Ten Challenge Contestants who were on Too Many Seasons

Henry L DiMaria
10 min readSep 1, 2021

There have been a lot of players over the years on the Challenge that were actively bad or fairly lackluster. Yet somehow several of these players kept being brought back for three, four or more seasons and given more opportunities on the show than even some fan favorites without proving themselves to be worth those opportunities.

I also wrote about the Contestants that were on too few seasons here.

*Note this will not include any active players since they still have time to prove they deserved to be brought back more. This will also not include players who only competed on one or two seasons.*

Honorable Mentions:

Ace Amerson, Adam King, Eric “Big Easy” Banks

Casey Cooper, Marie Roda, Robin Hibbard

5. Men:

Dario Medrano (Are You the One? 2)

Battle of the Bloodlines, Rivals III, Invasion of the Champions, XXX: Dirty 30.

Challenge Career Highlight: He beat Wes in a hall brawl type game.

Dario is a solid pure physical competitor when looking at something like a hall brawl but he does lag significantly behind when it comes to other important aspects of competing on The Challenge. His endurance for example never impressed but specifically what comes to mind as Dario’s biggest flaw was adding anything that had to do with focus or the mental game. On top of that he was incredibly boring most of his time on the show. Being particularly forgettable and coming off as really checked out on XXX: Dirty Thirty. He was on 12 episodes that season and yet he only had more than 2 confessionals in two episodes. It was clear that he was not bringing much and I am at least glad it seems the show knows that and he has not been back since.

5. Women:

Simone Kelly (Are You the One? 1)

Battle of the Exes, Rivals III, XXX: Dirty 30.

Challenge Career Highlight: Not particularly positive but her most memorable moment was the fight she got into with Shane in the redemption house on XXX Dirty 30

Simone was incredibly dynamic on her season of Are You the One but she kind of fell flat on her Challenge seasons, not that she was ever set up particularly well. She had the goofy unathletic John Jacobs as her partner on Exes II, had the very vanilla (excluding when CaraMaria cheated with him) Thomas Buell was her partner for Rivals III, and when she finally had an opportunity to play an individual game got purged day one from XXX: Dirty 30. On The Challenge Simone was a mediocre competitor and was not the same kind of big personality that she was while on Are You the One? Considering those factors and the number of people who don’t get three different opportunities to be on The Challenge she edges out a couple of people and is at number five on my list.

4. Men:

Vinny Foti (Fresh Meat II)

Fresh Meat II, Cutthroat & Battle of the Exes

Challenge Career Highlight: Finishing first in the opening run to the gulag on Cutthroat

Vinny was a complete meathead but unlike some contestants I understand why they chose to bring Vinny back at least for a second season after his poor finish on Fresh Meat. He was loud, hooked up with Sarah and seemingly got unlucky being thrown in against Kenny & Laurel. However he showed up to Cutthroat in worse shape than his first season and demonstrating that he did not have the brains or coordination to succeed losing an elimination round to Big Easy. Vinny was also also a pretty big asshole to a few people on cutthroat in a classic example of mediocre players talking like they are a big dog. So when he showed up on a third season in even worse shape many fans were asking why. On Battle of the Exes he was gifted a great partner in Sarah managing to win the second daily challenge only to then sexually assault Mandi by ripping her top off at the club. He was removed from the season also resulting in Sarah getting disqualified and Vinny did not even apologize to her.

4. Women:

Nicole Ramos (Bloodlines)

Battle of the Bloodlines, Rivals III, XXX: Dirty 30 & Vendettas

Challenge Career Highlight: Winning over her cousin Nany in the elimination round on Rivals III

Nicole came on Bloodlines with her cousin Nany getting knocked out pretty early on when Nany lost an elimination to KellyAnne. She was then brought back on Rivals III which was her best season both entertainment wise & physically, getting in a fight with Nany and getting in a showmance with Nate and winning both a daily challenge and elimination round (mainly off the back of Dario getting a brute strength elimination). Nicole was brought back for XXX: Dirty 30 where she was quite forgettable and a very weak competitor and then for some reason brought back the very next season for Vendettas where she was the worst girl losing the opening purge. She was just too poor of an athlete for it to be reasonable for her to be on four different seasons.

3. Men:

Dunbar Merrill (The Real World: Sydney)

The Island, The Duel II, The Ruins, Cutthroat (won), Battle of the Exes & Rivals II

Challenge Career Highlight: Winning Cutthroat as part of the Red Team

Oh Dummy Bear, Dunbar is similar to Dario for me a decent competitor when it comes to brute force but there is a reason he was nicknamed Dummy Bear he was never good at the mental game and was too uncoordinated to succeed in several physical tasks. Dunbar however finally got a mercy victory on Cutthroat only to come back twice more and prove that win to be a fluke and that he was carried by having Brad, Tori & Tyler on his team in the final. He was 2–4 in eliminations barely beating Dan on Cutthroat and a team of two women in a tug of war on Battle of the Exes with Paula. Dunbar was a delusional player both in evaluating his physical abilities, consistently talking about how he was one of the top men, and in his social standing in the game always being on the bottom of totem pole. Dunbar was okay entertainment but nothing special and considering that and his poor competition ability him being brought on six seasons is a baffling choice.

