The Biggest Villains in Challenge History

If you’re on a reality television show, chances are you aren’t going to be nominated for sainthood when you die.

But even in a show known for toxic behavior like The Challenge, some individuals stand above the rest for their villainy.

To be clear, these rankings are based on how the characters were portrayed on the show. People like Kenny Santucci and Evan Starkman were accused of heinous crimes, but on the show they were almost always edited as heroes.

So without further ado, here are the biggest villains in Challenge history.

The biggest heroes rankings will come…never. Heroes are boring.

Honorable Mentions

Veronica Portillo- One of the original Mean Girls, Veronica was someone I saw as more catty and conniving than as a true villain. Her worst moments came with Tonya, as their longstanding rivalry finally came to a head on The Ruins, as Veronica antagonized a blackout drunk Tonya to hit her and get kicked out.

Jenn Grijalva- Almost the spiritual successor of Veronica, Jenn was one of the most cold-hearted women to ever be on the show.

A straight up man-eater, Jenn’s most cringey moment was when she eviscerated Adam King (the moment doesn’t seem as bad given the allegations against him) on Rivals, telling a group of girls that she has to be at the point of being blackout drunk just to kiss him (the scene looked much worse when it was juxtaposed with Adam telling the guys how much he liked her).

That season she went after Cara Maria when Cara brought up that the mob was making such a big deal about Laurel being friendly with CT, while nobody cared that Jenn was hooking up with Adam.

She also said Mandi looked like a horse and a “Tori Spelling reject” on Fresh Meat II, at one point literally neighing. Okay, that one was just plain funny.

Zach Nichols- I view Zach as more of an asshole than a villain. He wants to be the good guy, but he can’t help his dickhead behavior.

But the dude undeniably has a laundry list of shitty moments on the show — his treatment of his teammate Sam on Battle of the Seasons, ghosting Jonna and then being a complete asshole to her when they were partners on Exes II, throwing his helmet into the crowd after his elimination on Rivals II, his infamous rant about how women are inferior to men and how women are swamp donkeys on Exes II, and of course cheating on Jenna during Rivals III and gaslighting her on War of the Worlds.

Alright, maybe Zach should be higher on this list.

15. Stephen Bear

Is it too early to put Bear on this list? I don’t think so.

Bear made his mark as one of the biggest heels in Challenge history in his rookie season.

He was all over War of the Worlds, diving headfirst onto a table while people were playing a game, giving up in the Tired Out mission after Da’Vonne slowed down and calling the cast bums, telling Ninja her dress sense is terrible, antagonizing Wes, and hooking up with Georgia when he had a girlfriend (or cousin) at home.

With his court jester personality, Bear is almost like the real life Joker — a statement that Paulie would love to have written about him but never will.

You can love Bear or you can hate him, but you can’t deny this — the bloke causes drama. When he’s on the show he’s going to make noise, and he’s likely going to shoot up these rankings.

14. CT Tamburello

He wasn’t always the teddy bear he’s portrayed to be now. In his early days, CT was a massive hothead, liable to explode at any second.

He almost came to blows with Wes on The Duel, cold-cocked Davis on Inferno 3 and attempted an act of cannibalism on Adam on Duel II.

No matter how much he’s grown since those head smashing days, when you get kicked out for instigating two fights, you have to be on this list.

13. Trishelle Cannatella

Despite having the nickname Trashelle for years, Trishelle didn’t really become a big villain on The Challenge until her comeback on Battle of the Seasons.

Knowing Alton might throw the elimination, Trishelle didn’t step up to go into the Arena even though her teammate Nany had already been in. She also feuded with Sarah, looking like an idiot by saying Sarah wasn’t going to nominate herself for elimination, when she indeed stepped up.

Things got much worse for her on Rivals II, when she nastily attacked Aneesa about her identity. (Other than her Gauntlet 2 fight with Cara, stiff-arming Trishelle like she was Marshawn Lynch is my favorite Aneesa moment).

Trishelle was so embarrassed about her drunken action that she quit to save what little face she had, and never returned to the show.

12. Julie Stoffer

Julie tried to portray herself as a wholesome Mormon girl, but she had plenty of villainous moments during her run on the show.

Most notably, she attempted to murder Veronica on the opening Grope the Rope mission on The Inferno.

On Battle of the Sexes, she was voted out first after her Real World: New Orleans castmate Melissa accused Julie of manipulating her out of speaking engagements outside of the show.

But her most infamous feuds were probably with Coral. The Inferno had several classic moments between the two, as Julie challenged Coral to a wrestling match and Coral responded, “I don’t wrestle, I beat bitches up.”

Julie showed her Mormon values by peeing on Coral’s bed.

Seriously, the girl was nuts.

Coral was cheering hard for her Real World teammate to lose to Katie in the Scratchathon elimination, and got her wish when Julie lost the jump roping tiebreaker.

