How Jordan Wiseley's Split With Tori Deal Affected His Future on The Challenge

The Challenge’s Jordan Wiseley showed no quit, until a split with fiancée Tori Deal had him ready to retire. Ahead of World Championship’s premiere, he tells E! News what brought him back.

By Tierney Bricker Mar 08, 2023 1:00 PMTags
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Three-time The Challenge champion Jordan Wiseley was ready to retire from the MTV reality franchise's flagship show last year. Considered one of the greatest athletes to ever play the game, The Real World: Portland star announced his intentions to compete only on the All-Stars spinoff moving forward—he appeared on season three—throwing in his jersey at the ripe old age of 32.

But we all know how TJ Lavin feels about quitters.

Cut to the present, where Jordan is set to go up against some of the franchise's top contestants from around the world in The Challenge: Global Championship, which premieres March 8 on Paramount+, just weeks after making it to yet another final in season 38.

So what caused Jordan to take several seasons off, only to return with a vengeance? His complicated relationship with fellow Challenger Tori Deal. Two years after meeting on 2017's Dirty XXX, the pair got engaged during filming for War of the Worlds 2, but split in November 2020, their breakup becoming public fodder. While Tori continued to appear on the Challenge, her ex-fiancée was M.I.A.

"I took a step away," Jordan explained to E! News. "Tori and I splitting, that was really big for both of us. For her, she dove in. For me, I really pulled back."

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A last-minute addition to Ride or Dies, Jordan wasn't prepared, mentally or physically, for the competition. He'd just traveled to Ukraine to help with humanitarian efforts and he and Tori hadn't spoken in over a year. So, he initially said no. But after getting into triathlons, Jordan was "hungry for competition," and ultimately agreed to return and partner with Aneesa Ferreira, Tori's best friend. 


"When I went back and getting to spend that time with Tori and then having Aneesa there to bridge that gap for us, that helped me get over a lot of stuff," Jordan explained. "I didn't have this disdain for The Challenge anymore."

Making it to the grueling 100-hour final didn't hurt either, inspiring Jordan to "go home and train" for the five weeks before heading to South Africa to compete on The Challenge: Global Championship, where he'd once again go up against Tori, fresh off a Ride or Dies victory with partner Devin Walker.

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While the exes weren't on speaking terms heading into Ride or Dies, Jordan and Tori checked in with each other before agreeing to sign on for the spinoff.

"I said, 'Hey, you doing this?'" Jordan recalled. "And she said, Yeah, 'You got to do it.' I said, 'Yeah, I go Let's kick some ass.' She goes, 'Hell yeah.'"

As for their current status? "We focus on just us having a good relationship," Jordan shared. "We want to be there for each other. We were 100 percent committed to spending the rest of our lives together, so that person was obviously something to me and I to her. You don't just lose that."

James Dimmock/Paramount +

Aside from Tori, Jordan had previously dated cast members Laurel Stucky and Nya Long, and hooked up with Nurys Mateo during season 38. Who needs a dating app when you have The Challenge?

"This just shows I'm attracted to strong women," Jordan said with a laugh. "I guess when you when you spend a decade in this business, it's hard not to date where you work?"

Not that Jordan shows up to The Challenge looking for love.

"A lot of people are here because they're stoked to be on TV," Jordan said. "And they love to see that follower count go up. I totally understand that as a career. I'm not doing The Challenge to be on TV. I'm coming to play." And after his experience during Ride or Dies, Jordan said, "I was now reignited of like, 'I want to do this again, and I want to be great at this.'"

Ultimately, that would include facing off with Chris C.T. Tamburello, who has taken a break from the franchise since winning season 36 and 37. Jordan was disappointed to not see him on the "stacked" list of Legends taking part in World Championship, which includes male champions such as Johnny Bananas, Wes Bergmann and Darrell Taylor

"We needed C.T. there for it to be complete," Jordan admitted. "In my opinion, C.T.'s the guy. He's the greatest ever when you look at all-around athlete that played this game. C.T. and I are one-and-one against each other in finals. Dude, he just amazes me. He's getting better with age."

As for Jordan, he's thrilled to be in his second act.

The Challenge: World Championship debuts Wednesday, March 8 on Paramount+.