The Challenge is a popular reality TV series that features contestants competing in physical and mental challenges while living together in a house. Ashley Mitchell is a former contestant on The Challenge who is known for her strong competitive skills and fiery personality. Her departure from the show has raised questions among fans and sparked speculation about the reasons behind her decision. In this article, we will explore the circumstances surrounding Ashley’s departure and examine the possible factors that contributed to her decision to leave the show.


Ashley’s Background and Career

Ashley Mitchell was born on March 10, 1987, in California. She grew up in a small town and attended college in her home state. After college, she worked as a bartender and fitness instructor before pursuing a career in reality TV.

Ashley first appeared on reality TV in 2014 on the show “Real World: Ex-Plosion” She later competed on “The Challenge” starting with the show’s 28th season, “Rivals III” in 2016. Ashley quickly became a fan favorite for her competitive spirit and strategic gameplay.

In her first season on “The Challenge” Ashley and her partner won the final challenge and split the grand prize of $275,000. She went on to win another season of the show, “Invasion of the Champions” in 2017, taking home a grand prize of $500,000.

Throughout her time on the show, Ashley was known for her confrontational personality and willingness to stir up drama. Despite this, she also demonstrated impressive physical and mental skills and was widely regarded as one of the strongest female competitors on the show.

The Circumstances Leading to Ashley’s Departure

Ashley Mitchell left “The Challenge” during the filming of the show’s 36th season, “Double Agents,” which aired in late 2020 and early 2021.

During the season, Ashley formed alliances with several other contestants and performed well in challenges. However, as the season progressed, tensions began to rise among the cast. Ashley found herself at odds with several of her former allies and faced criticism for her gameplay from other contestants.

In episode 11 of the season, Ashley was faced with a decision that would ultimately lead to her departure from the show. She was chosen to participate in a challenge that offered the opportunity to win a large cash prize. However, the challenge required contestants to risk all of their earnings from the season in order to compete. Ashley, who had accumulated a significant amount of money throughout the season, decided not to take the risk and sat out the challenge. This decision was met with criticism from her fellow contestants and led to a heated argument between Ashley and several other cast members.

Ultimately, Ashley decided to leave the show following the argument. While she cited personal reasons for her departure, many fans speculated that the drama and tension on the show, as well as her conflicts with other contestants, may have contributed to her decision.

Ashley’s Mental Health Struggles

Reality TV can be a high-pressure environment, with contestants competing in physical challenges and facing constant scrutiny from the cameras and other contestants. This can take a toll on the mental health of contestants, many of whom struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Ashley Mitchell is one contestant who has been open about her struggles with mental health on the show. In interviews and on social media, she has discussed her experiences with anxiety and depression, as well as her decision to seek therapy to manage these issues.

On “The Challenge,” Ashley’s mental health struggles have been evident at times. She has been known to lash out at other contestants and engage in confrontations, behavior that some fans attribute to her struggles with anxiety and depression. In particular, her conflicts with other contestants and the stress of the competition have been cited as potential triggers for her mental health struggles.

Despite these challenges, Ashley has also demonstrated resilience and a determination to succeed on the show. She has won multiple seasons of “The Challenge” and established herself as one of the strongest competitors in the show’s history. However, her mental health struggles have also had an impact on her performance at times, and she has spoken candidly about the challenges of balancing her mental health with the demands of the show.

Relationship Issues and Drama

Romantic relationships have been a recurring theme on “The Challenge,” with contestants forming alliances and romantic connections throughout the show’s history. While these relationships can provide entertainment for viewers, they can also create drama and tension among the cast.

Ashley Mitchell has been involved in several romantic relationships during her time on “The Challenge.” In particular, her relationship with fellow contestant Hunter Barfield was a major storyline on the show. The two had a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship, with frequent arguments and breakups.

Relationship issues and drama may have played a role in Ashley’s decision to leave the show during “Double Agents.” In an interview with People, Ashley cited the stress of the show and her relationships with other contestants as contributing factors to her departure. She also hinted at personal issues related to her relationships, saying “I have a lot going on in my life and there are things that need to be addressed that I haven’t been able to address.”

It is unclear exactly how Ashley’s relationships and personal issues may have contributed to her decision to leave the show, but it is clear that they have been a source of stress and drama for her on and off the screen.

Financial Incentives and Strategy

One of the key factors that drives competition on “The Challenge” is the financial incentive for winning. Contestants can earn significant sums of money for winning challenges and seasons, with some contestants making millions of dollars over the course of their careers on the show.

Ashley Mitchell is no stranger to the financial rewards of “The Challenge.” She has won two seasons of the show, “Invasion of the Champions” and “Final Reckoning” and has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.

However, financial incentives and strategic considerations may have played a role in Ashley’s decision to leave the show during “Double Agents.” As mentioned earlier, Ashley faced a decision in episode 11 of the season that required her to risk all of her earnings from the season in order to compete for a large cash prize. Her decision not to take the risk was met with criticism from her fellow contestants and led to a heated argument.

