Michele Fitzgerald executed an impressive season of The Challenge as she navigated the complexities of a large alliance in Battle For a New Champion.
Unfortunately, her hard work behind the scenes, playing the political game, cultivating friendships, and managing various personalities in her alliance helped many of her friends get farther than she did.
In Episode 17, viewers watched Michele get purged after being the first to fall into the water during the Drumroll daily challenge.
With that sudden drop, her chance at reaching her first-ever final on the show and possibly winning came crashing down.
She revealed after her exit that she was proud of her gameplay during the season but is now “grateful for a break.”
Note that this report may contain spoilers for upcoming The Challenge seasons on MTV.
Michele said she received ‘so much hate’ for Season 39
While her loss was disappointing, Michele bowed out gracefully as host TJ Lavin and her castmates bid her farewell.
With her out of the game, others scrambled for control as the final approached. Michele’s friend and ally, Berna Canbeldek, won the daily, allowing her to begin the safety voting ahead of another Conquest elimination. Most of Michele’s friends managed to stay safe from going into the elimination with Michele ousted.
However, Michele’s pal Olivia Kaiser went into an elimination with James Lock and Nurys Mateo. Nurys won her second straight to send two more players home and stay in the game.
Taking to Twitter, Michele reacted to her exit just ahead of the season’s final. The Season 39 final will feature her ride-or-die, Jay Starrett, competing with seven others, including fan-favorite Nurys.
“I’m proud of the game I played on #TheChallenge39 . What is a season without villains and heroes? I have received so much HATE for playing a game I love with people I love, but to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing. Proud of myself and so proud of ALL my friends for making a final,” Michele wrote.
In another tweet, Michele mentioned getting a break from the show, as she’s appeared on three recent seasons: The Challenge: Ride or Dies on MTV, The Challenge: USA 2 on CBS, and MTV’s recent Battle For a New Champion.
“I left for USA2 on April 7th which means that for exactly 10 months The Challenge has been my life. It’s had its ups and downs but I’m so grateful for the opportunity and now so I’m so grateful for a BREAK 😂😅,” Michele tweeted.
Michele’s Season 39 didn’t just include her sitting on the sidelines. Earlier in the season, she defeated returning Challenge champion Cara Maria Sorbello, who called her down for an elimination event at The Arena.
Will Michele return to The Challenge after Season 39?
Michele’s Battle For a New Champion appearance was her fourth on The Challenge, as she initially debuted on Spies, Lies & Allies. That season saw her teaming up with fellow rookies, including Corey Lay and Tommy Sheehan, but she was targeted early since she was a Survivor winner.
As of this writing, the cast for Season 40 of MTV’s competition series is still being determined. Rumors about who will appear on the show have started circulating online, with several Season 39 stars expected to return.
Among them are Olivia, Kyland Young, and, unsurprisingly, Michele, who may be almost finished enjoying a short break. Online rumors suggest The Challenge Season 40 cast is expected to depart for filming the show in March.
Currently, Michele’s friend Jay isn’t listed among potential cast members. Olivia appears to be the only ally from Season 39 with Michele, as the others are MTV veterans with four-plus seasons of the show.
The Challenge: Battle For a New Champion airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.