Certain people are born to be reality TV stars. That may sound crazy, for it seems like something that requires little to no talent, or it's merely too hard to wrap your brain around the fact that it's an actual occupation. But some people have that magic it quality to excel on candid camera: Any member of the Kardashian family, Bethenny Frankel
and NeNe Leakes, to name a few. And then there's Chris "CT" Tamburello. For no matter how long his hiatus from the cameras continues, fans refuse to forget about him.
CT first captured the public's attention during his stint on MTV's "The Real World: Paris" back in 2003. Since then he's become a "Challenge" veteran champion. The 35-year-old has competed on seven different cycles of the competition series, and won four of them. Zap2it has dubbed him"The Godfather" of "The Challenge," a nickname he's really not that fond of, but we think it'll stick.
However, after the devastating loss of his on-again-off-again girlfriend Diem Brown back in November 2014, CT pretty much vanished from the spotlight.
The Boston-bred stud has since popped in on "Battle of the Bloodlines" with Diem's sister for a tribute demonstration appearance, and will soon be stepping into a new role as advisor after a particularly dramatic situation takes place on Season 28's "Rivals III."
Zap2it got to speak with CT while he was in Los Angeles filming "The Aftershow" special about his tiptoeing presence back into the reality TV world, and if he will ever compete on the series again.
Zap2it: Does it feel like a camp reunion coming back and seeing everyone?
CT: We don't really keep in touch. For me, it's just getting back out there. Baby steps. This stuff is fun. You miss it. It was a huge part of my life. It's weird when I see new cast members, though. They're like, "Oh, dude! I used to watch you when I was little!" And I'm like, "Oh, man."
Have you watched 'Are You the One?'
Nah. Every season, there's more and more people I've never seen before.
It's endearing! Meant with respect. How's life outside MTV?
I like it! I found myself a little secluded area on the water. It's why I grew the beard out. With the glasses and the hat. It's like I'm undercover.
Do you think it works?
Apparently not. Now, I just look like "The Godfather." Psh.
How are the fan interactions?
I can appreciate it. I understand social media, what it is. For the most part it's all positive. I feel like people have watched me go through my twenties. They've grown up with me. I definitely have a different appreciation for privacy. I don't look for attention, but if it comes my way I don't shy away from it.
Your Instagram account is super emo ...
I wanted to start using it again. But at the same time, what people respond, it's about the past. It's hard. I'm always afraid to put anything related to my private life up there. I've been a recluse for so many years, I'm tiptoeing in. So I'll post some funny pics, music, but nothing like what I used to. I'm just having fun with it. I'm not gonna sit there and take selfies all day.
Are you going on acting auditions while you're here in LA?
No. I'm just on vacation, really. I'd like to. It's hard! If any opportunity came up, I'd jump on it. I was really working towards taking that next step from reality TV, but it's really hard to get out of it.
What's the hardest part about being on 'The Challenge'?
Privacy. There's no outlet. No distractions. You're in this house with no TV. No music. No phone. I tried to get rid of people just to have my own room. I seriously contemplated getting rid of someone in my room, so I could take their bed, and turn it a bigger bed. I think I actually did that. Twice.
It's just a lot people in a confined area. At first, it's like wow! This is amazing. And now it's like, who the hell didn't flush the toilet? And dude, if you use my toothpaste one more time, we're gonna have a problem.
Gotta ask: Will you ever compete again?
Never say never. I miss it! It's so fun, ya know? For me being on the show ... [I've lived on] every continent except for the south pole! It's more than what most people do in their entire lives. I'm thankful for that. But now I'm just like that grumpy old man who just wants to be left alone! [Just kidding.] I don't know.
Catch all new episodes of "The Challenge: Rivals III" at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.