Julie is arguably a Challenge Hall of Famer based on her crazy antics on the show, and she doesn’t get nearly the recognition she deserves as one of the show’s greatest characters and biggest villains.

11. Camila Nakagawa

Some might say this placement is too low, but was Camila really considered a villain before Dirty 30?

Yes, she had countless tirades, including going off on Jonna on Rivals, having the moment of throwing the chair and screaming “You cheater, you’re gonna die” to Bananas on Exes, being involved with Emily’s blackface incident and her hysterical blowups with Amanda.

I always viewed those incidents (other than the blackface incident) as more hilarious than villainous.

Of course, her racial tirade against Leroy was grotesque, and her striking a production member on Champs vs. Stars made it clear that she was too unstable to remain on the show.

10. Laurel Stucky

I don’t think there’s ever been a meaner woman on The Challenge than Laurel. Although she was provoked, the incidents of her making fun of Big Easy’s weight and going after Paula’s eating disorder were some of the ugliest moments in Challenge history.

She also showed nastiness to Cara Maria, constantly attacking her for being a weak competitor on Cutthroat and turning on her for basically no reason on Free Agents, even cheering for Jessica instead of Cara in their elimination.

9. Amanda Garcia

When you have a nickname of Satan’s Asshole (as Zach so elegantly called her in the opening episode of Final Reckoning), you’re going to make this list. The girl literally had an exorcism performed on her by Bananas.

Arguably nobody in Challenge history came in as hot in their first episode as Amanda did on Rivals III, as she went off on Bananas, Johnny Reilly, Tony and Camila.

On Invasion, Amanda took huge offense to a prank played by Laurel and the other vets of putting chips under their mattress, sparking a fight with Laurel and Camila.

Camila and Amanda were constantly at each other’s throats, including Amanda making fun of her accent by saying, “That’s not an accent, that’s a speech impediment, bitch.”

She also sparked the rumor that Jenna got finger-banged by Bruno on the plane to Thailand on Invasion, creating a rivalry with both Jenna and Zach.

That incident caused Amanda and Zach to be partnered together on Final Reckoning, where their stubbornness caused them to go into elimination when they were the winning team, and they were taken out by Cory/Devin.

8. Tori Hall

My least favorite castmember of all time, Tori was insufferable on all three of her seasons. She feuded constantly with Frank on Gauntlet III and she dramatically gave her engagement ring back to Brad on Duel II.

But her most villainous season was on Cutthroat. Although it was good gameplay, Tori was the ringleader of consistently throwing in Brandon and Camila into eliminations while the vets were allowed to coast to the end.

She threatened to quit the season near the end, and bickered with Brad often. Based on their relationship on the show, it didn’t come as a shock that their marriage didn’t work out.

7. Emily Bailey

Emily was the original villainess of the show, as she was involved in several of the most infamous votes in Challenge history.

She was a part of the Inner Circle that voted out Veronica/Yes on Battle of the Seasons for being a strong team (although this was more of Chadwick and Holly B’s move).

On Battle of the Sexes, she was in the Inner Circle that voted out Rachel for basically no reason. But her most infamous move was voting out Veronica, as she had her sights set on taking her out all season for hooking up with her boyfriend James.

Despite portraying herself as a badass competitor and cutthroat player, Emily embarrassed herself when she quit the show after James was voted out, and never returned.

6. David “Puck” Rainey

Puck is unquestionably the biggest villain in Real World history, but his appearance on Battle of the Sexes earns him a spot as one of The Challenge’s biggest villains.

He started the season with one of the biggest fights in Challenge history, spitting in the face of David Edwards. Somehow, David became the villain of the incident, as the cast rallied against Puck getting kicked off. Eventually David returned the favor by spitting in Puck’s face during the filming of the opening credits, and he ultimately quit the show when he was likely going to be the first one voted off.

Puck also had an ongoing feud with Ellen throughout Sexes, including telling her that he was going to kick her ass.

He had an almost cult leader status with the guys, who pretty much defended all of his shitty behavior.

Puck quit after getting married on the show (production wasn’t going to let him quit, but he was removed when he threatened them with a machete), but with just seven episodes he solidified himself as one of the biggest villains in Challenge history.

His actions after the show — getting arrested multiple times on charges of domestic violence — make him arguably the biggest piece of shit to ever grace the show.

5. Frank Sweeney

There are some villains that you love to hate, and there are some that you just straight up hate.

Frank was in the latter category.

I don’t know if anyone made as many enemies in one season as Frank did on Battle of the Seasons. At different points throughout the season, he got into it with Zach, Sam, Dustin, Nany, Alton, Marie, Robb, and Wes.

