The Gauntlet 3 has given us some of our most questionable winners ever. While most people would argue that Johanna and Rachel didn’t really deserve the victory, other people get less hate. Somewhere in the middle of the pact was Nehemiah who won a few Gauntlets that season.
Years later, Nehemiah would return for All Stars. He came onto this season as one of the most competitive people, and he was a decent threat in the game. He played strategically, but he also won eliminations and challenges. As impactful as this performance was, a lot of people weren’t expecting him on an “All Stars” or “OG” season.
It seems Nehemiah holds a weird place in Challenge history. Whether or not he wants to be involved, he’s intertwined in a long web of Challenge drama.
When you look at earlier Challenge seasons, common bonds seemed to lump people together. Real World Austin is a particularly close season, and it was always assumed cast mates would work together. While Nehemiah wasn’t on Fresh Meat, he did debut on The Duel.
It was quickly apparent that his friendship with Wes turned into an alliance. They remained defined by their rookie status, and this meant they’d be on the chopping block right after Key West. As a result, Nehemiah went into the third and fourth Duels.
Nehemiah holds the distinction of being the only person to eliminate Kenny, but then he lost to Eric. However, many people are forgiving of this loss because Nehemiah lost in I Can, and he lost on a technicality. Despite his early departure, Nehemiah played a role in the misfit alliance. There, he worked to help Wes with his mastermind plan and began a unique relationship as Beth’s Tenderoni.
Wes would go on to win The Duel, but he wouldn’t appear on The Gauntlet 3. However, four of his Real World roommates joined him in Mexico. This gave the Austin kids a strong alliance, and the females from that season definitely benefitted from it. Perhaps Nehemiah did too, but he was also subjected to two Gauntlets.
This season Nehemiah beat an unbothered Alex and a deceptively scrappy Ryan. However, his successes were mostly in eliminations. The Rookies team wasn’t the strongest, and they lost a lot of daily challenges.
In the end, Nehemiah won this season on a technicality. Again, Eric was involved, but this time he collapsed on the Veterans team. Nehemiah remained one of the Rookies who put in an effort throughout the whole final. While the Rookies might not be the most respected winners, Nehemiah isn’t one of the people who detracts from the team.
Nehemiah would compete on two more seasons: The Duel 2 and Rivals. On The Duel 2 he was flown in as a replacement after CT and Adam were disqualified. Once again he found himself as part of an alliance of misfits, though he was mostly working with people from Real World: Denver.
When he did get called into The Duel, Nehemiah picked Evan as an opponent. He didn’t like the cutthroat and manipulative game Evan played, and he knew he’d need to take down some of the bigger competitors if he wanted to make the final. Nehemiah lost, but he made his intentions known.
We’d also see a more spiritual side of Nehemiah this season. He would meditate and work to build positivity. Of course, Evan would poke fun at this. This also led to their pairing on Rivals.
On this season, Nehemiah worked with Wes. He was also forced into an alliance with Johnny, Evan, and Kenny due to his partnership. Unbeknownst to him, they were staging a plan to take out CT & Adam.
Nehemiah was upset when Evan threw a challenge and got his team sent to The Jungle. He was even more mad when Evan flopped and lost. If Nehemiah was never on The Duel 2, he wouldn’t have had this rivalry with Evan. Ironically, the people who let him onto The Duel 2 took him out of Rivals: CT & Adam.
While Nehemiah’s legacy was probably defined by the time he appeared on All Stars, he did remind people why he brought value to the show. He played strategically and worked with Jemmye throughout the season. He also displayed a good level of knowledge and physical ability. It’s clear that his time away from the show didn’t mean a lack of training. Nehemiah remains in good shape.
Also, Beth still calls him “Tenderoni.” Some things will never die.
What’s Nehemiah’s Legacy
Despite being a Challenge winner, Nehemiah will mostly be defined by his Austin alliance and his beef with Evan. Real World: Austin is a fan-favorite season. On The Challenge, the season has mixed results. It would be fair to assess Nehemiah as the second best competitor from that season, with the top spot going to Wes.
Both on and off the show it seems he has a good relationship with Wes. On many seasons Wes has called Nehemiah his “best friend,” and the two have been seen visiting each other. So, it shouldn’t be a huge shock to hear Nehemiah’s time on The Challenge is closely related to his friendship with Wes.
People also remember that he called Evan into The Duel. While they may not respect that move, there’s no denying Evan was the weaker partner on the Rivals team. Nehemiah was there to compete. No one really knows why Evan was there. To be honest, Nehemiah was fighting a losing battle.
Then he’s known for being a winner. Not a lot of people put respect on the Rookies victory from The Gauntlet 3, but technically he did win. He’s maintained a level of athletic ability, and he can still compete with Challengers. In fact, he’d likely be able to fit in with the modern Challenge era. He’s not much older than some of the newbies coming onto the show at this point.
Also, he’ll never escape the Tenderoni nickname. Thanks Beth.