The Challenge

Theresa Jones: What’s Her Challenge Legacy?

Theresa has done seven Challenge seasons. What legacy does she leave behind?

Leaving Double Agents, Theresa claimed this was the end of her Challenge run. People often return after they announce their retirement, but Theresa likely won’t come back anytime soon. Shortly after filming Double Agents she announced she was pregnant with her third child.

This leaves us with seven seasons of her antics. She only made one final, but she seems to have made a lot of enemies. When looking at her time on the show, she has one of the more unique legacies.

In Theresa’s case, it seems like a moot point to analyze all seven of her appearances separately. A lot of her storylines carry across multiple seasons and proved she plays a longterm game the doesn’t stop when one season ends.

Theresa’s Early Game

If a Challenger really wanted to be recognized for her athletic abilities, being paired with Ryan probably wasn’t going showcase these skills. This partnership was a blessing and a curse. On one side, Theresa probably wasn’t going to win. On the other, Ryan was heavily connected and that allowed her to get deep into the game without seeing elimination.

Cutthroat Theresa

Theresa was a “double agent” before production designed seasons around the theme. She played both sides on Fresh Meat 2 and hooked up with both Kenny and Wes. This made her look like she was willing to do whatever it takes to be successful in the game, even if it meant she needed to betray some people.

Cutthroat allowed her to stand on her own two feet, and she actually got pretty far. However, a stroke a bad luck took her out of the game when she competed against Tina: a biased Heavy Hitter. Her drama with Camila made them partners on Rivals, and they threatened to quit that game when they went into an early elimination. This was just a form of mental warfare, and one that didn’t work.

Theresa began her time on the show as a good competitor. She was always doing something extra to advance her game, even if it didn’t really work.

Theresa Mid-Career

After taking a couple seasons off, Theresa returned for Rivals, Free Agents, and Battle of the Exes 2. Much of her identity is established during this time, though her early seasons laid the groundwork for the player we’d see.

Theresa quickly became recognized as a sneaky and cutthroat player. She used a lot of burn votes, sometimes allowing her allies to get placed on the chopping block. One of her sneakiest moments came on Free Agents when she rallied girls together to get Laurel thrown into elimination. Then, she said Jasmine’s name to keep herself off Laurel’s hit list.

Battle of the Exes 2 saw her severing ties with Nany. This time, she was paired with Wes while her once-friend Nany was paired with Bananas. It appeared as if Theresa would throw away a friendship to advance in the game. This was fairly successful, and Wes & Theresa seemed to be the front runners after the midway point of Exes 2. Then, Johnny & Nany returned as part of a twist. Theresa’s newfound allies turned on her to help Bananas, and she left the game next to Wes.

Of course, she got to see the Exes 2 final in a stroke of good luck. Nia got disqualified, and she got to compete with Leroy. This would be her only final, and one she almost missed.

The Return

After a 6-year hiatus, Theresa returned for Double Agents. She was one of the only competitors trying to pull huge moves. We saw her sneakiness return, and she orchestrated a move to get Kam against Ashley in elimination. It was successful for a moment, but the backlash cost her the game.

This is when she swore off The Challenge, and it’s likely to end her time with MTV.

Theresa’s Legacy

If we’re looking at performance, Theresa is a solid competitor. She often makes it deep into seasons and can work well with a lot of people in competition. Yet the numbers don’t paint this picture. She has been eliminated on every season (despite seeing the Exes 2 final) and her elimination record has 2 wins to 7 losses.

Theresa Ashley

This makes Theresa one of the unluckiest Challengers in the competition. Despite her return on the Exes 2 final, she had drawn the short end of the stick when it comes to twists. She went home because of a Heavy Hitter, saw the random last elimination on Free Agents, and had her game derailed on Exes 2 when Bananas returned.

Yet her misfortunes are likely to be overlooked. Theresa is one of the shadiest players to ever compete. She is always looking for a loophole and will try every trick in the book. Some of these have worked, but she’s more likely to explode her own game.

Does this make her a bad player? Not really. She seems aware of the fact that every elimination is an opportunity to get rid of a big player. This is why she’s trying to get Laurel into eliminations or force Ashley to face Kam. She wants the biggest threats out of the game so she has less competition in the final. But it would have been nice to see her give the game an earnest shot. She is a good competitor with few weaknesses. She could have made it far on athletic abilities alone.

Personally, I love Theresa. Despite her faults she plays a wholistic game. Very few people will drop friendships for the competition, but she’ll do it. It’s a shame she missed a lot of the recent seasons because she fit the themes so well. She would have stirred up a lot of drama on a season like Dirty Thirty, and she delivered on Double Agents.

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