Hey everyone, with the Challenge All Stars around the corner, I was lucky enough for MTV to give me twenty minutes to talk to Challenge Icon Beth Stolarczyk. The following is a transcript of our conversation with the only edits made being for sake of flow. This was easily one of my favorite interviews that I have ever gotten to do.
Let’s jump into the interview!
Q: Hey there, Beth!
Beth: Allan! How are you?
Q: I’m having a good day. Not going to lie; I’m a bit star-struck.
Beth: It is so nice to talk to you.
Q: I have covered the Challenge for a while. At this point, I’ve talked to so many of the modern stars, but never in my life did I think I’d get the chance to interview you about a Challenge season that you are going to be on that airs in less than a week.
Beth: You know what, it is crazy; it’s been almost 30 years now since I have done the Real World. Isn’t that nuts?
Q: Yeah, I mean, in the trailer, they have a scene where it’s you and Jonna standing next to each other, and your Real World seasons were 16 years apart.
Beth: Also, I think she’s like 32 years old; I am old enough to be her mother. Think about that. I’m competing against girls where I’m old enough to be their mother! (laughs)
Q: It speaks volumes to the long-running history of the show, a show that you helped build. You’re an icon in this show’s history. You may not be a champion, but when people think about the show’s old days, you’re one of the first names that pops up.
Beth: Well, that’s sweet. Thank you. Look, you’re never too old to challenge yourself; I keep telling everybody you’re never too old to challenge yourself. You’re never too old to have fun. You’re never too old for anything. This was really great for me to do because I’ve been at home with my kids and trying to start a business. I wasn’t really taking the time out for myself to work out. When I got that call, I was like, okay, now I’ve got goals to achieve. Now I’m going to go out. I would go to the beach every day, and I would run in the sand and jump rope, and do yoga. My husband was lifting weights with me, and every day I just got stronger, and I was feeling pretty prepared. I know that people don’t like me, so I’ve got to do my best. I can’t really depend on anybody. I got to be able to win some of these challenges if I want to stay in this game; I’ve got to come ready.
Q: I’ll say this when the cast photos came out; I had a female friend message me, “I can’t believe how Beth keeps coming on these shows older and older, but looking better and better?”
Beth: Allan, honestly, people don’t believe me either. People have been on my Instagram and DM-ing me like: “you really need to tell me your beauty secret. Like, what are you doing?” The truth is, is I developed my own lashes because I am petrified of getting plastic surgery. I could not find anything that was going to help my saggy skin around my eyes. So I designed some lashes that would work for me. If they worked for me and could make me look younger, they’re going to make other women look younger and feel confident and beautiful. When you feel confident and beautiful, you can take on the day and achieve anything. The possibilities are endless, Allan.
Q: Confidence is key. I saw your eyelash page on Instagram; what’s the official name?
Q: Awesome. Moving into the show a bit, you mentioned before, you walk into the house, and people already have baggage when it comes to you or have a preconceived notion of you. How difficult is that?
Beth: Gosh, you know, they just don’t trust me. Back then, they used to call me old, fat, and ugly. So if I was the old, fat, and ugly 13 years ago, what am I now? What am I now? That’s what I want to know. I don’t understand why they perceive me this way because I had never done anything to anybody. All I do is stick up for myself. I speak up for myself, and I’m confident. I believe in myself, and if that’s gonna make people go crazy, then so be it.
Q: Love it. You bring the same energy back to them. I think everyone is excited to hear your famous laugh again.
Beth: Gosh, that’s funny. Well, I’m sure you will get to hear my laugh on the show. It’s going to be an interesting season. Look, there are 22 big personalities on this show, and I know I’ve got one friend, I’ve got Syrus, so I’m excited that he’s going to be there. But again, he’s my friend, and I don’t want to mess up his game. I want to be able to stand my ground and to be able to get through this game without anybody’s help. I’m coming in prepared to do so.
Q: That was actually going to be one of my future questions. I wanted to hear you talk about Syrus because you guys are like a duo from all the way back in the day, where if you check social media, you guys pop up together all time. It’s one of the coolest, and I think, most underrated friendships in Challenge history.
Beth: We’re really good friends. He lives in Los Angeles as well. I love him, and he is a go-getter. He’s got a great clothing line that he’s coming out with right now, https://blackdesignerclothing.com ; check out all of his gear. He is a hustler and such a good person, and I wish nothing but success to that guy. If anyone deserves success, it’s Syrus because he is just a good guy that everybody loves.
Q: I’ve met him a few times in person, an absolutely fantastic dude, just the most chill guy ever.
Beth: Yeah, he is; he’s a hundred percent real. I can’t say enough good things about him, but you know, I don’t want to mess up his game. So I want to wish him well. I’m just showing up prepared to take care of myself. If anybody messes with me, they’re not gonna like what I have to give back. That’s all I have to say. (laughs)
Q: When this show got pitched, I think most people thought this show would be a fun carnival games-type competition with a chill laid back type of vibe. Then they dropped the trailer, and you guys are going through some intense challenges. What was it like showing up and then seeing some of the extreme stuff you had to do?
