TJ Lavin Ripped Into ‘The Challenge: Ride or Dies’ Cast Member, Co-Star Reveals

TJ Lavin

Getty TJ Lavin

There were a lot of casting changes in the first few episodes of “The Challenge: Ride or Dies,” including the arrival of Nam Vo and his partner Elmira “Emmy” Russ, who previously appeared on several reality shows including “Celebrity Big Brother Germany 8”, “Beauty & the Nerd 2,” and “Secret Story Spain 1.”

However, the pair only lasted the first episode before host TJ Lavin announced that Emmy had decided to leave before the second challenge, which caused Nam’s unfortunate early exit as well. After the episode aired, several cast members addressed Emmy’s departure in more detail, including the German reality star herself.

Emmy’s fellow rookies Nurys Mateo and Olivia Kaiser appeared on Instagram Live and spoke about how TJ ripped into Emmy after she decided to quit. They said TJ first told the assembled cast members that there was “German royalty” in the house, which caused the competitors to clap. However, TJ then clarified that it was a sarcastic remark as Emmy had quit since she thought she was “too good” to be on the show.

Nurys explained to viewers that TJ was being “so mean” and kept calling Emmy “Emily” and when the German reality star tried to tell him her actual name, TJ called her out: “I don’t care what your name is, just go!”

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Emmy Russ Commented on Her Exit From the Show & Said She Didn’t Feel Appreciated by Production or Her Partner

Emmy took to Instagram to defend her position after her departure, explaining that it was due in part to being cast as an alternate as well as her poor relationship with her partner Nam. Emmy said she learned she wasn’t a main cast member after the quarantine, which was a bad start to her “Challenge” experience as she said she felt “unappreciated.”

She also said she had a decent relationship with Nam before the show, but once they arrived on set with the cast it was a different story. Emmy accused Nam of disregarding her the moment they boarded the bus with the other Challengers as he caught up with the people he knew on the show. She said she felt “used” and alone from that moment on.

She then accused the rest of the cast of being “so damn fake.” She said almost every cast member was “So unauthentic and just so damn fake. Like, I don’t like people like that.” She then said she’d apologized to Nam for him having to leave, as she didn’t realize her partner would be removed from the show as well.

Other Challenge Stars Defended Nam Vo & Criticized Emmy Russ

Season 37 rookie Corey Lay, who flew to Argentina for “Ride or Dies” as an alternate, tweeted in defense of Nam. “Emmy was the rudest person I’ve ever met in the Challenge world,” he wrote. “She refused to engage with anyone or even leave her hotel room. Threatened to quit the moment she got there.”

He said the problem wasn’t with Nam but with Emmy “being a diva thinking she was better than everyone else.” Jakk Maddox, who is competing in season 38 alongside Laurel Stucky, replied to Corey that Nam “deserved better.” Corey agreed and said he didn’t have any respect for the German reality star as he said her “selfish a** literally ruined Nam’s chances and took a spot on the cast from someone more deserving.”

As for Nam, he wrote on Instagram that he cried a lot once he was back in his hotel room after his third untimely departure from the show and said, “I would rather get knocked out by punches multiple times then feeling that pain in my heart.”

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