When it comes to reality TV, everyone loves a good crossover episode, and nowhere is that more apparent in MTV’s newest shows. In Ex on the Beach, MTV brought our favorite reality TV personalities from our most beloved shows, like The Bachelor and Vanderpump Rules, to one beach. Now, they’re doing it again on The Challenge: Final Reckoning, where MTV veterans are competing alongside and against rookies from other shows and networks. Ahead of tonight’s new episode of The Challenge: Final Reckoning, we caught up with Faith Stowers from Vanderpump Rules and Ex on the Beach. She spills the tea on why the other cast members underestimated her, her love triangle with Kyle and Cara Maria, why she doesn’t love Lisa Vanderpump, and more. Tune in tonight at 9pm/8pm c for a new episode of The Challenge: Final Reckoning.
What made you decide to do The Challenge coming off of Ex on the Beach?
I just wanted something exciting to do. I used to watch The Challenge when I was a little younger. And I noticed how intense it was, and I always wanted to know how I’d do or how far I’d get.
I think it’s hard to come in as a rookie, but you and your partner did really well. Do you think you were underestimated because you are new to the game?
Yeah, we’re definitely underestimated because we’re rookies and a girl team. We’re two girls partnered up. This season you have really strong teams. You have Kyle and Brad, two big guys, two really strong guys. Johnny, Tony, you have really cool, strong big teams there. So I think people underestimated us because we’re rookies.. and us being two females … they didn’t think we would do as well as we did. So we definitely showed them very, very wrong at the challenge.
Do you feel like men have an advantage in the challenges because they’re often bigger?
I mean, they have somewhat of an advantage because they’re strong, but there are certain challenges that require more than just strength. They require partners to really have to work together, and sometimes because you’re strong in situations won’t help you when it comes down to buckle down and really be on the same wavelength and work together. I think me and Angela that day were on the same wavelength, we really decided to go in there and give it our all.
How do you think you and Angela work together as a team?
We did really well. I felt like she struggled a lot with a lot of our challenges and I felt like I had to carry her, not gonna lie. So I mean, that kind of sucked, but every challenge we did she got stronger and stronger. But I’ll let you guys decide how well we did working together or who carried who.
Do you think The Challenge was what you expected going into it?
No, it was nothing like I would have expected. I’ve never done anything like this in my life. Even with the military, I thought that required me to have certain types of strengths. Challenges are different. A lot of psychological issues—there’s things that happen in the house, there’s dating, there’s partying, there’s getting up in the morning and doing something totally extreme and crazy. I wouldn’t say it’s tougher than the military, but it’s right up there. It’s really tough. I’m really glad I did it, I feel like I’m part of an elite group now.
Would you do another challenge?
I’d pretty much do anything for MTV—they’ve been really good to me, almost like a family. The Challenge is tough as hell, I’d have to pray about it. But yeah, I mean who knows? I think The Challenge has helped me become who I am, so I’d like to do another one to see how I’d come out of that.
What made you take that leap from Bravo to a different network and style of show?
I just felt like it was another opportunity for me to really get to show who I am. Bravo, I didn’t get to show who I was. Lisa kind of made me feel like a fill-in. I kind of felt like I was there for a purpose—she made it clear that she wanted people to know that she had a diverse group of workers working for her, pretty much. And that’s what I felt like I was there to do. I didn’t have any interviews, anytime something happened I didn’t say how I felt about it. I just felt lost. And MTV let me be myself, they actually cared about who I was. People didn’t even think that I was funny until I came to MTV. It was refreshing to be with people who actually cared about where I was going in life and wanted me to show people my [story]. So I feel grateful to be a part of the Viacom community.
You definitely have a more robust storyline on The Challenge, even in the first two episodes.
Oh yeah, but that’s not even on purpose, nobody told me going into it that’s what they wanted to do, it’s just… I do what I do at home, you know? I like a guy, I’ll kiss him. If I want to beat somebody in something, I’m going to do my best to beat somebody at something. That’s just always how I’ve been. I try to respect people, I try to respect myself. I’m a human being, things happen, and MTV was willing to capture that and let me be me.
On the topic of seeing a guy and going for it, what made you go for Kyle initially?
Honestly, you know what’s funny? Me and Bananas rolled down on the plane together, and we were actually hitting it off in the beginning… I like funny guys. If he can make me laugh, and you’re attractive and you have a type of spunk to you, I’ll probably give you the type of day. Or I might kiss you.
I felt like Kyle, going into it, I didn’t see him flirting with Cara, I didn’t see him flirting with Marie. Every time he saw me, he seemed like he was really into me. And he knew a girl on the show, her name is Kayleigh, she’s from the UK as well. She’d come to me and tell me “hey you know Kyle? He really likes you, you know.” Like wow, ok, if you’re telling me he likes me maybe I should take this a little more seriously. So I got to know him, and Kyle has tattoos and he’s tall. I like those kind of guys. He has a good family, too. Kyle has an adoptive African brother who he’s really close to, and he’s really close to his mom. He just comes from a really good background. I’m really glad I got to know him, even if I want to kill him this season.