Beth: They told us that it’s going to be fun and games. It was not fun and games. I saw TJ, and I knew TJ would not show up for anything like Tic-Tac-Toe; he’s just not showing up for that. So when I saw him, I got really scared. He’s very serious. He is large and in charge, and he meant business, and I knew that it was going to be like a real Challenge, and you will see that. The one thing that really impressed me about this is that everybody really did give it their all. It is intense. Between the challenges themselves and then living with all these people, I’m just hoping that I could stay out of trouble.
Q: What was it like doing a Heights challenge for the first time in over a decade? That’s one of those things where you almost feel PTSD, and in those moments, I couldn’t imagine taking that long of a break, and suddenly you are once again fifty feet over water.
Beth: I mean, I’m always afraid of Heights. This is no secret. I had to tell myself I could do it and believe in myself and do my best — but yeah, I don’t like heights. It’s no secret. Some of these people have been back for so many Challenges where they have that more recent experience. I am nervous about that, but I just kept telling myself that I believe in myself and I’m just going to go for it.
Q: Plus, when it comes to support, now you have kids who will be your #1 fans and give you extra incentive to compete for.
Beth: I’ve always had great sportsmanship. I feel like I’m extremely competitive, competitive with myself the most. I am not going to get physical and punch somebody. That’s just not me. I never showed that in the past, and I’m not going to do that going forward. I hope that nobody does that to me, and you know, all my kids are watching as well, and I want my kids to be proud. I want my husband to be proud. That’s just who I am, anyway. I’m going to do my best. I hope everybody’s proud of me and all the decisions I made.
Q: Love to hear it, plus I know you can at least block a punch based on the Duel.
Q: Entering the show, some interesting past storylines may become part of this season, and as you enter the house, I essentially wanna hear your mindset towards certain people.
For example, Ruthie, the last time you saw Ruthie, you eliminated her on The Gauntlet 2.
Beth: I think she’s got a big chip on her shoulder for that. I don’t know what to expect from her. I’m hoping we’ll get to talk about that and work through that. We’ll see … I still have a lot of enemies on the show. ANEESA … she did not like me in the past, and she was one who used to call me old, fat, and ugly; how’s that gonna work out? Derrick and I didn’t really get along very well either, but I think he was just with all the Mean Girls (referring to Veronica, Rachel Tina), and he did not take the time to get to know me. Is he gonna take the time to get to know me now? That’s questionable. I don’t know. All I can say is that I’m going to think positive going into this with an open heart.
Beth has a huge heart! I’m hoping people will take the chance to get to know me, I guess, cause I feel like I really don’t know any of these people, to be quite honest. Everybody has these preconceived notions of me, and they don’t really take the time to get to know me.
Q: I hope you get that chance.
Beth: It’s unfortunate. People call me this villain when really I am the underdog, and I stick up for myself, and I’m confident. So does that make me a villain? I don’t understand that.
Q: I will say this, based on how I watched the show as a casual fan, you were definitely painted as the villain, and you embracing the villain laugh on top of everything did not help the image either. At the same time, you are right, it is always you against everyone, but that’s what I enjoyed watching you because you were okay having the entire house pressed and on their toes. It was fantastic television because you were just you.
Beth: I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why people don’t like me. All I can do is be myself and see where that takes me. If they don’t take the time to get to know me, it’s their loss. I hope that people will give me a chance. I’m willing to get to know these people.
Q: I hope you can get that. Even if not, you can take solace in knowing that when your name appeared on the initial cast lists for this season, you were easily one of the players everyone was most excited to see.
Beth: I love that! I appreciate the support from the fans really because watching those old shows is really hard for me. I still haven’t gone back and watched, and I was going to watch them before I left to go, just in case there was some kind of trivia challenge. I couldn’t bring myself to watch. (laughs)
I’ve got to go back and watch some of these. I hope that I can put some of my own conflicts to bed with some of these people from the show. We’ll see, you know, at the end of the day, this is a game, right? This is a game, and people are playing the game. There is a lot of money on the line. I want to win that money. It’s 500k dollars that could really help somebody, and I really want to win. I’m willing to do whatever I can to win that money. I don’t think I could punch somebody in the face, but I’ll do my best to compete. If I could have my own little way, it would be me making it all the way to the end and coming out with friends. That would make me happy.
Q: Now that I’ve talked to you, I’m rooting for that as well. Personally, I just wanted to see you cause havoc this season because you always excelled in that category. Having talked to you now, I’m rooting for the story of Beth coming out with friends and money; that’d be just as cool and a great arc of 30 years of reality TV.
Beth: Oh my God. Yeah. What else could I ask for? We’ll see if that happens. In the meantime, I haven’t held back by real life, and I can’t wait to watch this show; and I’m super proud that I took the time and challenged myself to go on the show at 52 years old. I really hope you guys love it. Also, just know you’re never too old to challenge yourself. That’s my motto.
[Sounded like the perfect note to end on. Exchange good-byes.]
If you enjoyed the article and want more Challenge content, here is a video I did breaking down why the Challenge Dirty 30 Failed to live up to expectations. Also, make sure to tune April 1st for the Challenge All Stars debut.