As “The Problem” begins its 37th season (“Spies, Lies, & Allies”), what higher time to interrupt down one of the best solid members within the historical past of MTV’s hit actuality present? Very similar to NBA followers debate Jordan vs. LeBron or soccer followers argued over Brady vs. Manning, Problem followers will go at it over whether or not Johnny Bananas or CT as one of the best male competitor of all time, in addition to which feminine stands out among the many relaxation.
Earlier than we get into who we picked, a couple of notes on our standards. We did not merely go by the numbers, because the Problem has majorly advanced throughout its 37 seasons. It began as extra of a actuality present than a contest present — a lot in order that Belou Den Tex introduced her toddler youngster together with her on “Battle of the Seasons 1” and Gladys Sanabria confirmed as much as “Battle of the Sexes 1” whereas pregnant. It was actually a easier time. (Replace: Melissa Reeves competed your entire season on “Complete Insanity” — together with the primary leg of the ultimate — whereas pregnant, although it was unbeknownst to her on the time. The jury remains to be out on whether or not that makes her unborn youngster the youngest competitor in Problem historical past.)
(Associated: As a hurricane hit the Problem home on “Battle of the Seasons 1,” married couple Chadwick Pelletier and Holly Brentson argued with BDT about her child-rearing practices. She actually cursed them, saying, “I hope you by no means get a baby, yo. I hope that to your ass,” which is as cold-blooded as something ever stated on the present.)
So, whereas the overall variety of wins and finals matter, we weight them based mostly on the period of the Problem during which they occurred, with newer wins being value a bit of further. The competitors is extra severe and the finals are usually way more grueling now.
We steadiness out that inherent recency bias with anecdotal proof and instinct gleaned from watching far too many hours of this present. Hey, we’re allowed to be not less than a bit of subjective. In spite of everything, we’re speaking about an MTV actuality present that’s as a lot about getting drunk and hooking up as it’s competitors, so we’re coping with a little bit of an inexact science right here.
You may disagree with our picks, however that is OK. Simply do not scream at us like Camila, punch us like CT, or want us barren like Belou Den Tex.
(Notice: The next lists have been up to date since their unique publishing previous to “Complete Insanity.”)
Finest male ‘Problem’ solid members of all time
1. Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio (“Actual World: Key West”)
The details: Bananas has appeared on essentially the most Challenges (20) and has essentially the most Problem titles (7). He is achieved mainstream success whereas additionally staying as carefully tied to “The Problem” as anybody in present historical past. He is eminently quotable (Sarah most likely stills hears, “I am gonna go forward and take the cash and run, Teej” in her nightmares), remarkably mentally powerful, and the quintessential schemer, which is summed up by this monologue:
“I have been accused prior to now of being a unclean participant, however, you already know, nothing actually involves thoughts…aside from, I do not know, leaving Paula on a abandoned island, destroying a relationship in an effort to additional my place within the recreation, and I took $275,000 from a companion. However aside from these, I can not actually consider what soiled strikes I’ve completed prior to now.”
Previous to “Complete Insanity,” we had him No. Three on our listing, however after one other win that moved him into first on the all-time prize cash listing ($1,184,720), we needed to put him within the prime spot. Why wasn’t he there to start with? Effectively, for as nice as Bananas’ profession has been, it by no means felt like he was the finest competitor at any given time. One can argue, “The wins proved he was one of the best,”, which, yeah, certain…however was he actually? His most spectacular efficiency was throughout his solo victory on “Free Brokers” when he took out each of the blokes direct under him on this listing in elimination comps (although he beat CT on a puzzle, which was lame). That was all the time his finest argument for being No. 1.
Nevertheless, as was showcased on “Complete Insanity,” we would have been focusing an excessive amount of on bodily prowess and never giving sufficient credit score to Bananas’s political/psychological recreation. That is simply as a lot as a part of “The Problem” as something, and he masterminded some dominant alliances. Past that, he (and his companion) in the end took out CT in two eliminations proper earlier than the finals (“Free Brokers”, “Rivals 1”) and beat him in a closing when CT gassed out (“Battle of the Exes 1”). Sure, it is powerful to shake the picture of the “Johnny Bananas Backpack,” and, previous to his “Complete Insanity” win, his lackluster previous few seasons have been placing an undue stain on his legacy.
Even with all that being stated, after yet one more ring in a robust season, it is powerful to disclaim Bananas his place in historical past. And, in the end, it does not actually matter the place we rank Bananas as a result of he’ll say he is one of the best and he has the resume and general success (together with with the women) to again him up. He is gained at life, and that is actually all that issues to him.
2. Chris “CT” Tamburello (“Actual World: Paris”)
CT has appeared on 18 Challenges, although 4 of these resulted in him getting disqualified or kicked off. Three of these have been throughout his peak as essentially the most fearsome Problem competitor in historical past, and he virtually actually would have greater than three titles if he might have managed his mood/adopted the principles (or if Eric “Large Straightforward” Banks hadn’t gassed out on “Gauntlet 3”). In the end, his resume is his resume, and whereas 4 titles and 9 finals in 18 seasons is extremely spectacular, it nonetheless looks like he might have completed extra.
That is the case towards CT being this excessive. The case for him being this excessive (or larger) is that his comp-to-comp peak was as dominant as we have ever seen. It was CT-against-the-world many seasons, and despite the fact that nobody needed to go towards him, they did all the pieces of their energy to vote him into eliminations so others might face (and hopefully beat) him. He wasn’t simply feared as a competitor; he was feared as an individual. This clip of CT’s disqualification in an elimination spherical towards Brad Fiorenza on “Duel 1” sums up the total younger CT expertise.
CT’s dominance is about greater than his recreation play. He is all the time been some of the entertaining solid members, gifting us with such moments because the time he leveled Bananas and Tyler Duckworth on the similar time on “Rivals 1” (“Choo-choo!”); the time he had this trade (14:42) throughout a cookie-eating elimination comp towards Shane Landrum on “Inferno 1”: “CT, we’re not going to have the ability to see your six-pack in spite of everything these cookies.” “You are not gonna be capable to see Shane in spite of everything these cookies;” or essentially the most notorious Problem second of all-time, the “Johnny Bananas Backpack” from “Cutthroat” — a season CT wasn’t even on however was introduced again for as a particular visitor.
Throw within the many spectacular hook-ups (together with as soon as on a roof) and touching relationship with the late Diem Brown, and CT lined all of the bases. He even confirmed he might make an applicable sports activities metaphor when, previous to profitable his first closing, he stated, “I do not need to be Dan Marino, I need to be Tom Brady.”
There are numerous extra examples of memorable CT moments (each good and dangerous), however anyway you take a look at it, it provides as much as one of many prime solid members in Problem historical past. Let’s simply hope he does not have extra second-round knockouts by the hands of rookies like Jay Starrett in his future.
Replace: After profitable Season 36 with rookie Amber Borzotra in spectacular trend, CT has moved as much as No. 2 on this listing. He was focused in Week 1 and nonetheless managed to go the gap. A championship in a younger man’s recreation after his 40th birthday? Possibly CT is Tom Brady in spite of everything. If he will get another, will probably be powerful to maintain him out of the highest spot.
3. Jordan Wiseley (unique present: “Actual World: Portland”)
Jordan has gained three championships and made 4 finals in six appearances, however his run of success is not simply in regards to the numbers. He is gained titles in a few of the most stacked seasons ever, significantly his dominant solo win in “Soiled Thirty.” He is completed all of it whereas proudly telling anybody who will hear that he is the neatest and finest competitor in any given season, and even nominating himself for elimination comps as a result of he is so sure he’ll come again. That hasn’t all the time labored out, as one in all Jordan’s two pre-finals knockouts got here when he pulled such a stunt in “Free Brokers,” dropping to Johnny Bananas in a traditional elimination spherical. It was one of many few occasions in his 5 seasons when his lack of a completely shaped left hand appeared to harm his recreation play.
Make no mistake, although, we’re not grading Jordan on a curve. He is taken on all comers and dealt with himself in all competitions, and he is largely completed so with out the assistance of a robust alliance. Maybe his most wily transfer was annoying the seemingly invincible Turbo a lot by “copying his stroll” (no matter meaning) on “Conflict of the Worlds 2” that Turbo threatened him and acquired kicked off the present. It was just like LeBron James goading Draymond Inexperienced into punching him within the groin and getting suspended for Sport 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals. The mere truth we’re evaluating Jordan to LeBron tells you numerous about his place in Problem historical past. (Sure, the analogy would work a lot, a lot better if we have been evaluating him to Michael Jordan, however we’ll take what we will get.)
