In 19 years and 29 seasons, there have been a lot of faces on MTV’s “The Challenge.” Four people have proven themselves more athletic, drunk, and devious than the rest, worthy of having their faces carved in stone. You won’t find any alumni of “Are You The One” on this list. This is partly because they haven’t been in enough competitions, but also because it will always be “The Real World/Road Rules Challenge” to me.
I know a lot of “The Challenge” fans will groan seeing Johnny on this list, but the show wouldn’t be the same without him. Bananas has an unmatched track record of success, reaching the final in 8 of his 14 completed challenges. In every challenge, he rapidly assembles an army and forces those outside his alliance to game plan for him immediately. He is the Goliath that rookies take huge risks to bring down and often fail anyway. Bananas may have an awful habit of stabbing people in the back, but somehow he convinces new players to trust him every season. That counts for something.
To put it simply, Laurel is bigger and stronger than her female competitors. She made the final in her first three seasons before winning “Free Agents.” The only season in which she failed to make the final was “Invasion of the Champions,” where she was eliminated right before it by the eventual second place finisher and past champion, Camila. In five seasons, Laurel won 16 challenge games and 9 eliminations. She occasionally gets caught up in house fighting, but it doesn’t really matter who wants her gone. She can eat most of her female opponents for breakfast and plenty of the men, too.
A long time ago, it didn’t seem like CT was headed for Mount Rushmore. He developed a reputation as a hot head and was kicked off “The Inferno 3” in the first episode for fighting. He continued his premature DQs on “The Duel II” before taking a few seasons off and eventually getting back on track. CT is a two-time winner and six-time finalist, but by far my favorite achievement of his was when he wore fellow Mount Rushmore competitor Johnny Bananas like a backpack in “Cutthroat.” No amount of Johnny’s flailing could stop CT from body slamming him into a barrel.
It’s been a while since Evelyn competed in a challenge, but many seasons ago she was a force to be reckoned with. In seven challenges, Evelyn has made the final four times and won three of them. She was perhaps at her most powerful on “The Island,” where her opponents feared her ability to take out anyone and she leveraged that into a spot on the winning boat. Evelyn also made a winner out of perennial bridesmaid Paula on “Rivals,” overcoming stiff competition from challenge vets Laurel and Cara Maria.