The Gauntlet 2 gave us one of the most unique casts to date. With many of the era’s big names absent, new faces got to stand in the spotlight.
Eleven Gauntlet 2 players never did a season after this. While some of these retirements were warranted, other cast members probably should have given The Challenge another go. Here, I’m going to rank all eleven. The people who should have stayed retired are at the top, the people who should have come back are at the bottom.
Thanks to CBS All Access, we’ve been able to rewatch Challenge seasons as far back at Gauntlet 2. I started with that season, so there may be more to come.
11. Cameran Eubanks
Sweet, innocent, and definitely not Challenge material. Cameran “succumbed” to The Gauntlet to Kina could stick around. A noble deed, and this allowed TJ to go on his first quitters rant. After Battle of the Sexes 2, it became obvious that Camera just wasn’t built of competition.
10. Jo Rhodes
Coming onto The Gauntlet 2 after 11 years away from reality TV, Jo quit after one night. It was an iconic departure, and one that made it clear she was done with MTV. Obviously, we’ll never see her again, but there’s a part of me that would have liked a redemption story. She would have come back with everything to gain and nothing to lose.
9. Montana McGlynn
If anyone can remember Montana excelling at a challenge, please let me know. On her first season, she was the girl who wouldn’t bungee jump. On her second season she DQed in a mechanical bull riding contest, and on Gauntlet 2 she argued with Beth so she could sit out from a challenge. Her biggest contribution to The Challenge was retiring.
7. Jisela Delgado
On Battle of the Seasons, Jisela was great. Loud, outspoken, and wanted to overthrow the Inner Circle. We never saw that fire again, and Jisela soon got a reputation as a flake. She allegedly was contacted for The Gauntlet, The Inferno, and then Battle of the Sexes 2. She dropped from Sexes 2 at the last minute; rumor had it that she wanted to avoid Coral. When she finally came back to The Gauntlet 2, she basically quit. Allegedly she used all her vacation time from work to appear on the show and needed to keep her job. After all of this, it’s clear Jisela’s real life was more important than a TV show. That’s fine, but we’d never get to see the fighter was saw on Battle of the Seasons.
6. Jeremy Blossom
Jeremy came on the show with the purest intents and the will to compete. He was a consistently good, but not great, competitor on The Gauntlet 2. When he faced Alton in a climbing elimination, his fate was sealed before the competition started. I was always surprised we didn’t see Jeremy immediately after The Inferno, because that’s where he stuck out as a Challenger willing to step up and take risks. After Gauntlet 2, it was no surprise he faded away.
6. David Burns
Best known for flirting with a producer on Real World Seattle and having two different colored eyes, David fell into a similar cycle on The Gauntlet 2 and The Inferno. He perform pretty well, but became sacrificial toward the end. Fortunately, he made the final on Gauntlet 2 where he lost. With the right group of people, David would be been interested to see return. He dated Katie and maintained good relationships with Mark and Timmy. However, production was moving toward a younger, fresher, and meatier crowd for future seasons. It may have been best that David ended when he did, even though he would have been CT’s best ally.
5. Randy Barry
Randy’s biggest asset in the game: he was extremely likable. She was also a good, logical competitor and could have done well on future seasons. As the show got increasingly competitive, it seems unlikely he would have overthrown people like Wes or his Real World roommate Brad. Perhaps ending with The Gauntlet 2 was good for Randy’s legacy. He went out with a win.
4. Jamie Murray
The wrongful Rookie, Jamie got very little attention on The Gauntlet 2. He’s a nice guy and a solid competitor, but his personality contradicts the drama-fueled storylines that powered MTV in the middle of the 2000’s. He’s still recognized for his perfect Challenge record, so we lost a good competitor when MTV stopped calling Jamie.
3. Danny Dias
Only two competitors can claim The Gauntlet 2 as their sole Challenge appearance: Jo and Danny. We know MTV could contact Jo after The Gauntlet 2 because she stole a Sidekick 2 when she left Trinidad, but we also know why they chose not to call her. Danny, on the other hand, seemed like he would have been perfect for a second shot at the show. Not that we expected him to win, but he’s guaranteed drama and at the very least, he would have tried to do well. As time passed, I became increasingly surprised he never got his second shot. Sadly, he passed away in 2017. We only saw him on Road Rules and The Gauntlet 2, but his over-the-top drama and profanity-ridden rants always entertained.
2. Adam Larson
Despite losing the first Gauntlet, I was always surprised Adam didn’t return after Gauntlet 2. He’s a great competitor, as proven on That Gauntlet 1, and someone who always generated some type of a story on the show. His MTV journey didn’t end after Gauntlet 2; he returned on Road Rules: Viewers Revenge. He got punched by Abram, won the handsome reward, and sailed off to the MTV retirement home.
1. Julie Stoffer
It seemed like the Rookies had some strong females, while most of the Veteran girls were weaker by comparison. Once Ruthie was gone, Julie was probably the best girl on the team. She performed well, helped the veterans score some wins, and even maintained a cordial relationship with Beth. We all know Julie can be drama, but she’s also really good in competition. After The Gauntlet 2 she seemed more capable than ever, and it’s a shame this was her last season. Understandably, she wanted to move onto better career/ hosting gigs and start a family, but after rewatching the season I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for her.