If you ask Challenge fans to name a chronically underrated competitor, there’s a good shot Sylvia’s name will be mentioned. Up to this point, she has a pretty good elimination record, was close to winning $1 million on Final Reckoning, and was part of a successful alliance.
The show usually gives more credit to competitors who actually won or people with outstanding records, but Sylvia only did three seasons. Many of the legends didn’t win in their first three seasons, and Sylvia statistically has a really good record for someone with so few appearances. So despite the lack of recognition from the actual show, viewers give her a lot of love. So much so that she might be overrated by this point.
After a few years away, she’s back on All Stars 3. In an all-finalist season, her achievements might go unrecognized again. But some fans are rooting for her, even though other competitors have bigger accomplishments under their belts. So the question emerges again: underrated or overrated?
Invasion of the Champions
Going into her debut season, people didn’t have much to go off of with Sylvia, but she came in with three good friends in her Skeleton roommates. After the first challenge, it seemed like she blew up that alliance by voting Tony into elimination to compete against Bruno. Looking back, it seemed like production was trying to set Sylvia up as a messy player, but she actually made a good move. She aligned with a group of rookies that would transform into the Lavender Ladies. Nicole predicted that alliance wouldn’t last, but time would prove that assessment wrong.
While Sylvia was really a middle-tier player this season, she won two eliminations. Most notably, she got Kailah out of the game (who became a tough player on later seasons). Sylvia would lose in her third elimination, but she volunteered to go in for performing poorly in Curry Up. If she didn’t do that, her alliance might have been able to keep her safe. And even though she lost, she lost in Bell Ringer which was a serious crap shoot of a game.
While Sylvia’s time on Vendettas was short, this is probably where her underdog reputation began. She started the season by almost getting purged, but seemed to redeem herself by stepping up on the Food Wars competition. Then, she got sent into elimination and defeated Melissa in Oil and Water, even though she was sick and Melissa was playing dirty. While Melissa couldn’t take her out of the game, her sickness could… and Sylvia technically didn’t get eliminated this season.
By most metrics, this season was a huge success. Sylvia & Joss we’re the only team who survived in the Main House all season, and the team eliminated Derrick & Tori and Tony & Bananas.
Of course, her game massively benefited from the Lavender Ladies alliance. Her team had numbers in the game, and they only won two daily challenges at the very end of the season. Still, these two were a solid team, and they seemed to be in a good position going into the final.
We all know they lost to Ashley & Hunter by less than a minute, though some people believe they had the best time and production just wanted to make the show more interesting.
… Going into All Stars 3
Once again, it feels like Sylvia is an underdog. While she is one of the younger people in the game, it also means she knows very few other competitors. A lot of them have deep relationships with one another, but Sylvia only knows a handful of people and she won’t have any Lavender Ladies to rely on.
This means she’ll need to fight if she want to survive and she’ll need to do some politicking. But if there’s one thing that Sylvia can do well, it’s hold an alliance. Some people might know how she got to the end of Final Reckoning and respect that gameplay.
I can’t see Sylvia getting to the final without seeing an elimination, and I think people won’t hesitate to say her name. Her best bet is to connect with Veronica and Jemmye who she’s met before. Without them, she won’t have any numbers, and her fate will truly be in her own hands.