Recent Challenge seasons have been noted for their influx of rookies. When the season is over, only a few of them get the chance to return. This leaves a lot of competitors itching for a change to make a second impression in the game. The only problem? MTV isn’t calling.
It wasn’t always this way, but we’ve seen changes in casting over the past few years. It seems competitors are disposable and production is experimenting with new initiatives. If those changes fail, then production doesn’t seem to care any more. While we can’t definitively pinpoint when this change started, it seems like Bloodlines was the first flop. Only four of the sixteen competitors returned.
This list is comprised of people who have only done one season and have not yet returned. Nobody is off limits (except for people on Spies, Lies and Allies), but I’m going to keep it realistic. I’d love to see Ellen Cho come back, but it’s just not happening at this point. People will be added to this list if they could have interesting storylines, could fit with the current casting direction, and could have potential to be competitively interesting.
10. Sean Lineker (War of the Worlds 2)
Sean got a tough break on War of the Worlds 2. Only two rookie males were on the UK team, and the Tribunal was pretty harsh on him. His Shipwrecked BFF Big T left second but got to return onto the show. Yet Sean was overlooked. It seems he would have been willing to come back, but production decided Total Madness and Double Agents were better off with no gay males rather than Sean.
9. Amber Martinez (Double Agents)
A lot of Amber’s storyline was edited out of Double Agents, but she apparently had a messy love triangle with Mechie and Liv. She brings some drama potential, but competitively she has a more unique position. On Double Agents she worked with rookies and rallied them to get veterans out of the competition. Now that Spies, Lies and Allies has such a big division, she would serve as an interesting medium. She’s willing to call people out and address veteran shadiness.
8. Liz Nolan (War of the Worlds)
The Nolan twins deserved better on The Challenge, but I have a special spot for Liz. It sucks that she was purged on episode 1 and actually needed to leave. Josh got to return and has competed on four subsequent seasons. Yet Liz was written off of the show like she was nothing.
7. Jozea Flores (Final Reckoning)
Jozea probably has a reputation for being messy and confrontational, but he showed more potential than I ever anticipated when he appeared on Final Reckoning. He won two Redemption challenges and performed well in daily challenges. However, he needed to deal with an endless string of bullshit twists. It ultimately caused him to leave the show, and he’s wanted to return. Production has been toying with him, but he never got his second shot.
6. Gus Smyrnios (War of the Worlds)
It’s kind of shocking that Gus never returned to do a second season. The MTV cross-promotion seems too obvious, but it appears Floribama Shore is his priority. It might not be his choice because it seems he didn’t get a lot of attention on War of the Worlds. We know he can be a mess at times, and wild Gus might be better for Challenge viewers.
5. Brittany Baldi (Battle of the Exes)
Having won three eliminations on her first season, Brittany made a big splash with her partner Adam. Neither of the two got to return to The Challenge, but Brittany was allegedly close to appearing on Bloodlines. She was a much better competitor than most people anticipated, but MTV really didn’t seem to care about their original crop of Are You the One? debuts.
4. Mitch Reid (Battle of the Bloodlines)
It always shocked me that Cory’s cousin never got to return to the show. He was a lot of fun, and a great competitor. Cory is still a major part of the show, and production has put effort into making him Mr. MTV. Mitch is a built-in ally for Cory and a competitor capable of taking out some of the bigger names. It’s never too late for MTV to right this wrong.
3. Morgan Willett (War of the Worlds)
Coming onto The Challenge, Morgan was paired with Bananas. She was thrown into the fast lane, and she received a fast target due to Bananas. Now, she is in a romantic relationship with Bananas. They never got to do a show together as an official couple, but Bananas is out of the picture now. She could continue his legacy, or establish her own legacy off of Big Brother: Over the Top.
2. Natalie Anderson (Double Agents)
Natalie won the first elimination on Double Agents, had a gold skull, and took out a major veteran threat. She was poised to do well on the show, but an unfortunate “health” situation took her out of the competition. Anyone who has seen her on Survivor knows she’s strong and can play a longterm game. Allegedly, she is kinda-sorta banned from the show because of some unsavory tweets. But, a lot of people have gotten away with worse. She deserves a second chance after her unexpected departure.
1. Ashley Cain (War of the Worlds)
One of the stronger prospects on War of the Worlds, Ashley saw the mid-way point with Kam. His time on the show was marked by a fight with Josh and a “popcorn muscles” argument with Paulie on the reunion. This should have been enough for him to be included on War of the Worlds 2, but MTV hasn’t been calling him. Sadly, since his time on The Challenge he had a baby girl who passed away after a battle with leukemia. Ashley was an incredible support to his daughter and showed the utmost strength. If he wants to do another show, he should get the chance. It’s the least MTV could do after ignoring him when his family was in need.