The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies premiere episode featured the international competitors scrambling in the opening mission to each rescue an American competitor.
Those international stars mainly were rookies, and they had to decide on the fly which person they wanted to save and become their teammate.
For Hughie Maughan, he said it came down to a few veteran stars, but he chose Ashley Mitchell. He revealed during a podcast interview why he made that decision.
Hughie Maughan says Challenge vet suggested partners to choose
During a recent episode of the Johnny Bananas podcast called Death, Taxes, and Bananas, rookie Hughie Maughan addressed his origin ahead of The Challenge, as well as his experiences on the show.
A topic that Bananas brought up with him was Ashley “Meltdown” Mitchell, who Hughie chose as his teammate in the opening mission.
He asked Hughie what went into the thought process there, and Hughie revealed he spoke with Kyle Christie about it.
“I asked Kyle for advice, and they aired it in the first episode, actually. I said, ‘Give me somebody who’s like not the best competitor because they might get stolen. Give me someone who’s like in the middle, good, [and] has experience, has friends, is funny.’ I also did say, which they didn’t air on TV for obvious reasons….’ Somebody who will be good TV,’” he shared with Bananas.
He went on to explain Kyle recommended Aneesa Ferreira or Ashley. When Hughie was in the opening mission, Aneesa and Ashley were chained to the cinder blocks near each other. He said Ashley kept yelling “two-time champ,” so he was sort of afraid not to pick her as a teammate.
“I really went into this blindfolded, which I think was good because then I started to learn stuff in real-time,” he said about competing on the show.
“I think she was a great partner. She genuinely was like my best friend in the house,” Hughie said of Ashley.
Hughie explained why Season 37 rookies didn’t team up
In another part of Bananas’ podcast interview with Hughie, he asked why the rookies couldn’t seem to band together and try to do something earlier about the veteran competitors.
“First of all, I had loyalties to myself and the rookies because I didn’t know any of them, and you don’t know who you can trust. And as I said, it’s a mental mind f**k, and you’re full of anxiety,” the former Big Brother UK contestant told Bananas.
“There’s also people when I look back on hindsight now telling you stuff to probably make you scared, so you feel so anxious about going into elimination. So you vote the way that they do,” Hughie added.
He explained that with Ashley as his partner, he wanted to work with her and since she had friends, he felt connected in that sense. Unfortunately, he went into an early elimination due to fellow rookie Corey Lay requesting him as an opponent.
Luckily for Hughie, The Agency consisted of Esther Agunbiade and Fessy Shafaat. They sent in Amber Borzotra as his teammate for elimination, and together they won. After the win, Ashley shook her head at Hughie when he looked up to her to decide his teammate.
Episode 8 featured Hughie as part of the only rookie-rookie team remaining, as he had become partners with Berna Canbeldek. They were the popular vote at deliberation and ended up losing together against Priscilla Anyabu and Jeremiah White.
Priscilla then pulled off the biggest move of the game by a rookie when she chose to infiltrate the veteran-veteran team of Ashley and Josh Martinez. With that, the next episode will feature teams with at least one veteran, meaning a vet is going into elimination by vote.
Most likely, the eliminated rookies were watching from afar and now realize the importance of making moves like that for their game strategy in future seasons of The Challenge.
The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.