The Challenge stars Cara Maria Sorbello and Paulie Calafiore have officially announced that they are taking a break from the hit reality series. It was revealed back in October that the MTV stars would not be appearing on Season 35 of the show which is currently in production. Details were foggy regarding their absence from the series, especially given Cara’s long tenure on the show. Now, the duo is admitting it’s healthy for them to take a break and focus on themselves.
The couple appeared on Us Weekly’s podcast, Watch With Us, shortly after the War of the Worlds 2 finale aired and admitted taking a step back was the right decision for them.
“You can’t put a price tag on happiness. For so long, I was, like, you know the money is so good. I can’t say no. I needed a little break for my own sanity and my own happiness, just finding what makes me me again and get my light back,” Cara said on the podcast. “I’m freakin’ fantastic, so I’m gonna have a little break so they can make someone else the bad guy this next season because I’m not going to be on it!”
The pair definitely received their fair share of hate on Twitter during Season 34, especially Cara for her reaction to Jordan Wiseley and Tori Deal’s onscreen engagement. It was a turning point for the 33-year-old as she went from being an underdog on the series for so long to being the show’s villain.
The reality stars have not ruled out coming back to the show in the future, and for now, it only seems like they’ll be away for one season. Both Cara and Paulie also admitted that they would return, even if their partner was not asked back for the same season.
“The money is too good for me to say no, but if the gods that be were like, ‘We just want Paulie on his own,’ I would totally be home and support him,” Cara added.
It’s not unusual for a Challenge couple to not appear together on a particular season. Zach Nichols starred on Season 34 without his girlfriend, Jenna Compono, who will appear solo on Season 35 without her boyfriend.
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After the podcast was released, Paulie and Cara were met with criticism by fans and former cast members. Fans invested in the situation might remember rumors that swirled in October which suggested the couple was cast on Season 35, but Paulie was pulled from the cast list two weeks before filming began, which encouraged Cara to leave as well. These rumors alleged Paulie had failed the psychological evaluation all cast members have to go through before appearing on the show. This is pure speculation and likely something fans will never know the true reason behind.
Jemmye Carroll has been outspoken on Cara and Paulie’s absence from Season 35 and has called their new story about taking a break a “lie” on Twitter.
“Their entire narrative is a lie & the lies you tell becomes the house you live in…” the Ex on the Beach star wrote.
The War of the Worlds 2 reunion airs this Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.