MTV may have created the greatest love/hate relationship of all TV time (too much?) by constantly sticking Wes Bergmann and Chris “CT” Tamburello in close quarters on various Challenges. Though each man takes a very different approach to the game, both are Alphas in their own right. They clash; they physically brawl; they take low blows at each other because they know each other so well from years of history. Pit them up against each other, and blood will be shed, but put them together, and they should be beasts at the game, right?
Well, maybe. The Challenge: Rivals II will prove to test our theory this season as Bergmann and Tamburello have to rely on each other to win competitions and get to the end for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money and the championship title. There’s a lot riding on this relationship– not only for viewers who have invested emotionally in both of them individually and as enemies for years, but also for the pair themselves. Tamburello still has yet to take home the title, and he has said he will keep coming back until he does. If Bergmann really wants to rid himself of Tamburello, all he has to do is help the guy get to the end of one of these. But it turns out, things aren’t so simple.
“Have you ever had a family member that did just something so bad that everyone in the family hates them? But then if you ever saw that same family member that you borderline kicked out the family getting in a fight at a bar, you’d still go to defend them because blood is blood?” Bergmann said when LA TV Insider Examiner sat down with him in Los Angeles.
“It’s like this: there’s not a single person that’s been on any shows on MTV that I wouldn’t go to bat for and I wouldn’t take care of and I wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to win money with.”
Even though he admitted that the “decades worth” of fights they’ve had have been stressful, traumatic, and unfortunately relived the entire time as people constantly bring them up, Bergmann was of course including Tamburello in that above sentiment. After all, in the grand scheme of things, the fighting is just one very small part of the overall experience, and it is an experience he credits with setting himself up for his life and career in general.
“When we’re 90, we’re going to have forgotten so much of our lives, but we’re not going to forget the shit that we did [here]…It’s just one of those things where I get to look back so fondly on it that it almost doesn’t matter how much shit had to sandwich it in order for us to get the 30 seconds of amazingness,” Bergmann said.
“But the main reason why I [keep coming back] is you can go to the gym and work out your muscles; you can go to college and work out your brain; but there is nowhere in the world where you can work out your social prowess like on a game like this. In my job– I’m an entrepreneur– that is nothing but navigating social prowess, and people wonder why I’m so good at it, and weirdly enough, I got trained on MTV.”
The Challenge: Rivals II airs on MTV on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. Be sure to check out the rest of our video interview with Bergmann for some behind-the-scenes talk about Rivals II and why he wants to keep this game in same-sex partnerships.
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