Challenge Dirty 30 Player Preview: LaToya Jackson

LaToya should be the host of Are You The One or some MTV show or after-show or something. She has a great stage presence and is delightful in interviews. She is hilarious and more meant for a talk show than it is for a competition. Toya does these Challenges for fun and the possible bigger payout at the end.

This is LaToya’s 3rd season of the Challenge, she first appeared on Season 25 Free Agents. She’s been eliminated on the fourth episode of each season she has been on, yet she still has been a fun house presence. My favorite thing about LaToya is that she occasionally talks in rhyme in her interviews. Compared to Hunter and Nelson who can barely complete full sentences at times, listening to LaToya formulate some brilliant and quirky sentences is refreshing.

If you wanted to see what I wrote about LaToya from last season, here it is:

In the Real World/Challenge universe, LaToya is a low-key character, she was on the much maligned St. Thomas season of the Real World where all they could do was stay in the house and drink. She was not on the Battle of the Seasons St. Thomas team, did not have a true rival for Rivals 2, and was finally cast for Free Agents, where LaToya was only one of two rookies. thus being an easy target for elimination. She saw 2 of the first 4 eliminations, beating down Jemmye in Ball In, then having a good loss to Cara Maria in Oppenheimer (Free Agents version of Hall Brawl). The best move she has ever made is convincing Camila to throw in Nia instead of her for the third elimination.

Her performance on Invasion was poor. She died during most of the daily Challenges, finishing near last in most of them until the Caged and Confused mission, where she started strong, died out, and lost to Amanda. LaToya faced Sylvia in the final Shelter elimination for Invasion, and she lost to someone who was walking early on and drinking floor water. It always felt she was close and barely missed out. It hurt watching her have to deal with the Shelter the whole time there, only to miss out on the Oasis.

Now here’s a review of LaToya as a competitor, as well as her social media handles for reference:

Skills & Physical Strength: She has a fiery personality, one where she is ready to throw fists if push came to shove. During the elimination against Jemmye, she plowed right through her, throwing spin moves, and outgunning her with speed. In those high pressure moments, LaToya has a killer right hook and will start strong.

Her weakness is her long term endurance and consistency. She gassed out on the stairs mission in Free Agents and loss to Sylvia in an endurance competition, where endurance is nowhere near Sylvia’s strong suit.

Her body looks good, her physique is weak in terms of Challenge success. She is 5'4, and looked a bit petite on her stint on Invasion. Without having a killer skill, she could be an early exit on this season again. Let’s hope for the best for her.

Social & Mental Game: The best part about LaToya is that she is likable. The girl is fun and relate-able. On Invasion, even though Nelson played her dirty, it was cool to watch her get a hookup / make out session on. Nelson is a major upgrade over Brandon Swift (anyone is). It always felt like LaToya had to deal with drama on her RW season or on Free Agents. Now it feels like she is in a good place where she can vibe with mostly anyone on the show.

She has her RW bestie, Marie Roda, back on the show so they can stir up trouble together. During the last season, she was playing the game with Ashley and Amanda, so maybe they will all link up again?

In terms of puzzles, LaToya is an intelligent girl with a good head on her shoulders.

Eliminations: Her career record in eliminations is 1–2. Having won an elimination gives you the edge over people who have never won or been to one. There is no experience quite like winning a physical elimination. That will put hair on your chest and have you ready for war. LaToya’s one win was against a bad competitor, but I believe she can possibly be competitive with some of the middle tier from this season. It also wouldn’t shock me to watch a rookie uproot her.

Final Potential/Endurance: In the scenario that LaToya does not a pull a kill card and never sees an elimination as people are more focused on better players, she will finish 3rd place in a final.

We have never seen this girl swim, she has not done awesome at endurance competitions, and has no experience with something close to a final. I do not expect her to make the final, making it halfway would be a nice outcome for LaToya.

Final Score: 64/100