With MTV’s The Challenge, competitors are typically doing everything they can to stick around until the final, where the big prize money is up for grabs. In many seasons, that could mean avoiding going into elimination, if at all possible.
However, there have been instances where some competitors asked to go into eliminations, decided to quit, or didn’t have their mind in the game and ended up losing.
In the case of one former competitor, she shared during a recent online interview why she was actually happy when she was eliminated early into her only season on the show.
Former Challlenge competitor says it wasn’t what she expected
Season 29 of The Challenge was Invasion of the Champions and features a list of many of the game’s well-known competitors today. However, it also featured newer reality TV stars, including Theo King-Bradley and Anika Rashaun from Real World Seattle: Bad Blood. It was their only season of The Challenge.
The two castmates were rookies on that particular season and had each other’s backs, but as many fans know, rookies aren’t always high up on the list of who’s safe from elimination.
That said, Anika explained in a recent Mike Lewis Podcast episode (below) that she had a strong social game during her rookie season and got along well with most castmates. In fact, it wasn’t really the people that were a problem for her, as she actually liked the scenario a lot more than her Real World season.
Her main issue with the season seemed to be that she expected the accommodations for The Challenge to be nicer than what they were when the cast arrived at the filming location.
“I watched previous episodes or seasons of The Challenge, and I thought we were gonna be in a mansion, and that was not the case. We ended up just pulling up on an island with like a whole bunch of just like shacks, and you know like, dogs, that had like f*****g fleas and rabies and s**t that were fighting each other, and sand and just wetness,” Anika shared.
The Invasion of the Champions season took place in Krabi, Thailand, and saw the cast living in a hut, not a mansion. It also featured a twist where the initial cast was referred to as the “underdogs.” They eventually brought in veteran competitors who were all former champions. That included Chris “CT” Tamburello, Ashley Marie Kelsey, Johnny Bananas, Cara Maria Sorbello, Laurel Stucky, Darrell Taylor, and Zach Nichols.
Anika wasn’t there to see that twist happen, though, as she and her RW castmate’s eliminations happened in Episode 3, which was the episode before the champs arrived on the scene.
Challenge alum said she decided ‘go big or home’ with her elimination
For Anika’s situation, she chose to go into elimination and wanted to do so against Jenna Compono, someone who was considered a tough opponent on the show. However, it was due to her situation on the island and her castmate being sick.
She explained on Mike Lewis’ podcast episode that part of the reason for her going in was due to her RW castmate Theo being sick while he was there, so he wasn’t quite himself. That made him rather aloof from socializing with other castmates. It also was an issue because Anika had been working the social game and was expecting Theo to do well in the physical aspects of the competition.
“It kind of got to the point where they noticed that he was sick and he was weak, and he was gonna be an easy person to take out. So then, that’s why they targeted Theo,” she explained.
Due to that, Anika knew Theo was going to be sent into elimination, and she figured he was the one person there that “100 percent” had her back, so she should probably go into elimination as well. Her reason for choosing Jenna was to “go big,” even if it meant going home.
“I was just like ‘Well realistically, once they take out Theo, I feel like I’m not gonna have that one person who I know will a hundred percent have my back. So like, I’m gonna f*****g go in and go big, and if I go home, I go home big, and if I don’t go home, cool. So it was kind of like for me, ‘why not?’” Anika shared.
She said she volunteered for elimination and had guys asking her if she was sure about it, which she was. Jenna ended up winning the event, and Anika was actually happy to go home, saying she was smiling on her way out.
“I’m gonna be real. I was kinda over being there, like, and that’s kind of how I think Marie [Roda] felt as well because she was gone like the week prior or something like that…she’s a strong competitor, but she was also like a girly girl like me. She wanted to be in like a mansion,” Anika said.
“I’m telling you it was not fun. We were hot and exhausted all day. No air conditioner…there were random dogs on the beach, just like fighting each other. It just was not my scene,” she added.
Despite her displeasure with the setting, Anika said she really enjoyed her castmates, including Amanda Garcia, Ashley Mitchell, and LaToya Jackson. In addition, she has actually returned to live in Thailand, although to a more scenic area. While she’s currently in New York, she told Mike that she and her boyfriend are planning to return home soon.
The Challenge Season 37 premiere date is TBA for 2021 on MTV.