If Jordan loses his edge and begins routinely ending in the midst of the pack like he did on “Complete Insanity,” he might fall even decrease, however, assuming he competes once more, he’ll seemingly choose his battles and proceed to win titles at a excessive effectivity fee…kinda like Michael Jordan. There, we did it.
4. Landon Lueck (“Actual World: Philadelphia”)
You may make a robust case for Landon to be larger on this listing; you too can make a case for him to be decrease. He appeared on simply 4 challenges, the final of which got here in 2010 (“Contemporary Meat 2”), so it is powerful to say how he would have fared within the extra aggressive, extra bodily grueling seasons that have been but to return. However contemplating the way in which he gained his final season — legitimately dragging/pushing a totally out of it (and probably deceased) Carley Johnson up a mountain — we’re assured Landon would have excelled in any period.
In the end, Landon gained three of his 4 challenges — two of which have been crew titles and the final of which was the aforementioned pairs title. He competed in a single solo Problem (“Duel 2”) and completed fourth, however he gained 5 out of 10 competitions (plus one duel) and dominated that season till a stunning (and considerably controversial) loss to Brad within the final elimination earlier than the ultimate. Given his calm demeanor, fearlessness, superior climbing means, and compact power, it is totally potential Landon was one of the best pound-for-pound competitor in Problem historical past.
One knock towards Landon was his lack of memorable quotes or moments. He is merely remembered for the way dominant of a competitor he was regardless of a brief run on the present, and that is in the end not a foul legacy to have — particularly on a present like this the place your most memorable moments are sometimes regrettable.
5. Darrell Taylor (“Street Guidelines: Campus Crawl”)
Like Landon, Darrell’s finest days got here in an earlier, barely much less aggressive model of “The Problem.” Additionally like Landon, he was a beast who might have shined anytime, wherever (which he proved by taking out Zach Nichols and Bananas on “Invasion of the Champions”). All advised, he gained 4 finals in his first six seasons, and he virtually actually would have had gained 5 if not for an odd incident when a drunk Brad provoked Darrell into punching him and getting disqualified on “The Ruins.” Darrell then went AWOL from “The Problem” for 9 seasons, solely to lose to CT within the final elimination earlier than the ultimate on “Invasion of the Champions” and surprisingly battle on “Soiled Thirty.”
If Darrell hadn’t come again and completed with 4 titles in six seasons, he would most likely be larger on this listing, so maybe it is unfair that we’re knocking him down a couple of spots, however each look counts. No-nonsense Darrell wasn’t a schemer like Bananas, an intimidator like CT, or a s*** talker like Jordan, however he was undoubtedly revered by rivals and followers like.
- Wes Bergmann (“Actual World: Austin”). An all-time schemer and elimination-round champ who turned in the most effective single-season performances ever on “Duel 1” en path to one in all his two titles.
- Kenny Santucci and Evan Starkman (“Contemporary Meat 1”). Kenny and Evan are endlessly linked, not solely as a result of they got here in collectively and had comparable success (5 complete titles, 4 different finals), but additionally as a result of they began the now defunct “Suck Yeah” clothes firm (precise title). Additionally they have been banished from “The Problem” collectively for an allegedly disturbining incident involving castmate Tonya Cooley.
- Derrick Kosinski (“Street Guidelines: X-treme”). This gritty underdog gained three titles in 10 seasons and handled us to a few of the most epic eliminations in Problem historical past. He additionally taught us that the “low man wins.”
- Brad Fiorenza (“Actual World: San Diego 1”). Brad has only one title in 10 seasons, however he might simply have 4. He completed the “Duel 1” closing quicker than Wes, however Wes had a two-minute benefit due to a soccer shootout (critically); he misplaced by one second to Evan within the “Duel 2” closing (actually one second); and he fell sufferer to the “Nice Large Straightforward Gasoline Out” on “Gauntlet 3” (a certain win).
- Mike “The Miz” Mizanin (“Actual World: Again to New York”). Two wins and two extra finals in 5 seasons. The Miz has gone on to greater issues since “The Problem,” but when he had hung round, he undoubtedly can be some of the adorned solid members ever.
- Jamie Murray (“Actual World: New Orleans 1”). Three Challenges, three championships. All have been crew Challenges and got here earlier than 2006, so it is powerful to say how Jamie would fare within the fashionable Problem period, however he was an early beast.
- Alton Williams (“Learn World: Las Vegas 1”). One other early-season star who gained a title and made three finals in his 4 appearances.
