‘The Challenge’: The 10 Best Players of All-Time Ranked — and Johnny Bananas Is NOT No 1!
The Challenge has been on MTV for more than two decades and has featured hundreds of competitors. Some players have reached legendary status throughout the years, and fans love to argue over the best cast members in the show’s history.
With season 37 Spies, Lies, and Allies currently airing, we think this is the perfect time to share our list of the 10 best Challenge players of all time. Spoiler alert — Johnny Bananas is NOT number one.
10. Cara Maria Sorbello
Cara Maria’s rookie season — Fresh Meat 2 — was a disaster because she was eliminated in the first round. But after hooking up with Abram Boise on Cutthroat and becoming a disciple of CrossFit, she’s become a mainstay on the MTV series.
In 14 seasons on The Challenge, Cara Marie has made nine trips to the final and won twice. With total winnings so far of $602,250.
9. Wes Bergmann
Everyone loves to hate this cocky Challenge competitor, but his record speaks for itself. In addition to his athletic ability, Wes has a manipulative political game.
In 14 seasons, Wes is 14 of 23 in elimination wins, has made it to the final five times, and won twice. His winnings total $298,000.
8. Landon Leuck
Landon is a Real Word: Philadelphia alum whose friendly demeanor and athletic skills made him a very successful Challenge player.
In just four seasons, Landon made three trips to the finals and won every time. He also scored five out of six elimination wins, and has total winnings of $184,166. Unfortunately, he turned down the opportunity to compete on season 1 of All Stars. And Mark Long thinks Landon missed out on another win and the half-million dollar prize.
7. Jordan Wiseley
In six seasons, Jordan has managed multiple wins and a strong elimination record. His attitude might keep him from being popular with other players, but his performance puts him on our list. Jordan has made four trips to the finals and won three times. He is seven of nine in elimination wins, and has won a total of $833,000.
6. Mike “The Miz” Mizanin
His time on The Challenge was brief, but the WWE Superstar definitely made his mark. And sometimes, he even comes back to host The Challenge reunion specials. The Miz appeared in five seasons, and he made it to the final four times.
He has a spotless elimination record, getting two of two elimination wins. And, he won the show twice and earned $130,500 in total winnings.
5. Emily Schromm
In just three seasons, Emily became an unstoppable force of nature. She’s made the final every time she’s competed, and she won Rivals II. The personal trainer also scored a win in the spinoff Champs vs. Stars.
Emily has a spotless five out of five elimination record, and has won more than $100,000 on the MTV reality competition. Women’s Health also named her their Next Fitness Star.
4. Kenny “Mr. Beautiful” Santucci
Kenny’s iconic rivalry with Wes laid the groundwork for the alliances and game politics that continue to this day. He hasn’t competed in nearly a decade, but in eight seasons Kenny made his mark.
Mr. Beautiful made it to the finals seven times and had a five of six record in elimination wins. He also won three seasons, earning more than $236K in prize money.
3. Darrell Taylor
This former Golden Gloves boxer always comes to play. In 10 seasons of The Challenge, Darrell made five trips to the final. He had six out of nine elimination wins, and won the show four times. His total winnings are $240,555, but they could have been more. Darrell came in second on All Stars and lost out on his fifth win by two points.
2. Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio
Some Challenge fans may call Bananas the GOAT, and he’s definitely made a career out of competing on the MTV reality show. After 20 seasons, nine trips to the final, and seven wins, it’s hard to put Bananas at number two on our list. But we did.
Yes, he’s earned more money than any other contestant — $1,184,720. But he stole money from Sarah Rice in Rivals III to earn his “salary.” Which keeps him out of the number one spot for us.
1. Chris “CT” Tamburello
Fans have watched CT change a lot throughout his Challenge tenure. His fighting got him kicked off a few seasons in the early days. But along the way, his storyline has become the best of the entire series.
He lost his longtime love, Diem Brown, to cancer. Then CT became a dad, which led to his “dad bod.” But no matter what shape he’s in, CT is a champion. He’s currently competing on season 37 — Spies, Lies, and Allies. And rumor has it, CT will make it to the final for the 10th time. And, he will score his fifth win.
So far, his total winnings are $965,000. But if the rumors about season 37 are true, that number is about to go way up. Either way, CT Tamburello is The Challenge GOAT.
New episodes of The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies air Wednesdays on MTV.