‘The Challenge’: Janelle Casanave Says She Planned to Return Before Starting Nursing Career

Following her 2008 appearance in The Challenge: The Gauntlet 3, former champ Janelle Casanave took a break from the public eye before resurfacing over a decade later in spinoff All Stars 2. In a recent interview, she revealed she didn’t plan to walk away.

Janelle Casanave smiling at at the Real World Awards Bash
‘The Challenge’ star, Janelle Casanave | Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

Janelle Casaneve explains why she returned to ‘The Challenge’ following a break

Speaking to Mike Lewis for a podcast episode published in Oct. 2021, Janelle Casanave admitted she thought she would continue to return for more challenges and “dominate.” However, the Real World star also knew she needed a career outside of the reality competition show.

Therefore, Janelle returned to school to study nursing, believing she could “get her foot in the door” while competing in challenges. When she turned down availability calls for the upcoming seasons to focus on school, Janelle noticed the producers stopped calling her. The California-native explained she attempted to return after graduating, noting the show began casting for Battle of the Seasons at the time.

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She revealed she and former Real World: Key West roommates Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, Paula Meronek, and Tyler Duckworth all received a call to compete as a team for the season. Ready for it, noting she was in “physically peak shape” at the time, Janelle explained they got “waitlisted.” Believing they didn’t get cast due to their recent wins or not being considered an “interesting” group, the team did not compete.

As a result, Janelle seemingly lost the opportunity to reintroduce herself to the Challenge world. Therefore, she decided to focus on her nursing career and lead a more private life before receiving a call a decade later for the spinoff, All Stars

She has avoided elimination so far in ‘The Challenge: All Stars’

Initially close with Tyler until his early exit, Janelle didn’t have many allies in The Challenge: All Stars 2.

Even so, she won a daily mission alongside the Black Team and partnered with four-time champ Darrell Taylor. Teammates for the rest of the season, the two worked well together.

While they didn’t have any wins and were on the outs of close alliance The Palace, the duo joined the Silent Six and avoided having to see an elimination as other players proved themselves bigger threats at the moment.

During the Jan. 6 episode, Janelle revealed she injured her back during the previous mission but continued to compete as she didn’t want to let Darrell down. However, the team had to work hard in the upcoming daily mission as numbers were dwindling and finals were nearing.

Janelle won one season in her two appearances

Initially planning to become a lawyer, the California native made her reality television debut as a cast member in The Real World: Key West (2006).

Joining competition spinoff, The Challenge, in its 14th season for The Inferno 3 (2007) as part of Team Bad Asses, the group won a daily mission before the finals. Janelle went on to win the last competition, walking away with $40,000.

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She returned shortly later for The Gauntlet 3 on the Rookies team, winning another daily with them. However, the former champ found herself in the following elimination, facing off against eventual winner Jillian Zoboroski, in which she lost and went home early.

Following her exit, Janelle didn’t return for another 13 years before competing in All Stars 2, where she seems primed to make it to the finals. The Challenge: All Stars airs on Paramount+.