On The Challenge, players come and go throughout the course of the game due to eliminations or unfortunate medical disqualifications that end up ousting them from a season.
However, surprise exists have occurred quite often in several of MTV’s recent seasons, with players having to depart the game for various reasons. Sometimes no explanation is given for their exits.
In the 38th season, Ride or Dies, there were a handful of cast changes throughout the first two episodes, including Kaycee Clark and her brother Kenny making an abrupt exit.
Host TJ Lavin announced the Clarks had to leave the game ahead of the premiere episode’s daily challenge and then surprisingly brought them back in Episode 2.
Before that happened, there was another big surprise in Episode 2 involving Nam Vo. The former Ultimate Beastmaster competitor got removed from the show in yet another season.
Here are more details on why Nam Vo had to leave The Challenge: Ride or Dies season.
TJ reveals Nam had to leave Ride or Dies
Ride or Dies features pairs of teammates who share a strong bond. Unfortunately for Nam, his bond with rookie competitor Emmy Russ wasn’t enough to keep her in the game.
As cast members arrived at the site of the daily challenge in Ride or Dies Episode 2, TJ revealed that another team had to leave the game.
“Before we get started, we have a little news. Apparently, Emmy can’t take it,” TJ revealed, as a clip showed her during the first daily challenge rubbing her hands in some sand near the mud pit.
“Emmy. Nam. You’re outta here,” TJ revealed as footage showed cast members seeming upset and looking around.
However, the episode footage never showed Emmy and Nam with the rest of the cast at the daily challenge site. Instead, the episode featured a confessional with Nam discussing how he felt about the situation.
“Emmy, I’m disappointed in you as a person…as a human being, and as my Ride or Die,” Nam said, adding, “It’s like a punch straight to my face again, and I just hope there will be a future chance for me.”
Nam shared an Instagram post (below) as the episode aired. He commented on how emotionally difficult it was for him to leave the show this way after preparing so much for this season of The Challenge.
He also referred to himself as the “unluckiest guy on The Challenge,” saying, “everything happens for a reason.” Nam also said he would “never give up,” and he’ll patiently await his time to “shine brighter” than ever before.
For Nam, it’s another surprising and unfortunate exit from MTV’s competition show. He debuted as a rookie on Double Agents, teaming up with Olympic athlete Lolo Jones. They had some early sparks flying between them, but those abruptly ended, and the duo experienced difficulty working together effectively as teammates.
Although Lolo eventually left the show, Nam had also suffered a back injury. After Nam got his nagging injury checked out, TJ revealed he was medically disqualified from the season.
A similar fate hit him in the Spies, Lies & Allies season, but much earlier. Based on reports, he was ruled out during the first episode due to COVID-19 and had to go home.
He made it to Episode 2 in his third season, only for his teammate to decide she didn’t want to compete in The Challenge anymore. As of this report, Emmy hadn’t commented on her social media about the departure.
Other players arrived in Ride or Dies Episode 2
After Nam and Emmy exited in Episode 2, three more players arrived to the game. As mentioned, TJ brought back Kaycee and Kenny. He’d announced the duo had to leave the game in Episode 1. Later, Kaycee revealed in an online interview it was due to them testing positive for COVID-19.
However, TJ announced in Episode 2 that Kaycee and Kenny were cleared to return. Nam and Emmy’s departure meant another team was needed as replacements, so Kaycee and Kenny arrived as the final team to compete in the daily challenge.
Later in the episode, TJ surprised everyone again. Moments after the season’s second elimination had ended, TJ said he was feeling friendly and brought out one of the “most iconic” Challenge players of all time.
A mysterious figure walked into The Zone and eventually took his hood down, revealing his face. It was three-time champion Jordan Wiseley, much to the cast’s surprise, especially his ex-fiancee, Tori Deal.
Jordan was the third veteran to make a surprise entrance to Ride or Dies. At the end of the premiere episode, TJ brought out seven-time champion Johnny Bananas with teammate Nany Gonzalez.
Jordan didn’t arrive with a teammate, but most fans have seen in trailers and promotional materials that he’ll be working alongside Tori’s good friend, Aneesa Ferreira.
Interestingly, Aneesa was in the premiere episode with a different teammate. However, that team got edited out due to some quick changes that production made with the Season 38 cast.
Fans also know that at least one other surprise team will show up. The Challenge OGs Veronica Portillo and Darrell Taylor will be back to show if they’ve still got what it takes on MTV’s competition show.
The Challenge: Ride or Dies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.