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Remembering Veronica’s Greatest Challenge Power Plays

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Maybe an old dog can’t learn new tricks, but for Veronica — who competed on her very first Challenge nearly 20 years ago — the classic ones will most surely suffice.

On this week’s Dirty Thirty episode, the Road Rules: Semester at Sea export continued to prove she was most definitely not past her prime. With a victory in “Blackout,” her second win of the season (on top of a Presidio victory), she learned — disappointingly — that her power was nevertheless stifled. Her fellow winners — Kailah, Jordan, Britni and Tony — mostly ignored her suggestions for elimination round nominees.

So she reached into her bag of tricks and pulled out a reliable card: switching things up, and without any notice.

At the nomination ceremony, the winners’ circle — which had mostly agreed to vote Hunter into The Presidio — got a defector in Britni, who cast a vote for Leroy as an attempted “burn vote.” Very aware that this presented an opportunity to turn the tides, Queen V leapt into action and switched her vote to Leroy too. By the time the dust had cleared, Veronica had completely hijacked the vote, sparing her friend Derrick from what she assumed would be an eventual matchup with Hunter.

And nobody saw it coming.

“I’m gonna take advantage of an opportunity that I have,” Veronica said, as the cast looked on incredulously. “These people that I’m sitting next to all silenced me, made sure that I didn’t have a voice…so I’m gonna show them that I still have a voice.”

And that’s precisely what she did. After a game of “Body Check,” which challenged players to sprint around a circle in opposite directions with two guaranteed collision spots, Leroy was gone, and V had commandeered the position of Top Dog.

“There are a lot of evil people in this house,” Leroy lamented. “Veronica is one of them.”

Is Veronica, indeed, evil? The jury’s out, but there’s no denying she’s capable of some sneaky masterminding. Look back at Veronica’s dirtiest Challenge gameplay below, and don’t miss her this Tuesday at 10/9c.

  1. Veronica/Abram and Rachel, The Gauntlet

    Long before threesomes were part and parcel of reality television, Road Rules teammates Veronica, Rachel and Abram shocked the cast of the 2003 show by hooking up in the shower, a nearly unprecedented event. People like Theo accused Veronica of trying to curry favor among her teammates, some of whom tried to routinely send her into elimination rounds, but Veronica insisted there were no ulterior motives — after all, her good friend (and later girlfriend) Rachel needed no convincing, and Abram had already been eliminated from the game when the blessed union took place.

  2. Veronica/Katie, The Inferno

    On 2009’s The Ruins, Veronica and Katie were as thick as thieves, but any Challenge buff will remember that five years earlier, they were at each other’s throats. On The Inferno, Veronica took every opportunity she had to throw missions in order to toss Katie to the wolves, and even though she successfully sent Katie into The Inferno twice, Katie won both elimination rounds. Still, things eventually worked out for both players — they both made it to the finals, and both won the big prize.

  3. Veronica/Evan, The Ruins

    The 2009 competition found V in an unusual place — at a deficit. Her first game in years, she was flying solo with a group of strangers…that is, until she cuddled up with Evan, a move which many of her teammates saw as a flagrant attempt to stay in good graces of the Champions’ unofficial team captain. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, and Veronica was eventually knocked out by KellyAnne in an exhausting elimination round.

  4. Veronica/Tonya, Inferno 2

    Other than the fact that Veronica felt obligated to protect friends and teammates Tina and Rachel from The Inferno, it wasn’t exactly clear why Veronica hated Tonya so much. But she did, and for as long as Tonya remained in the game, Veronica exacted mental warfare on Tonya, relentlessly mocking her, talking behind her back and inciting arguments at every turn. Again, Veronica’s efforts didn’t get Tonya eliminated, but they did get her sent into The Inferno a whole bunch.

  5. Veronica/Pua and Ayanana, Road Rules: Semester at Sea

    Okay, so this entry technically transcends The Challenge, but it’s too good and classic to pass up. On the eighth season of Road Rules, in which cast members doubled as college students on a Semester at Sea voyage, Veronica was called out for stealing…twice. First, Ayanna accused her of lifting exact sentences from her essay, which the program’s moderator eventually corroborated (that won’t look so good for the GPA). And, rather shockingly, Veronica’s friend Pua found her own shirt at the bottom of V’s closet after Veronica’s relentless denial that she had taken it. If there were class superlatives on this trip, you could probably guess who’d have earned “Stickiest Fingers.”

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