The Challenge is a once a week, 42 minute extravaganza of athleticism, ridiculousness, debauchery, and a whole lot of boozing that graces our lives about once a year. As America’s 5th major sport, there have been countless moments that have made us feel all the types of way Rich Homie Quan was talking about.
But as we’ve learned numerous times, this show is about the people, not the challenges. The actual challenge has proves countless times to be the most boring part of the episode
So in the spirit of the people, I bring to the Challenge Mt. Rushmore. This isn’t about who’s the best, or who’s won the most necessarily, but about who’s most important. Who’s mattered most to the Challenge universe. So without further adieu…
During the 4th season of LOST, the Scottish brutha Desmond’s consciousness begins to jump through time. Not his body, but his mind became completely aware that he was switching uncontrollably between past and present. Long story short, to fix the problem he was told he had to find his “constant” and contact them. His constant being someone who was in his life during both times and he could get a hold of. If he didn’t do that his brain would explode or something, I don’t really know they never really explained it.
That’s who Aneesa is. For fans of The Challenge, Aneesa is our constant.
I swear that made sense when I wrote it.
Evan was a Canadian moose that gave pantheon level interviews, won a lot, and his political game was rivaled only by the 2008 version of Barack Obama. I would loved to have seen him mentally grapple against the Zachs and Franks of this “new generation” so to speak. Sadly we most likely will never get that opportunity because, well, toothbrushes
Evelyn was an awkward, dorky, tomboy who brought two-high-school-girls-fighting-over-the-same-guy intensity to every competition. She is also the all-time Challenge leader in sad puppy dog faces
The reasons Camilla should be considered for the Challenge Mt. Rushmore can really just be summed up with this
Paula went from a skinny, anxious, scab eater on her original Real World season to most unlikely Challenge champion of all time. For years she just expected titles to be handed to her because she had friends in high places and kept getting the rug pulled out from under her at the end. As soon as she said “fuck it, I’m not here for friends anymore” she rattled off two victories in a row.
Or production threw her a bone and gave her Ev and freakazoid Emily as partners, either way.
Laurel is the bad guy from Terminator 2 except she’s a female and not Robert Patrick dressed as a cop
Derrick was the scrappy kid at the park who played pick-up basketball like it’s his NBA try-out and just eventually wore you out because he was trying 15 percent harder than you.
The “where is he now?” question with him is actually kind of intriguing, because one day his Twitter feed has since turned into this guy and his reality TV podcast disappeared into the internet abyss somewhere.
The greatest interview in the history of reality television, Kenny, was strangely just good at these things. He was unlikely best friends with Evan and former co-CEO’s of Suck Yeah clothing lines and also has run into some trouble with mouth-care tools in the past, so we may or may not ever see him again. Mr. Beautiful’s rivalry with Wes ranks up there with Celtics/Lakers, Kanye West/Humbleness and T-Swift/K-Perry as some of the greatest rivalries of all time.
The Challenge Mt. Rushmore
Wes is The Challenge’s version of a wrestling heel. He’s smart enough, and real life successful enough, to understand that he’s playing a game on TV. It’s like he said to himself a long time ago, “fine, I’ll be the bad guy”
Except this bad guy is an elimination round ringer, winning 11 out of 15 of them, and snagging two championships seven years apart.
Eventually Wes will be 50 years old, with 6 titles under his belt, finally surpassing the GOAT (we’ll get there), slinked down in a chair inside whichever insane mansion they get to stay in next and we’ll get an abbreviated version of this
If Disney ever wants to make a sports movie out of The Challenge, the search would start and end with CT.
He started off as a prospect with transcendent talent and a million red flags surrounding him (think Dez Bryant). He gets into the league (The Challenge), and looks physically superior to all of his peers. He runs into some initial trouble (punching out Davis off camera) and then can’t quite get out of his own way. The only thing holding him back is himself. Then he hits rock bottom (literally threatening to smash another persons head and eating it) and goes on a two year hiatus (only, unlike Michael Jordan, he doesn’t have baseball to go play while he’s “suspended”) Eventually he makes his triumphant return and asserts himself as the same physically dominant CT he was before he left
Finally after years of trying and failing and licking his wounds, he finally broke through and captured that ever elusive championship on Rivals 2. And end movie
Throw in Reese Witherspoon playing our next Mt. Rushmore member as his love interest, and you have a serious box-office hit on your hands.
My full thoughts on Diem can be found here, and out of respect to her and her loved ones, I won’t harp too much on her Challenge career. Just know that she belongs on this, and at one point climbed a freaking glacier in Iceland faster than two of the four members of this Mt. Rushmore. After beating cancer. Twice. Get on her level.
Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, Johnny Bananas
Those are names etched in sports lore. The GOATS. The Greatest Of All Time.
5 championships, more than anybody ever, and still going, Johnny Bananas is a living legend that we’ve all witnessed in real time. The name Johnny Bananas is a synonymous with The Challenge as Jay-Z is to rap music.
Have I ever told you about the day Johnny Bananas retired?
He hasn’t retired yet.
I know. But I’ve always said that the day he does, will be the saddest day of my entire life.
I’ll forever and always be #TeamBananas. When you’re the GOAT, you’re the GOAT. Haters be damned.