Coral Smith, as part of 'Real World: Back To New York' in 2001, and now, as an internet host and activist.
If you missed an episode of "Friends" years back, you lost out on some idle chitchat over cappuccino. But if you missed an episode of "The Challenge" while Coral Smith was part of it, you allowed a bible's worth of blasphemy and painfully funny one-liners to pass you by.
The strong-willed nanny from San Francisco first appeared on MTV in 2001 as part of "Real World: Back To New York." After forging an inseparable bond with first-day enemy Mike Mizanin, she went on to compete in multiple Challenges and become one of the most simultaneously loved and hated competitors in the series' history.
Now, with four years having passed since her last MTV cameo, Coral told Remote Control that she just might be interested in another (!!!). Read what she's up to below, make sure to follow her hilarious Twitter account and check back here when "Battle of the Exes" kicks off Jan. 25 for a weekly column from the master of witticism herself.
Why did you first try out for "Real World"?
Trying out was a total fluke. I was working as a nanny and going to school at the time and was invited to what I thought was an MTV party at a club a friend of mine owned in downtown Oakland. It all happened so fast, and when the room stopped spinning, I was in New York City with cameras in my face wearing a mic 24 hours a day.
Did you expect to make a great friend out of Mike? What do you think of his WWE success?
When Mike and I first met, I was so not a fan. We fought every day and I was super hard on him. I didn't let him trip without pointing and laughing. When I got to understand that he wasn't malicious, I realized that he was a sweet guy with a lot of heart and passion and was funny, funny, funny!
I truly adore Mike. I refuse to call him "The Miz," however. I just can't bring myself to do it. I will say that he is an inspiration to me and everyone that has ever had a dream to become something.
What was it like to win your first Challenge and now stand as one of very few who's never been eliminated from the game?
Winning my first Challenge was insane! Just crossing the finish line was a moment that cannot be duplicated. Besides winning the money, it was an accomplishment that me and Mike were so proud of. We came together as teammates and I just had the best time. To be able to say that I have never been eliminated is really like a guilty pleasure--I try not to brag but, hey, man, it's pretty freaking awesome. Nobody has ever knocked me down or sent me packing.
Looking back, do you have any favorite Challenges, missions or elimination rounds?
I can't say sending Tina home on "The Gauntlet" wasn't a game highlight because it most certainly was. The fact that she wouldn't shut her trap the entire time, or that she vowed to send me home, made me want her in that pool! I wanted her hair all wet and her ass freezing and for her to be sent packing, and it went down exactly how I wanted it to. Bye.
Winning the lifesaver on the "Inferno" might have been one of the best, too. Those people wanted me gone, and the fact that I was able to beat everyone plotting against me was just epic. Shoving it in their faces and holding their fate in my hands just made it one of those moments that I will never forget. The absolute bomb.
That's their nasty ass problem. Gross. I mean, seriously, if they think they were getting me, then they were sorely mistaken. A grown woman pissing in the bed of another person with cameras catching the stream is just disgusting and not funny at all. I didn't catch them showering afterward, either. I'm just saying...
Where did your mastery of one-liners come from, and did you expect to turn into the show's resident comedian?
I am so happy that people have found me funny and been able to laugh really hard at my take on things, especially the "Beat bitches up" comment. I mean, I was pissed when I said that. I honestly think I would have been removed from all things TV had I participated in that ridiculous [wrestling match] that horse face tried to drag me into. And I stand by that statement! I don't wrestle...you know the rest.
Why did you walk away from "Gauntlet 3," and was the fact that you were betrayed part of the reason you haven't returned?
The boys, Casey and Ev were flat-out cheating. They were throwing challenges to get the people they didn't think belonged on their final team to go home. It was dishonest, lazy, sh***y and just plain cowardly, and I was not going to play by their rules. If they were not going to really play the game or let people and their performances stand for itself, I had no desire to be on a team with any of them.
As far as Evan is concerned, I admit I was surprised that he was playing both sides and so easily persuaded by financial gain. We were an amazing team on "Fresh Meat." I don't hold any grudges, but he and they got what they deserved on that show: absolutely nothing.
What have you been up to since we saw you last?
I'm back in San Francisco still working as a host for an internet-based travel show about the luxury of cruises and writing for some choice magazines and websites. I have an amazing family that has stood by me through all this change and finding my way. I have a perfect pup named Boston and have been active in the animal rights arena and fighting with the GLBT community for equal rights for everyone. I have also been riding horses and traveling every chance I get. I'm a happy, happy chick.
What do you think of the new cast of "Exes"?
It's a straight-up genius pairing of people, and I cannot wait to give my two cents on all the backstabbing and screaming. I know I'll be seeing tons of jealousy and all the ex-sex my virgin eyes can handle.
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Photos: Jason Campbell, courtesy of Coral Smith