By the time episode 5 rolled around, Phalisia emerged as a strategic force who split up the Gganbu Gang by sending Rick and Stephen home in a shocking elimination that also sent home Player 130 just moments after he secured an advantage in the same challenge.
“They definitely didn’t see it coming,” Phalisia told BOSSIP about the moment that shocked nearly every player in the competition. “They thought they were safe. I came to play at the end of the day and that’s just that’s just what it is.”
“I think people thought I was I mean,” Phalisia continued. “I am this sweet person, but it’s a competition right? I’m going to do whatever it takes so that way I can make it closer to the end and I saw these group this male-dominant group that formed this alliance right by my bed. It wasn’t like they were far across you know the dorms — they’re literally right next to us. We talked about this all the time. And it just grows and grows and grows and we would have to step over them to to go to the bathroom. It was ridiculous, so we had to look at who the masterminds were, the strongest people in that alliance and for me it was Stephen and Rick. If I had an opportunity, why not seize the opportunity? And I took it.”
During the competition, we also saw Phalisia forge a friendship with Ashley, who ultimately made it into the top 12 contestants and similarly earned the respect of her peers with her smart game play. During episode 5, titled “Trick or Treat,” Ashley expressed a lot of anxiety that Phalisia might be eliminated after volunteering. Once the game ended, she even told her friend, “I know that was hard, but I would rather you open that box than the elimination box. I was like ‘Damn, what I’mma do if my b*tch leave?’ I was cursing you the hell out.’
When the two were forced to face off against one another in the Marbles challenge, their close bond was put to the test. Phalisia is married with a child, but that didn’t keep some viewers from wondering if her relationship with Ashley was strictly platonic.
“I don’t know what these folks wonderin’,” Ashley told BOSSIP about any speculation of an affair between her and Phalisia. “This lady is married, okay? It’s a married woman.”
“This is honestly a sisterly bond and I think that’s what people don’t understand,” Phalisia interjected. “Or they they think that somebody’s intentions has to be sexual. Just because I am a lesbian or in a lesbian relationship people think that has some type of motive to who we are.”
“People just can’t have girlfriends, like homies suddenly?” Ashley continued. “Because she’s a lesbian? So she likes every girl she interacts with? That’s not how it works. She’s a married woman, she respects herself and that’s just what that is.”
We also had to ask Ashley about the controversy surrounding her decision to not take an extra jump in the ‘Breaking Glass’ challenge.
“There’s nothing to defend,” Ashley told BOSSIP. “I moved forward, I took my jump and I stand by that. I took MY jump. They wanted me to take a extra jump for Trey. I didn’t. I wasn’t required to. I wasn’t required to do that which is why I wasn’t eliminated from the game. I took my one jump, because I’m one person that’s after the ONE bag when I was doing what benefited me. People was like, ‘Oh she didn’t want to agree when it was her turn and then she agreed when you know people could over jump her.’ Well duh! I’m trying to get across the bridge. Why wouldn’t I? Why would I say, ‘Oh no don’t jump.’ Like what? Like come on, make it make sense. It’s not rocket science. I did what I needed to do to get across the bridge and I made it to the top five.”
The move put a target on Ashley’s back and left her at odds with one of the game’s finalists, Mai, but Ashley told BOSSIP that ultimately there were no hard feelings for Mai or the other finalists.
“I love them,” Ashley said. “Shout out to Sam, shout out to Phill! I think it’s cool, especially to see Sam in the top three, being that you know during the ‘Friend or Foe’ game I chose him to come along to the next challenge so it feels good to see my friends make it to the end. I’m also happy for Mai. She’s a great competitor, everybody knows that. She’s one of the strongest competitors in the game, she’s smart, she’s calculated and she’s lovable. Not just likable, lovable right? Like TJ walked her through two challenges, right so there you go!”
The full first season of Squid Game: The Challenge is currently streaming on Netflix and the streamer recently announced they are currently casting for Season 2.
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