’t play that way and she’s smart enough to adapt.
Cara Maria may have had a weird evolution on MTV, but if anyone’s evolution was weirder, it’d have to be Abe. He’s now a married man (he’s pictured with his wife who is beautiful BTW). I also know he will always hold a certain level of respect for Cara Maria and will be the first to challenge Paulie. Let’s be real, Abe + Paulie is the explosion we all want to see.
Known to cause trouble, Nia was doing well when she was kick off Battle of the Exes 2. While I don’t think he actions toward Jordan were cool, I do think she’s smart enough to know the boundaries moving forward. I’d love to see how Hurricane Nia performs in the current state of The Challenge. If there was ever anyone who could put the UK kids in their place, Nia is probably that person.
One of the original Are You the One? debuts on The Challenge, Marlon showed a lot of potential with his partner Britni. He was also clearly one of the more in-shape people from his cast and seemed built to perform. Allegedly he did Are You the One Second Chances instead of Invasions (where he made the finals), but I feel like we could have seen more from him on future Challenge seasons.
It may be a surprise to hear the Kendal, who hasn’t done a show in 15+ years since The Inferno, has interest in returning. If you look at her pictures, it may also be a surprise to know that she debuted on MTV 18 years ago as it seems like she has aged 0 days. She seems to be in good enough shape, she’s from the juggernaut that is Road Rules Campus Crawls, and she’s quite a Twitter sniper. Somehow she crawls her way into all the Challenge drama, so I think she’d fit right into the current state of The Challenge.
Holding the rare title of “Challenge Champion,” Frank clearly knows how to play the game. He’s prone to getting into fights, but in recent years he’s been more prone to hit the books or get married. He’s still pursuing doctorate-level education, so the timing would have to be perfect for him, but he did appear as a Mercenary on Vendettas so we know his interest isn’t completely gone. I’d love to see him be able to give it his all one last time, especially because he left Free Agents due to an illness and not a real loss.