WARNING: The following article contains spoilers from episode 3 of MTV’s The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2.
Well, who saw that coming?
After Team U.K. seemingly won the week’s competition by a mile, host T.J. Lavin revealed that despite their shorter time, they’d cheated and, rather than unlocking a pair of padlocks, ripped them from the wheel to complete the puzzle. So it seemed Team USA was going to continue their dominance as Team U.K. lost yet another player.
But that twist revealed in the first week reared its ugly head, and Team USA threw one of their own onto the Proving Ground elimination battle — Bergmann — after he revealed his true feelings about the week’s speaker, Josh Martinez, to a roomful of teammates that included a supposedly sleeping Laurel Stucky. And, after being so sick he had to be hospitalized in week 2, Bergmann didn’t exactly give the elimination everything he had … and Stephen Bear dominated him and sent him home.
For fans of the show, this surely came as a surprise. And it probably shocked 35-year-old Bergmann, who landed in third place last season after playing a near-perfect political game, even more.
War of the Worlds 2 marked Bergmann’s 12th season of The Challenge, so he knows a thing or two about how to play the game. And, by his own admission, he doesn’t believe the way it’s being played currently is the way the season will shake out.
“It’s not a team challenge,” he predicted to PEOPLE during our set visit in Thailand in May. “It’s individual — it just looks like teams. It looks like there’s two different sides. It looks like it’s Americans versus U.K. It’s not. It’s every man for themselves. It’s not ending as U.K. and United States, I guarantee you. I’m playing a selfish game because that’s what this is.”
Bergmann added: “Two teams going back and forth, especially when our team is so much better than their team, it will be very boring.”
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Much to his own chagrin, this prediction was a rare thing he and nemesis Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio see eye-to-eye on.
“I just had a conversation with Bananas about this,” Bergmann said, chuckling. “It was a tumultuous conversation, but we agreed on this point.”
Whether or not this team competition becomes something else, it’s clear that season 34 of The Challenge is no joke. And veteran players can still be early to the chopping block.
The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on MTV.