The Challenge: All Stars season is now over and cast members are reflecting on their latest journey, as well as their stories from the show’s lengthy history. Some cast members are even spilling the tea about castmates ahead of the reunion.
Most of the comments that are coming out are from the various individuals involved in TJ Lavin’s final. That featured 12 competitors at the start and then one winner of the $500,000 at the end based on total points accumulated.
One competitor recently reacted to their experiences on the OGs spinoff series, saying it’s been a long time they’ve waited “to shut everyone up,” and mentioned they are a “heel” in terms of production’s presentation.
All Stars competitor reacts to All Stars season, final
One of the cast members who made a successful return to the reality TV competition show was Eric “Big Easy” Banks. The former Fresh Meat star last appeared on Battle of the Seasons in 2012, but it was his appearance in the final on The Gauntlet III that he had been infamously linked with the most.
That was where Big Easy was being pushed to the point he couldn’t go and fell to the ground with castmates yelling at him to try to continue. Among them was recent Double Agents competitor, Chris “CT” Tamburello. Concerned castmates called for a medic with Brad Fiorenza also saying it appeared Big Easy might be dying due to overexertion or exhaustion.
In the minds of his teammates at the time, Big Easy may have cost his Veterans team the final. The Rookies team went on to claim the victory in TJ’s final.
That season aired on MTV in 2008, so it’s been a while since Big Easy had a chance to show everyone he could run a final, and finish it. That’s exactly what he did during the All Stars final. Despite his low finish in the standings amongst 10 competitors, the accomplishment of completing it was redemption.
“A wise man once said a picture is worth a 1,000 words. However no words needed here! I set out to prove something to myself, something that no one can seem to let go. An average everyday dude showing up to put in work amongst beasts! I may not win every battle but you’ll remember the SOB that got ahold of you!,” he said in part of his caption.
He went on to say it took a while, but now maybe MTV can use a different piece of highlight footage when they spotlight him on their future shows.
“I’ve waited 15 years to shut everyone up, and now maybe @mtv can find another clip(we know they won’t). I finished this final for ME! For all the dudes that can still hustle and may not look like the chosen few! I’m the independent variable, I’m Big Easy!” he shared.
Big Easy reacts to fan comment: ‘I’m the heel’
A fan posted their opinion about Big Easy’s abilities to compete saying they didn’t understand why he gets so “much s**t” for the “infamous final.” The fan goes on to bring up that Big Easy went until his body died, while other competitors gave up way before he did in other Challenge finals.
Big Easy shared a screenshot of that fan’s comment in an Instagram post, commenting on why he believes that’s something to ask production about.
“That’s an @mtv @challengemtv question! I’m the heel! I’d rather let them write the script,” Big Easy said in his caption, tagging it with “#independentvariable.”
In professional wrestling, a heel refers to the wrestlers characterized as villains. On the flipside is a “face” which is typically a wrestler with “good” or hero-type characteristics. During All Stars, his castmate Jemmye Carroll mentioned not wanting to team up with Big Easy for a final, and even wanting to get him eliminated.
It would now seem that Big Easy wrote a new chapter in his Challenge history and one that should continue to showcase his excellence as a competitor. Not only did he complete the final without passing out, but he also encouraged most of the teammates he worked with along the way. Easy also showed his intelligence and skills in solving various tasks, including puzzles.
In addition, Big Easy bumped his all-time elimination record up to 5-5, counting the spinoff season. That was thanks to another win against a team featuring castmate Nehemiah Clark. So even though Big Easy didn’t win the final or the big prize money, he won over viewers’ hearts with inspiring performances and his encouragement of teammates.
The Challenge: All Stars reunion arrives Thursday, June 3 on Paramount+.