With The Challenge: Ride or Dies season, MTV brought back several former champions to the competition series, including Jordan Wiseley, Veronica Portillo, Johnny Bananas, and Laurel Stucky.
Laurel returned after several seasons away from the show and revealed a different side of herself during the game.
She arrived at the game with a friend and former Ex on the Peak castmate Jakk Maddox, ready to display why she’s among the all-time greats in MTV’s competition series.
However, the former champs often have targets on their backs due to their winning ways, as other cast members realize they’ll be tough to defeat in a final.
Laurel recently took to her Instagram to share some thoughts about her Ride or Dies season, including why this installment of The Challenge was “so different” for her.
This report will contain spoilers for MTV’s The Challenge: Ride or Dies season through Episode 6.
Laurel, 37, returned to MTV’s Ride or Dies hoping to win a second championship during her Challenge career. She previously won in her Free Agents season, which was her fourth-straight finals appearance.
Unfortunately, she and teammate Jakk Maddox found themselves thrown into The Zone early as a potential elimination team, and two times in a row courtesy of Jay Starrett and Michele Fitzgerald.
Episode 5 of Ride or Dies featured Jakk and Laurel in their first elimination, which they won by defeating rookies Colleen Schneider and Kim Tranka.
In Ride or Dies Episode 6, they went into their second-straight elimination matchup, this time losing to the veteran duo of Jordan Wiseley and Aneesa Ferreira. It was an emotional scene after they lost, with a teary-eyed Laurel asking Jordan to return to the house and take out Jay and Michele.
She went on her Instagram, which she keeps private, to share a post with candid thoughts about her recent Challenge season, referring to it as “a bust” and “a disappointing season” for her athletically.
She praised Jordan for picking up the elimination win, also saying she was “broken down at this point” in the game.
“This challenge was so different for me because I finally opened my heart and let people know me. I have never done that before because I’m so sensitive that I didn’t want anyone to have access to be able to hurt me – in this game, anything can be used against you,” Laurel said.
She also mentioned that losing made her change some things but didn’t further indicate what those things were. Laurel closed her post by thanking fans for their continued support, expressing how great it’s been getting to know everyone through interactions on social media.
Laurel connected with Ride or Dies’ rookie
While the season brought back many familiar faces and popular veteran stars, it also introduced newcomers to the franchise. Among them was rookie competitor Horacio Gutierrez, who entered the game with Love Island’s Olivia Kaiser in the first episode as a replacement team.
Horacio and Laurel were shown bonding with one another through several of the early episodes of Ride or Dies, and they seemed to be enjoying a flirty showmance. Horacio even mentioned that he felt he could be more comfortable around Laurel and not always talk about the game like he was with his teammate Olivia.
However, the showmance fizzled out in Episode 6, when Horacio revealed to Laurel that he was interested in someone back home that he wanted to pursue as a girlfriend. That led to Laurel saying she didn’t want to get hurt by him, so she walked away from Horacio during the episode.
It led to a scene showing her talking with another new friend, rookie Moriah Jadea, about the situation and wondering if there was anything she and Horacio needed to discuss.
Horacio also said he felt hurt by the situation because he didn’t want to hurt Laurel after the connection they made with one another.
Ultimately, Laurel had to leave the game in Episode 6 with her Ride or Dies partner Jakk, who expressed his fondness for her as a friend and teammate.
“I don’t think I’ve ever loved you more than I do now. You’re just so important to me, and I’m so happy to just be here with you and just really proud of you,” a teary-eyed Jakk said as he and Laurel hugged during an exit interview.
The Challenge: Ride or Dies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.
More: Laurel Stucky, The Challenge, The Challenge: Ride or Dies