The Challenge 25: Rookies vs. Vets?

If you don’t know by now, let me tell you: I am a HUGE Real World/The Challenge junkie. I could read review after review after review after each episode just to get different opinions on the cast and the drama and the politics and all that good stuff We’re not even gonna talk about the “twist” for the next season of Real World because it totally ruins the premise of the show, but let’s just move on to what will OBVIOUSLY be the better season: the 25th season of The Challenge (previously known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge, but there are no longer any Road Rules cast members so…).

Everything I’m about to speculate on is pure rumor that’s been floating around Twitter and the rest of the Internet. I have no idea if the format or teams or cast members have been confirmed, but I’ve seen a few cast lists and other information floating around so I thought, why not? So let’s dive right in.

The supposed format for The Challenge this season is Rookies (two challenges or less) vs. Veterans (more than two challenges). Usually, I’d say this is a stupid concept because the Veterans would KILL, as the men have in the past in the Battle of the Sexes challenges. I’m all for strong badass women, but let’s be real: a team of physically fit men is probably going to beat a team of physically fit women. In the past, I would have felt the same about rookies vs. vets, but we have seen some strong rookies in the past couple challenges (Jordan and Frank are the first who come to my mind). Here are the speculated teams (P.S. I got this info from this wonderful article that you all should read):

Veteran Men: Eric, Ty, Brandon, Leroy, Chet, Johnny and CT


Eric: I don’t really understand why Eric, also known as Big Easy, is on these challenges anymore. I understand he’s lost a lot of weight and gotten in much better shape than he was in when he started, and I applaud him for that, but I don’t feel like he ever performs tremendously. Sometimes bad, sometimes good, sometimes OK…but in my opinion, he’s nothing special and often acts as a dead weight for whichever team he’s on. Depending on how the elimination process goes, I could see this team trying to get rid of Eric first.

Ty: Ohhhh, Ty. I put Ty on par with Tyrie (ironically their names are similar) in that he is big, buff and in amazing shape, yet he never seems to live up to the hype. I don’t dislike him, but it seems like he’s always regarded as a strong player, and he’s just not in my book. It’s weird to think of him as a veteran; I’ve seen him on many challenges, but I don’t remember him ever going very far.

Brandon: I LOVE Brandon. I’m so glad he’s back. I think he’s a VERY strong player and in the past has gotten completely shafted by his teammates because he’s not a vet in their books. He is on the vet team this time around as he’s been on more than two challenges, and I hope his teammates see him for the asset that I think he’ll be to their team. I remember when Brandon was on Cutthroat, he was sent into elimination multiple times, won for his time multiple times and was finally sent home by Derrick. TJ went off on his team and it was one of my favorite moments ever. I REALLY hope Brandon shines in this challenge because he’s great and deserves some recognition!

Leroy: I have loved Leroy since his season of Real World: Las Vegas. He is extremely likable and formed one of the most unexpected but amazing friendships that I’ve seen on any of this shows with his fellow housemate Mike Ross. They went pretty far on Rivals, and I hope Leroy proves he’s strong in this challenge. I don’t remember him doing anything exceptional on past challenges, but I think he’ll be a strength for this team.

Chet: I loved Chet on his season of the Real World, and have liked him on past challenges as well. He might not be one of the more physical competitors, but he is extremely smart and I think he’ll be on top of his political game and will be a big help when it comes to puzzles and such (let’s be honest, that’s not where Johnny and CT shine). Unfortunately, because his lack of physical strength, I don’t really see him sticking around too long. I hope he proves me wrong though!

Johnny: And now on to the real veterans. It really depends on which challenge we’re on if I’m liking Johnny or not. I didn’t mind him at all on Rivals II, but sometimes he can be such a douche (duh). I always like to root for the underdogs, so I haaate when rookies are scared of the likes of Johnny, Paula, etc. My most significant memory of Johnny is when he, Kenny and some other guys completely ditched Paula last minute for the final challenge on one season. Don’t even get me started on Paula–I HIGHLY dislike her–but I thought it was so messed up of people she considered her friends to go off and win a challenge without her. We’ll see how Johnny acts this time around, but I’m sure he’ll last until the end.

