Lance Armstrong, the man who used to own seven Tour de France titles, has left the Stars on Mars reality TV show.
The Texan is not going to Mars, he is going home, having decided enough was enough. He explained the exit by saying “Life on Mars is not easy. You can’t put 12 different people together in a room and expect them to get along, and that’s what I’m struggling with.”
In particular he seemed to butt heads with Modern Family star Ariel Winter but she was just annoyance number one in a longer list. There was apparently a heated debate about trans athletes competing in pro sports and Lance is not a man to mince words. Did I mention he is from Texas?
All this “getting along” was clearly getting to Armstrong and he finally snapped at one of his co-reality contestants. “Ariel, let me make this really simple: I don’t need the drama. I busted my ass for nine days, I’m gonna bust my ass on the tenth day, and I’m going to auto-select myself to leave.”
Is anybody surprised that Armstrong had trouble getting along with other people? Lance doesn’t get along. He must always be the boss; he gives orders, it’s his way or the highway. He is the master and everyone else is just a pawn on his chess board or a skilled sycophant.
Lance does not co-exist. His priority is asserting dominance and making sure he’s always at the top of the food chain. Alpha males are not interested in buddy-buddy, making nice, listening to other people’s feelings. It’s just not their thing, ya know? They don’t read introspective self-help books, they burn them.
Just to hammer the point, Armstrong doesn’t see himself as a co-star — he assumes and insists he’s the only star. He’s not a guy who wants to be buried in a list of credits, he must have top billing. No wonder he was struggling with just being one of twelve hustlers trying to boost their popularity. The backside of fame is a bitch.
Now maybe Lance has developed a small but meaningful appreciation for “getting along,” since his heart-felt confessional with Oprah — but it’s just not his core personality — and to his credit, he seems to recognize this. “I think going forward, that would be a liability, not just for myself but for the team,” he said.
The man’s ego is simply too large even for the planet Mars. Imagine beings stuck in tight quarters on a mission to the red planet with the Boss. They better put you into a cryogenic deep freeze for the entire trip so you don’t have to listen to him talk about how US Anti-Doping’s Travis Tygart stole his seven tour victories from him. That’s a long ride into deep space.
Although tempted to watch by the sheer silliness of the show concept and the oddball range of stars desperate for attention, we skipped Stars on Mars. But we were curious where this fits in the Armstrong master plan to redeem himself after his shocking downfall.
It appears that his The Move cycling podcast has traction and he’s trying all sorts of things to rebuild his image. Reality show as redemption might have seemed like a nice combination of hijinx, spirited competition and a chance to measure himself against other fading or re-emerging stars. But he’s out, voted off Mars by his own vote.
Many people would not mind at all if a rocket ship blasted off for Mars with Lance Armstrong on it and never came back. But that plot twist just isn’t happening.