Stay tuned after the episode for a word from our eliminated challenger, JK. This is a blog, not a tv show. HOWEVER, I will be going into the beautiful, rich, deep history of the first player in our treasured game to bite the dust
***I do not own the rights to these videos***
It’s hard to be a modern Challenge fan and not have an opinion on Ashley Mitchell, for better or for worse. She’s one of the most memorable players in modern history, due to both her unexpected performance ability AND all the Smashley moments along with it. But where did Ms. Mitchell come from? How did it all begin? How did she become one of the most love-to-hate yet successful challenge players in Challenge history (her-story 😉 drag race S/O)? If these are the questions you’re asking yourself, you’ve come to the right place. 🙂
Ashley is great TV, in fact, I would venture to say what she does is “art” (lol) TO ME. Every single MOMENT this woman is on screen, I can’t look away. She’s CAPTIVATING. If you’ve read my Double Agents cast breakdown, then you know she had all of THREE EPISODES (45 MINUTES EACH?) IN HER REAL WORLD SEASON AND SHE IS STILL BY FAR THE MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON.
I want to preface this by saying… everything I cover with the “history” of “Ashley Mitchell” (these are all quotes because although that is her real-life name and her history does belong to her) & in general, when I’m talking about any reality-TV person, it’s through my viewing lense of the EDITED MANUFACTURED TV PERSONALITY & storyline MTV presents to me… What I’m trying to say is please don’t ever send real hate to someone via social media because of what you see of them on TV. You have NO CLUE WHAT GOES ON. For Instance, watch “Unreal”, the fictional show based on the nonfiction behind the scenes of The Bachelor set (You can also read Amy Kauffman’s book Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure about the creation of the show & BTS (behind the scenes) with ex-castmates interviews including Chris Bukowski who shit all over the franchise in this book published in 2018, but then still went back on Bachelor in Paradise summer of 2019… It didn’t make sense, lol) or start listening to the Game of Roses podcast. EVERYTHING IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS VIBES.
I’ve made this joke before, but – every time I say, “let’s start at the very beginning”… My brain goes, “a very good place to start… When you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi!” (this WAS my sixth-grade choir solo that scarred me from trying out for the rest of my middle school career, BUT I could of had it ALL).
So we start as all great reality tv careers do – on The Real World.
Ashley’s first reality TV show was The Real World, Season 29, “Ex-Plosion” where the original 7 cast members’ all had exes come live in the house about a week into the show. If I was on this season of The RW… Oh my mother-fucking GOD, WOULD I BE PISSSSSED. You’re telling me… I just tried SO HARD to get on this national television show just for fucking Joe Schmoe who I used to date but now likely HATE also gets to be on this show with me???!!!! It’s not like your sharing your 15 minutes of fame with your actual friends, it’s your EX. DAMNNNNNN. I would be so fucking mad, LOL.
ANYWAY, this season is literally the entire premise & stage 1 testing of the now “Ex on the Beach” concept (a show Cory later went to star on for the first season – Cory, of The Challenge, but also The RW 29 castmate!), so it feels significantly different than any other RW season because of that (Jenna Compono, another classic modern Challenge vet, was also from this season and she was an EX. HER ENTIRE REALITY TV CAREER… BECAUSE SHE WAS DATING A DUMB BOY IN NEW YORK THAT GOT ON THE RW (JAY))
S/O to the Bill Simmons podcast (although I fervently can’t stand sports, I conversely love a good competition game so here I am still obviously admiring the work of world-renowned Bill Simmons, creator of the best podcast media network “The Ringer” (Home of Bachelor Party with Juliet Litman, home of Higher Learning with Rachel Lindsay & Van Lathan, home of Binge Mode with Mallory Rubin & Jason Concepcion, home of Ringer Dish: Tea Time & Jam Session with Kate Halliwell who went to IU!!!!! AND MANY MANY MORE ESPECIALLY ACTUAL SPORTS ONES WHICH IS THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE RINGER)) calling out Ashley’s “college season”, ie. her RW appearance (one day I’ll do a blog breaking down the best RW characters of all time and why, but until that day), & let’s just say, Ashley has GOTTTTT to be in the top 20, and I want to say top 10.
