Over the past two seasons, we’ve come to know Jenny West on The Challenge. She’s incredibly sweet, understanding of others, able to celebrate the successes of others, and on the show to compete. Sure, she’s made some bad moves in the game, but people have committed worse crimes. Because she comes across as such a nice person, I was happy to see her win.
If I was betting on the season, I would have predicted her as the winner.
On the guys side this season, we had Jordan, CT, Wes, Bananas, and Rogan as returning champions. We also had some finalists and some strong newbies thrown into the mix.
On the girl’s side, we had Dee and Ashley as winners. Both are worthy competitors, but they’re known for being well-rounded and crafty players. Well you can’t guarantee victory against either girl in a strength-based game, they’re also quite beatable. Jenny stood out at the strongest girl on the season.
There are some seasons where the winner is obvious from day one: on Free Agents I knew Laurel would win. On Rivals 3, we knew Bananas & Sarah would win. On Total Madness, Jenny fits the bill.
While we can’t dismiss Dee and Ashley as competition, if we framed the season from the point of view that Jenny was the frontrunner, the biggest competitors would be Tori and Kaycee. Tori because she beat Jenny in Hall Brawl last season and Kaycee because she has experience as a football player. Tori took an early flight home, and Kaycee was the worst non-quitter in the final.
Now that the season is over, some viewers complain that it was boring. I can see this when looking at the lack of competition from the girls’ side. I know Dee was edited out of the show for comments made outside of the game. I also know Dee (prior to this) was generally not viewed favorably this season. Regardless, she was the one girl who was aware of Jenny’s strength and trying to get her out of the game. The show could have been a little more interesting if Dee’s edit remained in the show and she tried to place a target on Jenny’s back.
From my observation, Jenny is not a controversial or polarizing character. She plays to win and she provides competition, but production also plucked her out of an international show based on physical strength, Survival of the Fittest UK. Someone like Jenny only makes the show interesting if you give her competition, and she didn’t really have any this season. Without polarizing people like Cara Maria, Laurel, or Ninja, it seemed like Jenny had an easy ride to the final.
Fortunately, it appears to have been given to a worthy person. I also can’t ignore that fact that this seemingly random addition to the show just took $500,000 away from fan favorites.