The Challenge Double Agents Power Rankings — Week 9

Brian Batty
8 min readFeb 7, 2021


Welcome to a fresh batch of Power Rankings. This last week in Iceland has given way to some closure on some story lines, and added intrigue to many other. In this week’s edition we solve the mystery of Josh Martinez, Nam loses ten million points, Kyle and Fessy are working together (??) and much more…

30) Joseph (Eliminated)

29) Nicole (E)

28) Wes (E)

27) Liv (E)

26) Nelson (E)

25) Natalie (E)

24) Tori (E)

23) Lio (E)

22) Ashley (E)

21) Jay (E)

The first ten eliminated is an interesting group. Four out of ten were rookies. From which we’ll probably only see two (Liv and Natalie) ever again. Two former two-time champions are out of the game. Four out of the five women were legitimate threat to win a Final. And last but not least a whole bunch of people’s Challenge Fantasy teams (including mine) are absolutely fucked.

We bid farewell to our first ten eliminated Challengers. Pay your respects on the way out.

20) Mechie (Last Week: 19)

If a Challenger falls in Iceland and nobody’s there to see it, does it make a sound?

Play him out boys, but do it quietly.

19) Josh (LW: 20)

Okay we’re going to get a little off menu here, but I think I figured out Josh.

Josh is the kid from Big!

If you haven’t seen the movie Big, it stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin (even the first name is the same!), a cursed twelve year old in an adult body working at a toy manufacturing company. The point is, he’s not an adult he’s twelve, so things like budgeting and women are completely beyond the pale.

Some time before War of the Worlds 1, a twelve year old boy named Josh Martinez came across the Zoltar machine at a carnival in Florida, transformed into an adult overnight, and decided to live his dream of being on his favorite show The Challenge.

So next time Josh gets overly emotional, or counts down from three like a toddler, or anything else childish and immature just remember that he’s a twelve year old trapped in a adult’s body so cut him some slack.

18) Amber B. (LW: 13)

17) Amber M. (LW: 18)

The Battle of the Ambers is something I talk about a lot. And this week, they finally went head to head (kind of).

Big T and DJ Amber B. (check out their latest drop on Spotify) were sitting in a room chatting mostly about the other Amber. Then out of fucking nowhere like the Kool-Aid man Amber M. appears on the couch. Amber M. immediately knows they were talking about her and forces their hand by responding to a question with a question.

Then they both approached Kyle before deliberation with one asking him to not say anything about the votes, and the other asking him to say one specific thing about the votes. Amber M. got the upper hand here, and Amber B. just came off scared and stretched a little thin. Point goes to Amber M.

Both had strong post-Kyle nipple ring showings this week so it’s a wash there. Plus Amber. M is now the rogue agent and 0–2 as a sideline cheerleader while her partner competes in eliminations. Tough look, but not entirely her fault.

In conclusion, Amber M. now has the slight upper hand in the Battle of the Ambers. This is easily the my favorite subplot of the season.

16) Gabby (LW: 17)

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. She got her first morsel of success winning her heat on the daily challenge. After that I was ready to go on a diatribe about how under rated she might be, and how we should be looking at her as a sneaky threat.

Then Kam took that opinion and shoved it’s face in the mud without breaking a sweat.

15) Mature Nany (LW: 16)

The reason it really bothers me, and the reason I comment on it every week, is that the lack of the real Nany feels empty when nobody else is filling that void.

If one of the Ambers, or Mechie, or anybody but Josh were the ones getting too drunk and making regrettable decisions on film I wouldn’t care. I’d spend this space writing about something entirely different.

And yet that isn’t happening. We aren’t getting any of it.

14) Cory (LW: 12)

All of the above applies to Cory as well. Talk about maturing.

I realize Cory is like MTV’s workhorse at this point, living a pretty good life getting paychecks to be on two different reality TV shows. But I mean, what is Cory really even adding any more? He’s a solid, useful narrator. But as the former New Hot Guy Championship Belt holder, his performance in all the intangibles has fallen off a cliff since Pastagate on Final Reckoning.

We’ll always have his past antics to look back on for chuckles, but I think Fun Cory is officially dead and buried.