AGAIN – SHE IS ONLY ON THREE EPISODES. THREEEEEE. And although Cory is a huge star to come out of that season, as well as Jenna closely followed, Ashley has GOT to be the most notorious character of them all. I just imagine her sending in an audition tape and the person watching it is like an old mall security guard on duty when he suddenly sees fucking El Chapo in his mall and spews his coffee all over his keyboard. This is the scene I imagine when I think of the casting producers stumbling upon Ashley Mitchell… Reality TV GOLD-MOTHER-FUCKING-MINE.
THE REAL WORLD, SEASON 29, “EX-PLOSION”
We’re first introduced to Ashley partying on a boat in a bikini (gorgeous start) when she gets a call from The RW producers telling her she’s been selected for the show. This is her reaction:
The premise of The Real World is “the true story … of seven strangers … picked to live in a house … work together … and have their lives taped … to find out what happens … when people stop being polite … and start getting real: The Real World.” That’s ALL, no TWIST (until the last few seasons) – Literally, just watch 7 very different people be forced to live in a house together and see how it goes lol, that’s ALL! Reality TV has evolved SO MUCH. Imagine if some young, bright-eyed Hollywood hopeful went to bigwig TV executives now and pitched the idea for a show of, “… what if we just …. Got seven 20-year-olds together and see what happened….” they’d be like… get OUT.
The whole point of this show is to cast entertaining personalities that do crazy shit… I’m not trying to watch a bible study, okay? NO – I am exPLICITLY looking for people to lose their MINDS. Which Ashley so graciously does on the very first night. 🙂
After the clerb, the whole house + Ashley’s yacht boyfriend go back to their house (context: earlier in the very same day, Ashley was soberly telling the house about her personal trainer boyfriend ie. diff man than yacht man). Jamie, a tatted girl that used to date the main singer of the screamo band, “Asking Alexandria” (my least fav character on the season, lol,u annoying!!!!), decides to put her nose all up in Ashley’s business for actually no reason!!!! She’s like… well… how can this be your boyfriend if he is a yacht man and you said your boyfriend was a personal trainer earlier???
What Ashley does next is …. Questionable… To say the least… BUT, I will always be of the opinion that she was provoked, like what the fuck, Jamie!!!
She blows up at Jamie, saying how her family could “buy and sell” Jamie’s family, and how that makes her better than Jamie!! Her words!!! NOT MINE. This is OBVIOUSLY FUCKED UP TO SAY. There are no caveats, I just want to preface that Ashley has gone away for the evening and she will not be returning until the morning! Lights on, no one is home vibes.
THIS BUYING AND SELLING statement (… A LITTLE DAMN TOO CLOSE TO SLAVERY WHICH OPPRESSED BLACK PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY FOR CENTURIES AS THE EFFECTS ARE STILL FELT AND BEING DEALT WITH IN THIS PRESENT DAY) consequently pisses Cory off as she confirms because her family can “buy and sell” his family, that that actually DOES make her a better person. Hmmm, I’m getting major tr*mp vibes. You can take the girl out of West Virginia, but you can’t take West Virginia out of the girl!!!
HAHAHHAHAHAHHA “Is she famous?” LMAOOOOO – Amazing one-liner from Cory. I also see reality tv greatness within this one.
Then we get the most beautiful, quintessential Ashley clip within the first 20 minutes of knowing Ashley on our screens….
“They’re like, Ashley! What will you do? Um, what can we do on Saturday? What can we do on Sunday? What are the things to do in San Francisco? I’ll tell you – Get the fuck out my city, that’s what you can do. Get the fuck out my city!”Ashley “Get The F*ck Out My City” Mitchell
The next day she is… actually extremely remorseful and embarrassed by her actions… and this .. honestly makes me the saddest for Ashley I’ve ever been. To me, it shows that what she does on TV is a god-given talent… if you want to call it that. I literally… cannot imagine my blackout moments… ones that I do not remember with my memory but then watch on tv… oh GOD. We knew what we signed up for Maga Ann vibes!!!
