The new season of The Challenge: Double Agents started off with a hilarious moment that one competitor predicted would become a GIF for people to laugh at for years to come. Chris “CT” Tamburello accidentally(?) nailed Wes Bergmann in the face with a discarded shoe during the first competition. The impact caused a stunned Bergmann to fall to the ground and prompted laughter from the rest of the cast, including host T.J. Lavin.
The new season of The Challenge airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.
STOP READING if you haven’t yet watched the episode and don’t want to know ANYTHING else about this scene. But don’t worry, this post does NOT identify who won the first competition and doesn’t include any spoilers about the rest of the episode.
Here’s what you need to know:
Tamburello Threw the Shoe Behind Him & Bergmann Never Saw It Coming
The first event in Double Agents, called Mission Decryption, put the competitors’ physical strength as well as their memory skills to the test. The players raced to the top of a hill to retrieve a single capsule. The mission was to memorize the color code on the capsule. Each player then had to return to their individual station and duplicate the code. As he explained the rules, Lavin ominously warned, “Don’t let any other agents stand in your way.”
The men’s heat was predictably physical as the competitors wrestled each other to get access to the capsule. The first person to grab it ended up on the bottom of a dogpile as all of the men tried to snatch it away. Tamburello and Bergmann both ended up standing outside of the chaotic heap. As Tamburello attempted to drag someone out of the pile, he ended up pulling that player’s shoe off. Tamburello casually explained to producers during a confessional interview, “Somehow ended up with a shoe. Get rid of that.”
Tamburello threw the shoe behind him. In the clip, it does not look like Tamburello aimed or was even aware that anyone was standing behind him. But Bergmann was staring at the pile and was not paying any attention to Tamburello’s arm movement. He was taken completely unaware when the shoe slammed directly into his face. Bergmann’s head snapped back as his hands came up to his face. Bergmann fell first to his knees and then onto his back as his facial expression spelled out the pain he was experiencing.
The moment happened very fast and MTV producers clearly wanted to ensure every fan had the opportunity to enjoy it. They decided to rewind the footage, play it again in slow motion and add opera music to the background for dramatic effect.
Fans instantly shared their agreement on social media:
The Executive Producer Described Lavin’s Laughter as ‘Delicious’ & Bergmann Acknowledged That the Moment Gave Everyone a ‘Good Little Chuckle’
The hit prompted all of the women to burst out laughing. Lavin also found the moment hilarious. MTV even put Lavin alongside Bergmann in a spit screen as Lavin doubled over in laughter. Lavin just kept on laughing for several more seconds and was heard remarking, “Right in the face! So stupid.”
Executive producer Julie Pizz commented on Lavin’s reaction during an interview with the Reality Life with Kate Casey podcast: “My favorite thing, which happens in episode one, is when TJ laughs. When he laughs at something. It literally made me cry laugh. There’s a scene in episode one that every time I watch it, I rewind it and rewatch it, and rewind it and rewatch it because it makes me cry laugh. TJ laughs so hard — there’s something about when he laughs with the cast that it’s just delicious.”
Bergmann took the incident in stride but predicted fans would be laughing over this for a very long time. He said afterward in his confessional, “15 seconds in, I’ve been beaten up by a shoe. I’m glad you guys are all getting a good little chuckle out of it. I’m sure I’m going to be a GIF for the next 10 years of my life.”
Tamburello, in his standard nonchalant fashion, further remarked to producers about the irony. “Wes has been known for putting his foot in his mouth,” Tamburello said. “I don’t know why anyone’s surprised he got hit with a shoe. Get over it.”
Tamburello & Bergmann Won a Challenge Together & Consider Each Other Friends
Tamburello and Bergmann’s relationship did not begin well. The animosity between them threatened to boil over during The Challenge: Rivals, which aired in 2011. Bergmann was partnered with Kenny Santucci and Tamburello was paired with Adam King. An uncensored clip from that season, posted to YouTube, shows one contentious night in which Bergmann poked the bear by tossing Tamburello’s mattress off a balcony. Tamburello ended up screaming obscenities in Bergmann’s face as other castmembers looked on.
But just two years later, Tamburello and Bergmann found themselves aligned. They were paired together for Rivals II in 2013 and ended up defending each other in a heated argument against shared rival Johnny Bananas. In that clip, other castmates expressed hope that someone would throw a punch and therefore get themselves kicked out of the game.
Bergmann and Tamburello learned to work together that season and ended up winning the final challenge. It was Tamburello’s first Challenge championship and Bergmann’s second.
In an extended interview with The Buzz on December 8, Bergmann described Tamburello as a good friend. Bergmann also praised Tamburello for making positive changes in his life prior to coming on Double Agents, such as focusing on his mental state and losing excess weight. In addition, Bergmann said fans could expect major moves from Tamburello this season, hinting that Tamburello was “gonna do some s***.”
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