How Derrick Kosinski Went From ‘The Challenge’ GOAT To Dad & Back Again

Until 'The Challenge: XXX,' we hadn't seen Derrick Kosinski since 2010. However, he came in ready to be back on top -- and he knew it wouldn't be easy.

Derrick Kosinski The Challenge
Image Credit: Image Courtesy of MTV

We first met Derrick Kosinski, 33, in 2004 when he joined Road Rules: X-Treme; from there, he went on to compete in nine challenges, and winning three. Then he took some time off — eight years to be exact. He came barreling back into the game this year to be part of The Challenge XXX: Dirty 30. So, why return to the game after all this time? What’s it like returning to the game after all this time? And who’s the biggest competition these days? HollywoodLife.com got all your answers.

HL: Why return now?
DK: I heard there was money on the line! I’m starting my life over; I’m recently divorced, I have an eight-year-old, and everything that goes along with divorce… it’s starting over. This money would help me get moving in the right direction. It’s also a craving for competition. Why not do it? I’m not trying to work in the oil field anymore. It’s a great opportunity for anybody.

HL: Was it tough to come into the house after living a normal home life? 
It’s a complete culture shock for me. I went back to college after not being there for 13 years; I’ve been raising a child for the past eight years and I was working 12-14 hours a day.  I went from being this clean-cut dad leading a responsible life to… let’s party and find ways to destroy each other. It’s like a board game with real people and real emotions, and you’re trying to get everyone to just destroy each other. You’re just trying to be at the end of the mountain when it’s all destroyed. It’s such a unique experience.
You haven’t been a rookie for a long time — how do you view the rookies now?
I was just telling Cory a story about how I came into the game. I called a meeting with all the guys, and I said, ‘I just want everyone not to be deceiving little bi-ches.’ That was my opening. If some new guy is walking into the house and calling me a deceiving little bi-ch right off the bat, we’re gonna come right after you! And that’s exactly what happened when I first started. I didn’t think. They come in hot-headed like that. They don’t know the ropes and unwritten rules — if you’re new, we’re going to make you earn your stripes either way. If you’re gonna come in hot headed, it’s gonna be more harsh.
Good thing you’re a vet!
It almost feels like a rookie season all over again. Yes, I’ve done challenges with CT, Johnny, and Darrell, but I don’t talk to them all the time. I don’t know what kind of relationships they have with the new guys. You have the Are You the One? people, and they have a clan, and you have the old guys that have done challenges year after year… like, why not team up and put this guy in because we don’t talk to him? That’s the scary part going into this game. I felt like I was going in alone. I felt like I was going to go into elimination four or five times; I’m the new guy — they all know each other, so how do I manage to merge into something in there. It’s a really tricky, interesting situation. It’s so weird how I navigate things.
We know from the trailer there’s some butting heads with you.
Me and Nelson don’t just butt heads — it gets pretty physical and emotional. The anxiety of these games — not knowing where certain people stand, plus a little bit of alcohol… explosions are going to happen. In this season, it’s going to happen over and over and over again. People are fighting all the time, arguments are happening all the time.
Is it different playing as a dad?
Yeah, it’s tricky because I have to be a good role model for my kid. How do you do that in a game where you’re trying to destroy each other? So I try to play the game as clean as I am so I can be somewhat of a positive role model. We’re playing a game for money. I can always escape the f–ked up shit that I do by saying ‘Look, this is a game where everything matters — politics, social life, who you’re having a beer with that night.’ Everything matters, all the time, and then your emotions get involved.
Who was your biggest threat day one?
Realistically, the defending champ. CT’s obviously always a super athlete, no matter what he says about his dad bod. Darrell is one of the all time greats. I still call him the champ. So yeah, Darrell, CT, and Johnny are the biggest threats, but these new guys — Jordan, etc. –they’re all threat. I want to beat the best to show people I am one of the best or re-introduce myself by showing up in these competitions by beating these champs. There’s that “GOAT” word going around, and I want my name to be in that mix.
Will you keep coming back now?
If they’re gonna keep throwing this money on the table, why not? It all depends on if they want the character back. I’m about to be 34, an it’s hard to stay in shape for these things — and you get banged up during them! So to stay ready all the time, it gets tricky. I don’t know how CT does it? You see major athletes at 33, 34, 35, and that’s about it for their careers. For me, I’m appreciating the moment, and the time, and the opportunity. That’s all that we can do.
 Tune in to The Challenge: XXX on Tuesdays at 9PM ET on MTV.

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