The Challenge: USA Season 2 was not a good time to be Big Brother.
Sure, there are still two players who come from that show, but Faysal Shafaat and Josh Martinez are also allied with the vets, due to their time on the MTV side of the franchise. And in the latest episode, it was Tyler Crispen who was eliminated, after being voted in (by Michaela Bradshaw and Cory Wharton) then facing off against Chris Underwood in the arena in Barrel Tag. (It’s just like it sounds: tag, but with the players moving around on barrels.)
Here, Tyler talks his strategy, campaigning to go into elimination to protect Alyssa Snider earlier this season, and more.
With those times, that was the fastest elimination this season, right?
Tyler Crispen: Yeah, I think I was a part of the longest elimination so far and the shortest. That was a quick one.
Do you think there’s anything you could’ve done differently to beat Chris?
I’ve gone over that quite a few times in my head, but the absolute bulldozer of a man that was working his ways toward me in that second round, I don’t know if anybody was stopping him. He went balls to the wall, and it was crazy. So yeah, I gotta give him props on that one. I thought I had a good time, too, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, he’s kind of cooking over here really quick. Maybe I should be nervous right now.”
You did have a good time. Both of you were under two minutes. Did you have time to really plan a strategy?
Not really. It’s kind of difficult because you have to work off what the other person is doing, and then at the same time, if you fumble one barrel one time, it’ll throw off your whole rhythm, and I feel like that’s what happened to me in the round that I was getting chased. I was fumbling ’em around. The way that you had to carry both barrels was a little different each round. So yeah, I don’t know. It was just a lot, and it was my time, I guess.
Big Brother just didn’t have the numbers this season. Is there anything you could’ve done to help yourself that you didn’t and wish you did? Michaela said that you didn’t make any moves to work with her.
Yeah, I try not to live too much on regrets, but I feel like at the beginning of the game, I probably could have done a better job at integrating myself a little bit. The speed of The Challenge is a lot quicker than the speed of Big Brother, so I took a little bit of time to understand the game, seeing how people operate, seeing how quick the flow is, and then by that time, it seemed like everybody already had their alliances locked in, and I’m like, I’ve talked about six people this whole time. So Michaela was pretty right about me not working with them because I was targeting the Survivor people — at one point they had everyone still left, so it seemed like maybe that was a problem we had to take care of. But yeah, I feel like there really wasn’t too much I would do differently. Maybe just get my footing a little bit earlier.
Did you prefer team play versus individual play?
I did. I really like being on a team, in any aspect. It was different for me coming off of Big Brother, such a solo game the whole time, but I feel like when I have other people behind me or when other people’s fate is determined also by how I perform, it motivates me even more. So I really enjoyed having a team to be behind, and I really wanted the Green Team to stick together a lot more than we would, and I think I lied to myself about, “Hey, maybe we could stay Green strong, man, let’s do this thing.” But that really wasn’t going to happen.
Then there was your relationship with Alyssa in the house, with both of you noting that showmances had been problems for you in the past. What did that relationship mean to you?
It meant a lot, honestly. She’s just such a great person. Yeah, we were working together in the game, but it’s more just like, you find people that you click with and you want to stick around people that you click with. That’s always been important to me in any game and in life, and I just approach these games like I would approach life anyway. She’s awesome. She’s such a sweetheart. It was great to be able to meet her and work with her.
Especially when you take into consideration the numbers of the house.
Yeah, exactly. Which were not on our side, ever.
When I spoke with Alyssa last week, she said that hurt people hurt people and she didn’t want to put either of you in that situation, so you’re friends. How do you feel about where things are now?
Yeah, everything works out how it’s meant to work out. I feel like we have such a strong relationship. Maybe it’s not the right time to dive into a serious romantic relationship in the outside world yet, but I’m still going to value mine and Alyssa’s relationship for a long time because she’s just a gem of a human being. You don’t want to let those slide.