CT: Excuse me while I melt into a puddle thanks to CT’s hotness. Phew. He’s hot, he’s a strong player, pretty good with mind games; he’ll go far…as long as he doesn’t get kicked off for hitting someone. CT can be terrifying, but I like him overall. I loved when he carried Johnny around like a backpack during an elimination round. Epic. CT is epic. I think he’ll make it to the finals easily (again, if he doesn’t punch anyone before then).

Veteran Women: Jasmine, Aneesa, Jonna, Cara Maria, Theresa, Camila and Laurel


Jasmine: Let me start by saying that Jasmine is a lot of fun to watch. When Rashida comes out, you know it’s going to be an entertaining episode (for non-watchers, Rashida is Jasmine’s drunk alter ego…and she’s crazy). As much fun as she is to watch, Jasmine is not a good competitor and it’s hard to believe she’s considered a veteran to be honest. Ha. The many challenges in her belt have not earned her any credibility, and I think she’ll be one of the first gone, especially among a fairly strong group of girls.

Aneesa: Sometimes I don’t know what to think about Aneesa. Her attitude makes her intimidating to other players, and I think she’s an extremely hard worker and as lots of determination, but it seems like she falls short a lot of the time. She’s bigger than most of the other girls, which could or could not mean stronger. To be honest, I never pay much attention to her in challenges so we’ll see how she does.

Jonna: First of all, I think Jonna is so so so so so gorgeous, especially during her season of Real World. She’s seemed to cake on the makeup during the challenges, but she is SO. PRETTY. Moving on…she and Jasmine went a lot further on Rivals II than I expected, sometimes skating along with alliances, but if I remember correctly they did win a challenge or two. I wouldn’t call Jonna one of the strongest girls, but she definitely has potential to do well.

Cara Maria: We all know Cara Maria is a little loopy (along with her fellow MTV member Abe) and often the odd woman out in the challenges, but I do not understand why. She has her weak moments, but overall, I find her to be a GREAT competitor. For whatever reason, a lot of the cast seem to dislike her, but I think she can be a huge asset to this team if the other girls allow.

Theresa: I had no problem with Theresa until last season because Jemmye is one of my absolute favorite cast members ever (we’ll get to her later), and the two got into a little quarrel…kind of. Jemmye and Leroy liked each other, then Theresa and Leroy ended up hooking up, and somehow that led to Theresa talking shit on Jemmye on the after show. It came off as irrelevant and insecure (second choice?) to me and the feud continued on Twitter afterward. All in all, I don’t really like her as a person from what I’ve seen but she is a strong competitor and I think she’ll do well.

Camila: It depends on the day on whether I like Camila. Ha I used to absolutely hate her and her fake-sounding accent, but I’ve grown to like her in the past few seasons. Regardless of whether I think her voice is annoying, she is a fierce competitor and one of the best on this team. I definitely see her being a leader and going to the finals.

Laurel: REJOICE! Laurel is back! Laurel is one of my all-time Challenge favorites, and I am ecstatic that she’s back on the Challenge this season. She’s very blunt and straightforward and in my opinion, one of the strongest girls to come through these challenges EVER (and ironically, she was brought in on Fresh Meat). Some people say she’s mean, but as for the infamous Paula/Laurel fight, I’ve already mentioned how I feel about Paula. Ha. That whole situation was Paula dishing it out and not being able to take it. Yes, Laurel crossed the line in what she said (and has done so with Big Easy as well), but in my opinion she brought it on herself. I just really hate Paula. Anyway, Laurel is a badass and will kill every girl on this challenge. Period.

Rookie Men: Preston, Johnny, Dustin, Zach, Cohutta, Frank and Jordan



Preston: I loved Preston on Real World: New Orleans (one of my favorite seasons, thanks to Jemmye), but simply put, he’s not cut out for challenges. Ha. He and Knight got decently far in the last challenge, but he is still pretty weak and I see him leaving pretty quickly.

Johnny: A true rookie with zero challenges! I really don’t know how he’ll do. He seems like a fairly fit guy, but I found him to be annoying at times on Real World: Portland. He gets loud when he drinks and I could see him causing conflict. Maybe he’ll make up for it in the challenges though!

