Recent winner Stacy Teems has some strong opinions about his Fear Factor experience and his competitors. Here's what he had to say about licking bugs off of windshields, flying down a skyscraper and launch from beam to beam to secure his big money win.
What is your greatest fear and did it ever come into play during the game?
My biggest fear was not to win, I went in with the attitude that I would win and never gave it a second thought. I didn't want to disappoint my friends and family being that they also agreed stating that for me to lose I would have to beat myself.
Who did you think would be your toughest competition before the game began?
At first it was Eric, I met him before the events and I could just tell from what little conversation that he may be a comperable opponent. I also wondered about Tatiana due to the size and possible strength of this woman. But in all honesty I knew it would come down to Stephanie and myself due to the fact that she was the quiet one. And remember mama said and I quote" The quiet one's are the one's you want to look out for" so I did just that.
Were you surprised that Michael was the first to be eliminated?
Not really being that it was going to be Eric or Mike that left first, I thought it was appropriate and it was no suprise, remember I thought Eric would make it to the last stunt but that's what I get for thinking!
You seemed to talk a good game with the other players. Was this part of your strategy?
I talked a GREAT game to be exact. My whole strategy was to get them so involved listening to my antics that they lose all focus and concentration about what it is they need to do. They said I didn't intimidate him but that was not the purpose. The purpose was to distract them just enough to beat them. And it worked or I would have not personally eliminated 3 out of the other 5 contestants. Wouldn't you agree?
Tatiana clearly intimidated the other women, how did you feel about her?
She displayed a real feminine quality that you usually don't see in female bodybuilders. She gave me a whole new outlook on women bodybuilders. But intimidated, Lord No! I'm used to being the small one but I am the intimidator. There was nothing she could do or say that would intimidate me, especially after I saw her dancing. She's got as much rhythm as a deaf country line dancer. No offense, hopefully, but if some taken then just like I told the other contestants on the show: I am not here to be liked by you or anyone else here. I am here to get paid and since you are in my way then you must be cast aside in order for the BEST FEAR FACTOR CONTESTANT EVER to take his place atop the winner's circle.
How nasty was the crushed bugs stunt? Describe the taste, smell and texture of it all.
It wasn't the dead bugs that bothered me, it was the dirty windshield! Just kidding, honestly it looked a lot worse then it was, but the smell oooooooo weeeeeeee was oh so nasty. I can only describe the smell as the smell of rotting feces w/ a side of sewer system and a light touch of formaldehyde. Bad smell, yes. Bad taste? Well, the bugs never touched my tongue I basically held it at the back of my mouth in hopes of not tasting the rotting bug carcasses and used my over-abundant lips to scoop the bugs in my mouth but never touching my tongue.
What did you think of Eric as a competitor and did you expect to see him in the final round?
Eric blew both of his stunts as far as I'm concerned he really should have gone home first. He was a competitor but not very graceful in any event. He's a cool guy with a good head on his shoulders, but I wasn't too worried about him. Size and muscle mean nothing to me. I would have liked to have seen him in the final round but after botching the first stunt badly I knew we would not compete against each other and that Tatiana or Stephanie would eliminate him.
Stephanie tied you in the first stunt and beat you in the second. Did it worry you to face her in the finals?
Now this is the question I really wanted to answer. Let me explain. Before the first stunt I said I would do enough to beat all the men [and that] I was not competing against the women, so Stephanie was not a factor. Halfway down the stunt if you look. I stopped trying to grab flags because I knew I was already advancing. If you notice I set the standard for Stephanie on each stunt. I called this the Lance Armstrong strategy. You know, I sit back in a comfortable position in order to not over-expend my energy. As much as a cliche it is, I let her beat me at those stunts. Now if there were odds or money on every stunt then I would have had to conquer all. I did not worry about her in the finals. I was last, so after Tatiana came barreling down I knew she would have to do something phenomenal in order for me to feel I have to press my time, or (back to my biggest fear) I would beat myself. She was great competition and notice how both of the small people were the finalists. Says a lot for muscular people and shows how smaller people have a muscular heart not just an outside appearance.
At first, you said that you were going to use Stephanie's strategy of landing with your whole body in the final stunt, but then you didn't. What happened?
It's called a bluff… don't believe everything you hear. After I saw how she was banging her body against these steel beams and that it would take me more time to recover from that kind of impact, I started to second guess her strategy. Really what it was is I got nervous and scared for the first time because it was the final stunt. It just seemed a little too GIRLY for me to jump on my stomach because I was afraid to fall and lose. So I grabbed what little pride I brought with me decided that I would not be beat unless I beat myself. So once I did the first jump it was like a timing pattern and I know how to land soft so it made it rather simple to complete this stunt.
You mentioned that you have a family. Does that mean you're going to be responsible with the $50,000 or are you going to go a little crazy with the cash?
Well if buying a house, SUV, open a couple of IRAs and starting a home business is responsible then that I am. This will also help me pay off college loans, my credit, and give to those who are less fortunate than I in my family. YES THIS IS THE TRUTH. That's why I won. I had something the others didn't, I committed myself to winning and helping my family so that's what happened. It was a blessing; nothing more, nothing less. I will also be spending a week in CANCUN w/ my wife celebrating our 1- year anniversary. We have never had a real honeymoon so this is our chance. I am also going back to school to finish my 4-year and get a BA in Finance. Fear Factor has given me the opportunity to change my life and those who are directly affected by my life. And I thank all who were involved. From the first person, Tom, who without his insight and belief in me I would not have been given this chance to the casting crew including, Melissa, Tom, Rich and Lisa: thank you all. And hopefully they have an all-winners Fear Factor show! I would love to come back and take some more of their money and provide as much of me to secure wonderful ratings for that show.