The Challenge recently produced the All Stars spinoff that saw fan-favorite OGs compete for a $500,000 prize. Twenty-two alumni from The Real World and Road Rules returned to compete for the first time in years.
With Road Rules: Semester at Sea star Yes Duffy ultimately coming out on top. But what about the legends who didn’t show up in season 1? Where were they?
Here’s the real reason legend Coral Smith didn’t appear on All Stars.
Mark Long was the driving force behind ‘The Challenge: All Stars’
Road Rules alum Mark Long came up with the idea that led to season 1 of The Challenge: All Stars because he knew fans wanted to see the OGs compete. In the summer of 2020, Long took to Twitter to confirm his suspicion that fans wanted to revisit competitors they hadn’t seen in years.
In his tweet that would eventually go viral, Mark asked longtime fans if they wanted cast members from the late 1990s through the early 2000s to return for a special competition. Obviously, the overwhelming consensus was “yes.” Less than nine months later, The Challenge: All Stars premiered on Paramount+.
The producers and network had a lot of former cast members to choose from
According to Bunim/Murray Productions president Julie Pizzi — who is also an executive producer for The Challenge — there was so much interest from former cast members about appearing in The Challenge: All Stars, that she’s confident there will be at least a couple of more seasons.
“We have over 100 past Real World or Road Rules players that are interested in doing another cycle,” Pizzi told Us Weekly. “People have reached out to us. It is, like, a wealth of great personalities that are willing to do it, because they thought it looked like a lot of fun.”
Why was Coral Smith not part of the first season of ‘The Challenge: All Stars’?
With Mark getting the credit for the All Stars idea, he was part of production and casting from the beginning. He told Heavy that some OGs had to decline the opportunity to be part of season 1. Some had conflicts with work schedules or family commitments. While others declined because of the extended filming period that included a 10-day quarantine.
When it comes to fan-favorite and legend Coral Smith, Mark said the timing wasn’t right because of her busy job as a doula.
“We had to kind of speed rush this thing, so a lot of people needed more time. I mean, she’s involved in a lot of things up in San Francisco, so would she be one that I’d love to see back? Absolutely,” Mark said on the Watch With Us podcast.
Coral Smith is one of the greatest female players in the show’s history
With that comment from Mark, it seems like fans shouldn’t count out the possibility of seeing Coral in a future season of All Stars. As Challenge fans know, she’s one of the greatest female players the show has ever seen.
Coral appeared in six seasons, with a 2-0 elimination record and 32 challenge wins. Not only was she good at the game, Coral was a fantastic TV character thanks to her classic one-liners. Some of the best were from her Inferno season when Julie challenged her to a wrestling match.
“I don’t wrestle, I f–king beat bitches up,” Coral said. “I wear a 32DD bra, one boob alone could kick her ass.”
Coral Smith wasn’t the only OG who said ‘no’ to season 1 of ‘The Challenge: All Stars’
According to Mark, there were a few OGs who did want to compete on season 1 of The Challenge: All Stars. But, due to a variety of different reasons, it just didn’t work out. He says they tried to get Landon Lueck, but he had an issue with work.
“Landon, it was an issue of him leaving work and not being able to commit the full time for what he thought his worth was… I think once he finds out that the grand prize is half a million dollars, he probably had a great shot of winning it, I think he’s gonna be a little pissed off there,” Mark said.
Mark also noted that Evelyn Smith was unavailable due to her work with the Democratic party and the 2020 presidential election. But, she is interested in doing future seasons.
The Challenge: All Stars season 1 is available on Paramount+.