‘The Challenge’: Casey Cooper on How Her ‘Fresh Meat’ Performance Inspired Her to Return for ‘All Stars 2’

The Challenge veteran Casey Cooper hasn’t competed on the reality series in over 10 years and didn’t prove herself the best physical competitor during her four-season career. Many fans referred to her as one of the worst to play the game following her poor performance in Fresh Meat 2 finals that likely cost her and partner Wes Bergmann the victory. The veteran has returned a decade later for All Stars 2, eager for redemption. During an Oct. 2021 interview with Mike Lewis, she explained how her rookie season inspired her to come back for the popular spinoff.

Reality TV personality Casey Lynn Cooper attends the Reality Rushmore: Paramount + MTV The Challenge Reunion Event
‘The Challenge’ star, Casey Cooper | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Casey Cooper competed on ‘The Challenge’ for the first time since 2009

Drafted by two-time champ Wes Bergmann during Fresh Meat (2006), Texas-based Casey Cooper found herself in five eliminations, winning them with her partner.

They went on to compete in the finals, where she had one of the worst performances. Ultimately, she placed third, taking home $10,000. She returned for The Duel (2007) but went home reasonably early.

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Cooper came back for The Gauntlet 3 (2008) and The Ruins (2009) but failed to win an elimination, exiting the competition before the finals. Following a decade break, the Fresh Meat finalist returned for the spinoff, All Stars, hoping to turn her luck around.

During the premiere episode of season 2, the veteran addressed the criticism of her Fresh Meat 2 finals performance, admitting fans used to refer to her as “one of the worst” to play the game. She noted she’s “dying for redemption” and wants to prove she’s not afraid of heights and other things that held her back in previous seasons. 

She wanted to return to ‘The Challenge’ after watching ‘Fresh Meat’

During an Oct. 2021 interview with Mike Lewis, the four-time competitor explained she wanted to return for another season after watching her previous performances.

According to the veteran, she rewatched her rookie debut in Fresh Meat, the only season in which she’s made it to a finals, and admitted she “didn’t recognize herself.”

Cooper also noted she would make different decisions now as she didn’t know her motivations back then.

Additionally, the four-time competitor pointed out she previously listened to others who called her a “layup” and wondered how she would perform if she played her own game, noting the “biggest physical threat rarely wins.”

Her experience as an alternate for ‘All Stars 1’ also fueled her desire to return

The OG player revealed she received an invitation to play for All Stars 1 but thought they were still playing “carnival games.” Even so, she agreed to compete because she wanted to reunite with the other competitors.

Realizing she wasn’t in shape to perform after a decade-long break and the COVID-19 quarantine, Cooper admitted it worked out that she ended up an alternate for the show.

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However, the Fresh Meat finalist said she and the other substitutes were upset because they got into the mode and were ready to compete. Therefore, they took pictures of themselves, hoping to get the call to return for the next season.

Additionally, the veteran explained she befriended last season’s Kendal Sheppard and began working out. While Cooper acknowledged “smart game moves” she made during Fresh Meat, she recognizes herself as “a layup.” The four-time competitor’s goal is to be proud of her performance when she rewatches this season with her family. The Challenge: All Stars 2 airs Thursdays on Paramount+.