The Big Picture
- MTV announced the cast for The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion, featuring 24 competitors who have never won and surprise appearances by 10 legendary champs.
- Cara Maria Sorbello is a top contender and has appeared on 14 seasons of The Challenge.
- Cara’s reputation began to shift in her last appearances as she competed alongside her boyfriend, Paulie.
MTV announced the cast for the upcoming season of The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion premiering on October 25. While the main cast is exclusively made up of 24 competitors who have never won, 10 legendary Challenge champs will make surprise elimination appearances throughout the season. Among those champs are faces from recent seasons like Tori Deal, Devin Walker, and CT Tamburello, but one name who’s been notably absent from the show for four years surprised Challenge fans: Cara Maria Sorbello.
Cara Maria has appeared on 14 seasons of The Challenge and made it to nine finals. She hasn’t missed a final in her last five seasons. She’s won the title twice and was the champion of the spinoff show Champs vs. Pros. She became the first ever sole winner when she captured the title on season 31’s Vendettas, beating both male and female competitors for the cash prize. She hasn’t appeared on the show since War of the Worlds 2 in 2019 where she made it to the final with teammates Natalie “Ninja” Duran and Zach Nichols, and her boyfriend Paulie Calafiore, who she met on Final Reckoning.
Cara Maria Remains Unmatched in the Competition
Cara is known for being a top contender and one of the best female competitors to ever play the game, but in her last couple of appearances, her reputation began to shift. Competing hand-in-hand with her boyfriend, Paulie, led to the two becoming a villainous pair. Her “mean girl” side emerged and rubbed fans the wrong way. When fellow competitors Jordan Wiseley and Tori Deal got engaged mid-season on War of the Worlds 2, the cast put the game aside to celebrate the milestone moment. Cara was the only competitor to skip the engagement party they threw in the house, and she spoke poorly about Tori and Jordan’s relationship throughout the entire season. Game is one thing, but personal attacks are another.
Cara hasn’t been the only one absent from recent seasons. Until the current season of The Challenge: USA on CBS, Paulie hadn’t been back on the show either. Paulie’s return to the show wasn’t what fans expected – he showed a vulnerable side to himself, opened up about his sexuality, and made amends with past competitors like Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio. While he only lasted three episodes before being eliminated, Paulie used the most of his time and redeemed himself in the eyes of fans.
Paulie and Cara are still dating and recently celebrated five years together. If Paulie has been able to make such drastic positive changes, it seems safe to assume that Cara has too. It’s been four years, and it’s the perfect time for Cara to make her way back to the show she’s helped make as successful as it is. While Cara and the other nine returning champs won’t have the chance to gun for the title on Battle for a New Champion, it’s a great way for her to show that she’s still a fierce competitor. Hopefully, her appearance in the upcoming season will be the catalyst for her to become a competitor in a season to come.