The first episode of “The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” saw the departure of Nam Vo and it was followed in the second episode by the “deactivation” of another competitor, Lauren Coogan. During this week’s mission, host TJ Lavin announced that Josh Martinez’s partner “had to leave the game” so Amber Borzotra was brought in to take her place.
Many “Challenge” fans took to social media to express their confusion as many weren’t even aware of who Lauren was since the rookie had been heavily edited out of the show up until then. Unlike Nam, who was shown in a lot of footage in the launch special and first episode, Lauren was only seen in the background of a brief clip or two and was otherwise edited out of the show, similarly to what happened to Dee Nguyen on “Total Madness.”
“Challenge” spoiler account PinkRose said Lauren was accused of making a racially insensitive remark toward Aneesa Ferreira and was subsequently removed CheatSheet reported, but that information has not been corroborated by any cast members or MTV and Lauren wrote on Twitter that there is “no truth” to it. The “Love Island U.S.” star recently participated in a Q&A on her Instagram where she responded to a few questions about her removal from the show.
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She Said It Was the ‘Worst Time of My Life’ & Really Affected Her Mental Health
In a Twitter thread about the situation, Lauren wrote, “All jokes aside, I got gaslit and scapegoated on two major networks within the same month. My anxiety skyrocketed, my mental health was literally in shambles and this led me to an identity crisis of sorts.”
She wrote that reality TV is meant to be entertaining for its viewers and reality stars should not be treated as role models. “We are just people figuring it out (in front of millions) both brave and crazy enough to put our lives out there for the pure amusement of whoever chooses to watch,” she added.
However, she said reality stars are also regular people sharing parts of themselves with their audience so asked fans of the show to “treat people with kindness” and “don’t believe everything you hear/ watch.” Lauren also discussed her experience on “The Challenge” in a series of answers during an Instagram Q&A, where she was asked why she was being edited out of the season:
I don’t really want to answer because it was so traumatic and led me into a lot of therapy, and counseling and the worst time of my life.
She explained that the legal team at MTV didn’t have enough time to review the tapes that included “all the s*** that I was accused of saying before the second challenge because of the time difference between the U.S. and Croatia.”
One fan asked if she’d ever return to “The Challenge” and Lauren replied, “It’s up to whether or not I choose to do it again and redeem myself or if I have the strength or willpower to potentially be gaslit, accused, tried and sentenced without a jury or evidence, I guess. But never say never.”
Josh Spoke About Their Partnership & Said He Was ‘Overwhelmed’ & They Didn’t ‘Align’
Lauren’s partner during her brief time on “The Challenge” was Josh after she picked him in the first episode’s challenge. Although viewers didn’t get to see their dynamic on-screen because of the edit, Josh revealed to US Weekly’s “Watch With Us” podcast that they “didn’t really align” as partners.
“Lauren was so out there,” Josh said. “She was so outspoken, like, the life of the party. I was definitely overwhelmed because it was a lot. She has such a massive personality. I came into the season more focused than ever. … I just felt like Lauren was there to have a good time.”
He went on to describe their time as partners “interesting” and then added, “I think Lauren was drunk like the whole time she was in the house. She was definitely intoxicated the whole time… So that’s the struggle I had with her. I just felt like she wasn’t there for the right reasons,” he told the outlet.
Josh’s comments were picked up on Twitter by a “Challenge” fan account and Lauren replied to the account, “Out there yes.., more drunk than a house of acloholics… no,” she denied.
“The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on MTV.