Reintroducing the Cast of The Challenge: All Stars 3 Part 1 The Women
This upcoming season of The Challenge All Stars may just be the most stacked cast of competitors there has ever been on a Challenge season. The cast includes a lot of women from the past two All Stars seasons, many of whom I am really happy to see back. There are a few old-school veterans I am thrilled to see back but also a few casting choices that have me really scratching my head in confusion. I will be reviewing who each of these competitors know, and ranking my excitement level for their return out of a 5 star point system and then determining whether I think they have a real shot at winning.
Cynthia Roberts (The Real World Miami)
Last seen: Being voted out early on during Battle of the Sexes 2
Most Memorable Moment: Cynthia was on the very first season of The Challenge, which barely resembles the show today.
Who She Knows: Cynthia is one of the least connected people by far considering that she only did two seasons back in the day and both were almost twenty years ago. However, Derrick, Brad, Mark, Veronica & Tina were all on Battle of the Sexes 2 with her so that is something, I guess?
How excited I am for her to be back: 4/5 stars. She is somebody that I have seen a lot of old-school fans excited to see as they remember her fondly. I am always really happy and excited to have anybody return from the old-school days but Cynthia is not somebody I had as one of my top choices.
Can she Win?
Although Cynthia looks like she is in pretty good shape in her cast photo I do not think she has a shot against the relatively strong field of women. She was never a great competitor in the past and at 48 years old she is the oldest woman on the cast.
Jemmye Carroll (The Real World: New Orleans 2010)
Last seen: Finishing in the middle of the pack during the All Stars 1 final
Most Memorable Moment: Jemmye is a huge personality full of memorable moments but for me, number one on that list has got to be her massive fight with Knight including her freaking out over ketchup on Rivals II.
Who She Knows: Jemmye is a bit of an interesting case. She is a relatively new school player in terms of the era that she competed on The Challenge, but she is also a self-admitted big fan of the old school seasons so she knows older players from the perspective of a fan. The biggest group of people she knows are those that were with her on All Stars 1. That’s Jonna, KelyAnne, Kendal, Syrus, Laterrian, Nehemiah, Derrick, Mark & Yes. She also knows a lot of the newer players on this cast since she did seasons of the main show with them (such as Jordan & Jonna, both of who she competed with on 4 seasons). Jemmye also competed on seasons with Sylvia, Brad, Veronica, Kailah, Darrell, Derrick, Nia, Wes, & Melinda.
Jemmye is a really social player and played the middle during All Stars 1 so I imagine she plans to do the same this time around. Her best friend on the cast is probably Veronica. She may have an enemy in Kailah though since she Jemmye sent her into an elimination against her best friend Jenna.
How excited I am for her to be back:2.5/5 stars. Jemmye is good on The Challenge for a couple of reasons. First she plays a cutthroat political and social game but more importantly to me she gives really great confessionals and can get very messy in terms of drama and fighting. For those reasons I am at least somewhat happy to have Jemmye back. However, she is not really a competitor who gives me any nostalgia and she is not a super strong competitor, which is why I’ve ranked her lower.
Can she Win?
To me, Jemmye really proved that she cannot compete at a winning level with her lackluster performance in the All Stars 1 final. Prior to that, I thought she may have a slight chance since she was one of the younger competitors on All Stars, but she is no longer the youngest and is not in the same athletic tier as the stronger female competitors.
Jonna Manion (The Real World: Cancun)
Last seen: Finishing as the champion of All Stars 2.
Most Memorable Moment: It has to be that win on the last All Stars season.
Who She Knows: Jonna knows everybody who was brought back from seasons one and two of All Stars. This includes Yes, Darrell, KellyAnne, Mark, Jemmye, Derrick, Nehemiah, Kendal, Laterrian, Syrus, MJ, Melinda, Brad & Tina. She also knows Jordan from Rivals II, Free Agents & Exes II, Nia from Free Agents & Exes II, and Wes from Rivals, Battle of the Seasons (2012) & Rivals II.