Is that the closest relationship you came out of The Challenge: USA with? Because you and Monte [Taylor] were friends and had to face each other in elimination.
I know. Monte and I have maintained such a solid friendship, too. That’s one of the things that I feel like they really pressed on a lot was during our elimination, they made it seem like I was just doing it for Alyssa, but I was really trying to throw myself in there to protect Monte, too, because we got the votes on Sebastian [Noel]. All we needed was the hopper to come through and me, Alyssa, and Monte could have all stayed in the game, but the hopper wasn’t on our side that night, and Monte had to go. That was a sad time for all of us for sure, but he and I are still great friends.
How did you feel about that hopper?
I personally love the hopper. My name never once came out of that thing.
And you got votes!
I got votes every time. I knew it was coming, too, every time. I feel like I might as well buy some real estate in that hopper. I’d be staying nice and warm in there, just keeping me nice and safe. Never spit me out. A couple of times it worked against me, but my name never came out of that thing. So I love the hopper. If I won the show, I was going to name my firstborn child Hopper, that’s for sure.
Looking back now, would you do the same thing again and campaign to be thrown in?
Oh, a million percent. A million percent. It didn’t exactly work out, but it was the best strategic move that I could have made at that point anyway game-wise. But at the same time, it really empowered me and locked me into the game a lot more to be like, “Alright, my back’s against the wall here. I can either run from it — everybody does try to run from the hopper — and try to get votes on someone else, or I can just take this head-on and approach it more in an offensive way and go actually do some dirty work myself.” Once you go into the arena and you come back and you realize that you can come back, you’re not so scared of getting votes or going down in the sand again. So it was a big moment for me in a lot of ways. I would do it a million times again.
And if that came up again in a future season, the chance to campaign to be thrown in, you would?
Oh, for sure. If there’s something that needs to be done, I am always somebody that is not afraid to go out and do it myself. I don’t want to put somebody on my team in jeopardy. I’d rather go do it myself, even if it means risking my game, but I feel like to win these games, that’s the way you have to play. Not that I know anything about winning these games because I can’t seem to do that, but that’s just my thought process.
Is there anything that didn’t air that you think fans should know about?
What I was talking about earlier, the way there was a lot more to the whole me throwing myself into that elimination than they aired. There were so many different facets to it. My first attempt at getting votes on someone was [Johnny] Bananas [Devenanzio]. Everyone said, no, we can’t get votes on Bananas. Second attempt was try to get votes on Wes [Bergmann]. Everyone said, no, we can’t get votes on Wes. Sebastian was option number three, and it kind of worked out. We got maybe almost half the house to go against him, but me and Monte were working hard that week to make that happen, and I wish they showed a bit more of that. But I can understand it because it was a bunch of swing and misses, and we just landed on Sebastian, and then the hopper didn’t even come through. There was a lot more to that than just me trying to save Alyssa.
Would you do another season of The Challenge: USA?
Oh, for sure. It was an experience of a lifetime. It was so cool, just every other day doing something epic. I don’t know why I said no to it so many times before, because once you’re in there and you see how it goes, I see why Bananas has done this 75 times.
Why did you say no before?
I just felt like I wasn’t in the right mindset. I’ve learned that you have to approach these things with a good mindset if you’re going to be somewhat successful or come out with a lesson learned for yourself. I just feel like in the past I wasn’t ready, and I’m happy that this is the one that I said yes to.
Would you prepare differently for another season?
I don’t know if I would, but I feel like now that I’ve gone through another season, I’m prepared. I feel like the first couple of weeks I was literally just trying to understand the rules of the game and the pace because it’s so fast-paced compared to Big Brother. By the time I figured it out, it seemed like I had already gotten eight hopper votes, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, OK, I understand the game now, but my back’s against the wall.” So I feel like if I did it again, I would at least have the baseline understanding of what’s going on. I didn’t really watch the show, probably should have watched it more.
The Challenge: USA, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS