Four-time Survivor contestant and winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water Tyson Apostol is back on television as he stars in The Challenge: USA, which premieres July 6 on CBS.
Most recently, Tyson appeared on the 40th season of “Survivor” and continued to fight “Winner in War.” Tyson finished 11th overall out of 20 recurring winners and is now testing the waters of a new reality competition show.
Heavy’s Stephen McCaugherty interviewed Tyson ahead of the premiere of The Challenge: USA. And you can watch the full interview via the embedded YouTube video below:
When asked if Tyson was cast on the show because he was looking for another reality TV opportunity, he replied: “No, it’s the opposite. They were looking for me.”
The Survivor legend went on to explain, in typical Tyson fashion, why CBS wanted him on The Challenge.
“I have a winning personality,” Tyson continued. “I can narrate a show, I can do all these things. I have great confessionals. But also I am very easy to work with. I’m not really a diva. When we get out of there, I respect that cameramen are at least my collaborators, if not to some extent my overseers and things like that.
“I always respect those people out there. And I think that makes it easy for CBS to crawl back season after season. And to be honest, the casting of ‘The Challenge’ took quite a bit of pressure.
“I talked to them for about a year. As of last summer, they sure got in touch. And when I finally said yes, about three weeks before leaving, you could hear the sigh of relief in that casting person’s voice. She’s like, ‘Oh thank God, oh my God, we didn’t know if you were going to do it.’
“I mean, if we look at the cast, it’s like me, and then nobody else. So I was like the guy that had to be there.”
Despite being 43, Tyson is still a major threat on ‘The Challenge: USA’
Tyson isn’t the only former Survivor player to be cast in The Challenge: USA. Of the 28 reality stars, eight survivors will compete, including Sarah Lacina and Ben Driebergen.
But in a recent video shared on Instagram page The Challenge, host TJ Lavin said he has his eye on Tyson and that of the entire cast, he’s the one to beat.
When asked if he felt players saw him as a major threat to the show, Tyson said he “had to take that into account” despite being 43 years old now and not as physically active as he was when he was 28 . old on “Survivor: Tocantins”.
“Look at those lines on my face bro,” Tyson said.
“I’ve been doing this thing for 15 years,” he continued. “Someday I’ll be too old to beat up these kids at these little carnival games. I don’t think this is the moment. But at some point it will happen. So I hope people take that into account in some way. Like, I’m now a father like. The most physical thing I generally do in my life is play pickleball once or twice a week. And then I pick up my kids. That’s my strength training that puts my kids on my shoulders.”
But Tyson still acknowledges his athletic ability, something that’s required to shine in The Challenge.
“In my favor is 10 to 20 years of professional and amateur cycling, a lifetime of swimming, NCAA Division I swimming,” Tyson said. “And that muscle memory just keeps going. For example, I hear a lot of people say, ‘Oh, I used to jog three miles once a day, so I have stamina.’ I said, ‘Three miles isn’t even a warm up, dude.’
“If I wanted to go out and have an adventure jogging, I would go out and jog about 30 miles, NBD (no big deal).”
He went on to say that if he were younger and competed in The Challenge: USA, he would “definitely bat at anything. As if no one would come close to the younger Tyson.”
Tyson hired a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor to prepare for “The Challenge,” plays pickleball
When fans follow Tyson on social media, they would probably know that he is the self-proclaimed biggest “pickleball influencer” in the world. Coupled with his time on the court while also coaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Tyson prepared before competing in The Challenge: USA.
“Pickleball’s fast, it’s eye-hand coordination,” Tyson said. “So there’s a lot of eye-hand speed. Also, it gives you some aerobic capacity. I am naturally very strong in endurance sports. So if I have something that sustains that stamina just a little bit, I’m still three times better than the second person.
“When I got into this thing, I also hired a private Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor just to prepare myself in case I needed to do grappling. Or at least tell people about it so they’re more likely to engage with me.”
Additionally, Tyson began jogging with a weight vest and focused on bodyweight exercises. Unlike others on the show, he wanted to put energy into functional training rather than strength training.
“A lot of these guys go in and their muscles are dead weight,” said the four-time survivor. “They just say, ‘I’m just trying to attract someone who will love me for one night or for a lifetime, either one.’ My muscle is fully functional. If I have a muscle on my body, it has a purpose other than just looking cool.”
https://heavy.com/entertainment/mtv-the-challenge/survivor-winner-tyson-apostol-being-cast-usa/ Survivor Winner Tyson Apostol Talks The Challenge: USA