Jonna worked closely with Jemmye on All Stars 1 so it is likely they will work together again. My other expectation is that she will still be on the same side of the house she was last season working with people like her partner from All Stars 2 MJ as well as Derrick, Darrell & (probably)Brad.
How excited I am for her to be back: 4/5 stars. Jonna is not a true OG which is still the direction I hope the show leans more into but she has become one of the faces of the All Stars franchise. I am genuinely happy to see her keep coming back as she is a strong competitor and a great narrator for the show. Finally, I feel strongly that (with very few exceptions)producers should always make an effort to bring the prior season's winners back to defend their title.
Can she Win?
Absolutely! Jonna is coming off of two great performances finishing tied for the top woman in All Stars 1 and winning All Stars 2. She might have a harder road now that she is a winner because that tends to put a target on players' back.
Kailah Casillas-Bird (Real World: Go Big or Go Home)
Last seen: The last season Kailah was on was Total Madness where her major storyline was cheating on her (now) ex-boyfriend with Bear.
Most Memorable Moment: As of now, the most memorable moment in her Challenge career is the fight with Melissa at the beginning of Final Reckoning resulting in them both being disqualified.
Who She Knows: Kailah is a new school player and does not have a lot of connections in this cast. She has connections to other new school players like Sylvia and Jemmye who she’s competed with for 3 seasons, and Jordan who she did 2 seasons with. Kailah also knows some old school players that made comebacks for example Darrell from Invasion of the Champions & XXX: Dirty 30, Veronica from XXX: Dirty 30, Vendettas & Final Reckoning, Brad from Vendettas & Final Reckoning, Wes from Total Madness & Champs vs Stars 2 and Derrick for XXX: Dirty Thirty.
Kailah will likely be trying to maintain any of her existing relationships as well as working hard to make new connections. She has worked with Wes (she also participated in his web series Friends & Benefits) in the past as well as Sylvia, so considering that she is most likely to end up working with whichever side of the house they are on. If she doesn’t bury the hatchet Kailah might still hold a grudge against Jemmye for betraying her best friend. She may also have bad blood with is Veronica since Kailah was involved in the voting when Veronica betrayed her friend Leroy into an elimination on XXX: Dirty 30.
How excited I am for her to be back: 1/5 stars. I overall like Kailah and think she is somebody that is a good competitor and makes good entertainment. However, her being cast for All Stars instead of the regular Challenge is absolutely ridiculous. She is the most egregious example of somebody that should not be here. Not only was she on a main season just three seasons ago, but she is also 29 years old. For perspective, other people who are 29 include Kelz, Tommy & Logan who were rookies on Spies, Lies & Allies let alone that three other rookies from last season (Berna, Corey & Michelle) are in fact even older than Kailah.
Can she Win?
Kailah is a decent competitor and significantly younger than many competing this season so I think she can win. However, I do not think that she is a favorite compared to some of the strong competitors this season, especially since she did not do well in the only final she made on Vendettas.
KellyAnne Judd (The Real World: Sydney)
Last seen: Finishing tied with Jonna for the top finishing woman on All Stars 1.
Most Memorable Moment: Running a really strong final and coming close to upsetting the dominant Champions team in the Rivals final (alongside Sarah Rice).
Who She Knows: KellyAnne is obviously connected to everybody from the first All Stars so that is Yes, Jonna, Darrell, Mark, Jemmye, Derrick, Nehemiah, Kendal, Laterrian & Syrus. She also competed on The Ruins with Veronica & Brad and on The Ruins & Rivals III with Wes.
KellyAnne’s most interesting relationship to track is going to be with Wes who she previously dated. They seem on good terms and could be strong allies. KellyAnne has in the past gotten into drama and fights with some people on the cast including Derrick & Darrell but the situation with Darrell was more about him and Wes, and the issues with Derrick were when he was rolling with Johnny, Evan & Kenny (with her issues being significantly more with Kenny & Johnny). Also, both were on All Stars with her and there were no issues there.
