After more than two years and two full seasons away from The Challenge, Jordan Wiseley is back for the show’s 38th season, Ride or Dies. The three-time champion took some time away from the show after ending his engagement to fellow cast member, Tori Deal, in 2020. “Tori and I needed some closure,” Jordan told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “That was a huge thing keeping me away. But the other half of it was just like…I wanted to compete. I want to compete and I shouldn’t be missing out on some of the stuff just because I don’t want to see an ex.”
Jordan got the call for Ride or Dies unexpectedly. He was on vacation at the time and had just come back from spending 50 days helping in the Ukraine, as well as a week in the desert filming a scripted television show. Although he feared he wouldn’t be in shape for The Challenge, Jordan’s FOMO (fear of missing out) took over and he agreed to come back. Within days, he was on his way to film season 38. Jordan actually didn’t appear in the show’s first episode on Oct. 12, which means he’ll be a later arrival at some point this season. His late casting meant that he and Tori weren’t able to have a conversation before filming.
“We both are asking about the other one in casting when they ask if we’re interested,” Jordan admitted. “Just mentally, we need to know. Like, that’s my ex-fiancee, and vice versa. So for her to have prepared and mentally prepared for me not being there, and then for me to walk in, I’m sure that was crazy for her. At least I knew and had a couple of days to prepare myself that she would be there. But, ultimately, I think the shock was kind of good. We weren’t prepared so we just had to spill it and talk. And luckily for the audience…it was all on camera.”
Jordan’s “ride or die” is Aneesa Ferreira, who also happens to be Tori’s best friend. This helped bridge the gap between the exes, to an extent. “I would never go against Tori,” Jordan confirmed. “It doesn’t matter how irritated Tori and I are towards each other, I’ll still never go against her. I always want to see her do her best. But I’m sure having Aneesa there immediately made it like, no questions asked, we’re working with them.”
See more from our interview with Jordan below!
On his relationship with Aneesa: She was on my very first show and then was on most of them that I’ve been on. So from the first one we did, we were pretty fast friends. We’re virgo siblings and we immediately got along. But it’s been a relationship where we got so close so quickly that we began acting like brother and sister. So we’d bicker like siblings, as well. At the same time, we could bicker and then five minutes later I’d go to bad for her. That’s just who we are. There’s a lot the fans don’t get to see in our character dynamic as far as the amount of time we spend together outside of the show, or even just hanging out in [The Challenge] house.
On other players being worried about competing with Aneesa in the past: They told me [what the theme] was and I immediately was like, if there was ever an opportunity to cement my legacy as one of the greatest, then it would be to get one of the most iconic players ever her first win, in however many seasons. She hasn’t been to a final in years, in 20-something installments of the show. But she’s been such a part of the franchise that no one doesn’t know her name. Even people who don’t watch the show know who she is because she makes that big of an impact on the game. It also just goes to show how hard this game is because someone like that, with her skillset, hasn’t won. So for me, I was like, if I can get her this win, that’s gotta be a huge bump in my bid to get in the Hall of Fame.
On returning after getting eliminated during his last season, ‘Total Madness’: That was definitely on my mind. I’m like…I gotta have redemption. With broken bones and my girl already being sent home [when I was eliminated], especially after coming off War of the Worlds II, where that was, like OUR show, it was tough. I definitely wanted that one back and I think season 38 was a good opportunity to prove that I’ve still got it.
On why fans will love this season: I think this is such a great throwback. I’ve been away for the last few seasons, but I’ve definitely heard the audience and some of their reviews. I think sometimes the themes are a little confusing and historically, what’s done best for us, are themes where the audience can follow along easily. This is one of those. It’s got great names, it’s got a great theme we can all get behind and stay behind and not be confused. The level of competition is great. It’s the making of a classic season and a fan-favorite.