The Challenge: Who Has the Best Shot At Winning Total Madness?

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The Challenge is gearing up to wrap one of its most dramatic seasons to date. 

Total Madness, the 35th season of the venerable reality series, is airing Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV, and with the finale inching closer, it's time to take a look at who has the best shot of winning. 

The series typically flips the script on contestants ahead of the finale, and there's a good chance it will pull off a similar feat this year. 

challenge trio

The Challenge: Total Madness has been a season like no other, and that's thanks to the format tweak that has forced everyone into an elimination challenge to earn a red skull. 

Without one of the most coveted skulls in the game, you have no shot of running in the final. 

Johnny Bananas - The Challenge

1. Johnny Bananas

Johnny is a familiar face to the franchise. He knows what he has to do to win the game, and he's been playing an excellent political game, and despite jabs at him for his age, he's still a beast when it comes to the competition front. 

He worked with his sworn enemy this season, proving that he's willing to go to any length to dominate the game, and that's a commendable feat. 

However, he's a tremendous target and someone who could be taken out should he be pulled into the wrong challenge with the wrong person.

He put up a great fight against Wes, but several of the newer players would love nothing more than to take him down. 

Fessy - The Challenge

2. Fessy

Fessy should have arrived on The Challenge instead of Big Brother. His social game on the latter reality series was terrible. 

But it's evident he's worked on it in the years since, and that's why he stands an excellent chance of running the final and emerging with the win. 

He has built strong relationships inside the bunker, and it helps matters that he's one of the strongest physical threats in the game.

A finale featuring Fessy going up against Bananas would make for one of the toughest calls in the history of the series. 

Dee - The Challenge

3. Dee 

Before her firing from the franchise, she was getting the villain edit, and while she's still a part of the season, MTV has edited her presence down to the bare minimum. 

Despite losing her closest ally in Wes, she has continually proven that she is up to any challenge she is forced to participate in. 

We can't forget that she was one of the winners last season. The only thing standing in her way is that her list of enemies continues to grow by the episode. 

She's been forced back into Purgatory before, and I suspect it could happen again just ahead of the season finale. 

Jenny - The Challenge

4. Jenny

Jenny is a competition beast, and she has built some solid connections inside the house. However, people are starting to catch on to the fact that she is not repaying favors. 

Cory, in particular, feels like he has given Jenny opportunities that she is not willing to give him. That could come back to bite her ahead of the finale. 

Unless Jenny smooths things over with Cory, he will not hesitate to campaign for her to be sent out of the house, and Dee could help him with that. 

rogan

5. Rogan

What he lacks in personality, he makes up for with his physical ability. He's strong, and it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to go into an elimination with him. 

He should make it to the final, but he will have a lot of competition. 

Kaycee Clark on The Challenge

6. Kaycee

Kaycee is another strong physical threat. We witnessed her kill it on Big Brother, and while her political game has faltered with the move to The Challenge, nobody will want her in Purgatory ... unless it's to take a target out of the game. 

It should be an easy ride for her to the final, but it will all come down to how she runs the final. 

Nelson - The Challenge

7. Nelson 

Nelson has said some nasty things to some of his female co-stars this season, but we can't deny that he remains a strong competitor. 

I don't trust that he won't be thrown in ahead of the final, however. 

Melissa Reeves - The Challenge

8. Melissa 

Melissa's gameplay has improved considerably this season, and while she has snagged her red skull, there's a good chance she will be thrown back in ahead of the finale. 

It could come down to what the rest of the house wants, but with Purgatory still popping up to cause problems, she's a target. 

Kyle - The Challenge

9. Kyle

Kyle is a bit of a wildcard. I wrote him off earlier in the season, but he's managed to maintain a decent social game, despite being a target. 

Now that he has a red skull, he remains a strong contender for Purgatory. 

Bayleigh Dayton - The Challenge

10. Bayleigh

Bayleigh has managed to adapt well to the game without her Swaggy, and while it's great that she managed to take Aneesa down, she seems like another contender to be thrown into Purgatory at the final hurdle. 

I like Kaycee, Jenny, and Dee's chances more against Bayleigh. However, if Bayleigh returns down the line, I hope she can build stronger connections to secure her safety. 

There is no majority alliance looking out for her here, and i suspect that coming into the game without Swaggy could propel her to Challenge royalty. 

It's over to YOU, The Challenge Fanatics. 

Who do you think will win Season 35?

Hit the comments below. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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