How excited I am for her to be back: 3.5/5 stars. KellyAnne is right on the edge for me in terms of the eras of The Challenge when trying to split things into only old school and new school. She is a strong competitor and has been entertaining on past seasons even if she was a bit overshadowed on the first All Stars season in terms of entertainment value.
Can she Win?
Definitely! In terms of the women of this season, KellyAnne is the person I have at number one in my power rankings. She is a great competitor and played well socially on her last All Stars.
Kendal Darnell (née Sheppard)(Road Rules: Campus Crawl)
Last seen: Going out midway through All Stars 2 due to an injury
Most Memorable Moment: Her dominant run where she won 3 daily challenges & 2 eliminations on All Stars.
Who She Knows: Kendal knows everybody from these past two All Stars seasons so that is Yes, Jonna, Darrell, KellyAnne, Mark, Jemmye, Derrick, Nehemiah, Laterrian, Syrus, MJ, Melinda, Brad, Tyler & Tina. The only other connection she has is Veronica who was on The Inferno with her back in the day.
Kendal has been close friends with Darrell now since they were on the same Road Rules and I expect that he will continue to look out for her, especially since he does not have Janelle this season. She also seemed very happy to be paired with Laterrian on All Stars 2 so he might make a good ally for her.
How excited I am for her to be back: 5 out of 5. Kendal was electric both in terms of entertainment and her competition performance on the first All Stars. It was disappointing for her to go out with an injury last season and I am very hopeful that she is fully healed and back to being a bad ass this season.
Can she Win?
Unquestionably! Kendal has performed very well in both daily challenges and eliminations. She has great endurance and is near the top in terms of the women in my opinion.
Melinda Collins (née Stolp) (The Real World: Austin)
Last seen: Coming up short in the second part of the All Stars 2 final after finishing first in part 1.
Most Memorable Moment: For me, it was her impressive win in the final daily challenge of All Stars 2 with Nehemiah
Who She Knows: Melinda knows everybody that was on All Stars 2 with her so that includes MJ, Jonna, Darrell, Nehemiah, Brad, Laterrian, Tyler, Kendal, Derrick & Kendal. She competed on Battle of the Seasons (2012) with Jemmye and knows Wes very well as he is both her former Real World roommate and competed with her on both Fresh Meat and Battle of the Seasons (2012).
I expect that she will be the closest to her King’s Palace alliance from All Stars 2 (Laterrian & Nehemiah). I also anticipate that Wes as her and Nehemiah’s Real World Austin cast mate will be heavily involved with that group.
How excited I am for her to be back: 4/5 stars. I could not have been more wrong about Melinda going into last season as I gave her a 1 and listed her around that time on my list of the Ten Challenge Contestants who were on Too Many Seasons. Although she was uninspiring on the main series, Melinda showed herself to be a real competitor and was a good character during All Stars 2.
Can she Win?
Yes, she can! Melinda came close to the win last season winning part one of the final. She has become a good athlete, especially when compared to what she did on seasons like Gauntlet III or Cutthroat.
Nia Moore (The Real World: Portland)
Last seen: Getting removed from the game for nonconsensual touching of Jordan during Battle of the Exes II.
Most Memorable Moment: It is probably that removal from Battle of the Exes, or maybe the time she drank Zach’s sweat (but thinking of that makes me want to hurl).
Who She Knows: Nia only competed on the Challenge for two seasons and not in the same era as the majority of people on All Stars, so her connections are extremely limited. Her biggest connection is Jordan who was her The Real World Portland roommate and was also on both Free Agents & Battle of the Exes II. The only others that have done seasons with Nia are Jonna, who was also on both Free Agents & Battle of the Exes II and Wes & Jemmye that both did single seasons with her.
I think Nia’s game will live and die on her expected alliance with Jordan. If they can get their footing in an alliance they are both strong competitors and can go far. If they, (particularly Jordan), make themselves the big targets that I anticipate then Nia might need to win her way through the game if she wants to get far.
How excited I am for her to be back: 0/5 stars. I really thought that The Challenge was done with her, and we would never see Nia again. She is a bombastic character who has provided for some great TV. She is also a strong physical competitor. I am normally a fan of people that bring both drama and legitimate competition ability but she has a history from both her Real World season and Battle of the Exes of unacceptable behavior. I am unhappy to see her back because of that, especially when the original concept for All Stars was to bring back old school competitors. This spot could have been given to someone from the older era.
Can she Win?
Yes, though I think it would be an uphill climb for her because of her lack of connections. She would also need to improve her running which was shown to be one of the weaker aspects of her game and that tends to be very important in winning the game.
Roni Martin-Chance (Road Rules: Northern Trail)
Last seen: It has been a while, Roni won as part of the Road Rules team in The Gauntlet nearly twenty years ago.
Most Memorable Moment: There is not much there as Roni got really overshadowed by the big casts & big personalities, but she did win a “Life Saver” as the top competitor of the Road Rules team during the “Rolling on a River” daily challenge.
Who She Knows: Roni was only on the show twice and both seasons were a long time ago so she does not know that many people. She did Real World/Road Rules Challenge with Mark and Darrell, Veronica, Laterrian & Tina were all on her team on The Gauntlet.
Therefore I really have no clue where she will end up falling into the political structure of the house.
How excited I am for her to be back: 5/5 stars. I am incredibly excited to see somebody like Roni back after such a long time. She was considered a very strong competitor on both of her teams back in the day and I had her as one of my honorable mentions when I wrote about people I wanted on future All Stars seasons. She is a great choice.
Can she Win?
It is possible. Roni is the biggest dark horse for me she was one of the top women on the Road Rules teams for both of her prior seasons and she is naturally athletic. What makes me a bit hesitant is that I think she may struggle politically since she does not have many connections and her size could hurt her in really physical competitions or eliminations.
Sylvia Elsrode (Real World: Skeletons)
Last seen: Losing Final Reckoning to Ashley & Hunter.
Most Memorable Moment: Winning a tough physical elimination over Melissa while really sick on Vendettas.
Who She Knows: Sylvia is another new school player so she has not been on seasons with too many people in the All Stars cast. Kailah did all three of the season Sylvia has competed on, Invasion of the Champions, Vendettas & Final Reckoning. Darrell did Invasion of the Champions with her, and Jemmye, Brad & Veronica were all on both Vendettas & Final Reckoning with her.
The big ace in the hole that I think gives Sylvia a big leg up over some of the other new school players on this season is that she is friends with Wes & Nehemiah. They all live in Kansas City and have hung out on multiple occasions. Sylvia was even Nehemiah’s realtor for him when he moved there.
How excited I am for her to be back: 2.5/5 stars. I am a bit more torn about Sylvia being here. Of the new school people on this cast she is by far my personal favorite. However, the fact remains that I would be much happier to see her return on a regular season of The Challenge instead of All Stars
Can she Win?
I have seen a number of people online talking about how they think Kaliah is going to be really strong this season as she is in touch with the expectations of a modern season of the show but in my opinion, Sylvia has an even stronger chance. Sylvia has a fantastic 5–1 elimination record, (including a win over Kailah), and came very close to winning Final Reckoning. I only have KellyAnne and Kendal as more likely winners than Sylvia.
Tina Bridges (née Barta)(Road Rules: South Pacific)
Last seen: Quitting when she got thrown into elimination on All Stars 2.
Most Memorable Moment: Her punching Beth in the face during the first daily challenge on The Duel is one of the most iconic moments of The Challenge.
