Evan Starkman

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Evan Starkman
Born (1984-12-18) December 18, 1984 (age 35)
OccupationPresident and Founder of The Bait Shoppe LLC

Evan Starkman (born December 18, 1984) is the Founder, CEO and President of The Bait Shoppe. He was named one of the top 500 people in events by BizBash.[1] He is best known as a competitor on the MTV reality game shows Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat, The Duel, The Gauntlet III, The Duel 2, The Ruins, and The Challenge: Rivals. He won The Duel 2 and The Ruins. Unlike many of his competitors, he never appeared on Real World or Road Rules; he was discovered at an open casting call and appeared on Fresh Meat in 2006. He hosted the RW/RR Spring Break Challenge in March 2010 with Paula Meronek.

Before appearing on Fresh Meat, Starkman went to college at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York[2] where he majored in liberal arts and played club hockey.[3] He was born in Perth, Ontario, Canada[4] and moved to the United States to attend college. He auditioned for Fresh Meat during his junior year, and took a break from school to attempt the challenge.

Starkman founded a marketing agency called The Bait Shoppe in 2010.[5]

Television appearances[edit]

Fresh Meat[edit]

On Fresh Meat, Starkman's was paired with Coral Smith, one of the alumni of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and quickly became a fierce competitor who was viewed as a threat to other teams. Until he suffered from a hernia in episode 5 and was later removed from the competition in episode 11. Starkman and Smith won 5 of the 10 challenges they appeared in.[6]

The Duel[edit]

The Duel was Starkman's second Challenge. He won 6 out of the 13 challenges he competed in, before being defeated by Chris Tamburello in the Ascender duel during the 13th episode. Starkman won four challenges in a row, from episodes 9-12.[7]

The Gauntlet III[edit]

For this season, Starkman was part of the Veterans team, which won 10 of the 16 challenges. At the final challenge, however, Eric Banks, a member of the veteran team, ended up in the hospital before completing the final. The rules of the game forced the Veterans to lose because not all of their players were able to finish.[8]

The Duel II[edit]

This season earned Starkman his first Challenge win. He won two of ten individual challenges, and went into the Duel three times, each time eliminating the player he was up against. He won $100,000 after a close race with Brad Fiorenza to the finish line.[9]

The Ruins[edit]

This marked Starkman's second win in a row, as a member of the Champions team. The Champions dominated the competition throughout its entirety, winning 9 of the 10 challenges. Starkman himself never appeared in an elimination round and reached the final alongside teammates Derrick Kosinski, Johnny Devenanzio, Kenny Santucci, and Susie Meister. He won a total of $51,293.[10]


Starkman appears on The Challenge: Rivals, which began airing in June 2011.[11] In an attempt to send CT and Adam home in the 6th episode, Evan intentionally lost the challenge which automatically qualified him and his partner for the elimination round, where CT and Adam would be voted in to face off against them. Evan's plan was unsuccessful after CT and Adam went on to win The Jungle and send home Evan and Nehemiah in the process.

The Bait Shoppe[edit]

Starkman founded The Bait Shoppe in 2010, which he describes as an "everything agency".[12] Its clients include European clothing retailer Primark.[13][14]

Other work[edit]

Starkman started a clothing line with friend and Challenge castmate, Kenny Santucci.[15] The line is called Suck Yeah and debuted in 2009.[16] He also began Branch Out Clothing before Suck Yeah, a clothing company that focuses on sending positive messages into the world - "...When you wear Branch Out apparel you are taking the first step to spreading a positive message. You are joining a movement to change the way people think, the way people feel and the way the world works,"[17] and sending most of the profits to charity.[18] The company has featured projects that they promote and donate to regularly.[19]

Sexual assault allegations[edit]

In October 2011, Starkman, along with fellow Challenge castmember Kenny Santucci, was named in a lawsuit filed by fellow Challenge castmember Tonya Cooley, in which Cooley claimed that she was raped with a toothbrush while passed out from heavy drinking, during filming of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins in Thailand in the spring of 2009.[20][21] MTV and Bunim/Murray Productions were also named in the lawsuit.[22] The case was settled in an out of court settlement on October 24, 2012. The details of the settlement have not been made public.[23] None of them have appeared on any MTV competition series since.[24]


  1. ^ McWilliams, Jennifer Juergens & Marisa (2018-09-27). "The Top 500 People in Events". BizBash. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  2. ^ "Fresh Meat: Cornell's Evan Starkman talks about his MTV..." Sports Illustrated. May 8, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  3. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Evan Starkman, Contestant on MTV's The Duel (Part 2)". Buddytv.com. 2007-01-11. Archived from the original on May 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  4. ^ "TV Talk: Evan from The Duel". Dose. November 22, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "Evan Starkman, Official Member of Forbes Councils". Forbes Councils. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  6. ^ "Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat | Full Episodes, Photos, Episode Synopsis and Recaps". MTV. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  7. ^ "Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Duel | Full Episodes, Photos, Episode Synopsis and Recaps". MTV. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  8. ^ "Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet III | Full Episodes, Photos, Episode Synopsis and Recaps". MTV. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  9. ^ "RW/RR Challenge: The Duel II | Full Episodes, Photos, Episode Synopsis and Recaps". MTV. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  10. ^ "RW/RR Challenge: The Ruins | Full Episodes, Photos, Episode Synopsis and Recaps". MTV. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-05-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "About - The Bait Shoppe". www.baitshoppe.com. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  13. ^ "The Bait Shoppe Named Agency of Record for North American Experiential Marketing and Communications by PRIMARK". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  14. ^ "Primark Taps The Bait Shoppe To Raise U.S. Awareness". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  15. ^ Shanahan, Mark; Goldstein, Meredith (September 7, 2010). "Tattoos on view". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  16. ^ "More with Evan Starkman of The Duel 2 - TV Casualty". Communities.canada.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  17. ^ "Branch Out Clothing". Branch Out Clothing. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  18. ^ "Branch Out Clothing". Branch Out Clothing. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  19. ^ "When He Stopped Being Polite and Started Being Real". The Cornell Daily Sun. February 23, 2007. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  20. ^ Moaba, Alex (2012-10-24). "Tonya Cooley 'Real World' Lawsuit: MTV Settles 'Toothbrush Rape' Lawsuit". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  21. ^ McKay, Hollie (2011-11-04). "Tonya Cooley 'Confused and Frightened' After Alleged Sexual Assault on MTV Show, Source Says". TV. Fox News. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  22. ^ Quigley, Rachel (2011-10-30). "'She is lying': MTV producers dismiss Real World star Tonya Cooley's claims that Starkman and Santucci penetrated her with a toothbrush without her consent as cameras rolled during an alcohol-heavy party". News. London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  23. ^ 14 MINS (2012-10-24). "Real World Rape? MTV, Tanya Cooley Settle Lawsuit". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  24. ^ http://screenertv.com/television/the-challenge-johnny-bananas-tonya-cooley-kenny-santucci-evan-starkman/

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