The official cast list for the 37th season of “The Challenge,” which is called “The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies,” has just been released and it features a ton of rookie competitors who will be joining the franchise from their own reality TV shows. In fact, it appears as though the next season of the show will see more new players competing for the grand prize than returning vets.
The season 37 class of rookies hail from lots of different shows, with many international reality stars joining the franchise as the first-ever competitors from foreign shows such as the Romanian version of “Survivor” and “Big Brother Naija,” the Nigerian version of the popular CBS show. Read on to find out more about each rookie on the cast list for “The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies.”
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There Are 10 Female Rookies Joining ‘The Challenge’ Including a ‘Survivor’ Winner & Contestants From 3 Versions of ‘Love Island’
Berna Canbeldek was born in 1990 and raised in Berlin, Germany, and attended the State School of Ballet and Acrobatics where she studied dance and acrobatics. She competed on Turkey’s version of “Got Talent” in 2012 and 2013 and then appeared on the eight season of “Survivor Turkey” in 2014, where she was disqualified on the 42nd day after picking up an injury.
She returned the following year for the all stars season of “Survivor Turkey” and was the 12th person voted out on day 96. Both of those seasons also included “Challenge” alum Turabi “Turbo” Çamkıran.
Bettina Buchanan, 25, is a Swedish reality TV star who appeared on several versions of the show “Paradise Hotel” in both the Swedish version (twice) and the Norwegian version (four times). Her most recent appearance on the show was on the Norwegian version in 2020 when she won the show and chose to take the money from her partner. She also appeared on “Ex on the Beach Norway.”
Emy Alupei, 22, originally appeared on “X Factor Romania” in 2016 as a rapper, singer and songwriter. She was later cast for the 2020 season of “Survivor Romania,” where she was the 19th eliminated overall. The reality star and singer made her mark on the reality TV show due to her loud personality and she showed she wasn’t afraid to confront others in the show’s tribes.
Lauren Coogan, 30, made a brief appearance on the second season of “Love Island U.S.,” joining the villa on the tenth day and getting voted out a few days later. The British-American revealed on the show that she worked as a family assistant. Although she didn’t find love on the show, TMZ later reported that she met her man at the airport the day she left the show.
Michaela Bradshaw, 30, will be well-known to “Survivor” fans as she appeared on both “Millenials vs. Gen X” and the following season, “Game Changers.” The Texas native showed her strength during physical competitions and was known to her cast members as a strong personality. On “Millenials vs. Gen X,” Michaela was actually blindsided by her ally, former “Challenge” star Jay Starrett, right before the merge.
Overall, Michaela was the 7th person voted out on her first season, making her 14th overall. On her second season, she became the 14th person voted off the show and ultimately placed 7th.
Michele Fitzgerald is another big name from the “Survivor” world, winning “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” and then placing third on the latest season of the show, “Winners at War.” The 31-year-old won her season thanks to her strong social game and alliances but on her second season she was an underdog for most of her time on the island.
Tacha Akide is a 25-year-old contestant from the fourth season of “Big Brother Naija,” the Nigerian version of the popular CBS show. The reality star was actually kicked out of the house 90 days in after she had a fight with another housemate but it hasn’t stopped her from developing a massive following in Nigeria, where she is an Instagram influencer known as “Symply Tacha.”
Esther Agunbiade, 24, is a “Challenge” rookie from the Nigerian reality show “Big Brother Naija.” Like her fellow rookie Tacha, Esther appeared on the 4th season of the show and placed 14th overall, getting evicted from the house after 64 days. Esther is also a lawyer and was called to the bar in Nigeria at just 21 years old.
Although Esther appeared on the same season of “Big Brother Naija” as Tacha and the two appeared close on the show, the two seemed to have a falling out earlier this year, according to reports.
Priscilla Anyabu appeared on the sixth season of “Love Island” in the U.K., entering the show several weeks in through the Casa Amor twist. The 25-year-old ended up getting dumped from the villa just two days before the final and remained with her “Love Island” partner, Mike Boateng, for 15 months until their split earlier this year.
Tracy Candela’s original reality TV show was the second season of “Love Island Germany,” where she actually walked away the winner with her partner Marcellino Kremmers in 2018. However, the two split soon after the show. The 24-year-old was a law student at the time of her appearance on the reality show but it’s unclear if she finished her studies afterward as her Instagram bio states she is a TV personality, actress and model.
There Are 9 Male Rookies Competing on ‘The Challenge’ From All Over the Globe, Including a ‘Survivor’ Winner & Fan Favorite
Corey Lay, 30, is joining “The Challenge” from his original show, “12 Dates of Christmas,” which is a Christmas-themed dating show that aired on HBO Max in 2020. Corey is also a certified personal trainer and an app game developer and very involved as an activist in the LGBTQ+ community.
Emanuel Neagu, 24, first appeared on “Survivor Romania” in 2020, the same season as fellow rookie Emy and he ended up finishing the show in second place. Emanuel is a dancer and choreographer who said he initially signed up for “Survivor Romania” because of his passion for competing and adrenaline.
Gabo Szabó, 25, originally appeared on two seasons of “Warsaw Shore,” the Polish version of the hit show “Jersey Shore.” His first appearance on the show was in 2019 when he was already a Hungarian influencer known as “Pumped Gabo” and he returned to the show for the following season in 2020. The reality star and bodybuilder first went viral in 2015 thanks to his dance at a music festival.
Hughie Maughan is joining “The Challenge” franchise from the U.K.’s “Big Brother 17,” where he was the runner-up on his season. The Dublin, Ireland native also appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” and “First Dates Ireland.”
Just prior to entering the “Big Brother U.K.” house in 2016, Hughie came out as bi-sexual to his family and ended up coming out of the show in a relationship with his costar Ryan Ruckledge. The couple split in 2020 after four years together.
Jeremiah White is another “Love Island U.S.” recruit, having appeared in the second season. However, the 22-year-old’s time in the villa was short-lived as he was the second person dumped from the show. At the time of his appearance on “Love Island U.S.,” the Mississippi native was working as a retail sales associate and now he seems to be focusing on working out and modeling.
Kelechi “Kelz” Dyke
Kelechi “Kelz” Dyke, 27, is the first competitor to join “The Challenge” from the Netflix show “Too Hot to Handle.” Kelz, who is British, appeared on the first season of the reality show where he was known as the accountant for being very serious about the prize fund. The reality star is also an athlete who plays American football in the U.K., for the London Warriors, as well as a model.
Logan Sampedro, 29, is also making his debut from the “Survivor” family as he appeared on the Spanish version of the show in 2018. The reality star was actually the runner-up on his season, “Survivor Spain 13,” and also competed in Mister Global España in 2017.
In 2019, Logan suffered a freak eye injury when he was hit in the eye by a drone. Although he didn’t lose the eye, he said he lost a lot of vision and now has a sensitivity to the light in addition to two different-colored eyes.
Renan Hellemans has a couple of reality shows under his belt in the Netherlands and Belgium, first appearing on the fourth season of “Ex on the Beach: Double Dutch” in 2018 followed by the fifth season, “All Stars,” in 2019. The 22-year-old Belgian is also a certified sex counselor, a model and a Twitch streamer, according to his Instagram bio.
Tommy is the second “Survivor” winner making his debut on this season of “The Challenge” as he won “Survivor: Island of the Idols” in 2019. The 28-year-old is a school teacher and revealed that he proposed to his girlfriend the day he got back from filming “Survivor.” Tommy won his season largely due to his strong social skills and the close bonds he built with his costars.