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AUTHOR: Matthew Scott Donnelly, MTV.com

Photos: Rudy Archuleta and Rene Cervantes

Battle Of The Seasons” might be chock-full of n00bs, but don’t forget there’s also a comeback story in the works. Trishelle Cannatella, who hasn’t seen the likes of MTV since 2004′s “The Inferno,” is back, and the pro poker player is ready to prove a near-decade on the sidelines doesn’t mean she won’t come out swingin’ all the same.

Trishelle first charmed her housemates and viewers on “Real World: Las Vegas” in 2002, but later proved she had claws when she infamously screamed “I’ll beat your ass!” to Coral. Now, she says fans should ready themselves for the most dramatic “Challenge” season ever, and assured us we’ll be shocked at who we’ll root for this time around. Take a look at her Ten Spot Blog interview below.

Do you remember some of your first impressions of your “Real World” housemates, or of life in Las Vegas?
I remember looking at how cute Steven was, and I was like “Uh oh, I’m in trouble with this one.” I thought Frank was hilarious. Alton I thought was really quiet, and Irulan was really sweet. Arissa just had this Boston swagger and I was a Mississippi girl. We have no swagger.

Vegas was really overwhelming for me. I come from a place where the big thing to do is see people from high school in the Wal Mart parking lot. Living in a city where you leave to go out at 1 a.m. was a bit of a culture shock.

You were a solid competitor on “The Gauntlet” and “The Inferno” but came up short in some elimination rounds. What were some favorite memories or missions?
My favorite challenge was “The Gauntlet.” Everyone hung out together and had fun and were friendly. Even if there were fights, they were over pretty quickly. My favorite mission was when we flew planes for the dog-fighting challenge. That was a once in a lifetime experience. “The Inferno,” I hated. I didn’t want to be there at all.

Right, you were at odds with Coral after dating Mike. What was it like watching yourself take her on, and did you guys ever make amends?
That whole thing was a mess. During “The Gauntlet,” I think Coral felt let down by Mike because of their friendship and I understand that. She did make hurtful comments about me that sort of made me hold a personal grudge. On “The Inferno,” I just went off. It was embarrassing to watch myself act so ridiculous over nothing.

Coral and I are friendly now, though! That was in the past and I hope to do another “Challenge” with her so we can gang up on everyone else!

When did you get into poker, and how did you get so good?
I started playing poker about eight years ago and began with charity tournaments and playing online a little. I started making final tables and winning a few tournaments so I was able to get a poker sponsorship deal to be a pro for an online site. After that, I got third place in a World Poker Tournament and I’ve been playing ever since. I just filmed a pilot in Barcelona for a poker/travel/lifestyle show with Amanda Kimmel from “Survivor.”

Why did you decide to finally come back to “The Challenge,” and did you know the theme when you agreed to take part?
Being competitive is in my nature. From playing sports growing up to playing poker, I just thrive on competing for the chance to win. I was so happy to be asked to do the show.

I didn’t know for sure the theme, but based on who was asked, I had an idea. I was nervous because Alton and I did not keep in contact after our show except during appearances, but I knew him as a fierce competitor, so at first, I was really happy he was on my team.

Can you give us any tidbits about what’s to come?
Well, there will be a lot of fighting–probably more fighting than any other “Challenge” I’ve seen. There are some very surprising hook-ups as well! Some people I just did not like at all and I think it will be very obvious on the show. Viewers will be surprised at who the new villains are and who ends up being the good guys.

Tune in Wednesday, Sept. 19 to see how far Trishelle and her Vegas team get in “Battle of the Seasons!”

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