A reluctant yes. Tyson Apostol didn’t exactly jump at the chance to compete on The Challenge: USA, the brand new iteration of the MTV reality competition, which will air on CBS this summer.
Still, the four-time Survivor player, who won season 27 of the long-running series, felt the paycheck was worth dealing with “s–theads I don’t care for,” he says.
“I didn’t want to do this at all,” he exclusively tells Us Weekly in an interview, which you can watch above. “I’m just super chill. I hate people coming in and feeling like they’re entitled to win. The second the cards and chips aren’t in their favor, they wig the f–k out. I hate that type of person.”
Tyson says there were “a couple [people] on this season I was hesitant to work with because I know that they have that exact personality.” In fact, two of those names seem to be his fellow Survivor winners Sarah Lacina and Ben Driebergen, both of whom have “anger management issues” according to him. They also “understand how dangerous I am,” he says, as they all played together on Survivor: Winners at War.
And even though Sarah, Ben and some of the other Survivors know Tyson’s reputation as a strategic, social and physical threat, he tells Us, “Enough people hadn’t seen me on TV, and that played in my favor a little bit. Some of these younger Big Brother kids probably hadn’t seen me. And Love Island people, I think they only watch their own Instagram Stories as entertainment.”
So, his plan going into the game was to work with “anybody I can manipulate, which was pretty much probably everybody,” adding, “My main goal when I go out is be as calm as I can initially. Don’t be seen scrambling too much and try to win everybody over good that you can.”
Tyson also planned to remain a spectator to any drama instead of an active participant. “One of the entertaining things about going on these shows is watching people mentally and emotionally spiral out of control,” he says. “I don’t do that. I’m very very chill and usually very reserved, even in moments of extreme intensity. If it doesn’t involve me, I like to sit back and eat popcorn and watch the fireworks.”
As for whether he ended up having fun filming the show, Tyson gives Us a simple, “No.”
The Challenge: USA premieres on CBS Wednesday, July 6, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.