Making it to the end of a Challenge can be a hard task. Some people, such as Cara Maria, have seemed to perfected the art. Other people are dealt a series of tough hands.
This week we saw a Purge, where Joss was sent home due to Kayleigh’s poor performance. Both of these competitors have been victims to a series of twists throughout their Challenge careers, and this Purge is another entry in their lists of struggles. Some people will say Joss got served by karma for sending Georgia into The Proving Ground, but he ultimately went home because production just decided there needed to be a Purge.
Here are ten people who have had to deal with a series of bad luck throughout their time on The Challenge. “Luck” is really a term used to describe issues resulted from twists, formatting, casting, or unanticipated events (like injury or disqualification). On the show, these are actions attributed to the “Challenge gods.” Social issues or avoidable disqualifications are not going to be considered luck. So do not expected to see Brandon from Cutthroat on the list or CT getting sent home from The Duel 2.
In his three seasons on The Challenge, Joss has been noted for being one of the strongest competitors. He won his first challenge on Vendettas and was the only male to survive in the main house for the entirety of Final Reckoning.
- Point 1: Facing Derrick, a Mercenary, in Vendettas. He would have had a much better chance surviving in elimination if he faced Shane.
- Point 2: Losing Final Reckoning because of a grenade, a twist introduced in Vendettas and absent from Final Reckoning until the final challenge. It’s also rumored he only lost because neither he nor Sylvia would have stolen the money, but he undoubtedly was hurt by the grenade twist.
- Point 3: Being purged on War of the Worlds 2.
One of the biggest names to come from Big Brother, she really did have a tough break on her first season.
- Point 1: Sent to Redemption three times on Final Reckoning, once just because Zach & Amanda had to pick a team.
- Counter Point 1: They did play in Redemption twice, which is more than half of the teams got to do.
- Point 2: Had to compete against Mercenaries Cory & Devin, which was likely rigged by production.
- Point 3: Ultimately leaves Final Reckoning because she isn’t picked to compete in a Redemption challenge.
- Point 4: Loses in War of the Worlds Purge, being sent home after winning three eliminations.
Despite only doing two seasons, luck was never on her side.
- Point 1: Being sent home because Brandon just wanted to quit.
- Point 2: Coming into Dirty Thirty as a replacement. This led to her getting targeted and being sent into the first elimination. Really, this is on the list because of a casting rumor. Apparently production needed a replacement cast member last minute because Alicia had to drop. They called Briana first but she couldn’t answer because she was at work. So, Jenna was brought in as a replacement.
- Counter Example 1: Not going into the first Jungle on Rivals 3 because of the black skull twist.
Always a tough competitor, it took Brad eight seasons to finally get his win. While there were some seasons where he was legitimately outperformed, there were other seasons where bad luck cost him the game.
- Point 1: Take this one with a grain of salt, because it is kind of social-based, but Brad was the last rookie male on Battle of the Sexes 2. When he was voted off, the remaining four veterans made it clear he was getting the boot because the veterans were closer.
- Point 2: Brad made it all the way to the end on The Duel, but narrowly lost to Wes. He actually completed the final faster than Wes, but Wes got a two minute head start from a soccer shoot-out because Brazil. Wes also had a history as a soccer player, giving him an obvious edge.
- Point 3: Like a handful of other competitors, Brad was on the dominating Veterans team who lost The Gauntlet 3 final because Big Easy passed. Props to Brad for being one of the few compassionate ones when Big Easy was clearly unwell.
- Point 4: Brad narrowly lost The Duel 2, an alleged individual challenge, because his partner in the final made him do the bulk of the team’s work. Evan passed by Brad at the end because Britni was a more supportive partner and didn’t wear him out as much.
- Bonus: Due to all of these, Brad was on the disastrous Challenger team on The Ruins. Ultimately, Brad got into a fight and cost himself the game.
Theresa is often noted for getting into fights or her partnership with Wes, but her time throughout the Challenge was marked with multiple tough breaks.
