The Challenge: Tori Deal reveals why Nelson Thomas didn’t attend Double Agents reunion in person

nelson thomas during the challenge double agents reunion
Nelson Thomas appeared via Zoom for The Challenge: Double Agents reunion. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge: Double Agents reunion took place over two episodes on MTV, bringing some of the cast into a studio where host Vernon Davis interrogated them about various topics from the season.

While many cast members were there in person, they also had a few cast members appearing by videoconference. That included some UK cast members such as Kyle Christie, Gabby Allen, and Tula “Big T” Fazakerley.

Nelson Thomas lives in the United States and was also one of the cast members who appeared by videoconferencing. While some viewers may have thought production didn’t want a physical altercation between him and Fessy Shafaat, that wasn’t the reason he wasn’t in the studio.

During a recent podcast episode, Tori Deal explained why Nelson wasn’t there in person with other cast members at the reunion.

Nelson featured in big segments for Double Agents reunion

The Double Agents reunion included Nelson in a segment where he and castmate Ashley Mitchell hashed things out. That came due to comments Nelson made about Ashley during the season.

His comments referred to her as a sort of backstabber or snake, but that was mostly due to how she pulled that big move on her previous season. At the Final Reckoning final, Ashley claimed all of the first-place prize money, a whopping one million dollars, for herself. She left her partner for that season, Hunter Barfield, with zero, based on how he treated her throughout the season.

Since Hunter was Nelson’s friend, that seemed to stay in the forefront of his mind, even though he’s a friend of Ashley’s in real life. Things got heated as Ashley confronted Nelson during the reunion. He apologized to her during the reunion for his comments and said he wouldn’t be voting for her next time around, so things seemed to be good there.

In Part 2 of the reunion special, they opened right away, focusing on the Nelson vs. Fessy Shafaat drama that arrived this past season. Nelson expressed his feelings about how he felt Fessy did him dirty during the Double Agents elimination. That was early in the season when Fessy asked one member of the then-Double Agents power team, Tori Deal, to send him in against Nelson for a Hall Brawl.

It was a blindside move that Nelson hadn’t seen coming from a “friend” and ally, and it really left him hurt by it. Following the elimination, he pushed away Fessy on a hug attempt. After the season’s filming, they didn’t really talk. Nelson said all he got was a long text from Fessy on his birthday offering an apology.

They didn’t quite have the sweet apology moment that Nelson and Ashley did in the first episode of the reunion. Instead, Nelson said he wasn’t going to hate Fessy going forward, but he certainly wasn’t going to trust him in the future.

Why wasn’t Nelson able to attend Double Agents reunion?

The Challenge: Double Agents reunion filmed at a studio location in New York City. Interestingly, Nelson was actually nearby in New York for the event but unable to be there in person, so he had to appear via Zoom.

“He was stuck in a hotel room, but in New York, like which is the funniest thing of all,” Tori Deal revealed during the Official Challenge Podcast episode after the reunion.

“It’s just such a Nelson thing to happen, like, I love Nelly to death, but this is truly like the most Nelson-ism thing that could occur,” Tori added.

She mentioned that Nelson was unable to attend because he missed his COVID-19 testing required for the reunion special. Since things didn’t work with the protocols that production was using, he had to appear by Zoom from a hotel room in New York away from the rest of the cast.

Even though he wasn’t there to face Fessy after their drama on the show, castmate Aneesa Ferreira praised Nelson for handling things during that segment. She said he normally “gets hyped up” about things and lets his emotions get the best of him but did well in his moments addressing Fessy.

“I think he did a really good job keeping his cool. I think he did a great job at like really expressing himself without getting angry,” Aneesa said on the podcast.

The Challenge Season 37 premiere date is TBA in 2021. The Challenge: All Stars episodes arrive Thursdays on Paramount+.

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