This season on The Challenge, the emerging MVP — and undoubtedly the most improved player — is a woman so petite she might struggle to earn entry onto certain roller-coasters.
Yup, since the beginning of Final Reckoning (literally: she won the very first mission), Amanda of Are You The One? — who’s never made it to a final mission — has been on an absolute tear, and not just because her partner Zach is a fearsome giant.
Yup, across eight missions so far this season, Zach and Amanda have snatched up half of the game’s possible wins. And not only was Amanda one of only two women to complete “Off the Rails,” which challenged players to traverse an obstacle course while atop a moving train, she finished the intensely difficult “Shark Bait” when even Zach wasn’t able.
And tonight’s win in “Caged In” was additional proof that Amanda has the brains and brawn to stand above the rest. The game challenged one player from each team to retrieve a long stick in the woods and pass it to his or her partner, who’d be stuck inside a cage. The caged player would then use the stick to dislodge a key that was dangling overhead, unlock himself or herself and race to a puzzle. The first team to complete the brain teaser would win.
Never one to miss a detail, Amanda was the only caged player who made a note of graffiti that had been scribbled on her trap’s walls. When it came time to complete the puzzle, she realized the etchings were — as she’d predicted — a collection of answers. Decisively, she and Zach came out on top, extending their power couple dominance.
“We would be so screwed if it weren’t for me,” Amanda said. “This is my moment to shine. I am a valuable part of this team, and today, the reason why we won was because of me.”
And there’s no denying the claim, or that Amanda has — more accurately — usually been the reason her team has won. Plus, with the Lavender Ladies at her beck and call, she’s still pretty much got the political side of the game locked down too.
Still, there’s some evidence that Amanda might run out of steam. On her first season, Rivals III, she and Nelson only lasted for four missions, and things went even worse on Dirty Thirty, in which Amanda was eliminated after the very first Purge. And while she nearly made it to the end of Invasion, she still only boasts a 1-2 elimination round record, so if she and Zach ever wind up in Armageddon, there’s no guarantee they’ll survive (Zach boasts only a 3-3 record).
So what do you think — is Amanda running the game both on and off the field, and will Final Reckoning be her defining Challenge outing? Or is it only a matter of time before someone like Cara Maria or Johnny Bananas gets their act together and knocks Amanda off her pedestal? Share your thoughts, and see how Amanda and Zach proceed when The Challenge returns on Tuesday!