Tune in to The Challenge: Final Reckoning Tuesdays at 9pm on MTV!
The Challenge: Final Reckoning premiered last night on MTV, and needless to say some serious shit went down. And I mean shit literally went down, like beneath the earth, because contestants were buried alive only to be rescued by their mortal enemy, aka their new partner. Personally I would have just quit the game and left my nemesis to die slowly from their own paranoia and lack of oxygen, but that’s why they don’t put me on reality TV. In honor of this new season, we spoke to last season’s champion and the human embodiment of a CrosFit gym, Cara Maria. In our interview she spills the tea on that controversial Paulie hookup, puts some others on blast for their own hookups, tells us what really happened with Kyle, and reveals if she murdered her partner Marie. Fingers crossed for the last one! Here’s what the baddest bitch in the game had to say.
First of all, congratulations on winning Vendettas.
Thank you! That is like the coolest thing ever, like before I used to walk down the streets and people would be like “yo, Cara, what’s up!” and now people call out “yo, Cara, congratulations!” and I’m like “COOL!”
We all watched the season premiere last night, and you have to tell us how you felt when you dug Marie up from that grave and learned she was your partner?
Uhhhh like all hope was lost. I’m so competitive that when I was digging up the grave I was like “I’ve got this, I’ve got this, you’re up! OH GOD.” Only because I don’t care who I’m partners with. I could be partnered with the worst challenger in history, I don’t care about abilities. I care about heart. And I don’t feel like Marie ever showed that she had any. First of all, she only seems to care about what other people think about her. And second of all, she quits—she said it herself. She quit in the basket elimination with Kailah, she said Kailah had a better chance later on so she just didn’t even try. She quit in the eating challenge. She throws all of her friends under the bus and has allegiances to no one. No matter who is in her life, she’ll throw anybody under the bus at any point. She’ll betray anybody. So I just didn’t like her. She was not my type of human. And the fact that she basically campaigned on Twitter to make me be her partner, like she made this happen. And I felt used and I just didn’t like her and how she goes about things. It wasn’t so much worry about the competition, I just didn’t like her.
And so do your feelings throughout the season change?
Oh, we are THE team to watch. The reason I say that is because the hate is real, and then at some point you never know what’s going to bring you together with someone, you know?
Let’s get into the boy drama. In the premiere it seems like Kyle ghosted you between seasons, is that what happened?
No! I know that’s how they showed it, which is frustrating. Kyle, first of all, is single. He can live his life he can do what he wants, I’m gonna live my life, do what I want. The problem is, he doesn’t want me to do what I want to do, he only wants to do what he wants to do. If I flirt with anyone, if I do anything, he’s incredibly jealous. He’s a dick.
We saw each other in between seasons, he visited me, visited my family. And then he goes to Thailand and I can’t even explain what happened, but I thought at the end of the day at least we were friends or bros. Like I hang out with all the boys, with Zach with Tony with Johnny, like I’m just one of their little brothers, you know?
Then when we get to the house, Kyle lies about literally everything. Every time he opens his mouth, he is lying. In the house, they didn’t show it, he is in one breath in my ear flirting with me and being cute with me and in the next he’s shitting on me behind my back. So literally if you look up the word fuckboy in the dictionary he’s being a stereotypical fuckboy and trying to play me, and at the same time being a dick! I can’t follow him from one moment to the next, from one lie to the next. He’s lying saying he has a girlfriend, then he comes in and hooks up with Faith. But you just said you had a girlfriend. What are you doing? It made no sense and he was fucking with my head and lying. You’re not even treating me like a friend at that point. If he could have just been a man and come in and said “look I want to sleep with other people. Let’s be friends. I’ll still look out for you, I’ll still work with you, but I want to sleep with other people.” I’d be like okay, you’re an idiot because I’m awesome, but okay. Just tell me! Because the last I remember from him when we were doing our thing before he came out to Massachusetts I was like, “look you’re in your country, I’m in my country, I just assume you’re gonna do your thing and I’m gonna do my thing and when we’re together we’ll just do each others thing.” And he said, “If you’re with anybody else it’ll break my heart.” He is the one that was trying to stop me from being with other people.
Kind of manipulative?
Very manipulative! And a liar and a player! He’s just like, fuck, who is Kyle?! Who is he? Because I don’t know.
So what drew you to Paulie when you got there? Can you give us the hookup details?
Oh I look like a total loser, I know that. No, basically I was really hammered that night, totally making an idiot out of myself. He played it off really well. Like the thing with Paulie is when I met him at the airport, I was already friends with Natalie, Natalie was my closest girl, and Paulie was someone she knew from Big Brother. And so we were hanging out in the hotel before The Challenge and there was just a good vibe with him. I really liked him, I was drawn to him. When I was going through all that crap with Kyle he took me into the living room and danced with me, he just made me happy. He was somebody whose energy I wanted to be around. And he knew everything about me and Kyle.
