Ever wonder what it would feel like to have more than 200,000 bees clustered onto your body? Fear Factor contestant A.J. Brunner learned the hard way.
FEAR FACTOR: So you were standing there with 200,000 bees swarming your body. What was going on in your mind?
A.J. BRUNNER: It was horrible. I was starting to cry. Their feet felt like little suction cups and they were just all over. I could feel their weight pulling my shirt down and I was scared that they were going to get in. I was like, please, don't get in my shirt! Just knowing that they're right there on my neck and that once they started stinging I thought maybe they'd all start stinging.
FEAR FACTOR: Was it especially freaky having them all over your head?
A.J. BRUNNER: They were building up by my ear and I was hating the sound. I could feel them going in my hair. They were all over. And I couldn't stand it when it was on my lip and on my nose.
FEAR FACTOR: What helped pull you through? Did you talk yourself back down?
A.J. BRUNNER: Yeah. I started to get really scared about halfway through. And I realized I'm halfway through, and if I put up with it for that long, I can go a little bit longer and get this done with.
FEAR FACTOR: What made you decide to be a contestant on Fear Factor in the first place?
A.J. BRUNNER: I guess what made me really want to do Fear Factor is just to prove all my friends wrong, because they think that I'm not capable of doing the types of things you see on the show. I feel like I'm really strong inside, and I just want that inner strength to show through.
FEAR FACTOR: So you have a lot of people who obviously doubted that you could pull this off. Does that drive you to succeed that much harder?
A.J. BRUNNER: I think it drives me, yes, because I feel like I'm capable of doing anything. It's kind of that mind-over-matter type thing. I mean, eating coagulated blood balls and such things just isn't in everyone's nature. [Laughs]
FEAR FACTOR: How did you prepare for the show?
A.J. BRUNNER: I don't think you can prepare for this. I mean, you can't get physically fit in a couple days if you haven't done it already. I just kept thinking of this one saying that I heard a long time ago: "There's no such thing as a quitter who keeps on trying." So I just wanted to keep trying.
FEAR FACTOR: You say you've always been very athletic. How much did that come into play on Fear Factor?
A.J. BRUNNER: Sports helped me a lot. I didn't feel like there was a physical challenge that was going to be so scary for me that I wouldn't be able to participate in. It's more of that mental game with the snakes, the bugs, the food, the. YUCK!
FEAR FACTOR: Were you thinking much about the competition?
A.J. BRUNNER: My strategy was just to be self-focused, just to do this for me and try not to size up the competition because then your mind starts to wander and you're trying to do too many things at once.
FEAR FACTOR: What was your biggest fear coming on to Fear Factor?
A.J. BRUNNER: My biggest fear was the fear of the unknown with the show. I didn't know what was going to happen to me. I didn't know what was going to be around the corner. That freaks me out.