Hooking up with Kyle also worked out in your favor strategically, since Kyle is on a strong team and he’s a good competitor.
Yes, it helped a lot. I’ll be real with you, a part of me liked him a little bit as part of being attracted to him. But there’s also part of me that had the strategy of knowing that he wouldn’t vote me in. Brad is a triple OG, you know? And Kyle is funny, he loves everyone and he’s a really tough competitor. Angela, my partner, is hot, she’s a beautiful girl, so she’s catching attention left and right from the other teams. So we’re safe. I felt good about not going into elimination, I really did. And I knew if we were to go into elimination… I was thinking [the team we would go against] would be Cara. Which sucks, because she’s also an OG. So that did suck, but it was really well worth it when those lonely nights came around.
Cara has won a number of challenges—were you nervous about potentially making her an enemy?
Yeah! I looked up to Cara when I was watching those shows. I was like, “Wow, The Challenge is a tough show, this girl’s rough cut”—she calls herself a knight instead of like a princess, you know? So I’m like, “alright, tough girl”. But at the same time I’m like, “dude, you can jump off buildings and run across buses and stuff like that, but you’re dealing with somebody who’s shot rifles and thrown grenades. I’m a tough girl too.” So if she were to come for me, I hope she laces up her boots tight. That’s how I feel about it.
How is your relationship now?
With me and Cara or me and Kyle?
Me and Kyle are good, that’s my boy. Hopefully he comes to see me in California. He’s a really cool guy, he’s a sweetheart.
Me and Cara, not so much. Me and Cara don’t like each other at all. She actually just got caught talking crap about me, because she thought me and Angela weren’t in a group text that Jozea put us in, and we caught her ass. I read the text messages she sent that said, “Faith and Angela look like thirsty thots this episode.” And then she goes to say, “oh wait, who’s in this group text?”
That’s the number one lesson of the group text: you don’t talk shit unless you know who’s in it.
Group texts 101! I haven’t seen what thirsty thots me and Angela look like—hopefully not as thirsty as she looks on Paulie.
I did read they’re dating now.
I mean yeah, you could call anything dating. But if they are dating, I wish them the best. Knight on knight love, I love it.
Do you have any other lingering thoughts about this whole Kyle/Cara Maria drama? As I was watching, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to Vanderpump Rules because it’s like these two dramatic love triangles.
Oh my god, no. Honestly, I can’t get away from it. And I’m trying to evaluate everything in my life and figure out what it is, but I think the whole Jax and Brittany thing—I understand that. I should have done more homework. I should have backed away from a guy who was constantly filthy. I should have said no. And then Ex on the Beach, they put me on a date with Tor’i who was with Angela. And I go to The Challenge and it’s like Kyle and Cara—who are not dating, who are not together—but I’m still making enemies, because they used to be together and the guy likes me. It’s like, I can’t win when it comes to guys. I feel like I should just date girls from now on, I don’t know.
I just feel like I’m definitely trying to not be looked at as that girl, but it’s like, this stamp that has been following me. Maybe I’ll book a show where I’ll like somebody and we’ll be together, and I’ll have to worry about another girl stealing my man. But you know, pray for me.
Well, I feel like in a lot of situations, the woman is blamed even if it’s primarily the man’s fault.
Yeah, absolutely. And me and Cara talked about that and I hope we can come to an understanding one day. It just really irritated me, because I looked up to her, she’s a strong woman. And I didn’t think someone like her would be affected by a man so much, but I have to understand that she’s a woman too. She has feelings, she has emotions, she cares, and I definitely didn’t mean to hurt her feelings. I didn’t mean to come in between anything like that. I have my needs, I was in South Africa, there was a hot guy…
If they were together and he was saying they were together, that would be another thing. I would not have hung out with him. But he was blatantly saying they were not together, they were never ever getting back together. I thought she was happy [with Paulie].
And wasn’t Paulie dating someone while he was on this show?
Yes, he was. Absolutely. They were in love, from what he told me. Literally, hypocritical that I’m trying to homewreck or whatever, but it’s like, girl, you knew that this guy had a girlfriend. Paulie told me he wanted to get engaged to her, he wanted to ask her to marry him as soon as he got home. And she knew that! Cara, I’m not sure what she said, but she said something like, “well, you know, there’s a million dollars on the line.” So what is it called? Polidicking? She and Paulie were polidicking or something like that?
So it was pretty intense to watch something like that, because he had a girl he was in love with. And it’s hard to be faithful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s harder when a woman is definitely going out of her way to seduce a man too. And Cara’s a cute girl, she’s an attractive woman. Paulie’s my boy… I’m not sure if he knows he made a mistake, but he definitely sounded happy when I talked to him, a couple days ago. He seems really happy.
Tune in to watch this all play out Tuesdays 9/8c on The Challenge: Final Reckoning!