Paulie Calafiore was well on his way to becoming a household name on MTV’s The Challenge franchise. The Big Brother alum joined the series in 2018 when he was recruited for Final Reckoning, and returned for back to back seasons on War of the Worlds I and II. Fans were shocked to learn he and girlfriend Cara Maria Sorbello wouldn’t be sticking with the show for Season 35, which is currently airing. Paulie finally addressed why he wasn’t cast on Total Madness in an Instagram live, which has been made available on Reddit.
For Challenge fans who follow the drama off-screen, they might be familiar with the “failed psych test” rumor regarding Paulie not making the cut for Season 35. According to these rumors, Paulie was approached to be on the season but after going through the motions he failed the psych test all potential Challengers are given. Cara Maria then reportedly opted out since Paulie wasn’t going to appear. The duo announced they were taking a break from the show on social media.
On the Instagram live last night, Paulie said his absence from Season 35 had nothing to do with the psych test rumor.
“A lot of people were asking me why I wasn’t on [Total Madness]… can’t really disclose that information. The only thing I can say is it was not because of a failed psych evaluation. So, that lie, that rumor, that narrative, that everybody keeps putting out there… it’s false. It’s fake.”
Jemmye Carroll and Josh Martinez both claimed Paulie had failed his psych test on Twitter and Instagram respectively. Paulie is vehemently denying these claims for the first time but did not specify what exactly it was that left him off the Season 35 roster.
“I’ve never failed a psych evaluation. I never will fail a psych evaluation. If we look at the cast members if they wanna claim that I failed a psych evaluation, well, look at some of the other cast members. I think I’m in a pretty good mental space and I always have been compared to most of them, but, I just bring a different level of competition and I think that intimidates a lot of people, that scares a lot of people.”
A lot of the rumors surrounding Paulie suggest something happened behind the scenes that caused him to be pulled from the roster last minute. If this was the case, then he already would have passed a psych evaluation, but it was something after the fact that caused producers to remove him from the show.
A fight that occurred after the War of the Worlds II reunion in London was rumored to have something to do with Paulie being given the ax, where Josh claimed he tried to swing on him in the lobby of a hotel. Georgia Harrison also confirmed this story saying Paulie tried to fight much of the cast that night out of nowhere and called it “worrying.” A separate Reddit thread has documented many of the rumors and cast comments on the matter, but it looks like there will never be a clear answer.
If Paulie and Cara Maria will appear on a future Challenge season remains to be seen. It has not been rumored that either has been banned from the show.