MTV The Challenge competitor Cory Wharton is not pleased with the vaccine requirements that production has established for the season 37 Spies, Lies, and Allies reunion.
In a now-deleted tweet, Cory wrote,
“No challenge reunion for me, they said due to my vaccination status. They really are strong-arming ppl nowadays. Smh.”
Fans were quick to condemn Cory for not getting vaccinated, particularly because he has two young daughters, Ryder and Mia. One person even wrote,
“People will die because you choose to expose others and spread a virus. #vaccineswork #doitforyourdaughter”
Cory’s complaints are surprising given the extensive measures he’s already gone through to participate in the Challenge the last two seasons.
According to The Challenge showrunner Emer Harkin, the show tested the cast and crew every three days during season 36, Double Agents. They went through more than 3,000 COVID tests by the time filming was through.
On top of that, production took extra steps to ensure everyone’s safety. They made sure the crew had limited interactions with the cast and that the crew was kept “in a bubble of sorts” and all stayed at one hotel together. They also hired local caterers who had no interaction with the rest of the production team.
And it sounds like Spies, Lies, and Allies was no different. According to competitor Amanda Garcia, they tested the cast pretty much every day. She said in an Instagram Live,
“I feel like they did a really good job.”
Although the series survived Double Agents with zero COVID incidents, they weren’t so lucky in Spies, Lies, and Allies.
According to Amanda, four or five contestants had COVID early in filming including Nam Vo and Big T Fazakerley.
“I don’t know if [production] could say that [Nam Vo] had covid, or that Big T had covid, or that any of them had covid.”
Nam ended up leaving the competition but Big T was able to return after a quarantine period.
Amanda also noted that several other contestants started feeling symptoms shortly after that. She said,
“Some people were coughing, some people were sniffing, some people just didn’t feel well, and then, all of a sudden, those people that were starting to say, ‘Hey, can I have medicine for this? It’s just a cold,’ got pulled. And that was, like, four or five people.”
Given the measures that Cory has already gone through to participate in the show, why is he surprised that production would want him to be vaccinated for the reunion?
The Challenge has made it abundantly clear that the cast’s safety is the highest priority and they have every right to demand that the cast be vaccinated before they convene for the reunion. And if Cory has a problem with it, then he doesn’t have to participate.
Fortunately for us, there are plenty of other competitors that will be available to spill the dirt at the reunion. Nobody has been confirmed yet, but it will most likely be a smaller group like they did for the previous reunion.
The Challenge airs on MTV on Wednesdays.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.