Challenge Retrospective: The Perfect Game of Wes Bergmann
Let’s get this straight: Wes played the best “game” that has ever been seen on a Challenge on Exes 2. He wasn’t the best athlete, wasn’t the biggest manipulator, didn’t have the greatest streak of daily mission wins, and didn’t go on a crazy elimination streak, but in terms of “playing the game”, he took the game politically and socially to a level that nobody had never been done before. Wes entered a game by himself, and had everyone playing his game until the horrible Exiled twist.
Coming off of a win on Rivals 2, Wes came into Exes 2 looking to go back to back. Wes looked so tiny, he was probably 160–170 lbs. He had not worked out in years, yet, he was still a threat, and pulled off his best season ever in terms of physical missions. He won skill challenges, endurance challenges, and of course dominated during swimming challenges. Wes created friendships with all the people on the fringes, he listened to them, got to know them as people in a non-selfish way, and went on to dominate the game socially and politically.
Wes and Theresa won 3 daily missions, the most that season out of any team. They finished in second place in four missions, and only not finishing highly in the mission that sent him into the elimination against LeRoy, where his team was ganged up on. All of the time and race based eliminations, Wes and Theresa outperformed the competition.
Before the season began, Wes only had 1 clear ally in CT, who at that point in his life wasn’t sticking his neck out to defend Wes and take on the entire house with him. It was friendship and mutual respect.
After winning the first daily mission, Wes evaluates the house, and decides to make a deal to not throw in a rookie to elimination. Which makes sense as there are four rookie teams: Adam/Brittany, Thomas/Hailey, JJ/Simone, and Jay/Jenna. With Tom and Jay, he makes the agreement to not throw them in with the silent partnership deal that if a rookie ever gets power, he’s safe. As the rookies are dumb, they accept.
Wes also knows not to shake up the game week one, so he does not throw in a good team. He tosses in Dustin/Jessica as they are a team who will never win a daily mission, and never bring political or social numbers to the table. Week 2, they finish second in the daily mission, Wes knows Bananas will not throw him in as Wes chose not to throw in Bananas on week 1. The following mission, he finishes second again, Sarah/Jordan win, he consolidates on their agreement to stay out of each other’s hair and be close on the down-low.
He is friends with Sarah Rice. They make a hand shake’s agreements to be each other’s #2, and not call each other in. Sarah is playing her own game, however, still a good move by Wes. When CT has to leave the game, it hurts Wes as his #1 is gone.
During the game, Wes views Zach as his key to further himself in the game. Zach does not like where he ranks in Bananas alliance. Bananas has in his chain of commands: 1 LeRoy 2 Sarah 3 Reilly 4 Zach. If the alliance runs the house to the end, he’ll be in 5th, and have to see 3 eliminations to make the final. Zach moves over to play Wes’s game, becoming his #1, giving Wes an opportune spot in the daily mission, alienating himself from Bananas. Good thing is that Wes wins the mission, throws Bananas in against LeRoy, sending home either Bananas or his #1. Best thing happens, Bananas is eliminated on episode 5, a record for modern seasons.
Wes wins the mission the next week. His friend and rookie, Adam K, is in eliminations for the fourth time. They choose to throw in Reilly, and start taking shots at the Bananas alliance. Wes is friends with Averey, Reilly’s partner, he explains to her that Reilly is the problem, forcing a strain on their team, as she shows more favor towards the guy who throws her into elimination!!! He also throws in Reilly/Averey, as he believes that Adam could win the elimination. Either way, he loses a rookie team, which is no big deal as they are his pawn, or he gets rid of someone who was playing against him, whose partner is also on his side.
The following week, Jay and Jenna accidentally win the trivia challenge. Good thing is that there is no chance he throws in Wes due to their agreement from day two in the house. Fucking day two. That week Reilly and LeRoy go up against each other in elimination, knocking out a Banana boy. The best part is that LeRoy now wants to eat Jay and get revenge.
When LeRoy wins the following challenge, he has two big choices, either get revenge on Jay, or big picture get revenge and throw in Wes. Wes politics and manipulates LeRoy into doing neither. Wes wants Jay in the game as long as he can in the chance he has to go to elimination, or if he can run a final against him. He explains to LeRoy, that he is willing to take LeRoy as far in the game as possible, except that Wes has Zach as his #1, so in order to become Wes’s #1, somebody else has to take him out. It’s like if someone said that he would date you, but you need to get rid of his wife first. It’s crazy, and it works.
If Zach wins the elimination, he is still the #1 of Wes, LeRoy is the #2, and Jay isn’t throwing him in. Instead, LeRoy becomes his #1, Sarah is his #2, and Jay isn’t throwing him in. All around perfect. Before the final daily mission (or at least what we think will be the final mission, Wes gets into it with Jordan). Jordan is tired of playing for Sarah, and essentially playing Wes’s game. There’s a disconnect between the two after Wes goes over to Jordan to make an agreement that regardless of who wins the final mission, that they will throw in Jay/Jenna against them. Going to be honest, not the best move by Wes, but by alienating himself from Jordan, he’s able to renege on his deal with Sarah. LeRoy is playing for Wes now, and Jay still has his agreement that he’s stuck to since day one.
Then the exile twist happens. Johnny wins. Jordan is on the outs with Wes, and uses this as his opportunity to flip the numbers. LeRoy goes back to Bananas as he is Bananas #1. The numbers are flipped 3–1, with a floating Jay/Jenna. During the first mission with all 5 teams back in the game, it’s a weird game where teams are able to gang up. They do so, gunning for Wes/Theresa, leading to them finishing in last. He didn’t even get a chance to perform, run the gauntlet, and try to earn power couple. In elimination they face LeRoy/Nia. Wes tells Theresa they are better than them in most things, which is absolutely true. What they aren’t better at is that they are much smaller. Wes is closer to Nia in weight than he was LeRoy. They played Hall Brawl, a game of purely size. It felt so dirty watching the final, where it was all the teams who made it to the original top four, besides Wes. Can you believe how genius it was for Wes to keep around Jay the entire game, knowing they would die in the final!?! People make a move like that last minute, Sarah did, Wes purposefully kept them around for weeks. Jesus.
The loss sucks, and it feels dirty. He played a perfect game, and all in one swoop, it was gone, not even a chance to fight back and win. This season is hard to deal with due to this. It sucks when the best player loses. However, when Landon lost the Duel 2, when CT lost the Duel, and when Derrick lost in Gauntlet 2, you still knew they had something left in the tank, and they still had wins left in them. Wes played his best game ever on Exes 2, and it might have been his last chance of becoming a champion again.
He’s had highlights since then, his Champs vs Pros performance was admirable. It just sucks the legend was not able to become the 3x Champion he deserves to be.