- Turabi “Turbo” Camkiran (“Conflict of the Worlds 1”). His first season was throughly dominant (I imply, he acquired superhero particular results), although we nonetheless have not seen him in an elimination.
Simply missed the lower:
- Abram Boise (“Street Guidelines: South Pacific”)
- Mark Lengthy (“Street Guidelines: USA 1”)
- Zach Nichols (“Actual World: San Diego 2”)
- Tyler Duckworth (“Actual World: Key West”)
- Theo Von (“Street Guidelines: Most Velocity”)
Finest feminine ‘Problem’ solid members of all time
1. Evelyn Smith (“Contemporary Meat 1”)
Is Ev actually higher than Emily? Possibly, perhaps not, however as is the case with the male listing, the entire resume needs to be factored in. Ev appeared on 4 extra Challenges (7) than Emily and gained two extra titles (3). She ought to have had a fourth, however she additionally fell sufferer to Large Straightforward’s medical DQ on “Gauntlet 3.” Actually, she most likely would have had a fifth if she did not tank an elimination for KellyAnne Judd on “The Ruins.” She really may need six if she wasn’t a last-minute substitute on “Contemporary Meat 2” and compelled to companion with Luke Wolfe. (You may keep in mind Luke from his grand scheme of kissing one other man in an effort to get a kiss from Jenn Grijalva.)
Ev was bodily dominant throughout her seven seasons, and she or he might additionally play the psychological recreation, which was finest proven on “The Island” when she went head-to-head with Bananas your entire season and in the end put herself able to power Bananas to betray one his finest mates, Paula Menorek, and crew up together with her within the finals.
Evelyn was simply 24 when she referred to as it a Problem profession, so she clearly had extra good years left. Both manner, she did greater than sufficient to earn this prime spot.
2. Cara Maria Sorbello (“Contemporary Meat 2”)
Cara Maria has appeared on essentially the most Challenges ever for a feminine (14), and despite the fact that she has simply two wins, she’s made a staggering 9 finals. She additionally gained the primary Problem with only one general champion, narrowly edging Zach Nichols on “Vendettas.” With out that, she’d most likely be decrease on this listing, particularly if you think about that her first title (“Battle of the Bloodlines”) got here in one of many weakest seasons in fashionable Problem historical past. (Raphy Medrano? Stephen Buell? Get the hell outta right here.)
Regardless, the resume is sound, however Cara Maria, regardless of trying the half, has hardly ever felt like a dominant power. And if she is a dominant power, why is not she profitable extra finals? (The identical argument could possibly be made about youthful CT.) She additionally complains — quite a bit — which does not seem to be one thing a best-ever ought to do, however drama is an integral a part of “The Problem,” so perhaps that is a plus for her.
The underside line is Cara Maria has been an elimination beast throughout her time on “The Problem,” and even when she’s not profitable all of it, she’s making finals (together with dragging human albatross Marie Roda to the “Closing Reckoning” closing, which might be her finest achievement on the present). No different feminine can say that, so her all-time spot is safe (even when it annoys you).
3. Emily Schromm (“Actual World: D.C.”)
Bodily, Emily is arguably one of the best feminine competitor ever. That is no knock on Ev or Jenny West or anybody else on this listing, however the lady is a monster. Nevertheless, she appeared on simply three seasons (not counting her “Champs vs. Stars” look), and with only one win, it is powerful to place her in both of the highest two spots.
To be truthful, she made the finals in all three seasons regardless of having mediocre (at finest) teammates all 3 times. Simply take a look at who she made finals with: Jenn on “Cutthroat” (no different wins), Ty Ruff on “Battle of the Exes 1” (not near another wins), and Paula on “Rivals 2” (one different win in 10 complete tries, and that was with Evelyn).
As we did with Landon above, we’ve to venture a bit with Emily, however long-time viewers know simply how good she was.
4. Laurel Stucky (“Contemporary Meat 2”)
Laurel’s legacy was unassailable (4 challenges, 4 finals) till two disappointing performances in her previous two appearances, the latter of which featured an unlucky “crotch chop” after she thought she gained an elimination spherical towards Ninja on “Conflict of the Worlds 2” (she did not). That apart, it is nonetheless powerful to miss how bodily dominant Laurel was/is. She breezed to finals in his first 4 Challenges, lastly profitable throughout the person “Free Brokers” season. It is sort of stunning she did not win earlier than that, as she was arguably on one of the best crew on “Contemporary Meat 2” (Kenny) and “Rivals 1” (Cara Maria), however such is life.
