Challenge fans are generally divided when it comes to Theresa Gonzalez. Half of them think she’s a shady and manipulative player who’s deserving of every misfortune bestowed upon her by the Challenge gods. Others think she’s underrated and one of the unluckiest players to ever set foot in the game. Reality likely falls somewhere in the middle, but Double Agents has portrayed her as a snake.
It’s important to remember how Theresa entered this game. On Fresh Meat 2 she was paired with Ryan who was part of Kenny’s alliance but was “recruited” to be working with Wes’s alliance as well. Theresa came into the game as a “double agent” before the term had more significance on The Challenge.
By the end of the game, Ryan & Theresa showed loyalty to Kenny, but Theresa’s affiliation to the two alliances was more than just gameplay. She started off crushing on Kenny, but he turned her down. So she spent the bulk of the season cuddling with Wes and creating another rift between the two.
If Theresa was only flirting with Kenny and Wes to benefit her game, that’s nothing new. “Polidicking” is an acceptable strategy in today’s climate, but Theresa used some other unconventional methods when she returned for Cutthroat.
This season, she was considered to be an asset for the blue team. She was the fourth of five girls on the Blue Team to see an elimination, but she quickly used her dramatic ways to stir the pot. Early into the season, she accused Camila of being a kleptomaniac and tried to mentally break her before elimination.
Theresa actually earned respect from a lot of the vets this season, but her fight with Camila landed her a partnership on Rivals. This season, Theresa would try to use psychological gameplay to manipulate the competition again. This is most notable when she pretended she was mentally checked out of the game after getting voted into the second girls’ elimination. In reality, her heart was in the game. She was trying to psych out Cara Maria & Laurel, though it didn’t work. Theresa lost and went home early.
Rivals was a brief appearance for Theresa, but it led to a subsequent appearance on Rivals 2 with Jasmine. This season she found herself in a bit of a transitional role. Theresa was more of a veteran while Jasmine was more closely aligned with the rookies.
During the Frog Smash challenge the duo won because no one wanted to swing on them. This was a warning that they were floating through the game and perceived as harmless. Perhaps they were too comfortable, because they tried to “burn” their vote on a close team: Leroy & Ty. Jonna & Nany followed them, then Diem & Aneesa turned this burn into a death sentence for Leroy & Ty.
Theresa was hooking up with Leroy on Rivals, so he probably felt betrayed by her. This move also led to Jordan & Marlon “burning” their vote on Jasmine & Theresa after they beat Leroy & Ty. Ultimately, her lack of allegiances allowed her to become easily picked off midway through the season.
Theresa returned next season for Free Agents. This season allowed her to beat Camila in elimination, but it also forced her to fend for herself. This meant she’d need to beat the biggest competition to win the whole competition.
Her plan? Get Laurel into elimination. So she rallied a bunch of girls to send their votes to Laurel to secure her spot in elimination.
Once Laurel had enough votes, Theresa changed her mind. She didn’t vote Laurel into elimination so Laurel wouldn’t seek revenge. Of course, this plan didn’t go unnoticed. Devyn immediately told Laurel and branded Theresa as a snake.
Perhaps Theresa’s best showing was on Battle of the Exes 2 where she was running the game for a while. Being paired with Wes, it was obvious she wouldn’t be close with Bananas. However, Bananas was paired with Nany. On Free Agents, Theresa and Nany became close.
Nany even confronted Theresa for her betraying their friendship. Theresa shrugged her off, chalking it up to the game. Beyond that, Theresa would engage in slanderous language that slut-shamed Nany. It seemed like she’d dispose of a friendship just to survive in the game.
Jordan called Theresa out for being a sneaky “bitch,” which upset Theresa. Of course, some of the people in the house laughed these insults off. Theresa might have been upset, but Jordan was saying what everyone else was thinking. Then, Bananas & Nany returned to the house. This derailed Wes & Theresa’s game and got them eliminated. Theresa would be able to return as Leroy’s partner, a huge stroke of luck, but she only came in second.
After a six year hiatus, Theresa came back to Double Agents.
It kind of feels like her time on The Challenge has come full circle. She was part of a “double agent” team on Fresh Meat 2. Now she’s a “double agent” on Double Agents. She came into the game saying Aneesa was her biggest ally, then she befriends the rookies. Theresa made a few enemies when she set up an elimination where Ashley faced Kam.
While I do believe Theresa came into this game with the intent of working with Aneesa, that doesn’t mean she was Aneesa’s #1. Theresa hadn’t played the game in six years while Aneesa has played multiple seasons. She built relationships and had other allies like Tori. If Theresa isn’t Aneesa’s #1, she needed to find some more numbers to get her through the game.
Maybe Theresa’s scheming can get her to victory on this season. Or maybe, she just hasn’t learned. Her strategy has failed multiple times and this could be another missed opportunity.