‘The Challenge’ Rivals Squash Beef: ‘I Respect You Now’

The Challenge

MTV The Challenge: Double Agents cast

One of the breakout stars of The Challenge: Total Madness is back for Double Agents, premiering December 9 at 8/7c on MTV. Survivor alum Jay Starrett was introduced to Challenge fans last season when he joined the cast as a rookie and competed for a share of $1 million.

Jay was targeted early because he was a newcomer and was thrown into the first male elimination of the season against fellow rookie Asaf Goren of So You Think You Can Dance fame. In an impressive showing, Jay defeated Asaf in Purgatory and earned himself a Red Skull.

However, that victory wasn’t enough for Jay to “earn his stripes” and he was thrown into the next elimination against The Challenge veteran Chris “CT” Tamburello. In the ultimate David vs. Goliath matchup, Jay shocked the other Challengers, sending the longtime fan favorite home.

Jay’s time on Total Madness came to an abrupt end, however, losing to England’s Rogan O’Connor in the third male elimination of the season. It was a full-contact match and Jay was medically disqualified after being tackled by the much larger Rogan. Not be deterred, Jay went home after the season and upped his training, anticipating a call for the next season of The Challenge.

He received that phone call and viewers will once again see the Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X and Ex on the Beach 2 star on their television screens.

Jay spoke with Heavy about his preparation for Double Agents and he gave his initial thoughts on some of the cast going into the game. He also revealed that he has squashed his beef with Rogan after their rocky relationship on Total Madness.

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Jay Upped His Training for ‘Double Agents’ Compared to ‘Total Madness’

Because of how well he did in his first season, Jay figured there would be a good chance he’d receive a call about the next season of The Challenge. He said:

So after Total Madness, I thought that I did really well with the eliminations and everyone’s giving me props. I was like, ‘Oh my god, MTV might call me back. I might have the opportunity to go play again. Let me get my stuff together.’ So I started training. And I was training super hard for it, just in case if I did get the call. And then when I did get the call, I was like, ‘F*** yeah, let’s go!’ So it all came. It all happened. It was all perfect. And I went into the season way stronger than I went into my first.

Jay told Heavy that he rock climbed, skateboarded and surfed to get ready for last season. However, to prepare for Double Agents, the reality TV star focused more on strength and agility training.

“After the first season, I was like, ‘I need to get all aspects of agility down — I need to get my grip strength even stronger, I need to get my core stronger,'” Jay said. “I needed to do legs more. Dude, I did everything, from weight training to F45, to a little bit of CrossFit to more climbing, to more board sports for balance. It was just non-stop. In my mind, I was like, ‘I need to win this. So let me just give it my all.'”

Jay Felt Differently Going Into ‘Double Agents’ Compared to ‘Total Madness’

Entering The Challenge house for a second time was a different experience for Jay. He felt like the new kid on the block the first go-around, however heading into Double Agents, he felt more comfortable. Jay said:

When I walked into Total Madness, I had no idea what I was expecting. This time, like, you get a little bit more comfortable once you meet people. It’s kind of hard when you walk into a house and you have like 12 [veteran players] that are all best friends. And they’re like, ‘Hey, what’s up fresh meat?’ You’re like, ‘Oh god.’ But then the second season. You see them again and you’re like, ‘What’s up, man? Sorry I beat you last year. What’s up, dude?’ It’s a whole mix of different emotions.

Jay told Heavy that he felt the players respected him more as a competitor going into Double Agents compared to when he was on Total Madness. However, that didn’t cause Jay to lower his guard.

“At the same time, I’m not going to be comfortable walking into that house because everyone’s coming after you,” Jay said. “Everyone wants your head on the block. So it doesn’t matter what they say to your face. Because behind your back, they’re gonna be doing something else. And considering it’s called Double Agents, I don’t trust any of these mother f******.”

Going Into This Season, Jay Was a Bit Worried He’d Get the Same Treatment He Got on ‘Total Madness’

Although he had three Purgatory battles under his belt, including a victory over CT, Jay felt that he could once again become the elimination scapegoat.

“You know, mentally coming in, maybe the PTSD from last season clocked in, but I was like, ‘God maybe they’re going throw me in again every single time,'” Jay said.

More than anything, however, Jay was just happy to be back in The Challenge house and competing on the television show that he has been a fan of for so long.

Jay Named a Few ‘Double Agents’ Cast Members He Was Happy to See

Jay has watched The Challenge for years, so even though he hadn’t yet played with a few returning veterans, he was still excited to see them, including four-time champion Darrell Taylor, and fan favorites Leroy Garrett and Kam Williams. He was also thrilled to see Wes Bergmann and CT again.

“I was like, ‘What? All these dope a** people up here?’ I get to play with the greats right now, that’s sick!”

Jay was also happy to see a fellow Survivor alum, San Juan del Sur winner Natalie Anderson. He hadn’t met Natalie in person before Double Agents, however another former Survivor winner, Michele Fitzgerald, gave Jay the lowdown.

Jay said, “Michele was telling me a lot about Natalie, [that] she’s a strong competitor, she’s a beast, she’s really good at the game. So I was very excited to see more of my Survivor family go and compete and give it their all, which is awesome.”

Jay was the first American Survivor player to ever compete on The Challenge and Natalie is now the second. “Being the first person, now I can see the second is coming in,” Jay said. “It’s like, hell yeah, I broke the chain. Let’s go!”

War of the Worlds winner, Turbo Camkiran, won Survivor Turkey twice and played a third time before appearing on The Challenge.

Jay’s & His Biggest Rival From ‘Total Madness,’ Rogan O’Connor, Have Squashed Their Beef

Jay had a rocky relationship with Rogan on Total Madness. He flirted with Dee Nguyen, who Rogan had a showmance with during War of the Worlds 2, which caused some tension between them. Rogan was also responsible for eliminating Jay in brutal fashion.

However, Jay now considers Rogan a friend. As fans may have noticed, the two follow each other on social media and frequently engage with the other’s posts. Heavy asked Jay how he felt when he found out Rogan wouldn’t be a part of Double Agents. He said:

It’s such a weird concept. Like, you know when you get in a fight and then after you guys somehow become friends? It’s like, I respect you now. I don’t understand why that happens in life, but it happened. I just became friends with him and I was like, ‘Yo man, we’re cool. No stress. You did what you did. You were pissed or whatever.’ That’s the name of the game, you want to win. So if you don’t give it your all… he just gave me too much of his all considering the weight difference (laughs).

Jay told Heavy that he felt bad for Rogan not competing on Double Agents. “I know how bad he wanted to be there,” Jay said. “I know how bad I want to compete on the show, so if I didn’t get a call, I’d be bummed.”

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