Laurel was 9-Zero in elimination comps previous to a shock defeat by the hands of Camila Nakagawa on “Invasion of the Champions” and the aforementioned loss to Ninja on “Conflict of the Worlds 2.” Maybe we’re downgrading her an excessive amount of for coming again for extra whereas Ev and Emily have stayed away and saved their sterling information intact, however, once more, we’re trying on the full image right here, and Laurel hasn’t completed herself any favors these days.
Nonetheless, even with only one finals win, Laurel has earned her spot within the prime 5, and she or he might proceed to maneuver up if she returns and wins one other one.
5. Ashley Mitchell (“Actual World: Ex-plosion”)
Ashley has gained the second-most prize cash in Problem historical past ($1,121,250) and has completed so in a extra aggressive period, so it is simple to choose her right here, however is she actually higher than Rachel Robinson, who had the most effective particular person seasons ever on “Duel 2,” or Camila, who scratched, screamed, and scowled her method to two titles and 4 finals in 10 seasons? You would argue for any of the three, however a better take a look at the resumes exhibits Rachel made simply three finals regardless of being on some fairly weak casts, and Camila…nicely, she’s tremendous annoying and acquired herself banned from “The Problem” for being an excessive amount of of an insurance coverage threat. Let that sink in for a second.
Ashley is not precisely simple to stay with both (keep in mind when she sabotaged her personal crew on “Champs vs. Stars 2,” which was a derivative present for charity?), however she’s made three finals in eight seasons (actually seven seasons in the event you do not rely “Soiled Thirty,” the place she withdrew earlier than the primary competitors), profitable two, together with a person title on “Invasion of the Champions.” She’s additionally one of many iciest females in Problem historical past, opting to maintain $1 million for herself as an alternative of sharing $500,000 together with her companion, Hunter Barfield, after they gained “Closing Reckoning.” Her reasoning was debatable, however the backside line is it was her alternative and she or he might give any cause she rattling nicely happy.
Lastly, Ashley is a hook-up queen, and she or he’s not ashamed of it. She’s dwelling her finest life, as they are saying, and making a ton of cash whereas doing it. Like LeBron James, she’s invested a few of that cash again into her physique, which undoubtedly has solely enhanced sure facets of her Problem efficiency.
- Rachel Robinson (“Street Guidelines: Campus Crawl”). Rachel posted two wins and three finals in seven seasons, together with a win on “Duel 2” when she technically completed forward of all of the males within the closing.
- Camila Nakagawa (“Spring Break Problem”). Say what you’ll in regards to the “Camilanator,” however she acquired the job completed as a rule. She additionally punched a PA within the face, walked right into a pool together with her garments on, and went on a racist tirade towards Leroy Garrett, so there’s that, too.
- Sarah Rice (“Actual World: Brooklyn”). Sarah had a tumultuous Problem historical past, getting disqualified due to her companion twice (Trishelle Cantella stop on her, and Vinny Foti was an fool, as normal) and having to withdraw throughout a closing due to a medical challenge. Even worse, after one in all her two wins, she did not get any cash as a result of Bananas saved all of it. Nonetheless, 5 finals and two wins is fairly good, particularly since one concerned her stabbing Bananas within the again.
- Jenny West (“Conflict of the Worlds 2”). Arguably essentially the most bodily dominant feminine in Problem historical past, West solely wants another season like her title-winning exhibiting on “Complete Insanity” to maneuver into the highest 5.
- Jodi Weatherton (“Street Guidelines: X-treme”). She competed in simply three Challenges, however she took dwelling two wins, together with a powerful solo exhibiting in “Duel 1.”
- Susie Meister (“Street Guidelines: Down Underneath”). Two wins and 4 finals in 4 crew seasons is strong, however Susie additionally introduced entertaining commentary and narration expertise to the desk.
- Veronica Portillo (“Street Guidelines: Semester at Sea”). All three of Veronica’s wins got here in crew challenges earlier than 2005, however the mere truth she was on a season in ’00 and once more in ’18 deserves a point out right here.
Simply missed the lower:
- Holly Shand (“Street Guidelines: Latin America”)
- Coral Smith (“Actual World: Again to New York”)
- Tori Corridor (“Street Guidelines: Viewer’s Revenge”)
- Paula Menorek (“Actual World: Key West”)
- Aviv Melmed (“Contemporary Meat 1”)
- Natalie “Ninja” Duran (“Conflict of the Worlds 1”)