The Challenge: Veronica Portillo names her ‘Mount Rushmore’ of female competitors: ‘I know people won’t agree’

veronica portillo during the challenge ride or dies
The Challenge OG Veronica Portillo gave her list of all-time women for a Mount Rushmore. Pic credit: MTV

Choosing the top competitors in the history of MTV’s The Challenge is no easy feat, as plenty of worthy contenders appeared in the competition series.

Former Road Rules star Veronica Portillo, a three-time show winner, is likely considered by many to be in that conversation, as far as the OGs who have built the show to what it is over the years.

She’s still competing at age 45, recently appearing in MTV’s The Challenge: Ride or Dies with her OG partner, Darrell Taylor.

Ahead of that, viewers saw her return to the competition series in its spinoff form, The Challenge: All Stars, for the show’s third season.

Unfortunately, both seasons ended for Veronica before adding another championship to her resume.

That said, she’s someone many fans love to hear opinions from about the show, and she recently weighed in on who are the all-time best Challengers.

Veronica reveals her all-time women from The Challenge

Veronica was featured in a recent sit-down interview for the Mike Lewis Podcast, where she had to name her “Mount Rushmore of Challengers.”

Lewis narrowed it down for the legend, letting Veronica name four women that she felt someone “couldn’t tell the story of The Challenge without.”

After thinking for a moment, Veronica gave a first answer of herself. The former Road Rules: Semester at Sea cast member was a winner in her rookie season, The Challenge 2000, followed by The Gauntlet and Inferno. She also reached the final in The Inferno II.

During a Ride or Dies preview episode, her teammate Darrell credited Veronica for being there during the four seasons he won.

Next up, Veronica named Cara Maria Sorbello, someone she said deserved that respect. Cara Maria has won two seasons, rising to new levels as an individual while on The Challenge.

She debated between Susie Meister and Sarah Rice for her third carving on Mount Rushmore. She went with Sarah, who reached five finals and won Battle of the Exes II, followed by Rivals III. That Rivals III season provided the infamous moment where her teammate Johnny Bananas chose to keep all the prize money to himself rather than sharing with Sarah.

She hasn’t returned to the show since then, instead focusing on her professional career helping others.

Veronica’s fourth pick likely to be debatable for fans

While the first three choices for Veronica’s Mount Rushmore of women from The Challenge seem to make sense, her fourth could rile up many fans.

“I would say someone that’s newer. You know, for doing it from beginning to end, Tori [Deal],” Veronica said.

“I know people won’t agree with me on those names, but you gotta see it from beginning to end. Who were the people that were part of these like five years- in five-year blocks,” she explained.

Tori, initially a cast member from MTV’s Are You the One? Season 4 debuted on The Challenge: Dirty 40, where she reached the final.

She returned for Final Reckoning, failing to get to the final, before taking a short break. Fans saw her return a few seasons later for War of the Worlds 2, where she reached the final as part of Team UK, only to get purged in an opening task to trim down the teams.

Tori would go on to appear on Total Madness and Double Agents, again failing to reach finals. However, Spies, Lies & Allies and Ride or Dies brought her success, thanks to a strong alliance throughout the seasons.

She finished the Spies season in second place with teammate Kyle Christie, losing to Kaycee Clark and CT Tamburello in a close puzzle race.

In the most recent MTV Challenge season, Ride or Dies, Tori appeared alongside “frenemy” Devin Walker. The duo put aside past differences to work together effectively throughout the season. Ultimately, they bested seven-time champions Johnny Bananas and Nany Gonzalez to win their first season of the show.

Challenge fans might have another pick over Tori on their Mount Rushmore

With that, Tori is currently appearing as one of the MTV Legends on The Challenge: World Championship. None of the other three women Veronica listed for her Mount Rushmore are there, although fans certainly feel they should be.

As far as Tori’s spot on Veronica’s list goes, it will be a controversial choice. Many Challenge fans might choose Coral Smith instead. The former Real World: Back to New York star won Battle of the Seasons in 2002 and appeared in three more seasons’ finals afterward.

Viewers last saw Coral in Gauntlet III, which was in 2008. Even though she’s been absent from the show since then and won just one season, she clearly showed she was among The Challenge legends and early icons in reality TV history.

It’s worth noting that Lewis referred to “Queen V” at the start of the podcast as his pick for the “all-time female face of The Challenge,” which even surprised Veronica. However, it’s hard to argue against her place in the show’s extensive history, along with the other three women she named.

The Challenge: World Championship episodes arrive Wednesdays on Paramount+.

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