Challenge Double Agents Player Preview: Ashley Mitchell
I feel like after Ashley won Final Reckoning, MTV has been creating formats and casts to ensure she never wins again. If she never won again, I wouldn’t mind since she already won a million dollars. Still, you can definitely feel like MTV has a desired winner’s image entering this era of the Challenge, and it isn’t Ashley anymore. They still want Ashley to be on the show because she is an absolute firecracker of a reality television personality, and will always get into entertaining fights and give us great commentary. Yet, they keep filling these casts with the Kaycee/Jenny types who are great players, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hard to invest in them if they aren’t entertaining.
I’m happy those women are on the show since more competition is always better. Though, I can’t help but feel that the Red Skull twist and recent castings are driving down the potential long-term storylines and the overall political game. Ashley is also cursed by being a two-time champ. People see her as a significant threat (which she is), and at the same time, she doesn’t weigh much, and in a physical elimination is beatable. Thus, they are willing to target her and throw her in with little remorse. It’s like the opposite of CT.
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I don’t know why the Pixilation at the beginning of this video is so bad at the beginning randomly. As you can tell, it gets better as it goes, not sure what’s wrong, because the MP4 on my computer is clear.
Introducing Ashley: Her original show is the Real World Explosion. Ashley’s time on the show was brief as her erratic behavior led to the housemates choosing to vote to evict her. It seemed like Ashley would be a blip in Reality TV history until she appeared out of nowhere on Rivals 3 as Cory’s partner. In this season, she made a name for herself by performing well in daily challenges, hooking up with Cara Maria’s Cousin Jamie and Tony, getting into a fight with Simone, and shockingly losing an elimination Nate and Christina in one of the biggest upsets in elimination history. Ashley came back the next season and played a fantastic political game. She, Amanda, Shane, and Sylvia formed the Lavender Ladies alliance and ran the political game, with Ashley also Polidicking to maintain Hunter’s vote and use him as a partner in challenges. Ashley won the final, beating two great athletes in Camila and Nicole Z. Someone got mad about an article I wrote back then and sent me a spoiler that Ashley won Invasion, which I honestly didn’t believe till I saw it with my eyes. Considering Invasion has one of the best female casts ever, it makes Ashley’s win all the more impressive.
She quit after Day 1 on Dirty 30 due to a plethora of reasons. Since Ashley had a history of threatening to quit/leaving early, it became rumored that MTV had become unwilling to cast her for a full season. Then she came back for Final Reckoning with Hunter as mercenaries. They eliminated Faith and Angela to enter the game and were dysfunctional from there on, winning no daily challenges, and often relying on Ashley’s friends (good social game by her). In the final, Ashley’s true competitor came out, as she and Hunter won the final with Ashley earning the right to choose whether to split the money or take it all, and she had 500,000 reasons to take it. Her performances since have been mixed. Ashley lost the first elimination of WOTW 1 to Hunter and Georgia. On WOTW 2, she made it to the final by mostly coasting through the game and being on the right side of the numbers until the final elimination; she then took out Nany. Unfortunately, she got purged during Day 2 of the final.
Total Madness was a mixed bag. She lost the second female elimination of the season to Dee after being the house vote. Ashley got into a fight/argument with Bananas, exploded on Bear and Mattie after the fire extinguisher incident, and blew up on Wes on her way out the door. Tensions between the two became higher after Ashley accused Wes of stealing her Real World-like idea that Wes would create with his Patreon Series “Friends with Benefits” this past Spring/Summer.
Ashley Mitchell: 32 Years Old, 5'8, 7 Seasons, 3–3 Elimination Record, 2x Champion (Invasion, Final Reckoning), 3x Finalist
Skills and Physical Strength: In terms of physical abilities, Ashley is underrated. Her cardio was up there with the best women on Invasion and Final Reckoning. One issue for her is the fact that Ashley is ridiculously skinny and has thin shoulders. She cannot carry a lot of weight, which sometimes is part of finals, like during War of the Worlds 2. Ashley wasn’t helpful to her team in carrying the weighted gurney, and I don’t blame her since her body type isn’t conducive towards that type of lifting. As a swimmer, Ashley is hit or miss. Sometimes she’s near the top, and other times she’s more average. When it comes to heights/balance challenges, Ashley is sneaky tall at 5'8 and has long limbs that make reaching out for items like grip holds or flags easier.
Ashley is capable, and that’s what matters. She doesn’t try to dominate her opponents athletically, only tries to keep up, and will attack/strike when she sees an opening. Her weakness is raw physicality. Although, Ashley was able to beat Ashley Kelsey in Balls In on Champs vs. Pros and was tied against Georgia in their elimination on WOTW 1. I don’t think Ashley would win in a Pole Wrestle against half this cast, and that’s not disrespecting her; it’s more a testament to the strength of this female cast and the fact that a Pole Wrestle/Headbanger isn’t her forte.
SSMP (Social, Strategic, Mental, and Political) Game: Ashley is a fantastic strategic player once given the opportunity to make plays. The problem is, to make those plays, you need to have a hold of the social numbers or win the daily challenges. When playing in partner/individual seasons, Ashley’s been solid in daily challenges; she just hasn’t been winning them lately. Even worse, she and Wes are not on good terms, and he’s been elite in them in recent seasons. You need to have power to use it, and when Ashley has it, she’s willing to make the big plays to win. Sadly, if the Kaycee’s and Nicole’s win, Ashley will have to play their “strength” based games.
Eliminations & Winning Potential: She is a career 3–3 in eliminations and a 5–5 record if you include spin-off shows. Her wins have been against Amanda/Nicole, Faith/Angela, and Nany. The losses have been to Nate/Christina, Hunter/Georgia, and Dee. Her wins have not been against a murderer’s row of players, though you could make the argument her losses weren’t necessarily her fault either. The partner elimination losses weigh a bit more on Cory and Chase, and the Dee elimination was more or less a luck-based game. If it is a game where you have to think on your feet or a puzzle, Ashley has a good shot. When the game is purely physical or a headbanger, she’d need to go against someone her size to have a shot.
Can Ashley win? It depends. She has talked about how she doesn’t like to pregame before the season, and it seems like the modern Challenge landscape forces you to have at least a couple of deals beforehand. At this point, I feel as though Ashley has to adapt to that style, or else she will have trouble again this season. The way she wants to play versus the hand she’s gotten dealt are two different things. Could she make the final? It’s stupid to doubt Ashley; she has already accomplished way more than anyone imagined; hell, her getting on the Challenge in the first place was shocking after her brief Real World stint. Were Ashley to win another season, I think she enters the conversation for the top four/five female competitors all-time list. Right now, she’s in the 7–13 range, and even if she were never to win again, Ashley has already created a resume that she could hold her hat on.
Ashley’s Overall Rating: 88/100 (-3 from Total Madness)
Total Madness Rating: 91/100
Dirty 30 Rating: 87/100
Invasion Rating: 84/100