Ready to show the world what she’s got. Melinda Collins (née Stolp) first took reality TV by storm in 2005, starring on The Real World: Austin at age 21.
She went on to compete on four seasons of The Challenge, including Fresh Meat in 2006, The Gauntlet III in 2008, Cutthroat in 2010 and Battle of the Seasons in 2012.
Returning to the Challenge world for All Stars season 2 at age 38, Melinda is ready to show everyone — and herself — that she can still compete.
“My elimination record is, you know, 0 and 4. I didn’t really show people that I am a competitor and that there is an athletic side to me,” she said on the Thursday, November 4, episode of Us Weekly’s “Watch With Us” podcast. “I go to the gym five days a week usually. I am an athlete, but given my past, it would look like I was a very crappy player. Obviously, I’m not good at politics, so I wanted to come into this game and just prove to people that, like, I do have what it takes to be a good challenger and to prove to people that I am an ‘All Star.’ I think there’s a lot of people who have rooted for me over the years, and I just hope that I did them proud this time.”
While the physical part of the game is “tough” this time around, the Wisconsin native admitted that it’s the mental aspect that’s more difficult for her.
“I can be a bit of an idiot when it comes to politics. I am not good at it. … Like, if you’re my friend, if you’re somebody that I stay in contact with, like, you’re an ally to me. If you’re somebody that I value, I look to you as somebody that I would play with or work with in the game,” Melinda told Us. “So I didn’t do a whole lot of politicking before I went on the show, I just went into it, like, I knew some of the people that I considered friends and I was like, ‘We’ll kind of wing it and see what happens!’ It’s never a good recipe.”
Her strategy was to stay true to who she is through it all, noting, “I play with my heart on my sleeve and that’s just who I am. I thought maybe going into All Stars 2, maybe I would become a little bit more conniving, but it’s just not in my DNA.”
It’s safe to say, however, that wasn’t the case for others.
“There’s some friendships that get tested, at least in my opinion,” Melinda said of her time on the show. “That [friendship] has changed for me. [It’s] somebody that I probably look at much differently now because of the way they played the game. … You guys are in for a treat. I think it’s going to be an awesome season. Honestly. I think, to me personally, knowing everything and seeing what I saw, I think people are just going to absolutely love it.”
For more from Melinda, listen to the “Watch With Us” podcast above.
The Challenge: All Stars season 2 premieres on Paramount+ on Thursday, November 11.