The Untold Truth Of Cara Maria Sorbello

If you're an avid MTV viewer, chances are that you know who Cara Maria Sorbello is. The Massachusetts native first appeared on our screens in 2010 during MTV's "The Challenge: Fresh Meat II". It was the twelfth season of the iconic series, and viewers were introduced to a fresh crop of new competitors. Contestants like Sorbello hoped to make a name for themselves as they were paired with savvy veterans.

Though Sorbello's first appearance wasn't phenomenal — she and Darrell Taylor were the first to go — she quickly became a force to be reckoned with. With fourteen seasons under her belt, plenty of iconic elimination wins, and earning more than $600,000 in cash prizes, Sorbello became the face of "The Challenge" franchise. Avid watchers know her as one of the most dominant female players. However, in recent years, winning isn't the only thing she's known for. As the seasons went on, Sorbello quickly went from being the people's champ to one of the series' biggest villains. This is the untold truth of her journey.

Her friendship with Laurel Stucky broke down

Throughout many seasons of "The Challenge," viewers saw Cara Maria Sorbello and Laurel Stucky clash more than a few times. Per MTV, in "The Challenge: Cutthroat," Sorbello was on the receiving end of what Stucky believed was tough love wherein she repeatedly questioned her co-star's ability to win a final. She felt slighted after being thrown into elimination before Sorbello

In another memorable scene, Stucky harshly criticized her frenemy and called her a JV player not worthy of being on her team. Afterward, the two were paired up together on the following season, "The Challenge: Rivals." This time around, they worked well together and placed second in the final, winning $50,000. Many thought it was the beginning of a long-lasting friendship but it would soon hit a rough patch. 

During "The Challenge: Free Agents", Sorbello ended their friendship on camera after feeling that Stucky was harsh and overly critical of her. Stucky struggled to apologize but did admit to being heartbroken by the breakup. "Cara Maria and I are very similar people. Over the years her and I have become sisters, and this is probably what it feels like to be sisters," she said, choking back tears during her confessional. Per Monsters & Critics, in May 2022, Stucky revealed in an Instagram Story video that while she has no friendship with Sorbello, she has no beef with her either.

Her romantic relationship made headlines

Cara Maria Sorbello and Paulie Calafiore are one of the most well-known couples to come out of "The Challenge." Since the start of their on-air romance, drama has surrounded them. For instance, in "The Challenge: Final Reckoning," the pair were initially stuck in a messy love triangle with Kyle Christie. After the season wrapped, they made headlines when Calafiore was caught allegedly cheating on his girlfriend Danielle Maltby with Sorbello. 

The Big Brother alum responded to the cheating scandal with a lengthy Twitter rant owning up to his issues with being faithful, writing, "For now I can't be monogamous to one person, I've tried and it doesn't work." Calafiore's issue with monogamy popped up again six months later when Sorbello announced they'd split when she discovered he was still talking to "The Bachelor" star, Maltby. 

In 2021, on an episode of the US Weekly podcast, "Watch With Us: Challenge Edition," the couple revealed they were now in an open relationship and in a better place. Not that their critics approved. "We're open and people are confused about that. They're like, 'Well, they've got to be f***ing everybody and cheating,'" Sorbello said. "We've come to such a good place. Me, mentally to where I am now and us together ... The sex is good. The love is good. The friendship is good. This is my person."

She experienced bullying on the show

When Cara Maria Sorbello first appeared on our screens in 2010, she was just a meek, bright-eyed, rookie. Despite showing promise as a competitor, Sorbello struggled to gel with the over-the-top veterans on the show. She not only struggled to make friends but was regularly bullied by other cast mates who labeled her an easy target. 

In her third season, "The Challenge: Rivals", there were multiple instances where Sorbello was blatantly bullied by cast mates. In one scene, she broke down in tears after being taunted by Chris "CT" Tamburello before appearing to be pushed by Jenn Grijalva. In another scene, she had soda poured on her by Wes Bergmann. Knowing that Sorbello struggled to defend herself in situations like this, her rival-turned-partner Laurel Stucky stepped in to defend her. "Picking on Cara is getting old, I'm tired of it. That's all I have to stay," she said in a confessional. 

