The Challenge winners reveal surprising plans with $200k prize money
After surviving gruelling physical challenges and navigating cutthroat alliances with some of the country’s most outspoken reality TV stars, Kiki Morris and Troy Cullen were announced as the winners of The Challenge Australia during Tuesday night’s epic finale.
The champions spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle following their win and opened up about their time on the show, how they plan on spending the $200,000 prize money, and what fans can expect when they represent Australia in the international reality TV competition The Challenge: Global Championship next year.
“I'm still in shock that I even managed to get through the first two weeks of The Challenge Australia, let alone make it to the end, win and now be representing Australia!” Kiki laughs.
The Sydney make-up artist, who previously appeared on both The Bachelor and Bachelor In Paradise, says she’s immensely proud of herself that she was able to outlast her competitors and subsequently prove those who doubted her wrong.
“I have a responsibility for young girls out there that have ever underestimated themselves in their life or ever been told, ‘You’re just a this or you're just a that’, because that's something that I've been so programmed to hearing,” she shares.
“Even if you are a make-up artist, you can go up against an Olympic athlete and a boxer and it’s your grit and determination and your mind more than your physical ability that's going to get you through it and keep pushing. Because at the end of it, the lesson and the prize that I've won is how strong I am and how much I now know I'm capable of.
“That’s better than the $100,000 prize. I mean, the $100,000 helps, but it's changed the dynamic of my thought process for the rest of my life now knowing what I can do.”
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Ninja Warrior star Troy adds that in addition to wanting to make his girlfriend proud, the biggest motivation for him on the show was to similarly prove that there’s more to someone than meets the eye.
“I just wanted to prove that height and weight and all that doesn't mean everything,” he says. “I’m not a big dude, I'm only five foot seven, 65kg, and for me growing up I have always been doubted and underestimated just by my height and my size. I just wanted to prove it doesn't matter who you are and it’s not about the dog in the fight, it’s about the fight in the dog.
“I just wanted to show that you could overcome things like physicality and the fact I'm not six foot and 90kg with other things like being smart, never giving up and showing a lot of heart.”
$200,000 prize money
Speaking about their prize money, both Kiki and Troy say that they plan on spending their winnings on building a future with their partners.
“I’m doing some renovations on my house so it will go a long way in paying for that,” Troy says. “And I want to travel the world, so there'll be a good portion of the money going towards travel as well.”
“My partner lives in Spain so I'm there every month pretty much for a week or two,” Kiki shares. “I'm doing a long-distance relationship with a lot of travel, and I will be moving there full time with him.
"We've been talking marriage and all that kind of stuff as well, which is exciting. As much as I love Australia, it’s time for me to really take this next step in my life and I can't wait to be with him in the near future. So in the next couple of months that will be what's on the cards.
“And I need to start taking some Spanish lessons, so a big chunk of that might go to some Spanish lessons I think as well,” she adds with a laugh.
The Challenge: Global Championship
Just six weeks after returning home from filming The Challenge Australia, the pair went on to compete against contestants from the US, UK and Argentina versions of the franchise on The Challenge: Global Championship. While they can’t give too much away before the show airs on Paramount+ next year, they both tease that it was a wild experience.
“It was a lot different, that’s for sure,” Troy says. “The challenges were different, some of them were bigger, and I didn’t know many people.”
Kiki adds: “The challenges are bigger, they’re gutsier, they're scarier, and the adrenaline is a lot more high octane. It is some daredevil stuntman s**t and I pulled my socks up and I dug deep and I'm gonna be making a lot of people really proud of me because I pushed myself to the absolute limit.
“I'm really proud to be the Australian representative along with Troy because I think we are such a great example of the Australian spirit. We got along with everyone, we didn't take it too seriously and we never sought to harm anyone or kind of strategise against people, and I think that's what the Australian spirit is all about.”
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