The Challenge Total Madness Interview: Tori Deal

Allan Aguirre
10 min readMay 8, 2020


This past week, I was lucky enough to have MTV set up time for an interview with Tori Deal to talk about her experience on Total Madness and the Challenge in general. After coming up short due to a puzzle purge on War of the Worlds 2, Tori came into the Total Madness with the goal of getting the win she earned last season. She brought a ton of energy to the interview and was the Tori Deal that we see on television. We talked about all of her different projects, how the Red Skull Twist is affecting her gameplay, who she is friends with from the show, and who she thinks is the most underrated/overrated players are.

This is a transcript of our conversation with some small edits for functionality here and there. If you read last week’s interview with Jordan, this week’s conversation was almost like a follow-up!


Q: The best part about interviewing you this week is I got to interview Jordan last week, and now it’s almost like a follow-up. We got to talk last week about the masks you guys are creating and donating.

Tori: That’s awesome. We’re actually working on another load right now. It’s been a cool thing to do, we’ve already donated 2500 masks at this point.

Q: That’s amazing! The first question I have to ask, how are you dealing with quarantine?

Tori: Like a pro baby! This is what I do! I get stuck in houses for months at a time, and at least this time, I have WiFi. I mean, I definitely think the ups and downs are much higher and lower. I miss my Hot Yoga and going to the gym, but I have it much better than most others, so I’m not going to complain too much.

Q: Moving onto the Challenge. Last season, most felt you deserved a win as you completed 95% of the final and then got simply left out of the end via a purge. What was your mindset going into this season?

Tori: It’s so much easier to go into a season after you’ve done poorly. I didn’t do well on Final Reckoning, so coming into War of the Worlds 2, I felt there was nowhere I could go but up. I feel better when I’m not coming off anything big. I’d rather not have my reputation precede me. The expectations of being an incredible challenger can feel like a massive amount of pressure. I’d prefer to go in and not have expectations. However, after War of the Worlds 2, people wouldn’t stop talking about my Hall Brawl with Jenny. When you enter that house, all the girls size each other up, and everyone is talking about me like this big bad bitch because I beat Jenny, and I’m over here like “Noooo! I got lucky!”

Q: That’s hilarious. One of the things I wanted to ask is, how do you train for the Challenge? When I watched you on your early seasons, you always seemed in shape, but then you came in on War of the Worlds 2 in even better shape, looking like you were both leaner and had more muscle.

Tori: You know what? It is due to living with Jordan. He has an incredible work-out ethic. When we wake up, we immediately go to the gym and lift weights or perform some type of HIIT training. My focus and drive have increased since living with him. So I have to give credit to my trainer, Jordan Wiseley.

Q: Last week, I asked him about the difference between playing the game by himself, and then playing with you. So now I must hear your side of it. What’s the difference playing by yourself and then with Jordan? In your early seasons, it seemed like you didn’t want to make enemies, whereas Jordan thrives having someone to go against.

Tori: 100% different. It’s so against my nature to play the game the way he does, and it does create a lot of stress because we take the actions of each other personally, even if they are not. Also, I try to be careful that I’m not making a bad move that could affect or hurt him. Jordan isn’t like that, though. He’s like, “well, this ride is gonna go where it’s gonna go.” He likes being the underdog and having people gang-up on him.

When I’m in those environments, it’s not my style. I try to be friendly with everyone because you get stuck in a house with all of them, and it’s all so unstable. You never know what the challenges are or whether you’re going into elimination. With anxiety at an all-time high, to be friends with people in a crazy environment helps. To Jordan, it’s a full-blown war. I’m slowly getting used to playing like him, and I don’t know if I’m ever going to be on board fully, but I’m going to try because I love him.

Q: I love that. In terms of your gameplay, do you think the Red Skull affects the way you are playing too much?

Tori: Totally.

Q: Last season, you let the game come to you, and you were cool with taking on Jenny and Georgia. This time around, you’re trying to control your fate, and it’s much harder because of the different variables.

Tori: Absolutely. I just talked about this in therapy, and it’s so crazy how you feel when you know you have to go in. You want to control everything. You want to know who you’re facing, and want to be in the tribunal so you can make your decision. A lot of these daily challenges, it’s hard to win because you’re on teams where so many little things are out of your control. So either you wait patiently for your time to go into elimination, or take the game by the balls and figure it out. The biggest stress about this season was trying to manipulate the game into your favor when there were so many things you had no control over. It absolutely sucked my gameplay, and it’s going to sucker a lot of others too. It’s so insane, and the craziest mental season I’ve been on so far. Even crazier than War of the Worlds 2 because I at least knew what I was getting into then. This season’s different. Really cool and really difficult.

Q: You guys almost seem like cartoon villains trying to hatch a plan to get into the tribunal, and then it blows up in your face somehow.