His most grotesque moments were putting his hands on Sam during competition and making fun of Nany’s sister for being addicted to heroin. Frank’s appearance on Battle of the Seasons (and his similarly ugly behavior on Real World: San Diego) made me genuinely worry about the direction of the show, because it was clear that he would be a star going forward.

He calmed down a bit on Rivals II, but still got into fights with CT and Jordan. Then he got sick on Free Agents and left after three episodes, then retired.

It was probably for the best for him personally, and for the viewers as well if he was going to remain as vile as he was on his his initial seasons.

4. Johnny Bananas

In terms of his portrayal on the show, I don’t even know if Bananas can be called a villain (at least since The Island and The Ruins).

From Cutthroat to present day he has almost always been made out to be a hero by the show, but there’s no denying the guy has a laundry list of villainous moments.

It started on The Island when he treated Evelyn and KellyAnne like shit for the entire season, constantly calling them dumb bitches.

His move to throw in those two against each other on The Ruins is one of the most cutthroat votes in Challenge history. He also got in a fight with Derrick for messing with him while he was sleeping.

Bananas took getting voted into elimination by Sarah on Exes II extremely personal and constantly took shots at her, despite Johnny essentially orchestrating his best friend Leroy going into elimination on the previous episode.

He woke up Tony to rile him up against Camila on Rivals III, resulting in a massive fight between them that got them both kicked off. He also antagonized Cheyenne and caused her to have a breakdown.

On Vendettas he concocted the note scandal that caused a riff between the girls, and on Final Reckoning he exploded on Devin after he was stalked around the house and commented on his recently deceased father, telling him he hoped the apple fell far from the tree.

But of course his most notorious moment was stealing $137,500 from his partner Sarah on Rivals III, justifying it by saying he was returning the favor for Sarah throwing him into elimination on Exes II, which was obviously not even close to as bad of an offense.

Okay…after listing everything out, Bananas 100 percent deserves this ranking.

3. Ashley Mitchell

Ashley made her debut on Rivals III with a bad reputation already, having been kicked out on Real World: Ex-plosion by her castmates due to her drunken antics, including telling Cory she had enough money to own his family.

Ashley was a bit more subdued in her rookie season, but she did drunkenly freak out on Nicole Ramos, imagining that she had made out with Jamie (who Ashley had been hooking up with).

Ashley also looked terrible in an after show when an unaired clip showed her making fun of Jamie’s body.

If she was ever given a heroic edit it was on Invasion (likely because she won), but she still threatened to quit multiple times — including right before the final — and she fought with Hunter and some of the veteran females on the season.

She had a meltdown before the first purge on Dirty 30 after her bag got lost during the flight to Colombia, and finally followed through on perpetual threats to quit.

Ashley was kept off of Vendettas for quitting but was cast on Champs vs. Stars season three, and had another blowup when she was swapped to the blue team.

But Ashley’s most villainous moment clearly came on Final Reckoning when she took her partner Hunter’s share of $1 million. Ashley’s justification of Hunter treating her like shit throughout the season was valid to some extent, but you don’t win a season without your partner.

Regardless of the circumstances, Ashley blocked Hunter from receiving a life-changing amount of money.

I can’t blame Ashley for making the move — the show gave her the opportunity and she took it. But what she did has to go down as the most villainous moves in Challenge history (I put it above Bananas taking Sarah’s money purely for how much more Ashley took — 500K compared to less than 150K).

Ashley would have probably been in these rankings if she hadn’t taken Hunter’s money, but she definitely wouldn’t be close to this high.

Now she’s the richest person in Challenge history and will always be a part of one of the show’s most infamous moments.

2. Wes Bergmann

Unlike Frank, Wes is the villain you love to hate.

From his rookie season he was a cocky asshole, but as Kid Rock would say, it isn’t bragging (motherfucker) if you can back it up.

He screamed at Casey through five exile wins on Fresh Meat, then became the first individual male winner on The Duel.

But Wes became a true villain in his comeback on The Ruins. He came into the house like a wrecking ball, having his whole team against him for not telling anyone he was coming on the show and for attempting to throw the first mission when he didn’t agree with the Champions’ voting process.

Wes got in a huge fight with Darrell in the first episode (to be fair, Wes was justified with Darrell essentially calling his girlfriend KellyAnne a hoe), and in the second episode he went on rampage when Evelyn was voted in against KellyAnne.

Wes’ villain status continued on Fresh Meat II, most notably when he threw his best friend Danny under the bus by sacrificing him into exile.

On Rivals he got into a classic all-night fight with CT and dumped a bottle of soda on Cara Maria’s head.

After ensuring his spot in the finals of Rivals II, he got in Bananas’ face and bragged about having “a BMW, a Porsche, a Porsche, a house, a monster truck and 30 companies.”

Although he has plenty of villainous moments, Wes ranks this high more for his overall persona. He uses the confessional booth to boast about himself as a competitor and manipulator, and he’s arguably the biggest schemer in Challenge history. Other than The Duel and Battle of the Seasons, he has been arguably been the biggest villain on every season he has been on.

