Challenge Vendettas Player Preview: Kailah Casillas

Polarizing is the word that comes to mind when discussing Kailah Casillas, the Challenge competitor, and personality. You either hate her, love her, or dislike Cara Maria and are now Team Kailah because of it. As a person who grew up with reality television, watched Real World, the Challenge, and is a huge Big Brother fan, Kailah loves being on the shows she grew up watching. She understands the opportunity and what it can do for her. While she is not the most social person in the game, she is an incredibly social person online and loves to interact with fans through Twitter. Being a former fan, she knows how much fans appreciate the interaction.

It is shocking to see how much Kailah has grown from her original appearance on the Real World. Anyone watching Kailah on her Real World season would never have expected Kailah to have done three straight challenges, and do them while being viewed as not only a good competitor, but one vying to actually win. Kailah has grown a ton from a physical perspective as she invested time in the gym, her diet, and her lifestyle.

Kailah tweeted this out. Nobody would ever say the girl in the first photo is out of shape. However, Kailah has gotten in significantly better shape in the last two years. Whether she is a natural athlete is still in question, but when it comes to physical fitness, Kailah has committed herself to it.

Aside from her daily workouts, Kailah puts in time at the Ninja Warrior gym with her boyfriend. Her relationship has interestingly been one of the best things to happen to her game. By being in a relationship, Kailah is solely focused on the game, rather than getting invested in a male player’s game. The biggest weakness in Kailah’s original Real World season and Invasion of the Champions is she got caught up in showmances with guys who were jerks. Her current boyfriend is a reliable support system who is cool with her doing the show (as he has done his own time on reality television), and loves to train with her.

While we are losing out on a dramatic version of Kailah who is interacting and flirting with guys. The benefit is we are getting the best version of Kailah the player — considering the cast is loaded with girls who are there only for drama, it is fine for Kailah to be more game oriented.

Skills & Physical Strength: Standing around 5'5/5'6, Kailah is slightly above average when it comes to size. She still trails Cara Maria and Nicole quite a bit when it comes to muscle and strength, though she is far above most of the female cast. With a history of football, Kailah is used to playing physical, making her ready to get down and dirty with any other girl.

In many ways, Dirty 30 was Kailah’s rookie season. She only got to participate in two daily missions on Invasion because of the format, neither of which were good descriptors of whether she is a good competitor or not. Kailah struggled a bit in daily missions, and while she finished in first place during the first round of the Purge, she kept finding herself in the Double Cross.

As much as the Cara/Kailah feud gets played up, it is ironic how similar the two are. Both are naturally introverted people who are incredibly competitive and want to fight for this win, but they don’t even know how to have a proper rivalry it seems like. Kailah has been good at eliminations, it just not has translated to the daily missions. Cara Maria was the same way, though I do expect Kailah to grow and improve at a faster rate.

Social, Mental, & Political Game: Cara Maria hates Kailah, Britni had an hour long confessional talking about dumb she thought Kailah (and rudely rejected Kailah’s pizza socks advance), Jemmye doesn’t like her personality, and Veronica dislikes her for telling to prove herself (the woman with the most wins in Challenge history). Kailah has talent when it comes to alienating people and creating enemies. Those are Kailah’s biggest Vendettas, and then you consider she has gotten into it in past seasons with Nicole R and Sylvia.

Known for being 50% of Jailah, Kailah will be emotionally missing Jenna this season; it may be the best for her game. Usually, Kailah shuts herself off from the rest of the game and spends all her time with Jenna. Now she is forced into having to interact with people. Based on social media, Kailah made friends this season with Kam, Marie, and Sylvia. This is a huge break for her long-term Challenge career, because now people might hate team Jailah less and are no longer as inclined to vote them into elimination. If you were not aware, Kailah gets voted into elimination more than average.

We need to see if Kailah can solve puzzles this season. If she can’t, Cara will always have the edge on her.

Eliminations & Winning Potential: Eliminations have been Kailah’s forte so far in her career. Her current record is 3–1; she handed Jenna her first ever elimination loss and beat Aneesa (known for her elimination wins in the Duel). Besides Cara and Nicole, there are no big threats to her game in the elimination arena from a physical perspective — unless a rookie comes out this season and surprises.

In order for Kailah to have her best chance to win, she needs to get rid of Cara Maria. Whether it is a Purge, or throwing her into an elimination, Kailah has to find a way to get Cara out. If she does, the win could be hers. If not, she might be standing on the outside looking in.

Overall Rating: 88/100

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