Cara Maria Sorbello & Paulie Calafiore Announce They’re Taking A Break From ‘The Challenge’: “I Needed A Little Break For My Own Sanity”

Fans of ‘The Challenge’ upon hearing this news (probably).

Longtime competitor of The Challenge Cara Maria Sorbello is stepping away from the MTV show for “a little break” following this week’s finale of The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2, as is her alliance partner Paulie Calafiore.

Cara Maria and Paulie, who not only dated throughout this season but also called the shots amongst the biggest alliance in the house, explained their respective decisions to take a break from the show on Us Weekly’s Watch With Us podcast, noting that the time away is needed.

Fans’ faces when they find out Johnny Bananas is not taking a break, too…

“You can’t put a price tag on happiness,” Cara Maria said. “For so long I was like, you know the money is so good. I can’t say no. I needed a little break for my own sanity and my own happiness. Just finding what makes me me again and get my light back. I’m freakin’ fantastic, so I’m gonna have a little break so they can make someone else the bad guy this next season because I’m not going to be on it!”

As for Paulie, he’s looking forward to seeing next season’s villain(s) face the same sort of criticism he and Cara Maria were hit with during ‘War of the Worlds 2.’

“How many tweets are we going to see, being like, ‘Hey guys, just realize we’re real people, it’s an edited show,’” he said. “It’s always going to be funny to see those kind of things for the people who, you know, never give us the benefit of the doubt.”

Paulie and Cara Maria made little to no effort to hide the fact that they were in it to win it this season, taking out whomever they had to along the way. Unfortunately, their laser-focused (and borderline obsessive) strategy often rubbed their fellow competitors the wrong way, most notably when Cara Maria threw shade moments after Jordan Wiseley proposed to Tori Deal — an incident so tacky that it even led Paulie to voice his disapproval of Cara Maria in the moment.

Not gonna lie, just thinking about this moment still gives us excruciating secondhand embarrassment.

As fans of ‘The Challenge’ already know, Cara Maria and Paulie were on the losing side of Wednesday’s finale, meaning neither one of them went home with any prize money. However, they remain open to making a return in the future — whether it means coming back together or separately.

“The money is too good for me to say no, but if the Gods that be were like, ‘We just want Paulie on his own,’ I would totally be home and support him,” Cara Maria said. “I don’t think that us being on a season together is ever a bad thing because you have one person that you know will never stab you in the back, that will always have your back. Having an alliance is very important. But I would happily stay home, work on everything at home and cheer him on.”

“Sure, Paulie can do a season on his own. I totally wouldn’t mind.”

If Cara Maria and Paulie do ultimately make their way back to ‘The Challenge,’ it will be their 15th and fourth seasons, respectively.

Of course, Cara and Paulie’s reasoning for sitting out the next season(s) is a bit different than what ‘Challenge’ insiders are saying. According to numerous show experts, Paulie posted a series bizarre video threats toward fellow ‘Challenge’ cast members back in October, which got him the boot.

At the time both Paulie and Cara were scheduled to appear on Season 35, which has yet to air. However, after producers saw Paulie’s threatening videos, he was reportedly cut from the cast, just one week before filming began.

“Once Cara found out that Paulie was no longer part of [Season 35] she dropped out too,” one ‘Challenge’ insider told The Ashley last month. “They offered Cara a much-larger appearance fee to stay on the season, but she refused.”

Later, Paulie went on Twitter and accused Johnny Bananas of getting him dropped from the season.

UPDATE: After Cara and Paulie’s interview with Us Weekly was posted, Jemmye Carroll took to Twitter to let fans know that the story of Cara and Paulie voluntarily sitting out Season 35 are not true.

“Their entire narrative is a lie & the lies you tell become the house you live in,” she tweeted, along with a link to the Cara/Paulie interview.

