Wes: The Stars Aligned To Send Me Home
The most exhilarating show (reality or otherwise) returned in a big way last night as MTV's The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons delivered more fights, falls and drunken buffoonery in one episode than most shows can muster in an entire season.
And the shocks were in no short supply either as one of the most popular and physically capable veterans in Challenge history was the first one sent packing! Yes, the omnipresent Wes Bergmann fell to Eric Banks in a head-to-head battle that I doubted he had any chance of winning in the first place. That was just one of the questions I had for the most polarizing former houseguest in Real World history when we caught up earlier this week to talk feuds, fairness and Frank!
TheInsider.com: I was shocked you were eliminated in the first round. How do you feel about it?
Wes Bergmann: It is what it is. I'm not angry. There's just a bunch of stars that aligned to send me home early. Once T.J. [Lavin, host] explained the game, I there was no physical way I could win. The only person who could have beat Eric would have been Zach, which is why it sucks having Eric there. There's no middle ground – he's going to lose eight out of ten elimination rounds, and the two he wins, no one could physically beat him at. It's just not fair. He has absolutely not shot at winning the show ever, so the only reason he's there is to become famous. He knows he can't win, he knows he can't run more than a few miles without dying. He's seen what the final rounds have become recently [and] they're as legitimate and crazy and horrible as ever. They don't even do justice on TV to what's actually happening. [Eric's] literally there to be famous because he totally knows he can't win.
Insider.com: That said, would you do another Challenge?
Wes: Yea, I would love to go back again. I owe [the producers] my life. If they want me to come back, I'll come back for them in a second.
Insider.com: What is it that keeps you coming back season after season?
Wes: You learn a lot from dealing with and working with people from all sorts of walks of life. I'm an entrepreneur, that means I don't have to be great at anything, I just have to be good at everything. Because of that, it's like going to the gym for my social prowess. It helps me figure out how to sell to everybody.
Insider.com: Did you expect C.J. to still be harboring such a vendetta given what happened two years ago?
Wes: All I will say is the story that was told on the show wasn't exactly how it played out. If you saw how it truly went down [on The Challenge: Fresh Meat II], I wouldn't have looked like such a bad guy. The truth is, CJ is the one who broke contract with me first. He just had no power. I didn't do a single shady thing to CJ or Danny. If you're on my side, you're on my side ... until you mess up. Then you better just watch your back.
Insider.com: You said last night that you don't mind being the villain of these Challenges -- why?
Wes: This is a job, but truthfully, it's not that contrived. This is how I act to people who are dumber than me. This is how I act to people who cross me. So it's fun to take money from those people and manipulate them. When you're on my side and you treat me like a human being, I'm going to treat you like gold. There's a reason I've been the best man in so many Real World weddings.
Insider.com: So what was CJ's problem then?
Wes: There are two characters who have the most contrived personas on this show: CJ and Landon. Landon's been trying for years to be seen as the nice guy when in reality there's all sorts of B.S. I won't mention. Just horrible human being characteristics. CJ really fell in love with Landon and is now milking that; he's doing this half Landon, half [Tim] Tebow thing this season – he really thinks he can hide behind God in this game. It's just annoying. People like that, I really consider pussies.
Insider.com: This season arguably featured the largest number of new cast members. Did that hurt your game since it was nearly impossible to come in with pre-set alliances?
Wes: The new cast members, especially the ones on this season, are like my biggest fans. I should show up with headshots and autographs for them. They're not educated, they have no career aspirations except for [being on The Real World] -- but that is so much different now than it used to be. When I got off the show, I made close to half a million dollars in a year [but] because of the economy, we don't get booked [for speaking engagements/public appearances] the same way we used to, so there's no money for them. They need to realize they're going to have to go back and get jobs [when their season is over]. They won't have the ability to drop out of school and make a life of it, like I did. They're just huge fans without a high level of intelligence, so I'd rather just keep away.
Insider.com: And yet sometimes you can't keep away, like with Frank drunkenly trying to fight you.
Wes: He's the pathetic kid experiencing his first Challenge, that's the best way to put it. I don't even remember; I might have shaken his hand, but there was one sentence of interaction at most. But he comes up to me and starts yelling like we have all sorts of past beef when really all he's doing is remembering past Challenges when he was a little kid. Wishing he was on the show, wishing he was my friend, wishing he was the one arguing with me. He's a huge, insecure fan – so when he got drunk, he approached me. If I wasn't on the show, I would have beaten the crap out of Frank, but I'd get in a lot of trouble. So I'm not going to lower myself to his level.
Insider.com: Lastly, this year's theme reunited exes Danny and Melinda. How would you have reacted if your ex, Johanna, was there?
Wes: It's difficult to say, I don't know Johanna anymore, and that's why I broke up with her. I fell in love with one girl, and several years into the relationship, I ended up with another one. She would have been just another cast member as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure we would have been fine; we're both adults, we've moved on.
The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV.