“Tori loves herself some company on The Challenge and I think it was a great play for Sebastian,” Johnny, 41, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting season 2 of The Challenge USA. “This guy’s coming in as a rookie, what better way to kind of like [to] find protection and kind of also get a great storyline right outta the gate than falling into a showmance with pretty much the female face of The Challenge at this point.”
Johnny added that it wasn’t that surprising to see sparks fly between Tori, 30, and Sebastian, 29, during the competition. He noted that the move was called “poli-d—king” on the reality series, while teasing, “Well played, Seabass.”
On the Sunday, August 13, episode of The Challenge USA, Sebastian revealed in a confessional he had a crush on Tori.
“What do I like about Tori? I love the way she holds herself. I love a big, bad, bold, and dangerous, strong woman, but is it good for my game?” he said at the time. “No, it’s the worst thing for my game. We’re trying to get these vets out and here I am having a crush on one [of them]. It’s tough.”
Later in the episode, the pair were seen being flirty and even snuggling up to each other in bed . While cuddling, Sebastian admitted he found Tori’s personality attractive.
Sebastian made his reality TV debut on Survivor: Ghost Island in 2017. Following the season, he dated his costar Jenna Bowman but the duo seemingly broke up in 2022.
Tori, for her part, has appeared on multiple seasons of The Challenge and has been involved in several showmances including ex-fiancé Jordan Wiseley, Emanuel Neagu and others. Tori confessed on the Sunday episode she went into the Challenge USA “single.”
While Johnny praised Sebastian for pursuing a relationship with Tori, he told Us that the showmance strategy doesn’t always work and can make the game “more complicated.”
“I’ve got enough to worry about when I’m on the show. I think just staying focused on the ultimate prize at the end and the goal,” he explained to Us. “Once you kind of start getting distracted, you lose focus on what the ultimate goal … it’s sure not to end well. But I encourage everybody else to continue on with these meaningless nonsensical showmances. And then I’ll just be there to pick up the pieces when it all falls apart.”
The Challenge: USA airs on CBS Thursdays and Sundays at 10 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET, respectively.