Some fans have speculated that Ashley’s decision to leave the show may have been influenced by financial and strategic considerations. By leaving the show, she would be able to keep the significant amount of money she had earned up to that point, rather than risking it in the challenge. Additionally, leaving the show may have been a strategic move to avoid further conflicts with other contestants and preserve her reputation on the show. However, Ashley has not confirmed these speculations and cited personal reasons for her departure.

Impact on Ashley’s Reputation and Future Career

Reality TV appearances can have a significant impact on a contestant’s reputation and future career. While some contestants have used their appearances on reality TV to launch successful careers in entertainment, others have faced setbacks and challenges as a result of their time on the show.

Ashley Mitchell’s departure from “The Challenge” may have an impact on her future career prospects. While she has achieved success on the show and has a large following of fans, her departure may raise questions about her commitment to the show and her ability to handle the pressures and challenges of reality TV.

There are several examples of other reality TV stars who have faced career setbacks after leaving a show. For example, “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino struggled with substance abuse issues after leaving the show, and his legal troubles have overshadowed his previous success on the show. Similarly, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump faced criticism and backlash from fans after leaving the show and has struggled to maintain her public image.

It remains to be seen how Ashley’s departure will impact her future career prospects. However, she has a strong track record of success on “The Challenge” and has demonstrated her resilience and determination in the face of challenges. If she is able to address the issues that led to her departure and maintain her commitment to the show, it is possible that she could continue to be a successful and popular contestant in the future.

Criticisms of The Challenge and Reality TV Industry

The reality TV industry, including “The Challenge,” has faced criticism for its impact on contestants and its portrayal of certain groups and individuals. Critics have argued that reality TV can be exploitative and can create a toxic environment for contestants, with some contestants experiencing mental health issues and other negative consequences as a result of their appearances on the show.

These criticisms may be relevant to Ashley’s departure from “The Challenge.” As discussed earlier, Ashley faced significant mental health struggles during her time on the show, which may have played a role in her decision to leave. Additionally, she faced criticism and backlash from fellow contestants and fans for her decision not to risk her earnings in the challenge, which may have contributed to her decision to leave the show.

There are several examples of other reality TV stars who have criticized the industry and faced backlash as a result. For example, former “Survivor” contestant Sue Hawk spoke out about her negative experiences on the show, including an incident of sexual harassment by a fellow contestant. While some fans praised her for speaking out, others criticized her and accused her of seeking attention.

Similarly, former “Bachelor” contestant Rachel Lindsay has been vocal about her experiences with racism and discrimination on the show, and has faced backlash and criticism from fans and other contestants for her comments. These examples demonstrate the challenges that reality TV contestants can face when speaking out about their experiences on the show.

As the reality TV industry continues to evolve and change, it is important to address these criticisms and work to create a safer and more supportive environment for contestants. By doing so, the industry can continue to provide entertaining and engaging content while also protecting the well-being of its participants.


Ashley Mitchell’s departure from “The Challenge” was a significant event that has sparked discussion and debate among fans and critics of the reality TV industry. Through an analysis of Ashley’s background, career, and circumstances leading to her departure, we can gain insight into the challenges that reality TV contestants face and the factors that can influence their decisions to leave the show.

Specifically, Ashley’s mental health struggles and relationship issues, as well as financial incentives and strategic considerations, all played a role in her decision to leave “The Challenge.” Additionally, criticisms of the reality TV industry, including its impact on contestants and its portrayal of certain groups and individuals, are relevant to Ashley’s departure and highlight the need for greater support and protection for reality TV contestants.

Moving forward, it is important for the reality TV industry to address these issues and work to create a safer and more supportive environment for contestants. This includes providing mental health support and resources for contestants, as well as addressing criticisms of the industry and promoting diversity and inclusion both on and off-screen.

Overall, Ashley’s departure from “The Challenge” serves as a reminder of the challenges that reality TV contestants can face, and highlights the need for ongoing efforts to improve the industry and support its participants.


What was Ashley’s reason for leaving The Challenge?

Ashley left “The Challenge” during the filming of the 37th season, reportedly due to mental health struggles and personal issues.

How many times has Ashley won The Challenge?

Ashley has won “The Challenge” twice, in seasons 31 and 33.

Did Ashley face criticism for her behavior on the show before leaving?

Yes, Ashley has faced criticism for her behavior on the show in the past, including instances of verbal confrontations and dramatic outbursts.

What other reality TV shows has Ashley appeared on?

In addition to “The Challenge,” Ashley has appeared on other reality TV shows, including “The Real World” and “Ex on the Beach.”

Has Ashley commented on her departure since leaving the show?

Ashley has not publicly commented on her departure from “The Challenge,” although she has shared posts on social media that suggest she is taking time for self-care and focusing on her mental health.