‘The Challenge 36’: Players Deem a Rookie and Two-Time Finalist as the Biggest Layups Heading Into the Season

Before The Challenge 36 kicked off, the competitors weighed in on who they considered the biggest “layups” in the house. The majority of the contestants named a two-time finalist and rookie as players they believe they can easily beat.

Chris "CT" Tamburello, Marie Roda, Nicole Ramos, Jemmye Carroll, Devin Walker-Molaghan, Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio, Darrell Taylor and Leroy Garrett attend The Challenge XXX: Ultimate Fan Experience
Chris “CT” Tamburello, Marie Roda, Nicole Ramos, Jemmye Carroll, Devin Walker-Molaghan, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, Darrell Taylor and Leroy Garrett attend The Challenge XXX: Ultimate Fan Experience | Lars Niki

‘The Challenge 36: Double Agents’ features new twists

Fresh off a top-rated season, The Challenge 36 returned with an exciting cast of 20 veterans and 10 rookies. The players immediately faced off in groups divided by genders and competed in a daily challenge.

Aneesa Ferreira and Fessy Shafaat won their respective heats, with Aneesa claiming the best time overall. Therefore, she could choose her partner first and picked an uninterested Fessy. The other competitors then paired up, creating a total of 15 teams.

RELATED: ‘The Challenge 36’: Fessy Shafaat Reveals Who He Would’ve Picked as a Partner if Given a Choice

Following the mission, the newly formed teams had to individually vote another group into elimination, compromising them. Then, winning duo Aneesa and Fessy could either throw themselves in to win their ticket to the finals, the coveted gold skull, or handpick a couple to compete against the compromised team.

Even though only 10 gold skulls are available this season, Aneesa and Fessy chose Wes Bergmann and Natalie Anderson to compete against the voted-in duo, former winners CT Tamburello and Ashley Mitchell. The plan to blindside CT backfired when it ended up being a girls’ elimination, and Ashley went home instead.

Rookies Lolo Jones and Natalie Anderson considered the biggest threats heading into the season

Before competing in the first competition, the players weighed in on who they considered their biggest threats.

Many competitors named Wes for his several connections and political game, while others noted that anyone who had won the game before threatened them.

RELATED: ‘The Challenge 36’: Rookies Lolo Jones and Natalie Anderson Are the Biggest Targets Heading Into the Season

The majority of the competitors admitted rookies Natalie, a Survivor winner, and bodybuilder, and Lolo Jones, an Olympian track star, scared them because of their physical prowess.

Therefore, the other players immediately believed the ladies would likely perform well on the show, making them the most noticeable threats headed into the season.

Players deem Kyle Christie and Amber Martinez the biggest layups

In another pre-show interview, the contestants named co-competitors they believed to be “layups,” or someone easily beatable. Four-time champ Darrell Taylor called out Devin Walker, who named rookie duo Gabby Allen and Lio Rush, while Fessy and Cory Wharton picked team Tula “Big T” Fazakerley and rookie Joseph Allen.

Additionally, Nelson Thomas and Kyle Christie considered Mechie Harris the biggest “layup” for them due to his smaller stature. While Kyle admitted the rookie is probably faster, the two-time finalist noted he believes he could run through Mechie “like a steam train” if they went against each other in a Hall Brawl elimination.

RELATED: ‘The Challenge’: Nelson Thomas Reveals Why He Partnered up With a Rookie Instead of Kam Williams

Ashley and Wes both named veteran duo Nany González and Kyle as the “layup” team because the two have a history of getting eliminated toward the end or not performing well in the finals. Additionally, Jay Starrett noted he believes any of the guys could beat Kyle.

Several ladies, namely Tori Deal, Kaycee Clark, and Big T singled out Are You the One? 8 rookie Amber Martinez as an easily beatable competitor due to her “tiny” size. The Challenge 36 airs Wednesdays at 8/9 Central on MTV.