Casting Archetypes on MTV’s The Challenge 1: Spicy Latinas

So a couple months ago, I was reading a fascinating article on the Survivor subreddit, all about casting archetypes. I can’t find the original thread, but here is a breakdown based on the Survivor Cambodia cast (which I haven’t watched yet, so no spoilers).

And then yesterday, it was gorgeous weather and I had a the day off, so I went on a lengthy bike ride. And along the way, I got to thinking about if MTV does something similar for The Challenge (and its feeder shows Real World, Road Rules, and now pretty much whatever you want, including telenovelas/softcore porn and a YouTube show about Black Londoners).

Obviously the cast for MTV shows is much younger and hotter than on Survivor and Big Brother — so no “Mommy Dearest” or “Mr. Miagi” — but I do think many cast members fall into the same casting categories.

And so we have a new series on this Challenge Medium page:

Casting archetypes on MTV’s The Challenge

I. Spicy Latinas

Yes, some of these archetypes are stereotypes, and thus can often be problematic, but MTV is kinda lowest-common-denominator. It’s popcorn entertainment, trash TV, mindless fun, escapism. This ain’t Downton Abbey. I’m all about edification and social justice, so let us all realize that not all people of Latinx descent are confrontational and appreciate that even using the word “spicy” isn’t great because it’s reductive — and then move on to discuss the actual archetypes themselves.

Spicy Latinas are women of Latinx descent (with some exceptions — addressed below) that are known for being loud, argumentative, and getting into arguments and people’s faces. They are brash and bold personalities that don’t back down or get intimidated by much. Shamelessness plays a factor too.

So who belongs in this group? I’m sure you already know some of them, but I’ll present the Spicy Latinas in chronological order of debut. Nota bene that this is how I see it and it may not be exhaustive.

And there are some Latina women who do not fit the mold, known as the “Rulebreakers” below.

Veronica Portillo — originated on RR Semester at Sea, debuted on Challenge 2000

Jisela Delgado originated on RR The Quest, debuted on Battle of the Seasons 1

Tina Barta — originated on RR South Pacific, debuted on Gauntlet 1

Jenn Grijalva — originated on RW Denver, debuted on Inferno 3

Brianna Taylor — originated on RW Hollywood, debuted on The Ruins

Theresa Gonzalez — originated and debuted on Fresh Meat 2

Sandy Kang — originated and debuted on Fresh Meat 2

Ayiiia Elizarraras — originated on RW Cancun, debuted on Cutthroat

Camila Nakagawa — originated on Spring Break Challenge, debuted on Cutthroat

Nany Gonzalez — originated on RW Las Vegas 2, debuted on Battle of the Seasons 2

Heather Cooke — originated on RW Las Vegas 2, debuted on Rivals 2

Averey Tressler — originated on RW Portland, debuted on Battle of the Exes 2

Nicole Ramos — originated and debuted on Bloodlines

Amanda Garcia — originated on Are You the One 3, debuted on Rivals 3

Briana LaCuesta — originated on AYTO 2, debuted on Rivals 3

Kailah Casillas — originated on RW Go Big or Go Home, debuted on Invasion

Sylvia Elsrode — originated on RW Skeletons, debuted on Invasion

Alicia Wright — originated on AYTO 5, debuted on Vendettas

Angela Babicz — originated on Bad Girls’ Club 15 and Ex on the Beach US 1, debuted on Final Reckoning

Dee Nguyen — originated on Geordie Shore 15, debuted on War of the Worlds 1

Nota bene

Of course, Dee, Sandy, Angela, Cooke, and Tina are exceptions to this casting archetype in that they do not identify as Latina. However, I contend that they fit the mold for being against-the-grain and brash, not kowtowing to anybody. And they are also women of colour who are not Black (which you’ll see in the future is another casting archetype).

Besides Angela, who is Polish, the others are all of East Asian descent. MTV has infamously few cast members of Asian descent in general, but especially East Asian descent, and more still, Asian men (with the rare exceptions being Noor from Fresh Meat 2 and Steven from Sexes 2). Therefore, the selection is too small to qualify for its own archetype, so I have included them in here. No offense intended.


These are women of Latinx descent that are not (as) “spicy” — in that they are lower-key and less in-your-face. Kinder or quieter people.

  • Ibis Nieves — originated on RR X-Treme, debuted on Battle of the Sexes 2
  • Johanna Botta — originated on RW Austin, debuted on Fresh Meat 1
  • Priscilla Mendez — originated on RW San Diego 2, debuted on Battle of the Exes 1
  • Larissa Nakagawa — originated and debuted on Bloodlines
  • Natalie Negrotti — originated on Big Brother 18, debuted on Vendettas



I write about MTV’s The Challenge, with a queer / social justice / critical analysis bent. #UnspoiledGang

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I write about MTV’s The Challenge, with a queer / social justice / critical analysis bent. #UnspoiledGang