Top Model quits Tough Enough because of kid she has with Survivor who quit his show because of that same kid

On USA’s awesome Tough Enough last night, a contestant quit the competition, citing wanting to be with her daughter. That contestant is Michelle Deighton, a former Top Model contestant whose three-year-old daughter, Piper, is with Jonny Fairplay, the Survivor contestant, who appeared via speakerphone, identified only as “Jonny.” That’s quite the collision of reality TV worlds.

Michelle and Jonny’s daughter is the same kid who was accidentally conceived and who, as a fetus, led Fairplay to ask to be voted out of Survivor Fans vs. Favorites. So that kid has now influenced two reality TV shows on two separate networks, giving it more power than any other three-year-old in the history of reality TV.

Echoing Fairplay’s rationale for leaving Survivor, Michelle told host Stone Cold Steve Austin before a training session, “I want my daughter more than a WWE contract.” Later, she told us that being in the WWE is “not what I wanted at all.”

Steve Austin, whose bad-ass eliminations involve lots of screaming, did not, surprisingly, yell at her, but seemed almost choked up and told her, “I respect your decision,” talking about his kids and sharing, “I missed a big part of their lives.”

The show still got rid of someone else, too: Mickael, who was a cocky asshole and lost a smack-talking match to a guy with a thick Midwestern accent and the nickname “skid mark.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.