Actress Ariel Winter's recent exit from Fox’s Stars on Mars marks the second consecutive week a cast member has left the reality show by choice. This season has seen a surprising number of voluntary exits, with Winter being the seventh to do so.
The innovative reality show pitches 12 distinct personalities into a Mars-like environment, challenging them with tasks to simulate life on the red planet. Every week, participants are given team-based assignments. The contestant deemed least vital to the mission is eliminated by episode's end.
Winter's decision follows closely behind Lance Armstrong’s departure. The former cyclist opted out last week, fearing imminent elimination. Winter, sensing a looming target on her, aspired for the role of Base Commander, a position that could shield her from potential elimination.
Yet, it was ex-NBA player Paul Pierce who secured the position. Consequently, Winter embarked on a mission to retrieve the 'Rad Puppy,' a robotic dog, from a “Martian” cave.
Winter's Unexpected Departure Decision
Although the team succeeded, Winter's occasional mishaps placed her at risk of being dubbed “not mission critical,” alongside NFL's Marshawn Lynch and Real Housewives of Atlanta's Porsha Williams.
When given a chance to plead her case, Winter chose a different path, stating, "I've achieved much more than I expected. I never imagined rappelling down cliffs. But fairness is crucial to me. Today, I wasn't mission-critical. I believe it's my time to leave." Pierce, respecting her wishes, confirmed her departure, keeping Lynch and Williams on board.
Winter's sudden exit left some cast members, including herself, emotional. Adam Rippon, an Olympian on the show, commended Winter, emphasizing her value throughout the challenges. "She might've stumbled this time, but for me, Ariel's among the most indispensable participants in this entire venture," he said.
Winter, in a heartfelt confessional, reflected on her journey: "I've forged bonds, experienced growth, and gained confidence. This journey, as grueling as it felt, opened me up, making me ready for future challenges." However, with Armstrong and Winter's departure, they join a growing list: Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Richard Sherman, Natasha Leggero, and Ronda Rousey, all of whom voluntarily left the show. The series now faces a compelling question: Will it be known more for its dropouts than its champions?