Who She Knows: Tina knows everyone who was on All Stars 2 with her, even if she may not be on the best of terms with all of them. She competed with MJ, Jonna, Darrell, Nehemiah, Melinda, Laterrian, Brad, Tyler, Kendal & Derrick. She is one of the few people that has done a season with Cynthia in Battle of the Sexes 2, which was also her only season with Mark. Tina was on the Road Rules team with Roni on The Gauntlet. She did both Fresh Meat & The Duel with Wes and her and Veronica were on Battle of the Sexes 2, The Gauntlet & The Inferno II together.
Tina’s closest relationship is very clearly going to be her fellow Mean Girls alliance mate Veronica; they worked together and are still friends nowadays. She also worked with Wes on Fresh Meat so I think there is a chance she works with him. She was on the opposite side of the house as Derrick, Darrell, MJ & Jonna so I anticipate that she will not be working with them this time.
How excited I am for her to be back: 2.5/5 stars. Tina was someone that I was really excited to see coming into All Stars 2 and for her the majority of time on the season she absolutely brought it winning a challenge and being loud and explosive. My big issue is that she quit last season, initially saying she realized that she became a person that she didn’t want to be. And yet here she is back for the very next season. She is on the edge for me at this point- if she comes on and is wishy-washy or quits again then I do not need to see her ever return.
Can she Win?
I do not think that Tina has the physical endurance to win something like a modern final on The Challenge. Additionally, her volatility is something that has led to her game being ruined in the past. She does have her strengths; she is a tough competitor who I would love to see compete in something like a hall brawl or balls in type elimination and she is also a very smart player in terms of puzzles.
Veronica Portillo (Road Rules: Semester at Sea)
Last seen: Leaving without a shot at redemption in the redemption house of Final Reckoning
Most Memorable Moment: There are many to choose from but I’m gonna go with when Julie tried to murder her by pulling on her safety harness during The Inferno.
Who She Knows: Veronica was one of the early faces of The Challenge and also made multiple comebacks so she is familiar with many of the people on this season. From the early days she did seasons with Syrus, Tina, Yes, Kendal, Mark, Laterrian, Roni & Cynthia. She did seasons with Darrell, Brad & Derrick across her original run, her comeback on The Ruins & during the “Revenge ” trilogy and also knows KellyAnne & Wes from The Ruins. Finally, when she came back she formed relationships with Kailah, Sylvia, Jemmye & Jordan doing at least two seasons with each of them more recently.
Veronica definitely has some strong relationships coming on, and I am very interested to see how shake out during All Stars 3. She is really close with Yes who she was on her original Road Rules with and did Challenge 2000, Battle of the Season (2002) & Battle of the Sexes, she even allegedly helped set him up socially going into All Stars. She also was a part of the “Mean Girls” alliance with Tina and they are supposedly still close today. Finally, she is good friends with Jemmye to the point where Jemmye’s friendship with Veronica made her nervous to bond with Beth on All Stars 1 (who Veronica of course has had a long time feud).
How excited I am for her to be back: 5/5 stars. Veronica is an icon of The Challenge franchise and was one of the first people I thought of when Mark began sharing his ideas about what qualified competitors as All Stars a few years ago. Veronica is an incredibly entertaining personality, a cutthroat political player, and a three-time champion. She returned for a few eventful but unsuccessful seasons with XXX: Dirty 30, Vendettas & Final Reckoning so we have seen her on the show recently but getting to see her back with other school players is something I am really excited about.
Can she Win?
I think she cannot win but could go decently far performing well, considering Veronica does look to be in good shape going into this season. In the past, she has won three different seasons of The Challenge but they were all in the early days of the show and were won as a member of massive teams. She has made two unsuccessful comebacks in the past doing The Ruins and appearing on all three seasons of the “Revenge” trilogy (XXX: Dirty 30, Vendettas & Final Reckoning), which were long after her reign of dominance. Given the level of competition today on All Stars 3 I am hesitant to say that Veronica will be able to return to her winning ways.