Read our exclusive interview with this week's winner, John Lucas. We had to track him down in Germany (where he is now stationed in the Air Force), but we found him!
After watching the girls complete the first stunt (being
dragged by the helicopter) were you worried about your bathing suit
staying on? !
No, I wasn't. The only thing I was worried about was my "package" from the choppy waves! I really thought that was going to be a painful thing to deal with. My tactic was to keep my legs my crossed.
Did the tactic work?
Actually, initially it did, but what worked better was spinning around onto my back. That was perfect because the water wasn't hitting me there.
When the other players spun on their backs, it seemed to force them to let go.
I think what made me let go was the pain of hitting the water! I didn't think I was going to have a high threshold for pain so my strategy was just holding on and dealing with it as long as possible.
Who did you initially think would be your toughest competition?
I thought for sure, Jeff was going to be the toughest. I know it's kind of unfair, but it's because he looked more athletic and more competitive.
The cow eyeballs looked really tough to pop open. Did you learn anything from watching Melissa and Tracy?
I didn't! I think what I was getting from them was to not be near them when they finished. I didn't want to be near them. I didn't want to know what it smelled like or anything. Then, they had stuff hanging out of their mouths, so I tried to avoid looking at them too. Technique-wise, I didn't see anything that was going to be helpful, it was just get it in your mouth and try to pop it.
What did that cow eye juice taste like? Did you ever feel sick?
When I saw it, I thought the smell alone was going to make me gag, so as soon as Joe said "Go", my technique was to just hold my breath and get it in my mouth without breathing so I didn't have to smell it. For that split second, it worked, but then I had to take a breath because of the anxiety. As soon as I breathed I realized there was no bad smell. Then when I popped it, tasting it I was even more surprising because it tasted like chicken gizzards!
What do chick gizzards taste like?
It's like fried chicken. It wasn't a bad taste at all.
In the final stunt, were you surprised by how well Tracy did? You and Jeff seemed to think she'd get out quickly.
I was very surprised that she went as long as she did. It motivated me. My thing was that the better someone else did, the better it made me do! So when I saw her going across and jumping, I was "wow, I guess it must be pretty easy." Then, when I saw her hesitate, I knew it was over for her.
After about 11 flags, you slammed your bad knee into the truck and looked pretty tired. What kept you going after that?
I was exhausted at that point. It was almost like in sports, when you hear the crowd but as soon as you're on the field you don't hear anything. I didn't hear anything; I was just trying to push my body. After 11 flags, it didn't want to go any further. When I hit my knee, I didn't feel it, but I knew my body was slowing down. At that point I got nervous. I kept going because I told myself (and I was talking out loud) "for them to beat me it was going to have to be a fluke." I would have to slip and fall or miss some flags. I knew I was going to set the standard so high, so that Jeff was going to have to go 150% to beat me.
Did the pain hit you later?
Actually my entire body from head to toe was hurting! Total muscle failure. I've never felt anything like it in my life. It was unreal. Just hanging (by the bungee, after the fall) was excruciating.
Did you ever think Jeff might beat you?
Only because I didn't get all the flags. I left an opening for him and that's what I didn't want to do. Leaving that opening made me a little nervous. But I said to myself that even with that opening, the way I felt, he was going to have to push it a lot harder than I did and I didn't think he could do it.
Out of the three stunts, which one was toughest?
I think the last one was the hardest.
Why did you want to be on Fear Factor?
Specifically for my boys. We've always watched and they always say "Daddy you can do that, right?"
Has it been hard keeping the winning secret from them?
Yes, very difficult!
What will you do with the $50,000?
Definitely take care of some family members. Primarily set aside some money for my boys and as well as investments. I want to say thanks to Fear Factor for giving me the opportunity and hopefully I won't be forgotten if they do a Champions episode!