The Challenge: Tori Deal says some Ride or Dies cast members didn’t believe Amber Borzotra’s autism diagnosis

tori deal during the challenge 38 reunion special
The Challenge star Tori Deal during the Ride or Dies reunion. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge: Ride or Dies cast got back together in a two-part reunion special to discuss things that happened during the recent season.

There were also some announcements and reveals from cast members, including Amber Borzotra, who shared that she and Chauncey Palmer were expecting their first child.

A second announcement from Amber had her emotional as she revealed she’d been diagnosed with autism and was still learning about her situation.

The 34-year-old became teary-eyed during the reveal as she explained how difficult it’s been for her to figure out her identity.

Amber’s reveal led to several castmates offering support for Amber, as shown during the reunion episode.

However, it also brought about commentary from Tori Deal following the episode’s airing on MTV that may have surprised some fans and sparked some outrage.

Amber Borzotra revealed her diagnosis at The Challenge 38 reunion

During the second part of the Ride or Dies reunion, host Maria Menounos brought up Tori’s situation involving how she worked on her mental health, which Tori addressed during episodes of the season.

After Tori spoke more about her situation and became teary-eyed, Maria turned her attention to her castmate, Amber, asking her to share something personal she had revealed backstage.

“This is the first time I’m sharing this with anyone besides my family and Chauncey. I was diagnosed as autistic,” Amber shared as she became emotional.

“I struggle in social settings, and this pressure has been so much on me. I’ve taken meds for depression and anxiety in this game, and I’ve told people I haven’t because it was embarrassing,” she said, adding, “It was embarrassing for people to make it seem like it wasn’t working. So, it was something deeper.”

After Season 38, she said she needed help figuring out why she’s been the person she has been her whole life.

Maria asked Amber to go into an explanation of the “autistic traits” she told her about, such as “mirroring” or “masking.”

Amber said some of those traits include biting her lip, twirling her hair, or rubbing her hands. 

“I wish I would’ve found out a lot sooner because I’ve struggled with my identity for 34 years. But I love me, and it’s also given me the chance to, you know, embrace the amazing person I am,” Amber said at the reunion.

Amber also shared several updates on her Twitter, including one in which she said revealing her diagnosis was not easy for her but felt relieved to make the reveal.

“For those that understand the spectrum know there are levels to it so don’t judge anyone based off what you ‘think’ autism is. Do your research before speaking ignorance,” she tweeted.

amber borzotra tweets about her diagnosis
Pic credit: @amberborzotra/Twitter

Tori Deal comments about Amber’s autism diagnosis reveal

During an episode of MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast, Tori spoke about Amber’s reveal during the reunion and how cast members were taking the information in.

“Nobody was really expecting her to say that,” Tori said. “And then I think people were trying to support her and trying to figure out how, but it was mostly just listening and taking it all in.”

“You’re trying to understand on a deeper level, and she really did … she was proud of it. And so, taking in that and taking in the fact that she was pregnant, these are two major announcements on a reunion.”

“I think it definitely caught some people by surprise just because certain people don’t like Amber, and I think that they were trying to figure out if it was real or not,” Tori said on the podcast.

“In my opinion, if somebody’s gonna say this and speak their truth, let them be their truth. It’s not up for me to decide whether or not I believe it.”

During the reunion episode, several cast members spoke up as Amber became emotional while discussing her diagnosis. Among them were Nany Gonzalez and Johnny Bananas.

“Your diagnosis does not define you,” Nany told Amber. “We’ve loved you before this, and we’ll continue to love you after.”

“I don’t want you to think that you’re in this world alone,” Bananas said. “We really do care about you. We really do support you, even though it may not come across like that sometimes.”

The Challenge: World Championship premieres Wednesday, March 8, on Paramount Plus.

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