(ViacomCBS) – The Challenge: All Stars returns for its second season on Paramount+ this Thursday, November 11th. As its name suggests, this version of The Challenge will pit the best of the best against each other in a brutal competition for $500,000.
CBS‘ Matt Weiss spoke to Tyler Duckworth about his preparation for the game, growing up on TV and reuniting with his old Real World: Key West castmates.
MW- Tyler, good to see you. The Challenge: All Stars season two comes to Paramount+ on Thursday, November 11th. How does it feel to dust off those challenge boots and get back out there?
TD- Oh, man, it’s when I say it’s nerve racking, that’s an understatement, it was terrifying. Mainly because the las two times I was on I won back to back. I figured, alright there’s no better way to go than winning twice in a row. So to come back after 11 years, you’re like, um, am I really doing this?
But at the same time, it was so exciting. I’m the kind of guy that does these because I want to jump off buildings. I want to jump out of airplanes. I was like do I still got it? That was kind of going through my head and also like, how do I prepare for a challenge that I’m almost 40 now.
It’s a lot different than it was in my 20s. There was a lot, a lot of things going through my head at once. But also I had solace in the fact that everyone else is in the same boat as me. We were all kind of sliding into 40 and we don’t have the same bodies we used to. We’re going to have a little bit of fun and humor about it.
MW- What was the preparation like to get ready for this season?
TD- Well, you know I did put on the the COVID 20. So when I got the call I only had a few weeks to get ready. Fortunately I’m an athlete so I wasn’t in bad shape, but I wasn’t in challenge shape, you’ve got to be ready to do anything.
Beyond that it’s the mental process of getting things in order. A key in challenges is preparing for puzzles. It’s not just about the physical, it’s about the mental aspect. You have to start thinking about sliding puzzles and then I started watching season one to see what I was kind of up against. I even at one point started eating spicy peppers because I saw that was part of season one in the final.
I’m prepping for everything, I’m doing everything, I’m even eating Carolina Reapers just incase. Chances are they won’t do that twice in a row but you never know what they’re going to throw at you. You have to prepare for the unprepareable.
MW- What was it like to have your old castmate Janelle out there with you?
TD- Fun fact about Janelle she and our whole Keywest cast are still really, really tight. We are the most winning Real World season in challenges by a mile. We take pride in that but Janelle was actually the first one from our season to win a challenge.
I was in her wedding, I’m close with her and her husband and her kids so I was pumped. At the same time she made no bones about this game she was like, listen, we’re friends, but I’m gonna play my game, I’ll help you as much as I can., but I’m playing for me. That’s why we do so well, we play to win.
So I didn’t know I was gonna have a friend in the house and that makes it so much more comforting. When the game gets crazy with the political stuff you can just look over to your friend and just start laughing.
MW- She really threw the gauntlet down on you.
TD- Oh, well, literally and metaphorically. Last time her and I did a challenge was Gauntlet three. Her and I watched the clip after the fact on the phone of her laying into me and she was like, I was really pissed at you. [laughs]
It was fun because we could laugh at ourselves and laugh at how ridiculous it was so long ago. But then cut to this season where there’s some very high tension moments and I’m just glad I wasn’t on the receiving end of Janelle’s ire right now.
MW- And last question here before I let you go, what can we expect from The Challenge: All Stars season two?
TD- No shade to season one but season two is without question the most badass challenge that’s ever going to air. It is truly insane. Remember we are old folks here, we are doing the stuff that regular kids are doing on the challenges with the bonus experienced political game. It’s a whole different ballgame.
There were times where I was sitting there thinking, this is amazing I can’t believe I’m watching this and I had to realize dude, you’re on this TV show, you need to get to work because you’re gonna be next if you don’t. Everything was going at full cylinder at all times. The personalities, the challenges, the drama, the excitement, you know, $500,000, that’s a lot of money. That’s life changing money.
You saw some good things come out of people, saw some bad things, but at the end of the day, it’s things that you just want to watch. There’s a lot of drama, but there’s a lot of positivity and it’s guaranteed the fans are going to go nuts. This is the best season of the challenge yet.
MW- Well congratulations on getting back into the game and thanks for the time today Tyler.
TD- I appreciate it, take care!
The Challenge: All Stars Season 2 comes to Paramount+ on Thursday, November 11th.