1. Beth Stolarczyk

To me, this isn’t even really a debate. If you don’t think Beth should be number one in these rankings, I just assume you haven’t seen the older seasons of the show.

The Cruella de Vil of The Challenge, Beth was an absolute pariah on basically every season she was on.

Beth had a reputation of being fake and a shit-stirrer from her days on Real World: Los Angeles, and it stayed with her on The Challenge.

On Battle of the Seasons, the Real World team mostly voted out teams based on performance, but that didn’t start until Beth got the boot in the first episode.

As Mike Lambert, who finished second-to-last in the first mission with his partner Flora said, “Flora and I aren’t too worried about getting kicked off because it looks like a lot of people are after Beth, basically because Beth sucks ass.”

Beth’s boot was spearheaded by Norman, who called her “Osama Beth Laden” (Seasons was filmed very shortly after 9/11).

Beth returned the next season on Battle of the Sexes, this time making it all the way to episode two until she was voted out again for her unlikability.

Beth’s quintessential character moment was on Inferno 2, when she got in Robin’s ear about Tonya having hooked up with Mark while he was dating Robin (which turned out to be true), once again inserting herself into other people’s business.

After Robin and Tonya had it out in the kitchen, Tonya realized Beth was the reason for the drama and threw her clothes into the pool.

The cast clearly felt bad for Beth, as The Miz, Brad, Landon and Veronica literally posed for a picture in front of the clothing-covered pool. Beth eventually quit, saying she felt unsafe living in the house.

She returned on The Gauntlet II, where the Veterans’ worst nightmare became true when Beth beat Ruthie in Reverse Tug of War to become team captain. The Vets badly wanted to see her get eliminated, but she beat Montana and was nearing making the final.

But when Aneesa was sent in to potentially take Beth out in Ball Brawl, Beth once again quit, saying the elimination round would be against her moral values (let’s be real, she knew Aneesa was gonna kick her ass).

Beth became (and still is) the only person to quit two seasons of The Challenge, and more impressively she did in back-to-back seasons.

Tina finally did what so many castmembers wanted to over the years on the second episode of The Duel, as she clocked Beth with a devastating Superman punch, knocking her out cold.

Okay, it was actually one of the weakest punches I’ve ever seen and barely even made contact.

What made the fight much worse is that it happened just seconds after Diem’s victory following her taking off her wig, putting a damper on what was supposed to a beautiful moment.

As Evan put it, “Wherever you find God, you’re also going to find the devil. One of the most beautiful moments I have ever witnessed is then followed — very quickly — by one of the ugliest.”

Beth truly embraced the villain role on The Duel, consistently laughing with an ear-piercing cackle. She was on the bottom politically the entire season and feuded with the “Drama Mafia” of Robin, Jodi, Kina and Diem.

Beth exaggerated her relationship with Nehemiah on The Duel, saying he was drawn to her “like a moth to a flame” and calling him her “tenderoni” despite them never hooking up.

One of the funniest moments of the season was when Beth said Brad had been starting rumors that she was targeting Robin, Brad said he heard rumors Beth flew around on a broom stick at night. Beth replied in a confessional, “At least I have something between my legs.”

Beth couldn’t even keep her own alliance member from calling her into The Duel, as Svetlana was fed up with Beth and faced her in Push Me. In one of the most satisfying moments in Challenge history, Beth ripped the flag from the carabiner, getting disqualified.

Despite being a massive villain, a noticeable trend with Beth was people attacking for her not much of a reason. Tina punched her for basically no reason, Tonya overreacted by throwing her clothes in the pool, and she was voted out early on Seasons and Sexes without much justification.

Beth always seemed like she was trying to fit in with the rest of the cast, but the rest of the cast usually wanted no part of Beth. Maybe she didn’t deserve it, or maybe she had it coming due to her fake personality.

Either way, despite not appearing on the show in 18 seasons, Beth remains the biggest villain The Challenge has ever seen.

--

--

--

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Negotiation 101 via Games of Thrones: What Tyrion Lannister, Hand of the Queen, should have said…

HBO Insecure: Season 3 Finale Review (Ghost)

A Conversation with Alexander Eling

Every Season of The Challenge, Ranked: #20 — All Stars 2

Spies, Lies & Headlines of The Challenge 37 Episode 15

Netflix Party

The Challenge: Double Agents Episode 15 Rankings

Is This the Most Stacked Casting Pool of Males in Challenge History?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Michael Alvey

Michael Alvey

More from Medium

The Challenge: Ranking the Prizes in Battle of the Sexes 2 from 1–16

Survivor 42 Finale One Sentence Reactions

Shopping with mum

Every Season of The Challenge, Ranked: #38 — Spies, Lies & Allies