To feel better she calls her grandma;,( OKAYYYYYYYYY! I have been seen hating on familial relationships on TV in my past blogs (LOL – I do think that was MOSTLY put on by PP’s (ie. Pilot Pete – Peter’s) annoying as HELL FAMILY), but I do find this to be a really sweet moment when her grandmother tells her to “keep her head up” and “show them how tough West Virginia girls are”. :,( I’m always pleasantly surprised when my grandma seems to know me better than I think she does when I’m talking to her on the phone. IDK, it’s sweet.
The next night is just as eventful as the last… Ashley apologies (“beyond sorry” is how she says it) in the clerb to Cory for telling him her family was better than his because they’re rich, LOL. Anddddddd just like that! They are macking as soon as they get home!!! GOD!!! I love these shambly-ass people and I mean that with the utmost respect possible, I’m SERIOUS. Not everyone can do what they do… They give me SO MUCH.
Next, we get the hamburger to her roommate’s face, which I discussed in Ashley’s Double Agents intro… If you missed that (go back and read it now ;)), essentially a blackout Smashley decides to fling a hamburger in the process of being cooked from her skillet into her roommate Arielle’s face.
(Arielle – My favorite castmate of the season. May or may not have to do with her being a lesbian… I really can’t say. BUTTT, it’s OBVIOUSLY more than that. She is a badass aspiring film director, and seems the most rational of the cast. She’s also responsible for bringing Nicole Zannatta to her current girlfriend, Ashley, by way of a shared RW connection, as ASHLEY was the EX OF ARIELLE ON THIS SEASON). Once again, everything is everything, IDK, how many times I will have to say this, but as it keeps being relevant, I don’t see me stopping soon.
Annddddd since we started talking about the GAY Ashley… She was… the VERY SAME ASHLEY NICOLE WAS RAVING ABOUT ON EX ON THE BEACH AND THE SAME ONE WHO AS SOON AS SHE ARRIVES ON THE SHOW NICOLE DROPS POOR SYDNEY LIKE SHE’S A SCALDING HOT CHICKEN NUGGET BURNING THE ROOF OF HER MOUTH.
She ALSO was the Ashley of True Life: Quarantine Stories where Nicole has an episode about her and Ashley living together in Staten Island during the quarantine even though Ashley is originally from California so the whole conflict in the episode is if Ashley will end up staying in NYC or break up with Nicole… SPOILER: SHE STAYS. And while I never want to root against love (my first reality TV love was The Bachelor, after all), I was REALLLLLLLY hoping Nicole was single for this season so I can get my gay girl fix. I still have a lot of hope as I have Aneesa, Kaycee (also girlfriend), and Amber M. are still left on the season. 🙂 And who knows. 🙂 Maybe, even more, dabble, we’ll see. 🙂
LAST part about other Ashley – SPON CON WHEN NICOLE USES A 19OZ CRISP LINEN LYSOL DISINFECTANT SPRAY ON HER SHOES AND BAG WHEN SHE COMES IN EVERY DAY FROM WORK. GODDDDDDD I LOVE THE WEB OF REALITY TV, I LOVE THE WEB OF LIFE!!! (PS. Ashley & Nicole share this True Life episode with Kai of GAY AYTO, who I’m also obsessed with (same season as Amber M.) so I do HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS EPISODE OBVIOUSLY, LMFAO)
LOL, OKAY APOLOGIES – Unforeseen stop at Tangent City, but we BACK. After the burning hot hamburger to Arielle’s face, she calls her GRANDPA, or PAWPAW, absolutely BLACKOUT drunk which again…. I find it to be extremely sweet and endearing, lol (that she calls her grandpa black-out, not that threw a hamburger in her roommate’s face) She tells her “pawpaw” that her roommates are “being mean” to her and that she “doesn’t know why” and I get it, you don’t want to necessarily be telling your grandpa you just flung a burning-hot hamburger into an almost stranger’s face …. But STILL.
She ends up leaving at the end of episode 3 after being straight up missing for 3 days – She calls the house and asks her roommates to take a vote to see if she can return – THEY VOTE NO, LMFAOOOOOOOOOO.
After a DAMN NEAR PERFECT Real World run (in the sense that this woman was born for the screen, folks), Ashley moves on to an even more notorious and infamous CHALLENGE CAREER.
