The Challenge isn’t the right environment for everyone. The athletes may seize the opportunity to demonstrate their strength, but other people have their worst characteristics displayed.
Over the years we have seen a lot of Challengers fade to obscurity. Other competitors made such a huge splash during their debut that they’ll never be forgotten. These people came onto the show with more screen time than your average rookie. Whether or not it was intentional, it left a mark on show.
This list is not for the people who dominated the game. That’s impressive, but a different type of memorable. The people on this list are mostly messy, and remembered for their social game over their strategic game.
10. Ty Ruff (Cutthroat)
Early into the Cutthroat season, it seemed all of the drama centered around Ty. Somehow, girls were arguing over his stolen sweatpants. Later, he’d find himself arguing with Katie and Brandon and angering other people in the house. The biggest concern arose when he playfully fought with Emily. This turned into him smashing her bunk bed with a potted plant and frightening his teammates. In the end, he left like a chump when he gassed out in elimination.
9. Stephen Bear (War of the Worlds)
It’s hard to deny the charisma we’d see Bear display. While he has a sketchy background off of the show, it’s easy to understand why he’d do well on reality shows. On War of the Worlds, he’d find himself butting heads with Wes. Then, he get caught with a girlfriend back home. His excuse? The girl was his “cousin.” His antics would carry onto later seasons, but his first season gave viewers a good look into his personality.
8. Wes Bergmann (Fresh Meat)
The Austin alliance entered The Challenge under unique circumstances. They were rookies branded as veterans, but the true veterans were able to pick them off like flies. There was one exception: Wes. He tried to make shady alliances to keep himself in the game and keep Austin afloat. The veterans hated his cocky attitude and dopey mohawk, and Johanna hated his treatment of Casey and prioritization of the game. Ultimately, he dragged Casey to the end, and he was the a resilient wild card the veterans couldn’t get rid of.
7. Jasmine Reynaud (Rivals)
One half of the surprise rookie team on Rivals, Jasmine displayed a lot of heart. She gave every challenge 100% effort, but she still managed to put double the energy into the drama. Jasmine got into a fight with Theresa where she ended up punching a mirror. Then, she’d continuously argue with Jonna, threatening to quit the game and throwing her mic on the ground. She’s definitely chaotic, but a fun chaotic.
6. Frank Sweeney (Battle of the Seasons)
Coming into a season full of rookies can be hard, but Frank stood out. Sometimes for the right reasons, but more often for the wrong. He was loud and argumentative, almost getting into a physical fight with Wes on episode 1. Throughout the season he’d add enemies to his list such as Alton, Marie, and Camila. He was constantly the center of controversy, even at the very last moments of the season when he shoved Sam while climbing to the finish line.
5. Amanda Gracia (Rivals 3)
On Rivals 3, you’d have enemies simply for being from Are You the One. Add in the stress of being a replacement, and you’ve got a massive target on your back. Amanda said no problem, and strutted her way onto Rivals 3 before the third challenge. Then, she proceeded to get into nightly arguments with the veterans, anger Camila, and insist Are You the One? was the best show. Was she abrasive? Yes. Are we surprised? No.
4. Melissa Reeves (Vendettas)
As part of the inaugural UK class, Melissa left a big impression during her short time on Vendettas. She started a fling with Nicole Z., which was likely just a game move. Then she found herself arguing with fellow rookie Kam. While Kam might be intimidating, Melissa didn’t back down easily. She lost the second female elimination (though she won the first), but emerged as a mercenary during the final. At the reunion, she started an unfounded rumor that Kailah and Tony hooked up. No one bought it, but it could have ruined two relationships.
3. Paulie Calafiore (Final Reckoning)
Paulie entered The Challenge in the third installment of a trilogy. Does this make sense? No, but it’s The Challenge. It doesn’t have to make sense. Then, he started to get involved with Cara Maria. She was fresh off a split with Kyle, and while she was single, there were clearly some lingering feelings. This resulted in tensions with Kyle, plus he was medaling with Brad and Britni’s relationship. To add to the controversy, he was dating someone else at home (Danielle Maltby from The Bachelor). That relationship was as good as over.
2. Ashley Mitchell (Rivals 3)
If you forgot Ashley was on Rivals 3, you’d be forgiven. That’s because the whole season featured her alter ego Smashley. Perhaps the highlight of the messiness came when she thought Nicole kissed Jamie, so she screamed at Nicole while crying in the bathroom. Then, she returned home and hooked up with Jamie like nothing ever happened. She’d later find herself in Tony’s bed, arguing with Simone, and mending her injuries with shots of tequila.
- Tony Raines (Battle of the Bloodlines)
In one episode alone, Tony hooked up with someone, cheated on someone, angered the veterans, and physically fought his brother. If someone did that in a season, they would be called a mess. But one episode? Tony was a whole new level. While Tony is now in full-time dad mode, nobody will forget his explosive first season. When I say explosive, I mean it literally. He exploded his spleen during a challenge.