- Point 1: Being paired with Ryan on Fresh Meat 2. While he did have allies, he was also one of the weakest guys. Not the worst luck, but far from the best.
- Point 2: Facing “Heavy Hitter” Tina in Cutthroat rather than facing Tori in the Gulag. No one expected this, but Tina has openly admitted she went a little easier on Tori.
- Point 3: Facing Laurel in the final Draw on Free Agents. This is only on the list because everyone had to flip cards here. There were no opportunities to win a challenge and receive immunity.
- Point 4: Playing an excellent political game on Battle of the Exes 2, only to go home because of the Battle of the Ex-ile twist.
- Counter Example 1: At the very end of her Challenge career, Theresa got brought back for the final elimination on Exes 2 because Nia was disqualified. This earned her a spot in the final and a second place paycheck. Really lucky considering she had just been sent home.
It’s hard to label Wes as lucky or unlucky, because he creates his own luck for the most part. On War of the Worlds 2 he was eliminated early because he got caught in his social game, but he has had more moments of unluckiness than he has had moments for legitimate luck.
- Point 1: Coming into Fresh Meat, he was outnumbered by seasoned veterans. Being a rookie isn’t unlucky, but Fresh Meat was the exception. He had three of his Austin while every other veteran was going onto their fourth season (at least).
- Point 2: Though this would later become a standard practice, Wes was the first victim of time neutralized on Rivals. He finished Day 1 about 40 minutes ahead of Bananas & Tyler. This only translated into a 2 minute head start the next day. Wes & Kenny should have won that season.
- Point 3: His biggest moment of unluckiness was on Exes 2. He played a stellar game, but was shocked by Bananas’s return from Ex-ile. As if this twist wasn’t misfortune enough, Wes then lost in elimination, making Wes & Theresa the only team who did not get a shot at redemption. Their elimination fell in the (un)sweet spot. Right after Ex-ile was over, but right before the final.
- Point 1: Is buried in a coffin, never gets to compete, never gets a Redemption challenge because he didn’t pull the double cross, had to deal with crazy ex.
Point 1 is Chuck’s entire Challenge career. Not a string of bad luck, but 100% of his time on the show was unlucky.
Love her or hate her, she has been forced to deal with a lot of fuckery during her time on the show… and not just from other cast members.
- Point 1: Comes into Rivals 3 late, which puts a target on her back (which she immediately expands by fighting with half the cast).
- Point 2: Purged out of Invasion, even though she won the first part of the Underdog Purge.
- Point 3: Immediately sent to Redemption on Dirty Thirty so Jenna could keep Jemmye around (though she did have outstanding beef with Jenna, so she does get some blame here).
- Point 4: Like Da’Vonne, she’s forced to compete against Mercenaries, though she could have avoided this if she was willing to sacrifice an ally.
- Point 5: Losing any chance at Redemption because Zach broke his nose on a medallion in Point 4’s elimination.
- Point 6: Allegedly, they were told they could not go back-to-back in the Uphill Battle elimination, but Kam & Ashley used that strategy to win and production didn’t interfere.
- Point 1: A victim of one of the first Purges ever on Invasion. Of course, he can only blame himself because it wasn’t a partnered Purge (like Joss’s loss on War of the Worlds 2), but this was still a new way of getting eliminated.
- Point 2: He was Purged again on Dirty Thirty. This was mostly because he injured his and in an elimination, so his injury basically cost him the game.
- Point 3: Obviously, Ashley took his money on Final Reckoning. What really sucks is the fact that his efforts in the eating portion weren’t counted. Although this wasn’t shown on TV, cast members has revealed the eating portion did not contribute to individual scores in the final because it would be unfair to judge men and women equally on this.
Obviously. The queen of bad luck.
- Point 1: Being placed on the Challenger team on The Ruins. She did well given the circumstances, but was forced to work with a team of seasoned losers during her rookie season.
- Point 2: Being sent home because Vinny DQed on Battle of the Exes.
- Point 3: Being sent home because Trishelle quit on Rivals 2.
- Point 4: Losing all of her prize money on Rivals 3 because of the money stealing twist.