The Greatest Male Players in Challenge History: #18- Hunter Barfield

Michael Alvey
4 min readJun 16, 2019

4 Seasons: Invasion of the Champions, Dirty XXX, Final Reckoning (Win), War of the Worlds (6th place)

4–1 Elimination Record

13 Challenge Wins

Daily Challenges: 8/10

Eliminations: 9/10

Finals: 5/10

Politics: 5/10

One of the most physically imposing competitors in Challenge history, Hunter has turned in strong campaigns in all four of his seasons.

Having at least reached the final purge of every season he’s been on, Hunter is someone who is extremely difficult to take out of the game.

On Invasion, he earned his way into the Oasis by winning the Shell Shocked mission with Ashley. One of the top competitors on the Underdogs, Hunter won the Curry Up mission to earn safety, and stayed out of elimination for the entire season in part due to his alliance with the Lavender Ladies.

Hunter was eliminated in the first Bloodbath challenge, where he was defeated by his biggest rival, a puzzle.

He returned on Dirty XXX and quickly formed his Young Buck alliance with Cory and Nelson. That alliance was doomed from the start, however, as they were targeted by the vets almost immediately.

Hunter was pitted against Cory in the Deadweight elimination, where he won, but lost to Nelson in Rampage in the next elimination.

But Hunter wasn’t done, as he earned his way back into the game by defeating Cory in the second Redemption House challenge.

He was still a target, however, and was thrown in once again against Leroy, where he won the physical Body Check elimination. The elimination was Hunter’s downfall, as he badly hurt his wrist.

The injury would hamper him for the rest of the season, and he was ultimately taken out in the final purge by Derrick. Despite not making the final, Dirty XXX is pretty clearly Hunter’s best season. He won three missions (including the individual Backstabber mission, where he sent Jordan to the Redemption House), two eliminations and a Redemption House challenge, while fighting his way through a brutal injury at the end of the game.

Ironically, Hunter’s winning season is arguably his least impressive campaign. He and Ashley came into Final Reckoning as mercenaries after four missions, and narrowly defeated Faith/Angela to get into the game.

From there, they rode their Lavender Lady/Young Buck alliance to the final, never seeing an elimination despite only winning one mission. In one of the easiest finals of recent years, Hunter/Ashley were able to barely defeat Joss/Sylvia thanks to the grenade thrown by Paulie/Natalie.

Of course, Hunter’s elation of earning his first championship was short-lived, as Ashley defeated him in the individual portion of the final and chose to steal his half of the million dollars.

Hunter got revenge on Ashley in the first elimination of War of the Worlds, as he and Georgia took taking her and Chase out in Drone Ball Drop.

Hunter never saw an elimination the rest of the season, profiting off his alliance with Wes and making the tribunal three times.

Hunter gassed out early in the final, finishing last on the first day (of the competitors who didn’t get disqualified). He was thrown in by the tribunal to the elimination, where he ultimately lost to Ninja Natalie.

Hunter is one of the best physical competitors in the show’s history. Nobody wants to see him in a knock down, drag out elimination due to his size and speed.

But he has three major weaknesses. His biggest flaw is that he is one of the least intelligent people on the show, which has caused him tons of issues with puzzles and mental challenges.

The second is that he is a massive hothead, which often hurts his political game.

Ashley was probably going to steal the money from Hunter no matter what on Final Reckoning, but Hunter made the decision easier for her by being an asshole to her throughout the season. He has gotten into a fight with almost everyone on the show at this point, and can really only count Nelson, Cory and Wes as his true allies in the game.

His third flaw is that there’s a tradeoff for his physique. Being huge is helpful in eliminations, but it’s terrible for finals. A big reason Hunter lost the individual portion of the final to Ashley on Final Reckoning is because she was able to beat him in the running portion. He also had no chance of finishing a final as difficult as the one on War of the Worlds.

I’d be surprised if Hunter ever wins another season purely because of how fatal I think those flaws are to his game, but the guy is always a strong contender to make the final.

Rankings

25. Paulie Calafiore

24. Cory Wharton

23. Tyler Duckworth

22. Devin Walker

21. Frank Sweeney

20. Timmy Beggy

19. Dan Setzler

18. Hunter Barfield

17. Leroy Garrett

16. Mike Mizanin

15. Alton Williams

14. Zach Nichols

13. Abram Boise

12. Theo Vonkurnatowski

11. Derrick Kosinski

10. Brad Fiorenza

9. Darrell Taylor

8. Kenny Santucci

7. Mark Long

6. Wes Bergmann

5. Evan Starkman

4. Landon Lueck

3. Jordan Wiseley

2. Johnny Devenanzio

1. CT Tamburello

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