13) Darrell (LW: 14)

Darrell’s a straightforward, no nonsense type of guy. So watching him absolutely lose his shit watching Josh’s elimination performance brought me as much joy as I’ve gotten from The Challenge in a long time.

12) Nam (LW: 15)

-10,000,000 points to Nam

Dude you guys met like fifteen minutes ago! Why is everyone exaggerating relationships this season? The term ‘Best Friend’ is being thrown around so willy nilly this season I can’t take any of it seriously. My best friend is this laptop because I’m typing on it. And later my best friend will be deep-dish pizza because I’ll be having it for dinner.

And you all are my best friends because you clicked on this article. See ya Sunday for the Super Bowl! I’ll bring the guacamole and I’ll need a ride home in the morning.

11) Big T (LW: 11)

Being the worse half of a partnership in anything is stressful. It’s something that can take your already shaky confidence and smash it’s head and eat it.

But ultimately I feel sort of bad for her. It’s not really her fault that her partner’s the best to ever do it. She just cannot even come close to matching his performance in anything. She needs a personal W soon.

10) Aneesa (LW: 10)

We’re coming up on almost two decades of Aneesa doing something out of pocket during a daily challenge, getting shouted at, then denying it afterwards.

Nothing gold can stay? That Robert Frost is full of shit, man.

9) Lolo (LW: 7)

Lolo vs. Aneesa isn’t the rivalry the world deserved to start off 2021, but it’s the one it needed right now.

8) Fessy (LW: 9)

7) Kaycee (LW: 8)

I know I give these two a lot of shit, but watching them ride for Josh and how legitimately happy they were for him to win was a really sweet moment.

You two got me for one week. I’m back guns blazing next Sunday, hold on to your butts.

6) Devin (LW: 6)

Devin sans Bananas has been an absolute revelation. In fact, it’s at the point for me now where I’ll be genuinely upset if he doesn’t get cast next season.

And yes, I only wrote that sentence to be able to use the phrase “sans Bananas” which I thought of in the shower fifteen minutes ago.

5) Theresa (LW: 4)

Now that she’s partnered with Cory some terrible calamity is going to happen to her. Too bad, Toxic T was just warming up.

4) CT (LW: 5)

Sure CT may have made a deal with Big T that he won’t switch partners, but I mean come on. What are we really talking about here? That doesn’t mean much if somebody steals him or Big T goes in and goes home. Both of those things being highly strong possibilities.

CT’s political game is as sharp as ever, and it’s only a matter of time until he gets to take his shot.

3) Kyle (LW: 3)

Conspiracy Corner: Kyle and Fessy are working together behind the scenes.

I know, wild right? But if we dig a little deeper…is it?

Exhibit A: Kyle and Kam discusses who they would send in.

Kyle knew that if he suggested Fessy and Aneesa to Kam, she would shoot it down immediately. He’s been playing the long game continuously “targeting” the same player, keeping himself in the good graces of the rest of the house. This way, he and Kam will never truly disagree about politcal decisions, as Kyle has made it clear he the direction he wants to go. So any move they make is Kam’s decision. And because of Kam’s loyalty to Aneesa, he knows that at the end of the day (shout out Nany) he’s in the clear.

Exhibit B: Kyle vs. Paulie

Kyle and Paulie’s rivalry is much more complicated than this surface level beef he has with Fessy. But by the time we got to War of the Worlds, Kyle and Paulie had officially began playing their rivalry in a really savvy way. By only targeting each other, they hypothetically made no new enemies. So this isn’t new to Kyle.

Exhibit C: The Jacket

You know what they say…Give a man a jacket, warm him once. Share a jacket with a friend, stay warm always.

2) Leroy (LW: 2)

If Leroy doesn’t win this season I will be upset. More like devastated. Like eat a pint of ice cream in the dark listening to Alicia Keys devastated.

He’s in a great place, but the Challenge Gods have made a habit of fucking him over. So don’t get comfortable Leroy fans.

1) Kam (LW: 1)

If she gets a ring this year, when do we start having the conversation about Kam being one of the greatest women to ever play the game?

Thanks for reading! In case you missed it, you can find my Episode 8 Recap here. As well as be sure to check out my Moments in Challenge History series Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3. See you on Tuesday for my Episode 9 Preview and as always, Happy Challenge Watching!



Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions