If any ask any old school Challenge fan who the greatest players are, you’ll hear a lot of men get mentioned: Bananas, CT, maybe Jordan or Darrell, and Landon. Despite having not competed in almost 10 years, he is still held in high regards. With the changing climate of the show, could Landon still hang with the best players? Or is he just lucky based on his circumstances.
The Inferno 2
Winning his first season is a huge accomplishment. However, The Inferno is one of the easiest Challenge formats to win. Still, Landon stuck out from most competitors and really proved he was rookie of the year this season. He won two Infernos (though Karamo was throwing the competition, so that barely counts) and he won four Lifeshields: more than anyone else on the Good Guys team. Mike gets all of the attention on this season, but Landon may have been a bigger asset to the team. Plus he also rocked a funny haircut and almost made Derrick lose an ear.
The Gauntlet 2
As far as Challenges go, The Gauntlet 2 may have been the easiest to win if you weren’t a captain. Landon did well this season, but all of the glory goes to Alton (and rightfully so). Landon pretty much looked out for his ally MJ, performed well, made it clear he’d be a threat in elimination, and skated to the end. He won his second season, but it really wasn’t that hard. I can’t fault his for anything this season, but there really isn’t much of a wow-factor here.
The Duel 2
The Duel is a format where you want big competitors like Landon to compete. After a three year hiatus, his return was welcomed and he brought his A-game. Unfortunately, this season was basically a partner Challenge and due to his hiatus he ended up with a relatively unknown Challenger: Britni. She was a great competitor, but Landon shined as well. He won 5 of the 9 challenges (3 with Britni) and beat Isaac in elimination. Clearly he was the front-runner for the guys, so when they had a chance to throw him into the final elimination, the remaining guys sent him in. He faced Brad, where a swift move by Brad meant Landon lost on a loophole. Perhaps not the most admirable victory by Brad, but I can’t fault him, you need to rely on shady strategies to beat people like Landon. Still, this season proved Landon was one of the good guys and one of the best competitors.
Fresh Meat 2
By this point, Landon established himself as a strong competitor and a straight shooter. He didn’t get caught up in the Kenny/Wes political game and he stuck to his morals. His partner, on the other hand, was the last draft pick for the females. She could have been his anchor but they two did mange to win two challenges together this season. They won an Exile against CJ & Sydney (who didn’t try) but his really struggle was in an Exile against Evelyn & Luke. Carley nearly collapsed, but Landon kept his composure and solved a puzzle while she got a rest. He was as supportive as anyone could reasonably be in this situation, and this was good practice for the final. Again, Carley slowed him down in the final but his support kept her moving. This is why Landon shines: he is competent on his own but able to bring out the best in his teammate. His last appearance on The Challenge was his best one. I still hope he makes a come back, but if he doesn’t, he went out on a high note.
So yes, Landon is the real deal. Yes, he is one of the best. Yes, he could win a Challenge in 2019. Yes, we need him back.