3.Women

Melinda Stolp (The Real World: Austin)

Fresh Meat, Gauntlet III, Cutthroat & Battle of the Seasons

Challenge Career Highlight: Honestly getting smacked in the head with a board on Gauntlet III and having Danny go absolutely ballistic.

Melinda was a sweet girl and she was one of the stars on a really entertaining season of The Real World, Austin but she did not bring at all as much entertainment to The Challenge. Although she is a really pretty girl, she was pretty invisible on her seasons of The Challenge, partially due to her just being a lot less dynamic but also she brought very in confessionals or in the house. She even was involved in big storylines like the Austin alliance and competing with her fiancé Danny on both Fresh Meat & The Gauntlet III, coming on to cutthroat newly single and being on a team with her ex husband on Battle of the Seasons. Yet she always seemed to be a person involved that was the least interesting to hear from. On top of that Melinda was also a dreadful. competitor with an elimination record of 0 — 4. She was weaker than Rachel & Johanna, who were also challenge liabilities, on The Gauntlet III and was sent in by her own alliance in favor of keeping the volatile disliked rookie Camilia on Cutthroat who was a significantly better competitor. Melinda simply put brought very little to the show entertainment wise and nothing as a competitor and the fact she was brought on four seasons over other people makes no sense.

2. Men

Danny Jamieson (The Real World: Austin)

Fresh Meat, The Inferno 3, The Gauntlet III, The Ruins, Fresh Meat II & Battle of the Seasons

Challenge Career Highlight: His dismissal decision to try to politic his way into safety on The Gauntlet III only for it to blow up in his face and get thrown in anyways losing to another competitor for this list Adam King.

Danny holds the dubious honor of the worst elimination record in Challenge history 0–6 with losses including Davis, Adam King & Big Easy, and yet he thought of himself as a strong competitor. Where people like Dario & Dunbar at least had something in brute force Danny could not even hold up there in addition to being uncoordinated and bad at mental competitions. It’s not like he was that entertaining to balance things out with his most entertaining season being his blustering overconfident gameplay on The Gauntlet III. Even so he was brought on to six seasons with the most dissatisfying being him over Nehemiah to be with Wes on Team Austin. Danny was a complete bust and proved that repeatedly I am hopeful that he somehow does not make it on to a season of All Stars one day.

2. Women:

Shauvon Torres (The Real World: Sydney)

The Duel II, The Ruins & Cutthroat

Challenge Career Highlight: Busting her implant on The Ruins

I really don’t understand how Shauvon ended up on a show like The Challenge and not Flavor of Love/ Rock of Love or something more on that side of Reality tv. For a change compared with most of these contestants Shauvon is very entertaining she gets into ridiculous fights and was the cause of one of the biggest moments in Challenge history when she hooked up with CT leading to CT & Adam’s infamous fight on the Duel II. But for all the entertainment value she brought to the show it does not make up for the fact that she was for my money the single worst competitor in the history of the show. If she had been done after the medical disqualification on The Ruins that would have been understandable but somehow she was brought back again for Cutthroat wasting that casting spot, that could have gone to somebody else, by quitting the game.

1. Men:

Tyrie Ballard (The Real World: Denver)

The Inferno 3, The Gauntlet III, The Island, Rivals, Battle of the Exes & Rivals II

Challenge Career Highlight: Falling asleep drunk on the toilet with the door open on Rivals II

Tyrie had a very similar run on The Challenge to Danny in that they both talked a lot of shit and they looked big and imposing but were completely inept in the challenges both failing to win a win elimination round. Tyrie was a guy that seemed in general liked but still was never included in any strategy talk or alliances. For example he was even voted out of the game over Dan on The Island who was at the time drinking an unhealthy amount every night. The one thing that has Tyrie win this race to the bottom though is that Danny was slightly more entertaining on the show. Danny was a hot head and got into messes but all of the entertainment surrounding Tyrie was circumstantial like Tyler getting really angry that he stole his condoms, Jasmine being a hurricane of a hook up and later Ex breaking a mirror on one season and smashing the picture frame and ripping up the picture of her and Tyrie on Exes and of course him passed out naked on the toilet night one of Rivals II.

1.Women:

Jessica McCain (The Real World: Portland)

Rivals II, Free Agents, Battle of the Exes II & Rivals III

Challenge Career Highlight: Amazingly winning an elimination round on Rivals III alongside Johnny Reily

I simply do not understand why in the world production had Jessica on four different seasons of The Challenge. Coming from her Real World season it was clear that she was not an athlete but still this was before production made the decision to bring on people from other shows like Are You the One? so the benefit of the doubt having her on one season but after she was a terrible competitor that season they had her back three more times over other people and being an anchor for two different underrated competitors that got paired with her Dustin & Johnny Reily. She was arguably as bad of a competitor as people like Shauvon and Casey. But on top of that Jessica was also so whiny and annoying each time she was on the show. She didn’t really get into fights that were fun to watch or chaotic showmances instead just constantly complaining about people like Johnny Reily retreading what she did for their whole Real World season or else gushing about how she thought Dustin was “cute.” I would rather almost anybody have had the number of chances the show gave Jessica.

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Henry L DiMaria

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