Dustin: I’m glad Dustin’s back! He was really strong on Battle of the Seasons and I was rooting for him. He can sometimes let his emotions get the best of him, but overall, I like him and I think he’ll be a strong member of this team. He’s super fit and likable (most of the time) and I think he’ll go far.

Zach: Hmmm. Zach, Zach, Zach. This is another player who sometimes I like and sometimes I don’t. I don’t mind him so much, but his San Diego team was a little cocky for my taste during Battle of the Seasons. He’s a strong guy, but he can definitely be a douche bag at times. I’m indifferent on this one.

Cohutta: Cohutta is too precious. I liked his season, I liked when he dated KellyAnne, and he seems like such a good guy all around. I want to say he’s been on one challenge, but I’m honestly not sure? I hope he does well! He’s a good old southern boy and seems like such a sweetheart.

Frank: I won’t waste too much time on this one (and believe me, I could write a book). I hate Frank probably more than I’ve hated anyone on Real World. I think he is immature, a total bully and cocky as hell. I literally think he has some type of mental issue. He’s just…insane. I hate him, but I think he’ll go far because he’s a pretty good player.

Jordan: I’m a little biased because Jordan’s hometown is roughly 15 to 20 minutes away from my house and basically a suburb of my town, but I do like him most of the time. I was really rooting for him and Marlon on Rivals II, and they came extremely far for rookies! Jordan is very fit, a great player and a pretty smart guy. I think he’ll do really well and I hope he makes it to the end! (And let’s be real, hand or no hand, he’s a hottie.)

Rookie Women: Devyn, LaToya, Nia, Jemmye, Jessica, Emilee and Nany



Devyn: Ummm. I don’t know why she’s even on this challenge. If I remember correctly, she’s been on one and she’s another one who’s just not cut out for this. She’s a beautiful girl and entertaining to watch (I suppose I just answered my own question as to why she was picked…), but she is way too girly for this kind of thing. Hates to work out, hates to get dirty…that doesn’t work with these things.

LaToya: Another true rookie! I liked LaToya on Real World: St. Thomas. She’s super cute, relatable and fun to watch, but…I don’t see her going very far. I’m judging a book by its cover here, but she doesn’t come off as tough enough for these to me.

Nia: I also really dislike Nia. She comes off as 100 percent fake to me, as much as she would deny it. Being a bitch doesn’t necessarily make you real or genuine; in her case, she comes off as an attention whore who signed up for the show to be on TV and no other reason. She seems to be in decent shape so she could be good physically. However, she WILL cause conflict in the house and I hope her ass gets handed to her and she goes home soon.

Jemmye: Jemmye is probably my favorite cast member this Challenge. I’m so glad she’s gotten picked up for challenges lately, as the New Orleans cast seemed to be ignored Challenge-wise for a while. I don’t remember seeing much of her abilities on Battle of the Seasons, and I hate to say this about my favorite girl, but she was kind of dragged along by Camila in Rivals II (but Camila’s a badass, she’d take anyone to the top). Having said that, given that her team is relatively weak, I could see her being one of the stronger rookie women. She has a lot of attitude and drive and I hope she goes far.

Jessica: This girl comes off fake to me as well. Honestly, I think she’ll be the first rookie girl gone. She doesn’t have many friends for alliances and I don’t think she’s going to win any challenges for her team or anything… weak.

Emilee: Has Emilee been on any challenges? I don’t remember her on any. I’m excited to see her though! She’s a fun girl and seems like she’d be a decent player. I’m interested to see how she does.

Nany: Poor Nany. As by far the strongest member of her team, she kind of got stuck with some weaklings. I love Nany (and think she’s one of the most beautiful girls to come through the series) and she’s proven to be a strong player. It’s crazy she’s considered a rookie! I think she’ll do really well and carry her team if it’s possible.

My prediction: The rookie girl team is pretty weak overall (its only really strong player is Nany), so I think the vet girls will take this one. However, I will stay true to my underdog roots and go for the rookie boys on this one! Lots of those guys are really strong, and I think the rookies’ weak players are stronger than the veterans’ weak links.

What do you think? Have you watched seasons of the Challenge in the past? How do you feel about the cast this year? Favorites/least favorites? And most importantly, who do you see winning it all?

[All photos courtesy of MTV]


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