'The Challenge' Alum Cory Wharton Is Returning With a Brand New Perspective (Exclusive)

Not only is The Challenge back with its newest, maddest season yet, but one of the show's most determined competitors, Cory Wharton, is back in top form, as well. After being absent from the last couple of seasons, Wharton is set to make his grand return on the latest season of the show, entitled The Challenge: Total Madness. As one can expect judging from that title, Season 35 (premiering Wednesday) is set to be one of the most intense seasons of the MTV series yet and, as Wharton explained in a new interview with PopCulture.com, the Challenge veteran is more than ready to show everyone just how prepared he is to dominate the competition.

Wharton last appeared on The Challenge: Final Reckoning back in 2018. Fans will likely recall that he was ultimately sent home that season after getting into a physical altercation with a fellow competitor. While he told PopCulture.com that he does wish that he could take it back, the incident "needed to happen in order for me to be where I am today." As for where he is today, Wharton has noted that he's in a very seasoned head space and that he's ready to show off this mature side during the upcoming season.

"I think my different approach was just to represent, not only represent myself well, but there's a lot of people that were depending on me and a lot of eyes on me," Wharton told PopCulture.com. "So, I just wanted to come in with the mindset of going there, be about your business. Win some money for your family and represent yourself well. Show people what you're really about."

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Wharton further explained that he took a more intense approach to his training regimen in advance of his return to The Challenge for Season 35.

"(I) actually started running on the treadmill. I switched up my training a little bit different and it's just I wanted to come back and show people that it's OK to take time away from The Challenge and people can grow up a little bit and people change over time," he explained.

Of course, Wharton, who has also been seen on Teen Mom OG alongside ex Cheyenne Floyd, isn't the only one who is making a return to The Challenge after being absent for a couple of seasons. Fellow Challenge veterans Kailah Casillas and Aneesa Ferreira, two women whom Wharton has a storied history with, will be returning for Season 35. But, even though he shares a past with some of these competitors, Wharton is open to approaching everything with a clean slate.

"I've had a history with a lot of these people, right? So I think the main thing for me is I was going into the season just saying how I wanted to talk to these people because I didn't want to go in with any enemies. You know, I wanted a fresh start," he continued to tell PopCulture.com. "I wanted to get on the same page with a lot of the people that we've played different games with before. So yeah, I just wanted to talk to these people that I've had my differences with and if we see eye to eye good and if not then it's going to be a me against them type of deal."

In short, fans can expect to see a new, dynamic side to Wharton and his gameplay for The Challenge: Total Madness. And, naturally, they can expect to see Team Young Buck back in action, too.

"To the fans, TYB [Team Young Buck] baby," Wharton said, when asked what he would want to say to fans of The Challenge. "And to the haters, I would just say, keep hating."

The Challenge: Total Madness premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.


Photo Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV