The Challenge’s Corey Lay says he’s ‘not proud’ about hurting Battle For a New Champion castmates

the challenge star corey lay face shot from season 39 on mtv
Corey Lay during The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion is the 39th season of MTV’s competition series and features only non-winners of the show.

Among those vying for his first championship is Corey Lay, who previously appeared as a rookie in the Spies, Lies & Allies season.

During early episodes, viewers saw Corey bonding with various castmates, including returning stars Big T Fakazkerley and Melissa Reeves.

However, he shocked them when he revealed during a deliberation that he had been deceiving and lying to them to pretend he was working with them.

It was a move to prove himself to a larger alliance in the game, who may have distrusted Corey’s loyalties based on how it seemed he was playing the game.

However, Corey recently revealed that he wasn’t proud of how he handled that Season 39 situation, which led to him hurting two castmates.

Corey shared that the ‘weight of going home’ was on every Season 39 decision for him

Corey was the latest Challenge guest to appear on The Zach Nichols Podcast, and he spoke about his move from the reality TV dating show 12 Dates of Christmas to The Challenge.

He explained that he watched older seasons of The Challenge featuring icons like Aneesa Ferreira and Coral Smith. Zach asked if it felt much different being on the show compared to what he’d seen, and Corey said it was.

“It’s so much harder. Like, I watch myself back even on this season, and I’m like, ‘Corey, why did you do this?'” he said.

However, he said the “weight of going home” is a lot for him due to representing gay men on the show and his job. He said he has to take considerable time off from a better-paying job as a video game developer to do the show, so every “decision” on The Challenge is crucial to extending his time there, “so it’s worth it.”

Corey indicated he plays the game for now, not future seasons. He said if he “has to burn a bridge” with a castmate, he will because he’s unsure if he’ll appear in a future season due to his work commitment.

He explained that in his deliberation speech, where he revealed that he wasn’t working with Big T and Melissa, he wasn’t attempting to get people not to say his name. Instead, he was trying to show his greater alliance that he was loyal.

It resulted in Big T and Melissa being hurt after bonding and sharing personal conversations with him at The Challenge house.

He admitted he told all of his castmates at the deliberation to go ahead and vote for him, even though it wasn’t shown in the show’s final footage.

Corey said he’s ‘not proud’ of hurting Big T and Melissa

Corey also revealed on Zach Nichols’ podcast that he regretted making the moves he did, including what he told Big T and Melissa in front of their castmates at deliberation.

“I knew immediately what I did was wrong. I wanted to put a line in the sand. I wanted to make a game move. I didn’t want to hurt people and be mean,” Corey said.

“I’ve said it before: I don’t do well when I’m backed in the corner. I feel like I was backed into a corner. They don’t show it, but halfway through the nomination, Berna says to me, ‘Corey, this isn’t you, why are you acting like this?'” he shared.

He said he knew he had hurt Big T and Melissa, and they were “probably the two people” who would’ve fought for him the hardest in the game, but he didn’t realize it until making that move.

Corey said he felt “stuck” at the moment, which led him to what he did at the deliberation.

“I’m not proud of myself for not having more of a backbone and for not standing up for people who cared about me because a lot of people did not care about me,” he said.

He admitted he lied about “using” Big T or Melissa because, at the time, he felt it was “the only way” to convince the more significant alliance he was with of his loyalty.

Since the filming of the season has ended, Corey’s two Season 39 castmates have brought him up online, suggesting he exhibited further manipulation toward them after they forgave him.

Melissa also pointed out what she felt was a “creepy” action he took against Big T, allegedly sharing an unapproved photo he took of her online.

Corey survived a potential elimination matchup vs. a champion

Viewers saw Corey head into The Arena with castmate Emanuel Neagu during a men’s elimination in Season 39. The daily challenge winners voted for Emanuel, while castmates voted for Corey during the deliberation mentioned above.

At The Arena, host TJ Lavin brought out the latest Challenge winner, Devin Walker, from the Ride or Dies season. Devin was the first champ to randomly pull the “Chaos” weapon during The Draw, allowing him to pick any guy he wanted to face except the two guys on the daily winning team.

While Corey said during Zach’s podcast he told Devin to choose him since castmates wanted that, Devin opted for Callum Izzard instead. With that, Corey returned to The Challenge house, surviving a potential elimination.

However, he still had to return to the house and face Melissa and Big T, who were understandably upset by his game moves.

That said, the next episode saw both of his potential rivals up for elimination and one ousted from the game, with Corey among those leading the charge to vote them into The Arena.

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

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