The Challenge‘s 36th season is well underway and one of the storylines in the first few episodes of the season was Tori Deal causing friction in the house, especially with the female rookies, who felt that she was too cocky and demeaning by calling them weak and saying she wanted to go into elimination against them.
One of the rookies who clashed with Tori, Amber Martinez, recently revealed that she was actually a fan of Tori’s before she met her on Double Agents. Amber made the comments both in her recap videos for the season and in an appearance on the Challenge Mania podcast, where she said she “used to love” Tori, but it wasn’t long in the season before her feelings changed.
Amber ended up helping to orchestrate Tori’s demise on the show when she conspired with her alliance to get Tori into elimination against her friend Aneesa Ferreira, an elimination she ultimately lost.
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Amber Said She Was Excited to Meet Tori & Had No Reason to Expect That They Would Butt Heads in the House
In her recap for episode five, which was the episode in which Tori got eliminated, Amber spoke with her cousin Kimmy Gutierrez and revealed, “I used to love Tori!” Kimmy replied that when they went to the hotel prior to the season, Amber was excited to see Tori there. Amber explained, “Yeah, Jordan dropped her off at the hotel and I saw her and I was in awe because y’all know I’m a f****** Tori fan — well I was — and I respected her as a competitor because she did her s***, she stayed out of drama, she wasn’t cocky.”
In her recent appearance on the Challenge Mania podcast, Amber addressed how her feelings about Tori changed during the Double Agents season. She was asked how much she knew about the returning cast members before going on the show and if she expected to butt heads with Tori.
“Absolutely not,” Amber replied. “I didn’t even think I was not gonna like Tori because watching her, I was like wow this girl’s a great competitor, she made it to a final her rookie season, you know, she’s this person on Instagram that spreads positivity.” She continued:
She’s funny, a likeable person but you know when I met her she was still like that until she just had this weird energy and she made me feel uncomfortable, like her and Aneesa with their little side-eyes and laughing. And then she started calling me weak and a layup and at that point I’m like whatever, people are gonna have their opinion it’s not gonna bother me.
She said she didn’t expect that she would end up disliking Tori but she’s learned that people can be different than how they appear on reality TV shows and when getting to know someone.
Amber Said Tori Seemed to Have Forgotten That ‘The Challenge’ Isn’t Just About Physical Strength
Amber also said that she thinks Tori has forgotten that The Challenge isn’t all about the size of a competitor or their physical strength. During the episode, Amber could be seen confronting Tori about her use of the word “weak” to describe the rookie competitors. In her reaction video, Amber said she told Tori, “There’s no reason why you’re calling me weak, small, and then when I see you the morning you tell me, ‘good morning how are you today.’ I don’t like that.”
She said she asked Tori why the veteran thought she was weak and Tori answered that it was because of her small size and she hadn’t proven herself yet. Amber said she told Tori that Camila [Nakagawa] beat her in XXX: Dirty 30 despite being much smaller, and Tori replied that Camila only beat her because of a puzzle.
Amber then said she told Tori, “She still beat you! Do you not understand The Challenge is not only physical, it’s about being like, political and strategic and sneaky.” Amber said Tori forgot that those aspects are also important, “because she’s so focused on being the strongest girl in the house.”
On MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast, Tori said she shouldn’t have used the word “weak” because it’s the wrong word. She said, “I should have used ‘inexperienced’ because nobody likes to be called weak, it’s super demeaning so I really do apologize to anybody that I offended when I said that. But what I was really trying to say is ‘inexperienced rookie.’”