He was sober that first night and played off my advances like a pro. He didn’t make me feel like a loser, he didn’t make me feel like an idiot even though that’s what I looked like. He was just really good with me. And I genuinely was attracted to him and interested and I understand, yes, he has a girlfriend, and that’s not a good look. But when you’re in the house with someone and it’s 24/7 you forget about life on the outside. You just look at what’s in there, really. And no excuses, I definitely look like an idiot at the end of the day.
So the hookup happens later in the season?
You’ll have to keep watching. But me and Paulie, he is really sweet with me, and really good. I know I’m flirty, I’m the same way with Hunter it’s just how I am. There was actually no intentions of, I mean actually there were intentions let’s be real, but… even though I wanted to, I really wasn’t going to go there even though I was flirting really hard. It was fun, I was being goofy. I thought it was funny! I was drunk and hurt by Kyle and being funny and Paulie was being good with me. The hookup, if there is such a hookup, you will not see for a while.
Are there any other controversial hookups from this season you want to put on blast?
Um, YEAH actually. We will just say Kyle is a dirty motherfucker. And we will say that what me and him have that was really sweet on Vendettas, I know that there’s some girls that are specifically using me and what following I have to make themselves relevant and, in turn, thinking Kyle might be a doorway to that. And at the end of the day, girl or girls, are gonna walk away crying about it. So whatever shit they want to talk about me now, they’re going to be the ones in tears on camera when they look like assholes because what they wanted didn’t pan out. So I’ll give you that little sneaky-peaky.
Going back to the game for a minute—I know you said you and Marie are a team to watch, but was there a team you were really afraid of?
Well, honestly looking around Brad and Kyle look the most fierce on paper. I mean really, what kind of elimination will there be? Here’s my thought process. I’ll tell you where my head was at. The last challenge I was at where it was like guy-guy, guy-girl, girl-girl, it was Bloodlines. And two challenges in, we were split into two big teams. So there had to be a certain way so guys go against guys and girls go against girls. Even though I had to go against with my cousin Johnny and Vince at one point, it was still mostly set up that way. So I’m assuming this is like a Bloodlines format and that’s how it’s going to twist. I could be wrong. But if two girls had to go against two guys, besides really a puzzle, how can you equalize certain things?
Is there anything super crazy that we’re not going to see on TV that you can spill?
I’ll give you a couple little background things. So in the hotel, Devin came with us. We’re all together in the hotel and came together on a plane ride and had a couple nights in a hotel to get situated before we get going to the main house and seeing TJ. So Devin was with us, he had a family emergency, so he had to go home. We assumed it was going to be some sort of a rivalry, we thought it could have been teams of three, we thought rivals would be a part of it, just because of the new people and how they would fit in, and we were like, “oh shit that would have been Johnny’s partner.” So then Devin’s gone and so we don’t know who’s going to be his partner.
Another thing—you all also missed the part on the first night where me and Johnny got naked, jumped into the pool together, full-on spread eagle, and then I jumped up and gave him a little kiss on the cheek. That’s my banana. But yeah, they didn’t show that. That might be on the shit they should have shown because that was the only part I really remember that night other than trying to get Paulie to “polidick.”
I was pretty impressed with your ability for drunk wordplay!
Thanks! I’m so bad, dude! I want to be embarrassed but I wouldn’t take it back because watching it I think it’s kind of hilarious. “Your best strategy should be to straddle me.”
So you’ve been on so many seasons, how do you keep your game fresh and how do you keep getting so far?
I get lucky, I guess. I don’t know! I’m really bad at politics, horrible at politics, the only thing people can know for sure with me is that if I tell you something I’m going to follow through. I don’t come into a season making promises to everybody. Which is another reason I wasn’t a fan of Marie. She would call everybody and try to make a deal with everybody and if you’re shaking everybody’s hand then you’ve got nobody. You can’t be friends with everybody. My whole strategy is the one thing that doesn’t change. I’ll try to be a little more low-key which is basically impossible, but I’m just confident enough on doing the best I can on challenges and doing the best I can in eliminations and just you know at the end of the day it’s in your hands whether you go home or not. Whether you get voted in every time or you don’t. Ideally you don’t want to see an elimination. That’s not the smartest way to make a final, because yeah you have bragging rights if you win, but you could come back with an injury like Hunter on Dirty 30—which prevents you from going to a final even if you do win—or when I went into an elimination injured my wrist. So you don’t want to see an elimination. You play the best you can to stay out of it and then if you have to go in you just do work.
Any last words about the season? Any regrets, anything you want to say about the final reckoning?
I regret nothing. And this season is literally the most explosive season I’ve ever done. I want to eat every single episode alive. I can’t wait to see every episode. I want to see more. I wish they would make more episodes so you can see what you miss, there’s too much to see. So much went on. I can’t even, I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. And the rivalries are real, there’s so many hookups. And if you didn’t like some people before you’re really not gonna like them now, unless it’s Johnny. You might find yourself rooting for him.
Tune in to The Challenge: Final Reckoning Tuesdays at 9pm on MTV!
Images: MTV ; Giphy; @misscaramaria/Instagram