THE CHALLENGE – SEASONS 28-30, 32-36
RIVALS III – SEASON 28
It all started with Rivals III, one of the most legendary seasons in modern history, due to Bananas stealing the end money from his partner, Sarah Rice. This notion set the scene (a little foreshadowing, if you will) for what Ashley will go on to do in her Challenge career.
As a ROOKIE, Ashley gets her notorious “Smashley” nickname INSTANTLY when she first hooks up with Cousin Jamie of season 27, Battle of the Bloodlines, ie. Cara Maria’s cousin who works as a prison guard and helped her get the Bloodline WIN.
She starts hooking up with Jamie on the first night while two of her castmates are in a yelling match, and Ashley, as ingenious as ever, realizes the camera is not on her so she needs to change that. She suddenly turns her head to Jamie and you can see the cameraman be like, oH FUCKKKKKKKKK, quickly switching to zoom in on their kiss.
Moments later, Leroy finds Jamie getting his ding dong sucked in the shower, and the entire cast comes to take a peek. LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Post Cousin Jamie she hooks up with THE HOOK UP KING HIMSELF – TONY RAINES.
Let us not forget – Tony Raines has TWO children, one with EACH OF HIS REAL WORLD GIRLFRIENDS (One was a girl he had known in real life that came onto the show as a “Skeleton”…. but STILL she was on TV): One with Madison he met on the show, and one with Alyssa his real-life lover.
Okay, wtf… he also proposed to Alyssa on a reunion episode apparently, and I accidentally stumbled on it but I love it so very fucking much.
A couple of episodes later, it’s Tony time! Ashley and Tony get to know each other biblically 🙂 Even though they deny it. 🙂 Can’t deny what I see with my EYES.
INVASION OF THE CHAMPIONS – SEASON 29
The next season, season 29, is Invasion of the Champions where the challengers are staying in a shack instead of a mansion ( 😉 Not the first time The Challenge has borrowed a little Survivor-style desperation, a la, The Island, season 16). The cast is comprised of all non-Challenge champions to begin the season, until they are RUDELY awakened at a challenge a couple of episodes into the show where the champions… invade. It’s quite self-explanatory, lol. Ashley doesn’t let this stop her though. 🙂
This was still in the first round of seasons I watched (back in April/May) when I still was very very very new to The Challenge, the history of its players, and its game. HOWEVER, this was one of my favorites to watch the first time, and every time I come back to it (more than I’d care to say, lmao, what can I say! I told YOU I’m in love with Nicole) I fall more and more in love… ❤ ❤ ❤
SHIIIIIIIIIIT, SORRY, this blog is supposed to be about Ashley – This season births the Ashley-Hunter rivalry. It starts how any full-blown hatred between two people begins: with lust!
There’s an elimination Ashley wins in this season that everyone says she “cheated” or that she doesn’t deserve it, but to me, this is a perfect example of how I believe Ashley has won the whole game twice, and how I don’t think it’s just “luck”.
TBT to when The Bachelorette stole this elimination and used it as a part of the “Grown Ass Man” competition (I fucking HATE THAT SHOW BUT I LOVE IT BUT JESUS CHRIST, GROWN ASS MAN???? )
Ashley wins with SMARTS. After 30 minutes into elimination with Amanda, Nicole, and Ashley where they have to pull against each other and hit a bell to complete it, Ashley tells Amanda they’re working against each other, and that they should team up instead to get out Nicole. The crowd agrees with Ashley and Amanda is convinced. Amanda & Ashley pull the direct opposite of Nicole to pull her towards the edge of the ring – Before anyone seems to know what happened, Ashley reaches out and grabs her bell. BECAUSE SHE NEVER LET HER EYES OF THE PRIZE. AND it was her idea to work together with Amanda!!! Which ultimately is the only way she won!!! She wasn’t going to physically outlast these girls. This ALONE will ALWAYS make me respect Ashley as a competitor because she is unique in her gameplay.
Many challengers can get away with physical domination and mediocre political play but Ashley is the QUEEN of OUTWIT and poliDICKING. Every title she has she EARNED.
Also… the end of the seasons has got to be one of my favorite TJ moments. For someone who is literally always cackling at the challengers eating shit, and egging them on to do the most dramatic shit possible… this was such a sweet TJ moment.
