Since making his debut on the 27th season of MTV’s The Challenge in 2015, Cory Wharton has become a staple of the popular reality competition show. The Real World: Ex-Plosion alum is currently competing on CBS’s original series The Challenge: USA, which clocks in as his 11th franchise appearance.
But, does he hold the illustrious title of “Challenge Champion”?
Unfortunately for “The Young Buck,” he’s never won a season of The Challenge.
But, it’s not like he hasn’t had some success competing. So, let’s get into how Cory has placed in his up-and-down Challenge career.
Cory has made it to 4 final challenges while winning several elimination rounds
Cory burst onto the Challenge scene after his Real World stint wrapped in 2014. He joined the cast of Battle of the Bloodlines alongside his cousin, Mitch Reid. The season played out in pairs and Cory and Mitch made it to the final challenge when they ultimately placed second behind newly minted champions Cara Maria Sorbello and Jamie Banks.
The duo faced the “Pit” once, but it was Mitch who represented his bloodline in the elimination game. Cory then returned for season 28’s Rivals III but was sent packing around the mid-way point through the game after dropping his first elimination round.
But, Cory stamped himself as a veteran when he came back for his third consecutive appearance. He battled on season 29’s Invasion of the Champions. After surviving two elimination rounds, including his victory over Theo King-Bradley who refused to participate, Cory made it to his second final challenge in three seasons — an impressive feat.
But, he couldn’t seal the deal, placing third behind winner Chris “CT” Tamburello and Nelson Thomas.
Unfortunately for Cory, it’d be years before he podiumed again. What followed was four early exits.
Although he notched a few elimination wins, Cory went home before the final challenge during season 30’s Dirty 30, season 31’s Vendettas, the spin-off Champs vs. Stars 1, and season 32’s Final Reckoning.
Vendettas and Champs vs. Stars 1 were the earliest exits of Cory’s Challenge campaign. He was the third man who left season 31 and the first eliminated from Champs vs. Stars 1.
Although he and partner Devin Walker came in as “Mercenaries” halfway through Final Reckoning and were charged with sending two teams to the “Redemption House,” they were removed from the game after Cory was involved in a physical altercation with Tony Raines (Cory body-slammed Tony for messing with his pasta).
After taking a hiatus from the reality competition franchise, Cory returned for season 35’s Total Madness. And it was a successful comeback. He finally found himself in another final challenge while also earning an elimination win against “Swaggy C” Williams. And as history has it, Cory was the third man on the podium once again.
Double Agents, The Challenge’s 36th season, marked Cory’s seventh attempt at winning an iteration of the flagship series. It was another good season for Cory even though he fell short of his goal. He defeated four-time Challenge champion Darrell Taylor in the “Crater” before finishing as Double Agent’s runner-up with Kam Williams (CT and Amber Borzotra won).
The last time we saw Cory on the mainline series was during season 37’s Spies, Lies & Allies. Unfortunately for Cory, he didn’t accomplish the final challenge threepeat. He made it fairly deep into the season but was eventually shipped out by Logan Sampedro in the 13th episode.
So, all in all, Cory’s made four final challenges and has netted over $100,000 in prize money. He went on another hiatus after Spies, Lies & Allies. But, he appears rejuvenated and more motivated than ever to pick up his first Challenge trophy.
Will Cory win The Challenge: USA season 2?
The following section contains spoilers for The Challenge: USA season 2 through Wednesday, August 31’s episode.
Cory joined five other flagship veterans in carrying the flag of MTV’s version of the show. And he’s had a solid season thus far.
He’s one of four MTV stars remaining through seven episodes, which includes John “Johnny Bananas” Devenanzio, Tori Deal, and Wes Bergmann. Although Johnny Bananas booted Cory from the Blue team — the most dominant team — to the Red squad, Cory’s managed to avoid elimination even though the three other vets have had to fight for their life in the game.
Host TJ Lavin announced at the end of August 31’s episode that it’s no longer a team game as well.
With Cory having several connections in the house and being one of the most experienced players remaining, he’s sitting in a good spot. Can he finally win? Only time will tell!