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The Traitors: A Timeline of C.T. and Trishelle's Complicated, Long-Time Relationship

Find out about the intertwined competition reality history of Season 2 The Traitors cast members, Chris "C.T." Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella.

By Tara Bennett
A split of Trishelle Cannatella and C.T Tamburello

As The Traitors continue to whittle down the Faithful week-by-week, two of the survivors who have made it through the "murders" and banishments(so far) have a long history together as OG, MTV-era reality stars: Chris "C.T." Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella.

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The two got their reality television starts as members of separate The Real World casts. Trishelle first debuted on reality TV with The Real World: Las Vegas in 2002, while C.T. debuted a year later on The Real World: Paris in 2003. After, they both transitioned to competition reality shows appearing on many iterations of MTV's hard-core series The Challenge.

On two occasions they appeared in the same series — with lots of personal friction between them — before they reunited for the second season of The Traitors. Their past grievances seemed to be water under the bridge until the latest episode, in which old hurts came up during the torch-lit shield-gifting ceremony. 

What exactly is C.T. and Trishelle's beef with one another? We look back at what got them to this point on The Traitors.

Reality Competition #1: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno (2004)

Chris Tamburello poses for a photo on the red carpet

After both of their respective seasons of The Real World, Tamburello went all-in as a mainstay on MTV's competition reality shows, appearing in 19 seasons of MTV’s flagship series, The Challenge, winning five of themThink of that show like they grafted the physical challenges of Survivor onto the mental and social game of Big Brother. Both were put through the wringer during Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno, which pitted the cast members from both shows against one another to take the best-show crown. In this series, The Road Rules team won the day. 

Reality Competition #2: The Challenge: Rivals II (2013)

Trishelle Cannatella Ct Tamburello 1

Almost a decade later, the pair reunited with plenty of separate competition reality show appearances under their belts. But absence did not make the heart grow fonder for The Challenge: Rivals II. 

While they had seen each other frequently at celeb events and MTV events, the two had not competed or lived under the same roof with one another in about a decade. They proved to be oil and water, with Cannatella quitting this series after just two episodes.

Have CT and Trishelle ever dated?

Trishelle Cannatella is seen at The Traitors Experience on January 11, 2024

That's a big no for C.T. and Trishelle being romantically linked. In fact, after quitting The Challenge Rivals II (2013), Cannatella appeared on fellow The Challenge veteran Jemmye Carroll’s YouTube show Drinks With Jemm and partially blamed Tamburello's behavior for her abrupt exit.

In the interview, she said, “I have never felt so unsafe on a Challenge than I did that Challenge when C.T. — I remember he wanted to punch someone and I was in the kitchen making eggs and I had grease burns on me 'cause he pushed me into the fire. C.T. has no respect for women. I don’t care if he has a kid. I don’t care if he’s married. Come at me. He has no respect for women.”

Cannatella added that after C.T. purposefully broke a glass in the house that ended up cutting her foot, she left the series. "He’s horrible, he’s horrific, and I don’t see him changing at all," she said of her co-star at the time. "I hated him and then I was just like, 'I don’t wanna be in the house with these people, him really.'"

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However, in 2003 Trishelle did date another fellow competition reality show regular (and future WWE superstar) Mike "The Miz" Mizanin in a short-lived show-mance. Cannatella has been happily married to pilot John Hensz since March 2017. 

For his part, Tamburello admitted that he's battled with lots of demons in his personal life. In 2018, he married Lilianet "Lili" Solares in an MTV special but they divorced four years later in 2022. He also semi-retired from the reality competition world.

Are C.T. and Trishelle friends now on The Traitors?

Yes, which is why the shield-picking ceremony in Episode 7 was so hard for Cannatella because she felt they had repaired their friendship. She even told People in an interview with C.T. that she was delighted by how he had changed. 

“C.T. and I did our last show like 14 years ago-ish, but I just didn't like him,” she reiterated. “But he's changed so much. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we're like grownups now!’”

To see how their friendship evolves, keep watching Season 2 of The Traitors. New episodes are available to stream every Thursday at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. on Peacock alongside The Traitors: Postmortem after show. All of Season 1 is already available to watch on Peacock.