Tori: Exactly.

Q: Switching back over to life outside the Challenge, how difficult is it balancing a hundred different things between you and Jordan? I’ve noticed more stuff from your company SUI lately. Do you want to talk about all the things you’re doing?

Tori: Yeah, it’s SuiHeart Club! We do self-improvement type stuff. Jordan and I have his clothing company Strapped. I have a book coming out soon, and I’m writing another book currently. I’m dropping my new podcast tomorrow (it dropped on Wednesday) and just opened up my new website. I’ve got countless projects right now and then little stuff that takes up all my time in a day.

How hard is it to balance it all? Extremely difficult. I think that learning your boundaries of how much time you are going to spend on one task or a specific area takes experience. When you enter this field of making your own schedule and being an entrepreneur, you hit the ground running and having the mentality of a bull. After being on Reality TV for four years, continually growing my social media platforms, and doing all my projects, I’ve learned the best thing to do is not to overwork myself. I schedule time within each day to get in my work-out to make sure both my mental and physical health are okay. Also, I try to enjoy the ending of every day. I don’t work till 1 AM anymore, and it was a habit I fell into for a long time. It’s about putting stops and stars to it all and accepting where you finish.

Q: I respect the fact you balance so many different things and the fact that you and Jordan have much bigger goals than just being on reality television.

Tori: Thank you. Also, we have music coming out too! We are blessed to be working on projects that we have passion for and keep us motivated. We genuinely have a creative that some others don’t. Many in the real world do, but not from the Challenge, perse. Our natural inclination keeps us working.

Q: Now, switching to something completely different. I have to apologize in advance. When I interviewed Jordan last week, I did not ask him about his hair cut. *INSERT TORI LAUGHING*

The internet was not happy that I did not ask about it. Due to this, I HAVE to ask, what are your thoughts on his hair cut this season?

Tori: *still laughing* Okay, listen, I told Jordan to get a mullet. I believe in doing whatever the fuck you want. The thing I love about Jordan is he so true to himself, and he does not care whether you like him or not. It is the opposite of my personality. I’m working on trying not to cater to other people so much and speaking my mind. Meanwhile, he doesn’t give a shit, and if he wants to wear his hair like that, then I think it’s amazing. He is literally doing it to make you feel some type of way. He’s doing it, so you don’t like it, or you talk about it, or go “this mofo is crazy.” He’s trying to stimulate your mind. He is like the Kanye West of the Challenge!

Q: In terms of the show, who are the people from the Challenge you consider real-life friends aside from Jordan?

Tori: That’s a good question. I generally like everyone for who they are. There isn’t one person where I can’t find something about them that I like. However, I don’t hang out with anyone from the show. Right now, it’s because we’re quarantining, but in general, friends from the show aren’t on my priority list. We have people coming through our house all the time. We had Dee and Georgia here a couple of months ago. We had Rogan and Joss come hang out. We’ve been to Cory and Cheyenne and Taylor’s places. We remain friendly with everyone, but at the same time, every season you go on, you’re going to have to pull the trigger and vote someone in that you like. It’s easier to not overthink things because of stuff outside the game. I’m friendly with everyone, but I keep my distance because I’m competing with everyone on that cast.

Q: Sounds a bit healthier too.

Tori: It’s important to have boundaries.

Q: Gonna ask you the same question I asked Jordan last week, who is the most overrated player and most underrated player on the show?

Tori: Let me think about this for a second. *Heavy Hmms*

First of all, most overrated is Dee. Is she good, and does she know how to get by? Yeah. Except she is acting so cocky that she’s the most overrated right now. Also, she wouldn’t have won that final without me. That sounds a little cocky, but I said it.

The most underrated competitor? I feel like everybody is pretty good. Part of me wants to say Kaycee on this season because we haven’t gotten to see much of her. She hasn’t gotten her time to shine yet. The girl is a great competitor.

Q: I met her in Vegas, and you see the pictures of her as a football player with the pads, and she seems big, but then you see in her person, and she’s all lean muscle.

Tori: Oh, 100%. All lean muscle completely.

Q: Last question, what do you want fans to know about you from this season and just, in general, going forward.

Tori: I think probably that this season was one of the harder ones I’ve ever done because of the twist and because of the living conditions. I want fans to know as a whole, not even just about me, that living in the environment is hard. A lot of fans like to drag us online, but they’ve never lived through it.

Going forward, every season I do makes me stronger. I’m hoping to come on more seasons and fuck things up! Every season I learn something, and no matter what, I’m proud of myself.

Q: Super last thing. Last week, Jordan said this is going to be your guys’ show for the next few years. Do you agree with his statement?

Tori: I love that! What a savage. Fuck yeah! We’re going to be on there for a minute and make some waves!



Allan Aguirre

27 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.

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