'The Challenge': Michele Shares Positive Take on Purge, Talks Her Future With the Franchise

'Survivor' alum Michele narrowly missed out on making the final of 'The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion.'

The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion put the contenders through numerous twists and turns, forcing them to adapt to each new phase of the game. Even amidst all of the chaos, no one had a tighter handle on the game than Survivor winner Michele Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, for the competitor, "Conquest" got the better of her and she was purged from the game. After Michele's exit from this season of the MTV series, she spoke with PopCulture.com and opened up about how this experience may affect her gameplay in the future. 

Michele was one mission away from making it to the elusive final. While it wouldn't have been a given that she'd go straight to the final after making it through the "Drum Roll" challenge, there was a clear path forward for her considering all of her connections. When it comes to that challenge, Michele said that she was a bit "checked out," which likely played a part in her loss. She explained, "When you check out, it makes it a little bit harder. And then you see a challenge that you feel like you're not going to be good at and it all kind of culminates into you feeling like you're not able to maybe do it."

Even though she lost, she does admit that she wasn't that sad to go. As she explained, "Of course, I would've loved to run a final, but at the end of the day I really swear that I looked left and I looked right and I was like, 'All of these people are people who I've worked with the entire game.' And one of them is going to win and I'll be happy with any of them that it is." 

Just as Michele stated, she had close working relationships with many of the competitors who were still left in the game. However, none of those relationships seemed to compare to the one that she had with her 'Ride or Downsie,' Jay Starrett. The pair were working so closely that some have conflated their games, which ended up putting a target on Michele's back because of Jay's moves. Michele explained that she was kept out of the loop at some points, particularly when it came to the decision to target Horacio Gutierrez. She said that Jay told her that he left her out of those conversations with her best interest in mind, but she doesn't see it that way. 

"What's protection is us talking through everything so we can make the decisions together, whatever. So there were a lot of definite issues going on with me and Jay, but at the core of it, I think that we know that we're always going to have each other's back and the intention is good from both sides," Michele explained. "Whether or not that's executed well, it's yet to be seen, but no matter what I go into every season and people think I'm going to be a snake just from the get because even when I walked in my first season I've never even played The Challenge before. Day one, they're like, 'She's won Survivor. She's a snake, she's a threat.'"

Michele went on to say that the way she's played the past few seasons has been "a self-fulfilling prophecy." Although she made it to the end of the game with people she vowed to work with, people have a certain view of her game that she doesn't believe will be easily changed. Considering this perception, will she alter her game for future seasons?

"I mean, I'll never pregame ever again. I didn't even pregame going into this. That's the crazy part," Michele said. "I had a week between [The Challenge USA Season 2 and Battle for a New Champion]. I was not pregaming, but I'm not making any promises to anybody. And if you don't want to have me as your number, then you don't have to ... If I ever go in another season, I'm just going to go in and be like, 'This is how I'm playing. This is who I'm playing with. This is when our relationship expires or doesn't expire.' I'm just going to have to try to play hands up as clean as humanly possible. That's my only option right now."

The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on MTV. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for Challenge coverage all throughout Season 39.