Michele Fitzgerald is coming off another appearance on The Challenge, albeit a spinoff version of the show, The Challenge: USA 2, on CBS.
She previously debuted on MTV’s Spies, Lies & Allies season before returning for Ride or Die season of The Challenges with friend and teammate Jay Starrett.
However, Michele is still finding her way around MTV’s competitive reality TV show as it can be pretty different from Survivor, which she won in 2015.
While Survivor can bring its share of drama and issues between castmates, Michele has developed a rival on The Challenge with former friend Amanda Garcia.
Their feud started over another MTV castmate they both tested a romantic relationship with throughout Spies, Lies & Allies filming and airing. The drama seemingly spilled over to CBS’ USA 2 spinoff, as all three were castmates together again.
In a recent interview, Michele spoke about her castmate’s “unwarranted” grudge against her, along with an update on their status as potential friends.
This report will contain spoilers from The Challenge: USA 2 season, including Episode 12’s elimination.
Michele says Amanda Garcia’s ‘vendetta’ helped her
The Challenge: USA season features CBS stars from Survivor, Big Brother, and Amazing Race, as well as six individuals who debuted on MTV shows. Some individuals have won championships, including Tori Deal, Johnny Bananas, and Wes Bergmann.
Amanda was also in the group but was one of several players who had yet to win The Challenge. However, she’s well-known for her involvement in dramatic instances on and off the show, including social media posts.
In an early episode, Amanda gave a bit of her backstory, explaining that two people she didn’t like were also there: Tori and Michele. Her early focus went on Michele, as she voted for her to go into an elimination matchup.
Michele survived that battle, defeating Big Brother’s Ameerah Jones. Following the win, she returned to the house where she and Amanda bickered, with Amanda trash-talking Michele. Her remarks included a shot at Michele getting “dumped” by their castmate.
“Amanda and I have gotten into a feud. Now, every single time, I don’t really have to expose my cards. I could just be like, ‘I’m voting Amanda.’ I could just look like blind hate was fueling me,” Michele told Parade of her early voting strategy on USA 2.
“And thank you, Amanda, for giving me airtime. Because your vendetta against me is unwarranted. And at least we got some TV and drama from it,” Michele shared with Parade.
As viewers saw, Amanda got a lot of votes in Episode of USA 2, putting her against teammate Desi Williams. While Amanda held her own, the Survivor star emerged victorious, and Amanda went home.
Michele says she and Amanda won’t ever be friends
“I don’t foresee us ever talking outside of the game. Listen, inside the game, I respect the fact that she’s a mom and I always ask how [her son] Avonni’s doing, whatever, I keep it simple,” Michele told US Weekly, adding, “We’re apple and oranges. We’re never going to be friends.”
The two castmates seemed to hit it off during Michele’s SLA season on MTV, often appearing together on Instagram Live sessions with Amanda’s friend Ashley Mitchell to chat about their time on the show.
However, things got ugly when Amanda unfollowed her castmate online as the season aired on MTV. Michele’s hookup with their mutual Challenge castmate, Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat, also resulted in some drama as he returned to Amanda after hooking up with Michele. This became a hot topic at the SLA reunion.
Faysal and Amanda are no longer a couple, as he moved on to other women. In MTV’s Ride or Dies season, he was shown exploring potential connections in The Challenge house, which included Michele and several other castmates. However, nothing went further between Michele and Faysal.
Things didn’t work out for Michele with Amanda, Faysal, or her latest Challenge appearance. In Episode 12 of the USA 2 season, Michele was put into elimination by Michaela Bradshaw and Chris Underwood after they won the daily challenge.
Michele battled another Survivor star, Cassidy Clark, in an event where they each had to turn a large steering wheel to move a flame and ignite colored sections of a structure at The Arena. Cassidy smoked the event, lighting all six of hers, while Michele only lit one.
With that, a teary-eyed Michele exited The Challenge: USA 2 just ahead of the season’s final. However, she’ll return for Season 39 on MTV, Battle for a New Champion, which, likely to her delight, doesn’t include Amanda in the cast.
The Challenge: USA 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS. The Challenge Season 39 premieres Wednesday, October 25 at 8/7c on MTV.