Challenge Invasion Preview: CT (Chris Tamburello)
While Johnny Bananas and his name is synonymous with the Challenge, the Challenge is just a different show completely without CT. In the last 8 seasons of the Challenge, the 3 worst seasons would be categorized as Battle of the Bloodlines, Rivals 3, and Battle of the Seasons 2. What do all those seasons have in common? No CT. Why were the first two season of Rivals so awesome, because on Rivals 1 it was a battle between the JEK alliance + Wes against CT. CT and Adam dominated the season winning or finishing second in many of the daily challenges, and he also hooked up with Mandi and tried to get in on Laurel(didn’t have enough time to seal the deal). Rivals 2, CT finally did the thing by winning his first challenge on his 9th try, and coming together with Wes to be maybe the greatest guy pair that has ever been on a season together. I feel bad writing this piece, because I know that CT means so much to a lot of people who watch the Challenge, and to some they don’t even watch if he is not going to be on. I love CT, I really do, whenever creating a dream cast season you always want CT to be there. My interest and passion for CT is not close enough to all those who are wanting to read this with my impassioned thoughts on him. I just cannot provide that, I do love CT though, I am not a hater. I hate Johnny Bananas, and I love CT.
Yet, at the same time deep down, I know CT is not a top 5 male competitor ever, maybe not even top 10(just kidding, did a mental check, in no particular order my top 10: Bananas, Evan, Kenny, Wes, Derrick, Darrell, Landon, Brad, Abram, and CT). While his strength and speed in his prime was supremely dominant, he just has never been good at the actual game. His one win came with Wes, who wasn’t in his physical prime, but Wes always been phenomenal at the actual game that is the Challenge and strategy of it. CT has always been the natural talent, good at every faction of the game except for the game itself, he’s the raw talent that has always needed to be tamed. Whether it be hitting someone or being a target for being CT or not listening to rules and getting disqualified during a daily challenge/elimination, CT finds ways to lose it seems. Sometimes it is bad luck(like with Diem RIP), but other times it feels like CT just cannot be pent up in the house or he is looking for a way to lose. I do not care what Bananas tries to push, CT’s biggest rival is himself. CT has done better in recent seasons as he has found himself more and has become okay with being an elder statesman of the Challenge.
Let’s get real, Exes 2 was a sad moment, it was very tough to watch Diem go, and for CT him never coming back would have been fine. In the past couple of years CT’s life has changed drastically, he had a child with a model in Florida and moved there to help support her. He has spent time flipping houses in order to make money, and will be in the film “Habit” and this may be due to Diem as she always pushed him to pursue acting when they were together. I suggest you watch it when it comes out, Brittany Baldisarri and Jordan Wiseley will also be in it and I belive it was due to Emilee Fitpatrick(RW Cancun) as she works for a production company.
The CT we are getting on this season is 36 years old, far from the spring chicken that showed up 14 years ago. At the age he is at, CT should not be going to get drunk, he should not be looking to hook up, he should be there to do one thing: win money for his family, and put bread on the table. I have seen CT get in fights with so many people that I am over it, if he wants to cement himself as a competitor with consistency instead of just moments, than he needs to bring it on this season of the Challenge.
Now here is my review of CT as a competitor:
Skills/Physical Strength: CT on Duel 1 was a beast, but CT on Cutthroat that backpacked Johnny was a monster. For a long time CT was the dominant male athlete that everyone was terrified, and that people thought had no real weaknesses when his head was in the game. Then the Exes 1 final happened, and it was apparent that all the muscle that CT had built up put a stress on his body for long distance and higher altitudes. Sure he was perfect for heat and sprints, but eventually his body did not have the gas to get whole way through. He almost died on the Exes 1 final, and all the smoking really got to him. When CT came back for Rivals 2 he was trimmest he had ever been since he first premiered on the Challenge. It showed as his endurance was great, he killed the final, and him and Wes ended up victorious. He looked more muscular on Free Agents, but we did not get to find out how he’d do in the final as he lost a puzzle to Bananas in the final elimination. In all honesty, his body type was very similar to Zach’s in terms of muscle to weight definition, and I think in the high altitude he would of struggled and scaling the mountains should destroy him. We could have ended up with Johnny Reilly being a rookie champion on Free Agents, a really crazy reality. CT looked like he did on Rivals 2 on Exes 2, but he left soon. During his appearances with Diem’s sister Faith on Bloodlines, CT was a lot sleaker and skinnier than he has ever been. He came in as a heavy hitter in an elimination with Zach to go against Cara’s cousin Jamie and Abram’s cousin Mike. CT faced Jamie, and in all honesty he did pretty poorly for CT. While CT used perfect form and used all the muscles he had, legs and arms, Cara’s cousin Jamie displayed that he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed by only using his arms. Surprisingly, Jamie held on way too long for someone only using his arms, maybe CT is slipping. I am sure CT worked out for a couple months before coming on the Challenge, his arms looked solid in a picture I saw MTV post of him competing during a Challenge, but in other photos he seems to have put on some dad weight, which is cute, though it might harm his ability. I do not expect CT to have anywhere near the same strength he has had in the past, then again he still is CT, so he is still a top 4 strongest guy in the house. He has also always been a good swimmer, very underrated when Wes is in the house, but when Wes isn’t there he is the best male swimmer usually. CT’s years of experience will come into play in many challenges, he just knows what to do at this point.
Mental Game/Politics: Whenever the question comes about of who the biggest manipulator in the house is, the answer is CT. He swindles from people all the little things they don’t care about until he is able to stockpile what he can. In his prime, the way CT would play girls and earn their votes and create alliances was hilarious. On Rivals 2 he hooked up with Anastasia, had Diem as his main bae, and then was rumored to have possibly hooked up with Nany and Cooke. That’s just such an impressive resume for a career, but that was just one season. On Free Agents and Rivals he joined the young dominant male guy alliances, buddying up with Zach, LeRoy, and Johnny Reilly while also maintaining his friendships with the older generations. For CT to do well on this season, he either needs to work with Johnny Bananas, or he needs to pretend to be a cool young kid and meet halfway with this super new generation of the Challenge. Besides the Champs, Shane is the only guy that CT has ever done a season of the Challenge with, and that is kind of surreal. The underdogs are really gunning for the Champs, and hopefully CT does not spend too much time trying to puff up his chest in front of the kids. When it comes to puzzles and mind games, it is CT’s weird superpower, his puzzle ability carried Wes and him during the Rvials 2 final and they blew Bananas out of the water.
Eliminations: CT has a weird elimination record of 4–3. One would expect with all the seasons he has been on that he had been in more eliminations, or that it is weird he’s lost 3 times while only winning 4. You would expect CT to have kicked much more ass easily. Well CT only has 4 elimination wins as he has been knocked out on 4 seasons due to injury or disqualification. His eliminations go as this, the wins: he beat Shane on the Inferno in a cookie eating elimination, beat Evan on the Duel in Ascender(a game that involved upper body and puzzle skills), crushing Evan and Nehemiah on Rail Slide in Rivals 1, and scaling the drywall quicker in wall climb against LeRoy in Free Agents. The losses: he lost on the Duel against Brad in Push Me(CT all season was DQing during daily challenges for not listening to the rules, this one was blatant and he even tried to play off like he didn’t break them, yelling at TJ even), he lost in Rivals 1 in Balls In against Tyler and Johnny controversially, and then he lost to Bananas in a set of puzzles before the Free Agents final. CT’s greatest elimination season win came on Cutthroat where he backpacked Johnny Bananas, and what I find hilarious about it, is that it’s easily a top 3 all time challenge moment, and CT wasn’t even cast on the season! So yeah, CT has elimination experience.
Final Potential/Endurance: As I have mentioned before, there are certain climates and altitude where CT is perfect to compete in where he can dominate the field. If the final is cold weather, being old, being big, and all that smoking will really hit him hard. CT has the ability to knock off puzzles easily, he knows much better about pacing himself on the final, and even though he does not do cross fit, he has the skill-set to be a cross fit like athlete. I really want CT to make the final, he wants the win, he would not be coming back just to come back. I want him to experience everything for Diem and prove to everyone why he is the man.
Final Score: 92/100