The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies veteran breaks down her season-ending injury
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Wednesday's episode of The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies.
Aneesa Ferreira is no stranger to getting injured on The Challenge. But in this week's episode of The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies, the seasoned veteran hurt her shoulder so badly when she fell off a climbing wall that it not only ended her season, it also became what she calls her worst injury ever. "It definitely was devastating," Ferreira tells EW.
Below, the Challenge vet breaks down what happened to her shoulder during that mission, why she felt she had a ticket to the final before her injury took her out, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling now about the way you had to leave the game this season?
ANEESA FERREIRA: Finally watching it, I felt a bit silly because I thought it was worse than it was. [Laughs] Watching any injury over again isn't fun for anybody. But I left the season with not one enemy, not one fight, I played a good game, I got to play with my best friend, I made new friends. It was good. I was happy. I just did three shows back-to-back, and it was a lot for me. I didn't realize until I got home how much I put my body and my mind and my emotions through. So much. I just wish I would have left with both shoulders.
You said you thought the injury was worse than it was, so what actually happened during that challenge?
I dislocated my left shoulder. My MRI is totally fine. I thought I fell on it but really my arm was still up in the air, and when I slipped I guess it yanked out of the socket. Any way you cut it, it's the most painful injury I've ever endured in my life. Ever. I wish it upon no one. And watching it brings back that initial hurt. God, that really hurt.
What was your reaction when you hit the ground? Did you know something was wrong right away?
At first I was like, "I'm going to get up," and then I immediately was like, "My shoulder!" It was just hanging. Physically I knew this isn't good, I don't think there's any way around this. But I thought maybe they could just pop it back in and I could continue. But the doctor was like, "22 days in a sling." I'm like, "Wait a minute, what?" I was in a great position in this game. I felt like if I kept going and training with Tori every day and doing what we're doing, I was totally going to make the final. I wanted to be there with her if she does make it. That was the picture in my head, just being with my friends in the final. I had an awesome partner who was really supportive. I hated leaving him too because I felt like I was a sense of comfort to him: I knew the game, spoke Spanish, we had a great friendship. It was a lot, but I'm recovered now. I'm still in physical therapy. I'm blessed that it wasn't worse than what it was.
Were you taken to the hospital right away?
Oh my God yeah, but it was an hour ride or a little bit more to get to the nearest hospital. It's one thing if they can pop it back in on site because you immediately feel better, but when it's out for that long? I mean, the pain was so bad I couldn't even cry. My blood pressure was up, I was hyperventilating. And then you're in a foreign country, so that also was the fear of not having your doctors, not having your family, not having friends with you. I mean, you're with your security guard.
Plus you were still covered in mud from the challenge.
Oh yeah, and in shorts, no shoes. I had mud everywhere. Tori had to bathe me when I got home because I couldn't move my arm. Her and Bettina helped, and everybody helped me pack. I was just giving away clothes and pre-workout and protein powder, just trying to take care of all the kids before I left. It was like, "Mom's going on vacation, gotta make sure you guys are okay for the rest of the time since I can't be here!" But it was a really nice moment to have that much love leaving.
It's been a long time since we've seen you get that emotional on the show, so how were you feeling during all those goodbyes?
I was overwhelmed because I was hurt and I think in shock, and I wasn't ready to go. I just felt bad because I felt like I let my partner down in a challenge where we had a really good chance of winning. Seeing Tori ugly-cry, I mean, we both were. And they cut out the whole scene where I literally say goodbye to every single person, and then Esther and I are dancing, and it's just all of this love. I couldn't hold any of it back, that was true raw emotion.
This isn't your first time having to go home because of an injury, so how did this one compare to the times you were medically DQ'ed in the past?
The last time I broke my ankle blocking CT. I mean, that was my fault. Who blocks CT?! I guess that's a testament to how bad I want to be a part of this, how much I love competing. The last injury was a little bit different, Champs vs. Stars wasn't as stressful, but having to have surgery was just such a blow, so I'm so happy that that didn't have to happen this round. But athletes get injured, and you come back stronger. My ankles are stronger than they've ever been. Everything happens for a reason. I'm just not sure what this reason was necessarily.
It's hard to play the what-if game, but how do you think you would have done this season if you were able to stay and compete with Logan?
I think we would have done great. I almost had a feeling that I'd never have to go into elimination this season. It could have been that season where maybe once, or maybe not at all, and I was really excited for that. I had a great alliance, and it was just so fun. I was with people that I really enjoyed being around. So I think I would have gotten far, but we'll never know. And I'm okay with not knowing. I've made my peace with it.
Did you want to stay with Logan as a partner the whole season?
I was going to stay with him for as long as I could. I think he's an incredible athlete, he's brilliant. I've never seen a man win so many games of chess. They taught him how to play American football and he caught on in five seconds and was great. He's a soccer player, so he has the endurance. And he had the ability to push me in such a positive way and be so supportive that I loved having him as a partner. He'd be like, "Please don't leave me," I'm like, "I'm not going to leave you." And then I got hurt and I had to leave him!
After doing three seasons back-to-back, are you interested in coming back after this one?
Sure. Yep. A little injury won't stop me. I've had plates in the ankle, plates taken out of the ankle, back on it. I have the drive, probably more now than ever to come back and do what I do.