I just finally realized why I don’t hate Ashley fully… It’s cuz of how sweet she was to her mom! She’s like all I really want to do after winning The Challenge is call my mom and literally I FEEL THAT. AT THE END OF THE GODDAMN DAY, ALL ANY OF US WANT TO DO IS CALL OUR MOM (or something similar to a mother/father figure).
XXX: DIRTY THIRTY – SEASON… Well, 30, obviously
Ashley is the very first challenger to leave before there’s a challenge or elimination because all her luggage got lost and she doesn’t even have “socks or underwear”. LISTEN, while some of you may think this is extreme (and it is), I UNDERSTAND.
The first time I ever traveled internationally I landed in Lisbon, Portugal where it took me over an HOUR TO GET THROUGH CUSTOMS, and I have never traveled internationally (except one time when I was camping in Minnesota, and we were far enough north I stepped over the Canadian line (again, deeeeep woods and uncivilized area) and peed there. And I’m realizing that is so gross, but that is what I did and We R Who We R – Kesha) so I had no concept of anything but apparently this is a long time… By the time I go to the baggage claim, (Holy covid… I was like.. what’s that one thing called, luggage check…??? Haven’t been to an airport since ‘Nam!) my fucking BRAND-FUCKING-SPANKING-NEW SAMSONITE BLACK HARD SHELL SUITCASE WAS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN.
What WAS to be seen was a MILLION OTHER FUCKING BLACK SUITCASES… and I’m just like … Jesus fucking Christ…. I know I do these things to myself but at the same time… WHY IS LIFE SO FUCKING HARD. So I go to the Portugal help desk and am like.. hi, yes, my bag is missing, and they’re like are you sure? And I’m like, yeah, I’m sure, and then they take me out there and we go ALLLLLL around checking the bags (This one yours? No…. This one? No…. What about this one? …. Nope!)… Long story short – I get my bag back at about 1 pm that day after taking a red-eye from DENVER, LMAOOOOOOO. I can’t wait till that vaccine is fucking pulsing through my BODY, DUDE. The point of this all is … I understand, Ashley, LMFAO. It fucking SUCKS.
FINAL RECKONING – SEASON 32
For Ashley’s fourth Challenge, Final Reckoning, season 32, she gets her second win. 🙂 This now puts her winning % at 50/50 just as good as some of the very best. There are two players currently tied with the highest winning % of seasons played: Darrell Taylor & Jordan Wiseley with 50% winning each. So at this point… one could argue Ashley was as good as the rest of them (Don’t ask me to read off other stats at the time ie. pretending like 4 other seasons worth of stats haven’t happened – I will say though for those who want to test me, what about Johnny???????? NO – He would have won 6/18 challenges at that point, and that is 33%!)
The name of the season is “Final Reckoning”, otherwise known as Rivals V, but using the same title 5 times gets a little redundant so I understand MTV freshening up. Hunter & Ashley are “rivals” or people who need to be… “finally reckoned” after a passionate first encounter on Invasion of the Champions, to a gradual bond of hatred by Final Reckoning. At the very end of the season after revealing Ashley and Hunter were the winning pair, TJ reveals that Ashley was the one ultimate winner, finishing even before Hunter. She gets the choice… Share the 1 MILLION DOLLARS with your partner? Or keep it for yourself. And that girl TAKES THE MONEY, HUNNNNNNIIIIIIII.
She prefaces her steal by saying Hunter has put her and her family down, so she feels justified in taking it… Cut to a clip of Hunter calling her a “stupid slut” and that he would be “coming after her family” if she steals half a million dollars from him… Okay, welllllllll, she just did so NOW WHAT.
Again… I didn’t see this season so I don’t know the full story and I’m WORKING on that I promise, HOWEVER, from my current standpoint I do not believe Ashley was wrong for taking this money. In fact, I find it to be ten million more justifiable than Bananas stealing from Sarah since that whole feud was essentially born out of Sarah putting Bananas into elimination in Battle of the Exes II.. but she was backed into a corner (had only a couple options), and ULTIMATELY, they WERE the best game move to get rid of … So Johnny’s justification for the Sarah steal is actual bullshit (cuz real players respect the game) and a shitty thing to do, whereas if someone is calling me a stupid slut (when I’m a smart slut, just like Ashley) and talking shit about my family… HELLLLLLLL NO. I once again… GET it.
