Ashley “quit”, and it’s completely fine
When the news broke a few weeks ago from the spoiler team at Vevmo that Ashley Mitchell had quit on day one, many speculated about how it would go down. Fans of hers were disappointed. You could tell she had quit based on the Dirty 30 cast photos where she was obviously photo-shopped, they used the same cast photo from Invasion, and people were commenting the spoiler all throughout social media.
As more and more news came out, it really seems as though quitting was completely reasonable.
Here’s what we know:
— Ashley’s luggage was lost. All of it. Both bags.
— Yes, people could have let her borrow clothes. Amanda’s bras would not fit her, but others might have something (Camila?). But she was missing all the little things.
— Any medicine, make-up, or hair products are gone. Seems like nothing. Except they’re living in a house where they must ration everything and there is almost no forms of entertainment. The little things matter.
— She had a lot on her plate. Ashley filmed Invasion for 7 weeks in Thailand, moved to Las Vegas, had to keep the secret of her winning, then filmed Champs vs Pros all in a 10 month cycle before coming to film Dirty 30. Some people are made for that type of schedule (Bananas and Jenna), others aren’t.
— An ankle injury from Champs vs Pros. Champs vs Pros was filmed in 10 days where they had challenges and eliminations every day. The experience was fun, but it packed in their time. She saw 3 eliminations and competed in 5 challenges in the amount of that 1 elimination and 2 challenges are done on the actual show. Right after was the reunion, then departure.
— This season’s Challenge was filmed for 9 weeks. The average Challenge films for 5–7 weeks. Ashley’s mental stability gets tested being in the house environment. After having already not been home for a couple weeks from filming Champs vs Pros and the Reunion, you’re looking at leaving for 3 months if she makes it to the end.
Nelson was right when he said “I can’t believe Ashley left, she loves competition”. You know that Ashley spent hours and days thinking about the outcome, the repercussions, and the reactions to her quitting. On her social media, she was a bit mum when it came to promoting the season until the final few days where MTV started doing heavy promotion. Ashley somewhat loves this game, loves being on television, and loves the fans. If she could not stick through it, it means that she knew her life took precedence over this game, a self-awareness that not many competitors have going on these shows.
Then why did she come?
Nobody told her that she would lose her luggage before going on the Challenge this season. Also, it doesn’t become real until you’re there. Before leaving, you are getting texts from your best friends wishing you luck, texts from you best friends on the show about how much fun you’re going to have. You convince yourself that it will be fine, then you get there and you’re miserable. If you have never been to the party where when you got there you realize you don’t want to be there, congratulations because you’re either one in a million or have no friends. That was Ashley on the premiere. She chose the sane option of leaving early before anything bad happens. It’s a good choice, many competitors have stayed too long when not in the right mindset: CT (many times), Tonya (many times), Trishelle, Robin, Paula, and so on.
Should she have stuck through it?
Think about it like this, if Ashley sticks it through for a couple weeks and then breakdowns to the point where she quits, then you cannot replace her at all. Briana LaCuesta is coming in as the alternate next week, she gets the appearance check, and will now get to be on the show. Also, by not seeing a Challenge, she gives more opportunity to the girls in the Purge, though she does give Briana a free pass.
TJ Lavin is the most anti-quitter person in the game. If he believes that Ashley quit for perfectly fine reasons, then Ashley definitely did nothing wrong. If she had started and gave up mid-way that’s way worse than day one.
Post Dirty 30
When she mentally breaks down from the fatigue of the show, people complain that they are not strong enough and should not be on the show. When Ashley has the consciousness to realize this is not the best situation for her, the same people will grill her all the same.
At the end of the day, it is her that matters most. By not doing this Challenge, she sets herself up to possibly do more in the future. People often get stuck in these Challenge cycles were it completely envelops their lives. For Ashley that is tough.
Like a young CT, Ashley lives her life at a fast pace. Her mind races all over the place, she’s always thinking about what’s next, sometimes making her a little paranoid. That’s normal though. Ashley is like the kid who can;t sit and be quiet in class, but when you put a test in front of them, they’re able to focus and succeed. For Ashley, that is her and the Challenges. The slow pace of the house drives her insane, then she goes to compete and it is a seamless transition. She went from the brink of quitting, locking herself in a van, to putting an incredible against an Olympian in elimination.
How is she going to establish herself a better place in the house for the future? By slowing down. CT, Derrick, Wes, and others were once people who went crazy living in a Challenge house, however, as they matured they eventually settled down. It took a lot of hits from life to settle down CT, and I really hope Ashley is able to get there without those same experiences. She’s a strong person who has experienced a ton in her past, and I hope her next appearance on this show will be happier experience for her. At the end of the day, she is still a champion.