Alum faces ‘Real World Challenge’
April 7, 2016
From Super Bowl athletes to famous jazz musicians, Stillwater has no shortage of notable alumni. Recently, another graduate, Mitch Reid, hit the big time when he competed in the MTV ‘Real World Challenge‘, a long-running reality game show on MTV.
Reid has recently competed in the “Battle of Bloodlines,“ the twenty-seventh season of MTV’s The Challenge which took place in Bodrum, Turkey and Berlin, Germany in June and July of 2015, for a chance to win $350,000 with his cousin Cory Wharton. Reid and Wharton made it to the final round and were runners-up to Cara Maria Sorbello and her cousin Jamie Banks. The season premiered Dec. 2 and concluded Feb. 12, 2016.
“It was great being able to do the challenge with my cousin. We’ve been close since we were both very little and we’ve lived together before so I think that really made it easy for us to get along and communicate well compared to the other teams. When you’re halfway across the world it’s nice having at least one person to fall back on,” Reid said.
Incidentally, Reid did not go searching for a show to be on. Instead, he was chosen by his cousin, Wharton, who previously starred in the Real World: Ex-Plosion in 2014. Reid genuinely enjoyed being with his cousin for the two months of the competition.
“I decided to do the challenge because it seemed like the opportunity for an adventure that I couldn’t pass up. I never really tried to be on the show in the first place actually, my cousin Cory who was on the Real World called me and asked me to come along because the theme of the season was bloodlines/family and they needed him to pick someone to bring along, I was lucky enough to get the call,” Reid said.
By far the toughest challenge was the final challenge which was separated into two different stages. The first checkpoint of stage one was “Barrel Roll,” in which each player had to roll six barrels up a hill, before they could collect their team’s tokens followed by checkpoints “Flip Flop,” “Block Head,” and the final checkpoint “Don’t Get Tired,” where players had to use two tires to form a bridge from one end of the course to another without touching the ground, or both players would have to restart the checkpoint. The second stage began with “Job Detail,” where each player was required to wear a business suit, carrying briefcases in order to complete the challenge, followed by “Train Delay” and “Row Hard,” in which players had to paddle 10 miles until they reached the Olynmpiastadion where they would have to solve puzzles by using the puzzle pieces in their briefcase prior to entering. Once the players solved the puzzle for their “Coded Entrance,” the challenge concluded with eight laps inside. Reid and Wharton finished second in final challenge, winning $75,000.
“The final was essentially a 48 hour endurance challenge and I have never pushed myself so hard in my entire life as I did for that final,” Reid said.
Even though the challenges of the competition were grueling, Mitch argues that the real challenge actually happened off camera.
“While all the challenges were very demanding in their own ways, I feel like living in the house with a bunch of strangers for a couple months was definitely challenging in its own right. There was no entertainment of any kind allowed in the house so boredom got the best of you most days and had everyone at each other’s throats most the time,” Reid said.
Even though Reid and Wharton won second place, Reid’s excitement came more from the journey than the destination.
“Getting to travel to an exotic location, live in a mansion and compete in some of the craziest challenges you’ve ever seen is definitely the experience of a lifetime, and you get paid,” Reid said.
Athleticism was definitely a key part of doing well in the challenges, but Reid’s social skills played a bigger role than people might expect.
“Our strengths were definitely our athleticism and our ability to stay out of drama early on. If you can make friends with everybody you have a smaller target on your back and it’s less likely that another team will throw you into elimination. Later on, I definitely think it was our communication and my somehow miraculous puzzle solving abilities that helped us make it out ahead of other teams,” Reid said. “They definitely struggled but at the end they pulled together and really worked together well,” junior Megan Karnuth said.
Reid has some great stories to tell after competing in the challenge. The MTV series was one action-packed adventure after another.
“My favorite experience would definitely have to be jumping between cars moving 40 mph down a runway in an abandoned German airfield for the last challenge before the final. It felt like something straight out of an action movie, and was probably one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. The whole thing was set up by the stunt team that did the new Mad Max movie so I thought that was pretty awesome as well,” Reid said.
Reid explained how his ability to remain calm and think rationally was a big advantage over the other teams, who fought constantly.
“I think it was teamwork and of course a little bit of luck that made us so successful. We never fought like the other teams often did, and we were always able to communicate effectively and work together when we needed to get the job done. It feels amazing, I couldn’t be more grateful to have gotten the opportunity to compete in the challenge and make it as far as I did, especially with my cousin along the whole way,” Reid added.