While the strongest guys to have competed in “The Challenge” await the results of our ultimate male MVP poll, we’d currently like to direct your attention to the game’s hardest-hitting females. Though the odds were not in their favor during “Battle of the Sexes,” they’ve proven over the years that they’re more than capable of dominating missions, and now, we want to know which She-Ra really wields the Sword of Protection.
Throughout the week, we’re asking you to vote in polls that narrow down the game’s top players, most intense fights, hottest hookups and more. Then, on May 29, we’ll reveal your picks in the “ChallengeMania: Super Fan Edition” special immediately following “Free Agents.” So, take a look back at some of the women who have made their marks on the series, vote for the all-time MVP (choose “other” if you don’t see your favorite, and nominate her in the comments) and make sure to tune in to the season premiere of “The Challenge” Thursday night at 10/9c!
Stats: Zero wins for three tries, 4-0 in eliminations
Strengths: Laurel has the build, brains and ferocity of a true competitor — she plows through most of her opponents like a steamroller.
Handicaps: For her perceived dominance, Laurel has never actually won a competition, and her intensity — when perceived as arrogance — can rub her fellow competitors the wrong way.
Stats: One win for three tries, 5-0 in eliminations
Strengths: How much space do we have? The fitness guru has clawed her way to every competition’s final, and has always played an honest game.
Handicaps: Emily admitted long-distance running just ain’t her thing, and her standing as one of the series’ most feared females usually puts a target on her back.
Stats: Zero wins for four tries, 0-4 in eliminations
Strengths: Theresa is a solid competitor with an unbreakable spirit, and for better or worse, always fights until the end.
Handicaps: T’s record isn’t really indicative of her potential. Plus, her messy politicking has led to her undoing more than once.
Stats: One win for five tries, 6-3 in eliminations
Strengths: People don’t call Camila a spitfire for nothing. She’s ALWAYS ready for battle, and her perseverance usually takes her far.
Handicaps: Ever heard of the Cameltdown? Sometimea Camila’s vigor spills over into insanity, and her emotions have a tendency to overpower her game play.
Stats: Zero wins for nine tries, 8-5 in eliminations
Strengths: Aneesa is the game’s resident assassin, and fears absolutely no one in one-on-one battles. Her humor usually lands her on her fellow competitors’ good sides, too.
Handicaps: For as hard as she fights, Aneesa has never come out with a win in the finals, and her free spirit has rubbed certain housemates the wrong way.
Stats: Two wins for ten tries, 4-5 in eliminations
Strengths: No one has ever doubted Paula’s tenacity, and lately, her endurance has really shined through, leading to back-to-back “Rivals” wins.
Handicaps: Paula’s “Rivals II” partner, Emily, said it best: Paula plays a scared game. When she gets the slightest indication that things have gone off course, panic sets in.
Stats: Zero wins for six tries, 1-4 in eliminations
Strengths: If there’s a running mission involved, Diem is a safe bet for the win, and there’s no one with a bigger heart or will to succeed.
Handicaps: Besides her last-round elimination curse? Like Paula, Diem has a tendency to get anxious when things don’t go her way, and shake-ups can mess with her focus.
Stats: Zero wins for six tries, 6-3 in eliminations
Strengths: Way back on “Fresh Meat 2,” Cara was the very first draft pick (she was snatched up even before Laurel), and considering the brute strength she’s demonstrated since, it’s easy to see why.
Handicaps: CM’s lone wolf personality often leaves her alienated by her housemates, and she’s not always assertive enough to avoid manipulation.
Stats: Zero wins for seven tries, 4-2 in eliminations
Strengths: Sunny Sarah can always be counted on to keep morale up, and has proven time and time again that she’s got the fight in her.
Handicaps: Sadly, the fight hasn’t led to a win, and she’s TWICE been disqualified for her partners’ poor judgment. Talk about bad luck…
Stats: Zero wins for two tries, 1-2 in eliminations
Strengths: Nany’s as passionate as they come, and proved during “Battle of the Seasons” that she’s always willing to take one (or two) for the team.
Handicaps: At this point, her fellow competitors don’t yet see her as a threat. And, after a few breakdowns, she’s proven to be a bit of a loose cannon.
Photos: Ian Spanier and Cedric Arnold