One of The Challenge’s most notorious players, CT Tamburello, was sent home at the hands of rookie player, Jay Starrett, during episode three of The Challenge: Total Madness on April 15. The loss was quite a surprise to fans — especially since CT was coming off a big win on last season, The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2. “Coming onto this Challenge, and the mindset that I had…I got caught slipping!” CT told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I was high on winning again. I was still on my victory tour and I didn’t have that bite, I felt like. You can’t win them all!”
However, he said that the early elimination is pushing him to work even harder so he can come back better than ever on another season.. “I think maybe I just got to comfortable on this one,” CT admitted. “That’s really what it was. Not that I didn’t care, because I always want to win. But, all I can say is, I just got caught slipping. It was a wake up call for me. Now, I’ve had a lot of time in the off-season to get focused. I’m looking forward to coming back, if I get the opportunity.”
As for what he’s doing to get in shape, CT said he’s no longer focusing on how much he can lift in the gym. “I’m just eating right and being active,” he revealed. “I think that’s really important. I’m not trying to put a smart car on my back in the gym anymore. One thing I’ve learned in these challenges is, it’s not about who’s the strongest — it’s about who can carry their own weight the longest. It’s about heart. It doesn’t matter how much you train. What are you training for? You can go to the gym a million times a day but it doesn’t help you when you get into an elimination and have to untie knots!”
During the elimination match, CT and Jay had 20 minutes to form a blockade around a bunker. They were given a bunch of rope, chains and bulky, heavy items to use. After the 20 minutes were up, each player had to undo the other’s blockade, and whoever got inside their bunker first won.
“I think when it came to tying the knots, I got careless,” CT said. “From what I understand, I was coasting to the end with no problem, but at the very end, I was careless. There was a key point where he untied one thing and everything fell apart. It was a central point where all [the knots I made for him] untied at once. It was just careless. Like I said, it was a wake up call. It’s time for me to get back in shape and come back with a chip on my shoulder and prove that I still got it!”
On the new twist of having to go into an elimination to make the final: I was pissed off that TJ [Lavin] switched up the rules! My entire Challenge career has been based on the strategy of avoiding elimination. All of a sudden, you have to go into an elimination, and I don’t think that news could have come at a worse time for me. I had just come off a big win, I’m all high and mighty. I thought I was going to pick up where I left off, but that really messed up my game.
On getting beat by a rookie: I’m not taking anything away from Jay. You gotta give it to the kid! He’s got a lot of heart and he’s swinging and fighting. He’s been doing well. I like to think that he definitely made an impact, and good for him. I think people slept on him because of his size, but you gotta give it to him.
On avoiding drama & playing a neutral game: Any pre-existing drama I had [before I took a break from The Challenge] was over. I had that going for me. Coming into this one, I really didn’t have any enemies. I didn’t have any best friends, either, don’t get me wrong, but I kind of prefer that. Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. When the time comes and we have to cross a bridge, we’ll worry about it then. That strategy has worked well for me.