Challenge Invasion Preview: Marie Roda
She has returned. The wild and hot-headed pop off queen Marie Roda is back to do her second challenge after a long hiatus of over five seasons. Her first and only appearance was on Battle of the Seasons 2 in Turkey. Battle of the Seasons was somewhat a minor league season with few experienced and power players in the game, except for Wes who got eliminated on the first episode! Marie and Robb had St. Thomas aligned with the rookie team alliance of San Diego-Cancun-New Orleans. The problem was that Trey of St. Thomas did not want to be in an alliance with those teams leaving St. Thomas as the odd man out for the rest of the season, and ended the game of Marie and Robb too early and too close to the final.
Marie displayed a good amount of athleticism on her lone challenge season, being a solid swimmer, and more than anything being physically dominant in 1 on 1’s. In the famous oil wrestling competition she slammed down Cara Maria, and while Cara might not be as strong as she is now, she has always been elite in regard to strength. According to Frank Sweeney from a podcast a few years ago, Marie was the strongest physical girl on the show. She also can drink more than any girl in the house and loves to have a good time. That’s the perfect type of casting for MTV and the Challenge universe. Her time off from the Challenge makes it interesting to see how much Marie has changed and how much she is different. Being more serious may make her a better player in the game, but being there for fun will just make her great for television, just like she already is.
Now here’s my review of Marie as a competitor:
Skills/Physical Strength: As I mentioned earlier, back during the Battle of the Seasons time period, Frank Sweeney said that Marie in anything physical was the strongest girl in the entire Challenge house. Here’s the issue, she is a few years removed from then and has spent the past few years working a real life actual day job. Which I know sounds crazy for someone that shows up on the Challenge, but some of these people have brains and want to do stuff outside of relying on selling slim tea on Instagram. She has a lacking social media presence, and while she has all the social media, we cannot tell if she is working out or what type of work outs she has done to prepare for the Challenge. Regardless she is a good athlete and will be a big threat in the house on the female side. I think she will excel in most short distance skilled daily challenges.
Mental Game/Politics: Marie is allegedly a legendary drinker and can down more than anyone in the house. That is an incredible quality in the Challenge house, being able to become drinking and party friends is the key to creating strong alliances. She is much smarter than most of the other girls, but her sharp tongue could get in the way, and she is willing to fight any person that gets on her nerves. Marie returns to this season of the challenge with her friend from her Real World St. Thomas season, LaToya. The two girls have never done a Challenge together, but being able to go into one together having each other’s back is very healthy. I can see Marie getting along with the other big party girls in Ashley and Amanda, but could also imagine the three of those girls drenched with one another’s vodka and on the floor fighting. We win as the audience.
Eliminations: On Battle of the Seasons, Marie saw two eliminations, one physical and the other was a puzzle where she mostly lost due to her partner Robb having weak lungs from smoking. If she gets something purely physical or athletic, I like Marie’s chances, and if it’s a fair game then it could be a toss up. I expect Marie to do well under pressure, she is a fighter, she is a winner, and she did not come back to the Challenge to just get beat. I would love to watch her have some fun this season and go far.
Final Potential/Endurance: There is no indications whether Marie can finish a final. While I do believe she will do very well in eliminations and on daily challenges as she is strong and skilled, a final takes a large amount of endurance and training. One the one major endurance daily challenge Marie had to do on Battle of the Seasons, she got gassed and was getting sick, that was partially due to her and Robb being handcuffed by only being a team of two in a game that favored the teams of four. I can see her finishing second or third in the final, but you have people like Laurel, Cara, Camila, Ashley K, and Jenna who are heady to house the final. It will be tough winning this season, but she will be very fun to have back on the Challenge this season.
Total Score: 82/100