Ahead of ‘The Challenge’ premiere, Aneesa reveals why this season was ‘psychologically’ harder than ever. Plus, why she felt it was ‘important’ to return for her 14th season and more.
Aneesa Ferreira, 39, is back for The Challenge: Double Agents, and she’s looking to get her first win. “There’s so much pressure as a woman getting older,” Aneesa told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “It’s just different for us on television, especially when it comes to a competition show. I still want to do stuff. I don’t think you should become a certain age and people look at you as incapable of doing things. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
However, there’s a greater purpose behind Aneesa sticking with The Challenge all these years, and it matters now more than ever. “I want more women of color on these shows,” she admitted. “This show is awesome because it’s a smorgasbord of people of color. I’d never seen anything like it. It was full on representation. We talked about a lot of important things and I was happy to be part of that. It’s important for me to go on these shows, period, just because of the representation aspect.”
Plus, Aneesa tease that everything going on in the world will definitely play a part on the show. “There’s a lot of tears this season,” she admitted. “I think we were coming from a really hard time — the pandemic’s happening, Black Lives matter is happening. I was protesting and I know some of my friends on the show were in that, too. It was a hard time for us, and coming on the show and hearing everyone’s unique stories and mental health stuff…it was heavy. I definitely had a lot of tears.
On her unexpected injury after last season, ‘Total Madness’, where she was eliminated right before the final challenge: I left last season with some ligament damage. I didn’t know until I got home and went to physical therapy and my ortho. He was like….you have a high ankle sprain, which is a career ending injury for a lot of people. You have to be immobilized for a month. I almost did myself a favor by losing [on Total Madness]. It’s almost a sign.
On what she did to train for the competition this season: I didn’t get into the best shape that I could’ve gotten in, but with COVID, there were limited resources. Two months before I left, I was boxing and doing boot camps, and all the stuff I could do that was safe. I felt good. You can only do what you can do. My ankle was perfect. I felt great and was happy to go on with all my limbs working.
On what she thought when she saw how many rookies were on this season: I like to make friends with the newbies! Why not? The UK kids, culturally…they just grow up differently. I love them. They don’t give a s***, so it’s been a pleasure having them there. Hopefully [the rookies] who haven’t been part of this experience are able to see who is a decent human and who’s not and who’s messing with them.
On her friendship with Tori [Deal]: I trust Tori completely. I never had a doubt in my mind going into the show that I would ever have to worry about her lying to me or anything else. It was nice to know and to have someone on my side. You go onto these shows and these people throw you away at the end and it doesn’t feel great. So that was another reason for me to go on — my best friend was going to be there.