Ashley does evoke STRONG feelings from the people around her and ultimately one of her wins was “dirty” so I do believe this will continue to haunt her for the rest of her Challenge days.
WAR OF THE WORLDS I & II & TOTAL MADNESS – SEASONS 33-35
War of the Worlds, season 33, Ashley’s in the second team eliminated from the game, but the first to lose via elimination (a pair was eliminated in the daily challenge) with her partner from BACHELOR NATION, CHASE MOTHERFUCKING MCNARY.
The ONLYYYYYYY Bachelor contestant to EVERRRRRRRR make the canyon-sized leap between The Bachelor and The Challenge. There have, however, been two other people from Bachelor nation to later appear on MTV – Those are Canadian Daniel (Ex on The Beach: Peak of Love – same season as Nicole… The whole premise of the show is to have a group of singles, then one by one, bring their exes back, and then there’s some process of voting exes out, but only one at a time so it’s basically whoever is the shittest to the whole house. The point is… at one point LAUREL, YES THE LAUREL OF THE CHALLENGE comes back after being an eliminated EX for a TWIST and says now one of the SINGLES WILL BE ELIMINATED, IE ORIGINAL PLAYERS IN THE GAME. The moral of the story, Daniel is the ONLY original castmember/single to get voted out HAHAHAHHAHAHA. IE. HE SUCKS).
And then secondly… Meat Man FUCKING CHAD. Although Chad was singlehandedly the most toxic and worst person to be on this show (I think… gotta think for a second… hmmm brain is racing, it’s racing, it’s racing… okay yeah it’s still Chad), he did, HOWEVER, give us as iconic of a line as he was toxic –
Then we have War of the Worlds II, the only other season Ashley made it to a final too but didn’t win… This put’s her finals winning out of finals competed winning percent higher than 50%….66% to be correct… Not too shabby of odds if you ask me.
Lastly, we have Total Madness where Ashley makes an alliance with Mattie only to burn it approximately 5 minutes later after the whole house erupts when Bear decides to spray a fire-extinguisher onto a room of people with absolutely no fire. Ashley’s pissed cuz she’s choking up dust (fair enough, LOL) so she spits in Bears face. Mattie says, “Spitting in someone’s face where I’m from…. That’s not cool. That’s like punching them”, and basically starts coming for Ashley. Ashley in RETURN starts coming BACK at Mattie, bringing up her DUI (She has since earned herself another one of those… dear Mattie, I hope you’re okay girl and getting the help you need cuz we can’t be having you continually endangering lives like this!!!!!!!!!!). This whole debacle highlighted the already huge target on Ashley’s back, and she’s the second girl to leave the game behind Amazing Race Jenn, losing an elimination to Dee, the previous WoW (season 33) champion.
To wrap this all up… Believe it or not, Ashley got me through this past April. I have yet to mention my other favorite thing to discuss minus Survivor and being gay – DEPRESSION. As cuckoo insano as this is to say… I specifically remember watching Ashley and feeling very inspired by her. Obviously, she has her flaws, but I always admired her confidence in herself. One thing about anxiety and depression is that it makes you feel like you can’t do anything and you’re worthless, tee hee! So for me, a very depressed, non-medicated gal (we got that good doctor-prescribed ish now), to see a normalized (not like she’s ripped out of her BRAINS) looking girl from the South (I’m from the midwest but the purpose remains the same here) continually beating the odds despite everyone thinking she’s a joke and not taking her seriously… IDK. I’m fucking HERE FOR ASHLEY.
Even in her just one episode of Double Agents, and EVEN THOUGH, she is going against the Survivor queen herself (Natalie), Ashley still believes in herself. As someone who struggles to believe in myself pretty much all day every day, ASHLEY IS INSPO.
Thanks, as always, for reading my silly lil blog. 🙂 Til we meet again follow me on Instagram, @itsmeerinweber, or on Twitter, @LiterallyErin, where I post every time I have a new blog. I’m gonna get a “realityweb” specific Instagram soon, but one steop at a time. 🙂 You can also click “follow” below to receive the blogs straight to your email inbox. Thank you, again – You (yes YOU) reading this blog means everything to me. Too-da-loo!