RELATED STORY: Kailah Casillas Leaves Boyfriend of 3+ Years Mikey P for Her ‘Challenge’ Co-Star Stephen Bear: Mikey Claims He Has “No Idea What’s Going On”

(Photos: MTV, Instagram) 


  1. I’ve been watching the Challenge since real world/road rule days. Cara Maria has always been my favorite. She had been bullied relentlessly for the first few challenges and she wouldn’t defend herself. She has been super sweet online to me too. I did not care for the Cara Maria I saw this year. However, I think Paulie is a big reason why. I think Paulie is a slimey douchebag who thinks he is untouchable. So, yeah I laughed when he gassed in the final. The only one I felt sorry for was Leroy.
    Which brings me to Jordan and Tori. Tori seems like a sweet girl who has her head on straight. I’ve never seen her bully anyone. Jordan I can not stand. He is the same now as he was in Real World. He gets off on talking down to you, making you feel less as a person, purposely saying the worst things he could think of and saying them for no reason. I wasn’t jumping for joy either when Jordan proposed because I think he’s a snake.

  2. Johnny Bananas needs to take a break. He hasn’t won since he stole Sarah’s money. He’s predictable and boring. He’s almost 40. Get a life, John.

  3. People are a bunch of crybabies and I did not find those videos threatening all I would love to see paulie come back with out cara I think with her negative attitude brings him down to her level

    1. They actually film for up to 3ish? months if they make it to the final. Two seasons per year can be 6-7 months total.

    1. Cara is “fake” she did nothing this season but hang on to Paulie.. and last season her vendetta against Kile because he moved on and he slept with someone else was ridiculous.. she had Paulie so we hat was her problem, move on girl!

  4. Notice she mentioned “the money” several times. Shamelessly hinting that she is one of the cast members who get paid to appear. She and Paulie are perfect for each other. Yuck.

  5. Watching Paulie gas out at the final and Cara cry at having to do anything hard was hilarious. Don’t talk smack all season and then perform like shit. I felt bad for Leroy though. He deserves a win and he might of gotten one if it wasn’t for those two.

      1. Cara Maria is a miserable shrew. I actually used to like her, until the past 5 or so seasons. I haven’t even watched in a couple years and she’s one of the main reasons why. She’s so insufferable.

    1. Whatever the reason is I’m just glad they wont be on next season. Maybe it’ll give Cara time to get over Kyle. We all know she’s still salty 💁‍♀️

  6. GOOD! I was disgusted by their antics this season. There was nothing sweeter than seeing them lose, and Cara crying about it as the show came to an end.

  7. It’s about effin time, Cara Marie is such an outcast and Negative person, she needs rehab and self help, like go start a family, adopt or something. I like The Challenge and watch it after work, I used to like Cara back when it was The Real World but now she seems so old and miserable like she’s lacking something. Take a few years off and go get some botox or something. Lol

  8. So happy Cara is taking a break maybe now I can enjoy this next season, her comments her not showing up to the engagement party said volumes about her inner self. She didn’t think she had to prove herself why was she so afraid of one on one elimination competition if she’s so good

  9. So happy Cara won’t be there. I can enjoy the season. She lost respect with last season. Her comments about others. Her not going to the engagement party said volumes about her inner self. She didn’t think she had to “prove” herself.. she actually did. Why was she so afraid of one on one if she’s so good?

  10. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Trash”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    Cara & paulie you are the best
    I enjoyed watching this season
    And the last 13
    They were allllll good!!!
    It was dum banans that made the
    Team go down hill zach ur good
    But dum for crying to much like a girl lol jordan who thinks he knowd it all tori good competier
    And old girl that talk stupied
    Is realy stupied/ banans friend!!

  11. They are both nuts. I used to Cara bit now I see what everyone was saying about her. Her and Paulie destroyed this season for themselves and their alliance respectively.

  12. They can try and spin it that way but the truth is they were not asked back because Paulie was threatening his cast mates on twitter. Cara would never do a season alone because she doesn’t trust Paulie to keep his dick in his pants. They were forced to take a break and that is the real tea.

  13. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Trash”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    I need a break from her miserable soul

  14. Very glad they aren’t coming back. They were downers the majority of the time. There are normally “bad guys” in ajy season but this was one of the most extreme where they would deliberately sabotage their own team over and over just to get to the end without having to compete. Cara is so afraid of eliminations it’s pathetic.

  15. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Trash”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    I was so happy to see Karma bite them in the back side. They deserved to lose. Hopefully they will take a long break.

    1. I use to like Cara Maria but not in the last few seasons. Her nastiness is unbelievable. At least Paulie congratulated Jordan & Tori’s engagement, Cara Maria flipped them off! Maybe during “their break” she can exercise her hateful attitude away.

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