The memorable scene ended with Stucky brutally going after everyone who picked on her frenemy. Scenes like that made Sorbello the underdog that viewers at home rooted for season-after-season. The more she won eliminations and competed in the finals, the more her confidence grew. She stood up for herself against her bullies and even took other rookies under her wings.

Her friends say she changed with fame

As Cara Maria Sorbello went from underdog to champion, her popularity grew exponentially. Her dominant performances and trips to the finals made her known as one of the best female competitors on the show. However, during her rise to fame, her friendships on the show began to crack. In a Reddit AMA, cast mate Jemmye Carroll alleged that Sorbello changed after she became the face of "The Challenge."

When asked by People about Sorbello, cast mate Nany González groaned and revealed they no longer speak. "If you would've asked me this question ten years ago, I would've been like '[she's the] nicest person in the world'. Today, I have nothing good to say about her ... I just don't like who she is today and I don't think she's a good person." "The Real World" alum Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio seemed to agree with that sentiment and hinted that her relationship with Paulie Calafiore is to blame. "There is really like, a darkness that's come over her recently that I think changed our relationship."  

Laurel Stucky echoed those claims in a confessional during "The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2" (via US Weekly) where she suggested their friendship had ended because of Sorbello's apparent personality change. "She was really into getting followers and getting fame which is not, like, one of my priorities," she said. "I don't know who Cara Maria is. I don't think Cara Maria knows who Cara Maria is."

Fans turned on her for this shady moment

Cara Maria Sorbello saw herself go from hero to villain, as many reality stars do. As "The Challenge" house became more cutthroat, she found herself embracing a more mean girl persona that was totally opposite from the underdog we rooted for in previous seasons. She was no longer the rookie with something to prove. She was now a top competitor whose name held a lot of power on the show. The change in her personality was apparent in "The Challenge: War of The Worlds 2". 

As Jordan Wiseley romantically proposed to Tori Deal after an elimination, Sorbello made multiple snarky comments under her breath about the proposal. In her confessionals, she called the couple losers and said she was happy that they were off her team. Sorbello felt the heat from fans after that infamous moment and in 2021, she addressed it. 

During a Q&A on her Instagram Story (via The Challenge_News), a fan asked her who she'd like to punch in the face from "The Challenge", and Sorbello gave a surprising answer: herself. "[I'd give myself] a big punch right to the face for the whole whispering during the wedding proposal," she joked. "You guys are all up in my DMs being like 'Cara I hated you so much, but you know what? You were right about a lot of things' and here's the thing, just because you're right doesn't mean you should say things. So I'm learning [to] shut up!" Here's to growth! 

Why isn't Cara on The Challenge anymore?

Cara Maria Sorbello's absence from "The Challenge" is hard to miss. In 2019, she appeared on "The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2," making it to the finals with her boyfriend, Paulie Calafiore. The season was filled with messy love triangles with her ex Kyle Christie and a disastrous performance in the finals. After some messy arguments during the reunion, some viewers may have felt like she was becoming too much of a mean girl. Sorbello and Calafiore quickly became the most disliked couple on the show and were ostracized. 

In 2021, it was clear that Sorbello had stepped back from the show. During an appearance on the US Weekly podcast, "Watch With Us: Challenge Edition," the couple suggested that veterans like themselves shouldn't compete in new seasons of "The Challenge" to make it easier for rookies to win the competition. That same year, Sorbello appeared to announce her retirement from "The Challenge" when she posted in support of a young competitor she hopes will take her crown. 

On her Instagram Story (via Heavy) Sorbello wrote on a picture of co-star Kam Williams, "Here she is. The only acceptable 'new face' of The Challenge. I didn't get an official retirement goodbye or a chance to pass the crown. But ... she didn't need it passed. She walked in with it." She later told E! News that she isn't officially retiring, but choosing to focus on photography and event planning for a while, instead.