Every dog has his day, but 10 of the forthcoming Challenge: Invasion Of The Champions underdogs are still awaiting theirs.
When the competition series’ next installment premieres, 18 winless contestants — 10 of whom have already competed in at least one game — will battle it out for a huge cash prize. But the Underdogs’ paths to long-awaited greatness won’t be unobstructed — eight previous Champions will appear out of nowhere partway through the game with a single goal: to keep the defeated exactly where they are.
But who’s groomed to finally push through?
Shane, for one, has waited 15 years to earn win No. 1. He first appeared on the Challenge circuit as part of Battle of the Sexes and has come close to finals a handful of times — his eliminations have generally followed some strokes of bad luck. And while Jenna and Cory are more than a few years younger (they weren’t featured on Real World: Ex-Plosion until 2014), they’re both veterans in their own rights: Cory made it to the final mission on Bloodlines, while Jenna maintains a perfect elimination-round record across three Challenge seasons.
Dario, too, has evolved past the butt of Challenge competitors’ jokes — he and Nicole only narrowly missed out on the Rivals III finale, winning a critical “Take It To The Grave” game and eliminating Wes and Nany en route to the Final Four.
On the other side of the token, Are You The One? exports Nelson and Amanda have still barely scratched the game’s surface. They were introduced to Rivals III as replacements but quickly proved they had fighting spirits and even took out Johnny and Jessica in a heated game of “Weight for Me” before ultimately being sent home.
And while former housemates Marie and LaToya are also only embarking on their respective second games, they’ve both made lasting Challenge impressions. Until her Battle of the Seasons elimination as part of Team St. Thomas, Marie was one of Season 23’s political power players and managed to send vets Nany and Alton home in The Arena. LaToya also put up a strong showing on Free Agents — she eliminated Jemmye after the very first draw ceremony and stood up to Jordan in beautifully shady fashion (her dismissals belong in a GIF-worthy hall of fame).
And speaking of hot-headedness, we’re rounding out our returning Underdogs list with some loose-cannon wild cards, whose Invasion potential is really anyone’s guess. Ashley and Tony are both returning after a pair of particularly controversial Rivals III appearances. Ashley, for one, could have awoken the dead after separate screaming matches with Simone and Nicole. And let’s not forget Tony got so drunkenly aggressive toward Camila that he was ultimately sent home from the game outright. Yup, among the Underdogs, these two have proven to be purely Rottweiler bred.
Are there any veteran Underdogs who you think are especially due for a victory and which might finally be able to break his or her win-less curse? Share your thoughts, and be sure to tune in to the Invasion of the Champions premiere on February 7 at 9/8c!