Underrated Fact: Ashley M’s Pendulum Game

2 min readApr 29, 2020

Ashley “Millionaire” Mitchell came out of nowhere when she debuted on Rivals III, after leaving the Real World Ex-Plosion house on episode 3, more than 2 years earlier. There are more surprising debuts, but this came completely outta left field.

She was a sneaky good player, way better than anyone expected. Ashley & Cory won the Out on a Limb daily and generally seemed one of the better teams that season (which albeit had the weakest cast of all time).

And then they lost in the fifth elimination against perceived lay-ups Christina & Nate. It was a shocking upset, especially after Cory’s impressive run and second-place finish the previous season, Bloodlines.

But that didn’t stop Smashley. She came back the next season, Invasion, and became the unlikely champion, after politicking her way to the top, surviving the Underdog Bloodbath, and beating She-Hulk Nicole Zanatta and Elite Competitor Camila in the three-day final.

And this would start a trend — Ashley’s Pendulum Game — where she goes home early, then makes the final on her next season, and rinse and repeat 🔄

  • Rivals III — eliminated 2/3 of the way through the game
  • Invasion of the Champions— wins 🏆
  • Dirty 30 — removes herself from the competition on Night 1, before the competition began the next day with the Opening Purge
  • Final Reckoning — wins a mil 💰
  • War of the Worlds 1 — loses the first elimination against Champion Hunter
  • War of the Worlds 2 — makes the final ✊🏼
  • Total Madness — loses the second elimination against Champion Dee
  • Season 36 — only time will tell 🤞🏼

But she’s a shoo-in to be cast, without a doubt. Johnny Bananas hasn’t made a final since stealing the money from Sarah on Rivals III — the curse that Jemmye foretold on Dirty 30 🧙🏼‍♀️

And while Ash still has yet to win her third title, she broke this malediction by making the final on WotW2 — once again thanks to her politics, social game, and puzzle prowess.

Here’s hoping this Pendulum Game persists and she ties Veronica and Evelyn’s record sometime soon! 💋




I write about MTV’s The Challenge, with a queer / social justice / critical analysis bent. #UnspoiledGang