After his ‘Champs vs. Stars’ elimination, we caught up with Devin Walker and learned the secrets behind his smack-talk. Plus, will he EVER stop trying to take out Johnny Bananas on ‘The Challenge’?
Devin Walker was put into elimination unexpectedly this week on The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars, when Blue Team member Daniel “Booby” Gibson used his power play to change the Red Team’s nominee. Booby saved Jozea Flores from going in by selecting Devin instead, forcing the former Challenge finalist to go in against his pal, Wes Bergmann. It was a hard fought battle, but Wes ultimately came out on top.
“It was a smart move,” Devin admits to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “It was exactly what they needed to do to eliminate a good player from their own team [Wes] or a good player from the opposing team. It was a win-win for the Stars on the blue side. I didn’t like that they did that to me, but it was strategically a good move. It was the best chance they had at a good fight.”
The battle went down between friends, but Devin says he was able to look past his close personal relationship with Wes when it came time to play the game. “Me and Wes are both competitors, at the end of the day,” he explains. “That’s probably the one thing that me and all my friends have in common — we love to compete. It wasn’t strange to compete against a friend. The only part that was a little unsettling is that we both played pretty flawless games, and then, due to something out of our control, we ended up in there against each other.”
This season, you continued to smack talk like you’ve done in the past. Is that a persona you put on to psyche people out or is it genuine? I believe in my own hype 100 percent. But I’m also a realist, and I realize I’m not going to beat Shane [Landrum] in a marathon or CT [Tamburello] in a pushup contest. That’s not going to happen. But what I can do is manipulate the game to where I can go against them in something that I maybe have an upperhand in. So the smack talk is less to psyche myself up and more to get into someone else’s head, because I know, mentally, I have an advantage over almost anyone in this game, and if I can get them even a fraction off their game, then that’s going to benefit me long-term.
Do you rely more on your social/political game than your physical game? 1000 percent. I’m a firm believer in…whatever you’re good at, focus on that. Try to be well-rounded, but if you have a strength and you know what your strength is, utilize it. Don’t try to be somebody that you’re not. Realize who you are and what your strengths are and play to those strengths. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job at that, but the thing I’ve lacked is being well-rounded. I obviously have flaws in my Challenge game, mainly that are physical, so I’ve been taking a lot of steps to maintain my mental edge and get more well-rounded.
If Johnny Bananas was on this season, would you have worked with him for the Champs alliance? That was something that was taken into account before we started filming, and it was an all-out war. Every member of the Champs side was willing to go fully against one person [if he was on it]. I wouldn’t work with him, even if it was the two of us fighting for survival.
Do your have issues with him outside of the show and game? I have no problem with him in real life except that I think he’s a douche, but I don’t think that’s mutual. I think that Johnny is the kind of guy that needs to one-up people and he has not been able to one-up me. We went head-to-head [on Vendettas] and I beat him. That doesn’t sit well with him. We went head-to-head at the reunion and I beat him, again, verbally. That doesn’t sit well with him. So I think he actually does have a genuine dislike for me, but it’s not because he dislikes me as a person, it’s because he lost, and it can’t be his fault, it has to be someone else’s fault.
Is it still your personal mission to take him out in future Challenges? My personal mission moving forward is the thing it’s always been and that’s to win. The best way to put yourself in a position to win if you’re me is to have the strong players eliminate themselves. So whether it’s Bananas or any number of strong players in the game who aren’t working with me, I’m going to be avidly working to get them out of the game. Johnny’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want to work with me, so that puts a target on his back. And honestly, it makes it a little more fun. What are the Celtics without the Lakers? It doesn’t really matter who it is [I’m against], but I want to win one. So anyone who’s standing in the way, Johnny or anyone else, has to go.