Over the many seasons of The Challenge, certain cast members have emerged as some of the best to ever compete on the show. Many fans might include Cara Maria Sorbello amongst the best female players as she appeared in nine finals and won two championships.
She famously showed up as a replacement on The Challenge: Rivals II season, her sixth time on the show. That was Heather Cooke’s first season, and she lost her partner, Naomi Defensor, who left the show for personal reasons.
Cara and Heather were a force to be reckoned with in the game as the pair made it to the final but ultimately fell short. With it being Heather’s only appearance on the show, it has had fans wanting her to return, and many more wanting her to team with Cara again.
While they made a great team during their season, the former Rivals II partners recently revealed who they think some of the best all-time female Challenge competitors are.
Cara Maria, Heather Cooke reveal top competitors on The Challenge
Two-time Challenge champion Cara Maria Sorbello and former Real World: Las Vegas/Challenge star Heather Cooke were both guests on a recent Mike Lewis podcast episode. During their interview, they were asked who they’d put among the all-time top female competitors.
“After I just saw the final of [Season] 36, I mean Amber B…the rookie that killed it with CT. She’s obviously a good one,” Cooke said, praising Amber Borzotra on her win.
“Kam [Williams] I think is strong just from watching. I mean, I don’t know any of these people anymore,” Cooke added. Mike asked Cooke who she felt was tough from the season she was on.
“Obviously Emily [Schromm], and Paula [Meronek],” Cooke said, with Cara Maria agreeing. That was the team that claimed the Rivals II season, which Cara and Cooke were teammates on.
“Emily, Paula, Laurel [Stuckey],” Cara said, adding, “I guess all the people that have beaten me at a final.” She also added Camila [Nakagawa] and Kam into that group.
“Kam is making her way up there…She’s a force. She’s smart. She’s savage. I mean she’s just so, so smart and she is a boss like I’ve seen her body Tori [Deal] multiple times. I mean, she’s classy, smart, and strong. I will always cheer for Kam,” Cara said.
“She did really well this past season. I was really proud of her,” Cooke added.
Kam was one of the eight competitors in the Double Agents final, as she was teamed up with Cory Wharton. They finished as runner-up team to CT and Amber. Kam’s boyfriend, Leroy Garrett, and his teammate, Nany Gonzalez, finished in third place.
Cara also added in Total Madness winner, Jennifer West among her all-time strongest competitors on The Challenge.
“Jenny not only has the muscle, she has the nonstop, like she’ll never- she has no off button, and she’s incredibly intelligent with like puzzles and numbers and stuff like that,” Cara shared.
Will Cooke and Cara Maria return to The Challenge again?
As far as seeing a Cooke and Cara Maria return to MTV’s competition series, that generally is up to casting ahead of each season of The Challenge, and of course, if individuals agree to participate.
While Heather Cooke was only on one season of The Challenge after her initial debut on The Real World: Las Vegas, she was also asked to come back more than a few times. She said she was nearly on several seasons, including Bloodlines, where she would’ve been teamed with her sister.
More recently, Cooke was among alternates for The Challenge: All Stars spinoff series. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the final cast, but that doesn’t mean she might not be part of the show in the future. There’s also the fact she is just 32 years old, which could make her eligible for one of MTV’s regular seasons of the show.
Cara Maria, age 34, last appeared on The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 season in 2019, alongside boyfriend Paulie Calafiore. They made a run to the final, but ultimately their Team USA squad fell to Team UK.
Since then, both Paulie and Cara have been away from The Challenge pursuing other interests or endeavors. That includes Paulie training to compete at the Winter Olympics and Cara Maria focusing on her photography work.
While both seem to be enjoying their break from MTV’s competition show and the drama it often brings, one has to think their competitive fire will bring them back should they get the call to return.
Meanwhile, Cooke seems more than ready to prove she can still compete after all these years. However, she previously mentioned a regular season of The Challenge would be tough to accommodate due to how long it would take her away from her family back home.
The Challenge airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.