Nineteen seasons. Four wins. A lot of diapers purchased on MTV's dime.
Even before winning The Challenge's latest season, Double Agents, Chris "C.T." Tamburello's place as one of the show's most dominant performers and personalities was set. But after taking home his fourth win in the MTV reality hit's 36th season April 21, many fans can argue C.T., who first appeared on The Real World: Paris in 2003, is the greatest Challenger of all-time.
Viewers have watched C.T. grow up over the course of the series, going from a hot-headed hotshot from Boston with a penchant for throwing punches to a 40-year-old devoted father who full embraces his "dad-bod." After almost two decades on our TV screens, C.T. remains compelling and captivating.
But, like any great athlete that dominates their sport--Don't even try to deny that The Challenge hasn't evolved from Spring Break for adults to a full-blown athletic event, Olympians are competing now!--C.T. has been considering his future on the series.
"Look, I don't know how much longer I can do this," C.T. admitted to E! News in a phone interview after his win with Big Brother's Amber Borzotra. "It reminds me of like, I hate to say it, but, like, my old man. He's in his 60s, but he doesn't play in 55-plus baseball league, he plays in the 30-plus because the 55-plus isn't competitive enough. I've always said if I don't honestly feel like I can compete, it'd be time for me to step down, let someone else take that slot that really deserves it."
C.T., did however, acknowledge that the prospect of heading to The Challenge: All Stars, which launched its inaugural season earlier this month on Paramount+, has helped him come to terms with the idea of retiring from the main show, saying, "Now I know there's somewhere to go," he said.
Confirming he'd be "down" to join the spinoff in future seasons, C.T. said, "I wasn't asked, believe or not."
We actually could believe it, considering Mark Long, The Challenge "godfather" who orchestrated All Stars, previously told E! News that he was hoping to stack the cast with throwback surprises—think Teck, Yes, Ruthie and Big Easy—rather than stars, like C.T. or Johnny Bananas, who are still very present.
"The more C.T.s or Bananas we get for the first season, the more it kind of defeats the purpose of what it is," Long explained, before going on to tease, "Don't be surprised if you see someone that is more current, like a real real player in season two or three because I think it's definitely open."
And after C.T. what gleaned from talking with some of the season one All Stars, he is "open" to transitioning to the spinoff.
"I heard it was amazing because it was a breath of fresh air coming from Double Agents, which was so intense," he explained. "And this one felt like the old days where it was more laidback, and people were just reminiscing and having fun."
So yeah, it turns out the competitor, who once threatened to "smash" someone's head and "eat" it, is going a little soft, explaining to E! News that it's not the wins he looks back on most fondly.
"I find myself thinking about the stuff outside of it, like when we're all together for the first time and we're all flying together to locations," he said. "And every season there's always a Challenge song and we all wait for it to come on the bus on the way to a challenge and we all sing it as loud as we can. Or we have nights out and everyone gets drunk and acting silly. All the pranks that we do or after we're done filming, we stay an extra week with some friends."
He continued, "That's what I find myself thinking about and I know there are a lot of things on the line and of money, but I wish and I hope the younger generation appreciates their situation more and have some more fun with it."
So, while some of the young and hungry up-and-comers looking to make a name for themselves on The Challenge may have questioned his viability on Double Agents, C.T. isn't taking the bait anymore.
"I have nothing else to prove," he said. "I've had a good run."
Plus, he'd still have a chance to prove them wrong even if he doe eventually choose to head to All Stars, as Long revealed his ultimate plan.
"We do many seasons of the OG, maybe seven or eight seasons and then what you have is the most epic OG vs. new school Challenge," he shared. "It's the Super Bowl of Challenges. It's me against Fessy [Shafaat] in a f--king Hall Brawl. It's the ultimate Challenge that people will lose their minds over. That's the ultimate evolution of where the All Stars Challenge is going to go, but we are going to stand on our own for a while. We have plenty of personalities to do it."
When asked about the possibility of an old school vs. new school showdown, C.T. just laughed, before saying of the current cast, "These kids are animals."
Hey, takes one to beat one.
The Challenge: All Stars drops a new episode every Thursday on Paramount+.