The Challenge: Nurys Mateo says she’d planned to throw her elimination and leave Season 39

nurys mateo face shot from the challenge battle for a new champion episode 16 eliminatiin
Nurys Mateo during The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion Episode 16. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge star Nurys Mateo said she was ready to go home from Battle For a New Champion due to frustrations about the game.

Nurys was among the returning stars from Ride or Dies participating in Season 39, which featured a theme to determine a first-time champion.

However, viewers saw her sent into elimination in a shocking moment, which included Olivia Kaiser– someone she felt was a friend, saving another cast member before her at the voting.

In a surprising turn of events, Olivia chose to save Moriah Jadea, ultimately leaving Nurys among the three competitors going into elimination.

This happened after Nurys had decided to save Olivia the week before. To make things worse, Nurys was going into the three-person elimination against her showmance, Horacio Gutierrez, and friend, Kyland Young.

Nurys made Challenge history by defeating two of the top competitors in Season 39 in the elimination and sending them home. However, it almost didn’t happen.

Nurys says she had planned to throw the first Season 39 elimination

The Challenge can be a tough mental game that breaks hearts, fractures friendships, and generally takes its toll on cast members. Before Episode 16, Nurys had remained safe from elimination and seemed to have an easy path to the final.

However, Michele Fitzgerald and Jay Starrett’s alliance did not save her in that episode, as Olivia was in self-preservation mode. After Olivia was chosen for safety from the Conquest elimination, she saved Moriah rather than Nurys.

It was a surprising moment for viewers and especially for Nurys. She called out Olivia on the spot and told her she hoped she felt good about herself when she watched the moment back on TV.

With that, Nurys had to go into the elimination against her showmance Horacio and friend Kyland. While on the Zach Nichols Podcast with Horacio, she revealed she’d planned on intentionally throwing it so the two guys could return to the house and keep fighting to win.

Nurys said a moment not caught on camera involved The Challenge host TJ Lavin and head producer Skye Topic coming up to talk to her, Kyland, and Horacio before their elimination.

“TJ just looked at me and was like, ‘Don’t count yourself out. Like, I know that you’re a woman. I know you’re going against the two strongest guys, but like, give it your all,” Nurys recalled.

“Because, genuinely, I went in there saying, ‘I’m throwing it. I’m giving it to them. One of them deserves to win it more than I do.’”

Nurys mentioned that if the two guys went back to the house, she felt they’d go to the final, and if one of them won, they could hook her up with a piece of the prize money.

Nurys said she’d packed her bags the night before because she had a gut feeling ahead of time that she’d be one of the people getting sent into elimination. She figured if she just went home, it would allow the two guys to win by default and remain in the game.

“I didn’t care what anybody said to me, Jay, Michele, Olivia. I didn’t trust anybody. I didn’t believe anybody,” she said, adding she felt she’d do them a favor and pack her bags ahead of the decision.

She said as she was at the elimination event, she realized TJ was “absolutely right” about not counting herself out. Nurys said when TJ indicated there would be only one winner for their elimination, that also changed her mind about giving her all, as she thought there would be two winners like the previous time.

Horacio initially didn’t tell Nurys about the elimination

Since Kyland and Horacio competed in the first Conquest elimination of the season against Zara Zoffany, it gave them an advantage against Nurys in the second one.

She revealed that initially, Horacio wouldn’t tell her anything about what happened at the elimination.

“I’m actually super annoyed with him because when he first came back, he was like, ‘I’m not telling you anything. Trust me, it’s for your own good,’ and same thing for Kyland. I was like, ‘I’m your best friend,’ and they refused to tell me,” Nurys revealed.

She said they told her details about the first elimination once they got on the bus to drive to their second elimination event.

Nurys said they described how the obstacle course went with completing three puzzles, grabbing flags, and placing them all at the finish spot to win.

They didn’t know that the three puzzles would change, so Nurys’ win is definitely legit, as she displayed her puzzle skills while the two men struggled to complete it.

After winning her first Conquest elimination, Nurys had the advantage going into her second elimination against Olivia and James Lock, who had no idea what the event would involve. As viewers saw, Nurys won again, eliminating two more competitors from Season 39 just before the final.

Her return to the house — both times — had her fired up and feeling like it was her against everyone else in the game.

“When I came back [from the first elimination], I really was like f*** everybody,” she shared on the podcast, saying that’s exactly how she felt at the moment because she didn’t really like anybody at the house then.

The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.

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