Challenge Retrospective: Fresh Meat 2 Awards

While we have the objective history of the Challenge in the wikias, and the show intact to look back on to see how great the olden days were, we are missing some big things: AWARDS. As a major basketball fan, my friends and I spend hours on discussing who the league MVP is, who the rookie of the year is, and who are the top players per position are. I began with Fresh Meat 1, and now done the Duel 1,Inferno 3, Gauntlet 3, the Island, the Duel 2, and the Ruins. If you want links to them, they’ll be at the bottom of this article.

Considering my first retrospective from a couple months ago was Fresh Meat 1, this feels a tiny bit full circle to be now at Fresh Meat 2. After Road Rules ended, MTV was desperate to find ways to sufficiently fill the Challenge roster. The solution, Fresh Meats. The first Fresh Meat gave us big franchise names like: Kenny, Evan, Evelyn, and Diem, while also adding a couple interesting characters in Casey and Ryan. The second Fresh Meat may not have given us the same amount of powerhouse names, but we got two of the greatest female competitors ever in Laurel and Cara Maria, as well as solid females like Theresa and Mandi who each did more than 3 Challenges. Fresh Meat 2 was an incredible season, it brought a ton of fun, interesting rookies to the game, the plot was focused on Wes/Ev vs Kenny, ending in a fun result, where in the end Landon came out on top out. Moral of the story is that Landon is a beast.

The Rules: I will be giving out an MVP award for both male and female competitors on the season. MVP does not just go out to the pair that won the season, but the individual competitor who brought the most to the show: physically, socially, mentally, entertainment wise, hook ups, arguments, circumstances, etc. I will be naming First Team All Challenge, and Second Team All Challenge. These will be 5 person lineups consisting of the best/most important competitors from that season using the MVP criteria, and it can be 5 guys and 0 girls, or 5 girls and 0 guys, or just 3 guys and 2 girls. It will consist of 5 competitors regardless of gender.

Rookie of the Year awards will be given to both genders, and I will also be giving awards out for Most Disappointing Players of the Season(both genders), Top Physical Competitors, and Underdog of the Season. Here we go:

MVPs

Male: Kenny Santucci Female: Laurel Stucky
Mr. Beautiful, oh how far you have come. Kenny has already won 1 MVP in my retrospectives, with this one he joins Wes as 2x MVP’s. The big difference between his performance on the Island and his performance on Fresh Meat 2, is that the Island he dominated the game politically while barely lifting a finger physically. On Fresh Meat 2 the entire house and especially Wes was against him. How did he work with the circumstances? He and Laurel went on to win 5/9 daily challenges, 1 exile, and finish 2nd overall in the final. Kenny also rejected Theresa, and hooked up with his partner after the season. It was a season of him versus Wes, and he was the knockout winner.

Laurel showed up in British Columbia to be part of the new Fresh Meat and was the second girl to be picked. Or as Kenny would like to call her “the tall chick”. Kenny had never been one to dominate daily Challenges, however with Laurel they owned the season. They gassed out on the final, but Fresh Meat 2 will be remembered as their season.

Rookie of the Year

Male: Pete Connolly Female: Laurel Stucky
It saddens me that Pete never did another Challenge after his strong 3rd place performance on Fresh Meat 2. Although not doing so impressive in the final, he and Jill worked with Kenny as they made the uphill climb against the whole house on their way to the final. They ended up winning two eliminations, taking out Darrel & Cara Maria, as well as Danny & Sandy.

He also had a showmance with Jenn Grijalva on the show that turned into an actual relationship. Pete was one good looking dude. Honorable mention for best rookie girl goes to Champion, Carley.

First Team All Challenge

Kenny Santucci, Laurel Stucky, Landon Lueck, Evelyn Smith, Wes Bergmann

Landon’s performance in the Fresh Meat 2 final was his golden god moment. He was a great competitor on both the Gauntlet 2 and Inferno 2, however, he was part of a big team game where he couldn’t have those true moments to shine above the rest. On the Duel 2, he did. Landon dominated the Duel 2 until an unexpected loss in the final to Brad in the final Duel dashed his almost guaranteed win in what would have been the greatest individual season ever.

On Fresh Meat 2, Landon was partnered with Carley, who despite not having many of the skills to do well in daily challenges, she had heart and endurance. In the final, Landon literally pushed her up a mountain to outlast Kenny and Laurel for his 3rd Challenge win.

Evelyn and Wes had bad seasons. Evelyn was saddled with one of the worst male athletes in Luke, while Wes had a below average female in comparison to the strong Fresh Meat 2 female crop (Laurel, Sarah, Jill, Jenn, Cara Maria, Theresa, Paula, Evelyn). They played the game together with the mindset that they would finish 1st and 2nd, their partners came up short for them in daily missions, and they did not foresee Laurel being the dominant force she is. There were 3 stars of Fresh Meat 2, it was Kenny, Wes, and Evelyn.

Second Team All Challenge

Jenn Grijalva, Jillian Zoboroski, Carley Johnson, Pete Connolly, Theresa Gonzalez
Quietly a great season for Jenn as a house presence. She made out with Darrell on the first night, proceeded to hook up with rookie, Pete, and made it to the final. While her 4th place finish in the final was poor, it did not seem like her pair was better than the other three. Jenn also went in with a gameplan of secretly playing for Wes while infiltrating the Kenny alliance. Such a crazy idea, really wish someone tried that in a modern season.

Jill is the most underrated female competitor all time. In 3 seasons, she went to 2 finals, won 1 Challenge, totaled 70k dollars in earnings, and had a 5–1 elimination record. She and Pete had so much heart, what should have been a week one exit turned into a 3rd place finish.

Carley makes it for being a Champion. Theresa finished in 5th place with Ryan Kehoe, they straddled the middle of the game until they were forced to see the final elimination. She makes it in for her flirty ways, and hook up with Wes that turned into a surprise powerhouse couple on Exes 2.

Best Physical Players

Male: Kenny Santucci/Landon Lueck (Tie) Female: Laurel Stucky
Landon is a shoe in for this award for most seasons that he is on. Landon a superior male physical specimen and adrenaline junky. Kenny won 5 daily challenges on Fresh Meat 2, more than half, sorry if I am mentioning that a lot, but that’s a staggering stat. Only fair to give them the tie on this one.

I was also considering giving a tie to Evelyn and Laurel for Fresh Meat, but I ultimately decided to give it to Laurel. Evelyn had some incredible feats on Fresh Meat, such as carrying the guy weighted bag for 2.5 exiles, as her team was better when she loaded up more weight. Stunning.

Most Disappointing Players

Male: Wes Bergmann Female: Evelyn Smith 
They had no experience doing this before, and it was proven. Wes and Evelyn have famously been on the outs of the JEK alliance, so most seasons they would have to carry an entire mountain in order to win or make it to the end. For once, on Fresh Meat 2, they had the numbers, and they could not execute. Kenny destroyed their alliance, they crumbled under the pressure, betrayed their own alliance, and Wes had an embarrassing exile for someone who had been an exile god on Fresh Meat 1. Evelyn’s tantrum after losing to Landon was sad, and they walked out with their heads low.

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