Sometimes moves that competitors make or don’t make can come back to haunt them in The Challenge, and that seems to be the case for Nelson Thomas.
The multi-time finalist and cast member in The Challenge: Ride or Dies was featured in several episodes where he could have made big moves in the game but failed to. That included this past week’s Ride or Dies Episode 8.
After the episode aired on MTV, Nelson got called out by ESPN’s analyst, Dan Orlovsky, as the former NFL quarterback compared two of his First Take colleagues to Nelson.
“Y’all are like Nelson from The Challenge. You’re too loyal to Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft,” he told his colleagues during the segment, referring to the New England Patriots coach and owner.
“That’s why you won’t say this. The reality is this is a must-win,” Orlovsky said as part of the segment, referring to a Bills vs. Patriots game.
After Stephen A. Smith laughed at Orlovsky’s spiel, he said he wasn’t sure how he determined he’s “loyal to Bill Belichick,” and Orlovsky mentioned The Challenge again.
“Y’all too loyal. You’re like Nelson. Nelson shoulda thrown Fessy in,” Orlovsky said while getting some more comments in.
The Challenge star reacts to Orlovsky’s call-out
Upon learning that he got mentioned on ESPN’s First Take, Nelson was excited by the moment and shared footage of the clip on his Instagram.
“Never thought a kid like me would be mentioned on ESPN @firsttake@dorlovsky@stephenasmith. What do you guys think? Did I make a mistake? What’s more important? Forgiveness or REVENGE? @thechallenge,” Nelson wrote in his IG caption.
“Is there a bigger lesson I should learn from my decision? What you think ?,” Nelly T asked fans and followers.
Orlovsky’s comments are related to Nelson going into The Draw during Episode 8 of Ride or Dies, with two other teams: Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat with Moriah Jadea and Olivia Kaiser with Horacio Gutierrez.
At The Draw, each potential elimination team chooses one of the three daggers stuck in a large rock. Two daggers have clean blades, while the other is marked “Safe.” Nelson drew the safe one, meaning he and teammate Nurys Mateo were safe from elimination.
However, he also had to choose one of the other teams to save. He saved his friend Fessy with teammate Moriah, surprising castmates and fans, as Fessy previously eliminated Nelson from the Double Agents season in a blindside move.
It also surprised many as Nelson and Olivia have been featured in a showmance during Ride or Dies episodes. The impressive rookie duo won their elimination, ousting Survivor stars Jay Starrett and Michele Fitzgerald, while Fessy, a multi-time finalist, also returns to the house.
Ride or Dies castmate reacts, Orlovsky responds
After Nelson shared the ESPN First Take clip featuring Orlovsky’s comments about him, fans and a few castmates commented. That included Jordan Wiseley, who dropped by and called Orlovsky a “savage” for his remarks.
“@jordan_wiseley lol man is too loyal! Fessy woulda sent his a$$ down in a heartbeat! Need Nelly to have a little dog in em,” Orlosky replied in the IG comments.
Nelson also replied, asking Orlovsky if he thought the house would’ve helped Jay or Fessy to win that elimination. During the event, most castmates watching from the upper level were yelling to help out the rookies, causing serious communication issues for Jay and Michele.
It’s not the first time that Orlovsky’s mentioned his love of The Challenge. The former NFL quarterback once referred to Kyle Christie as a “layup” and called out competitors for poor performance during a daily challenge.
Orlovsky has also appeared as a guest for an episode of Johnny Bananas’ podcast, where he discussed his The Challenge fandom.
The Challenge: Ride or Dies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.