10 Survivor Players The Challenge should bring on.

Henry L DiMaria
9 min readMay 4, 2021

Since The Challenge broke the seal of players from nonMTV reality shows coming on to the show, the casting pool has expanded to include bringing in people from many other shows including recently Survivor. From Survivor, Jay has quickly become a fan favorite, Natalie was someone people were very excited about (before the unfortunate circumstances forced her to leave the game) and a number of other Survivors are rumored to be in the mix for the cast of season 37. So I figured it would be a good time to look at who else would be good choices that The Challenge should bring over from Survivor.

As always for my articles about casting. I set myself some rules for people I want to come to The Challenge. I try to exclude anyone who is really problematic from their original show and I try to keep my choices under the age of 35 so The Challenge could potentially build around them in the future as a staple cast member.

Dean Kowalski (Survivor: Island of the Idols)

Dean is someone who I really enjoyed on his season of survivor. He was able to socially make a number of connections to save himself like getting someone to give him an expiring immunity idol and connecting with the members of the other tribe, team, once it became an individual game and he made it all the way to the final 3 finishing in second place. He is goofy and fun for confessionals and I expect around the house but also a good athlete as a former basketball player and winning 2 individual challenges on survivor. In addition, if the rumors are true about the Survivor players are going to be on this upcoming season of The Challenge he could have an ally in Tommy who was his biggest ally on survivor and according to the last information I was able to find he is dating Michelle Fitzgerald, who is also rumored for season 37, and even if they are not still together bringing in Exes is always a choice I’m down for in the show.

Ashley Nolan (Survivor Heroes v Healers v Hustlers)

Ashley was someone I thought was underrated on her season of Survivor. She made some good strategic moves and was in the alliance running the game until their target became safe using an immunity idol and she got betrayed. Ashley also performed well physically winning 2 individual challenges and is in pretty good shape in real life as a beach lifeguard and a surfer so she has an athletic background at least which could help when it comes to The Challenge. In terms of friends Ashley would be the first person from her season to make the jump to The Challenge but I think she could make friends in the house and there are other people from her season that would be great for a future season of The Challenge.

Chris Underwood (Survivor Edge of Extinction)

Chris’s experience and win on his Survivor season was majorly controversial. As a part of the twist that season he was third out but then stayed on the Edge of Extinction where he was able to battle his way back in to the game at the final 6 and win out after creating bonds with all the jury members (who decide the winner) on the edge of extinction. During the time he was actually in the game Chris was entertaining and a big schemer particularly turning it up when he came back into the game directly taking out all of his biggest threats in the game. He is in great shape winning his way back in the game on survivor and winning another challenge when he got back. Although he hasn’t played on a season with anyone who has been on The Challenge, so he would not likely have immediate allies, he is the kind of charismatic guy who can make friends on the show.

Missy Byrd (Survivor: Island of the Idols)

Missy is for me an obvious choice to bring on The Challenge she is strong physically and playing the strategy and political game by not being afraid to try to make moves against big players. Missy is an Air Force veteran, former collegiate basketball player and was a great physical competitor on her season of Survivor winning an individual challenge and being one of the physical leaders of her tribe(team) during that portion of the game. Another reason why Missy would be great is she is a Challenge fan tweeting and retweeting about the show so she would be someone who would come in and know what to expect unlike other recent rookies who came in with no idea. Nobody from her season has come on The Challenge yet but Tommy the winner of her season is supposedly on season 37 and as I said earlier I think Dean who was on the same season would be great for The Challenge.

Chris Noble (Survivor: Ghost Island)

Chris was an absurd character in his time on survivor clashing openly with other players and also being really cocky though he was legitimately good at the physical challenges but he was talking about how great he was way too often. He made it far on survivor mostly on his physical abilities considering he is in great shape as a professional model however he was voted out the very first time he was eligible. In survivor he lead a crusade against 2 of the most connected players in the game leading to his demise in the game. He is a great choice to bring on The Challenge since he could have the potential to be like an early Jordan who would come in to the game really cocky but be good enough so that he could stick around and Chris also has the potential to bring entertainment through making a boneheaded mistake like he did on survivor.

Ali Elliot (Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers)

Ali was a fairly early boot due to bad luck but she was excellent while she was on Survivor making strong strategic moves and being really entertaining both generally and in the confessionals. She was a college soccer player and is pretty tall at 5’9” which tends to be an advantage but I think she would come in at a slight disadvantage compared to some of the female competitors nowadays. She is a beautiful girl and I didn’t see any significant other on Instagram so assuming she is single there is potential for a showmance on The Challenge. She has not had any of her cast mates already appear on a season of The Challenge but Ashley who I mentioned earlier and another person from her season are both people who I want to see make the transition from Survivor and even if she had no friends coming in she is a good social player who could make friends in the Challenge world.

Darnell Hamilton (Survivor: Koah Rong)

Darnell was on the “brawn” tribe during his survivor season however he ended up on the wrong side of the numbers in a small tribe and was voted out first even though he was one of the strongest players on their tribe. He is in great shape still at the gym training being a majority of his Twitter. Darnell was a fun guy on his one episode and in all of the interviews he gave so think he could be good tv and be a good person to give a second chance and see if they succeed on a season of The Challenge. Socially he could have some connections since Michelle the winner of his Survivor season is likely on season 37 and there is another person who he was close to on survivor that I think would be great for The Challenge.

Lauren O’Connell (Survivor: Edge of Extinction)

Lauren played a strong game on her season of Survivor both making a lot of decisions strategically and performing well in the challenges. She is smart, absolutely gorgeous and was a collegiate soccer player so I think she could definitely hold her own athletically on The Challenge. She brought good confessionals on survivor so hopefully that could translate over to being as entertaining on The Challenge similar to how Da’Vonne brought her excellent confessionals when she came to The Challenge from Big Brother. Though Lauren has no natural allies I know of in The Challenge world, she is from the same season as Chris who I mentioned earlier as being a good pick too and has the social ability to build bonds on the show.

Cole Medders (Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers)

Cole was a strong competitor on Survivor and is a young really attractive guy. Also considering he was interested in a showmance on an island with no showers and limited food I think he could also be interested in hooking up in The Challenge house which I feel is an aspect of the show that has been missing lately since it’s taken the turn towards the “America’s fifth sport” monicker. Physically he is a professional climber which is a skill that definitely helps in the Challenge and he is in great all around shape. Another positive for Cole is that he is taller more built like Alton instead of Jay so I don’t see him getting as physically overmatched against most of the house in a hall brawl or other headbanger which is a typically a flaw for those type of athletes. He was on the same season as both Ali & Ashley so if either of them were to also be cast Cole could have them as potential allies which would be a benefit in him not being thrown into multiple eliminations early.

Cydney Gillon (Survivor: Kaoh Rong)

Cydney was a great personality and player on her season of survivor and the number one woman I would want to see make the jump to The Challenge. She is great in confessionals and socially was liked by almost everybody in her survivor season, eventually getting taken out right before the end because she was seen as too big of a threat. Cydney. would not only bring social game & sound clips though, she is a body builder and one of the most incredible athletes I’ve seen. She is someone who could come in to the house and immediately be a threat to even the top women on the Challenge like a Jenny, Kam or Laurel. Another thing that could benefit her is that one of her biggest allies on Survivor, Michelle is reportedly going to be on season 37 and if she were on a season with Cydney I’d expect they would be working together and if Darnell was someone that got chosen for The Challenge she had a bond with him early on also.



Henry L DiMaria

I blog primarily about The Challenge but occasionally stretch into other reality TV @HenryLDiMaria