This week’s throwback interview is a 2014 interview I did with Real World and The Challenge alumni Zach Nichols. This is probably one of my favourite interviews that I’ve done because I feel like it had of the most relaxed vibe.
1. Being a cast member of the San Diego season you’re no stranger to MTV’s The Real World. This past season there was a pretty unforeseen twist with the entering of “The Exes”. How would you have reacted had that happened on your season of the show?
As I watched this season of The Real World and I, like almost everyone I’m sure, caught myself wondering how I would’ve responded to having my ex move in halfway through the filming. At first I most likely would have been bitter because I went into the experience thinking this was my lucky break, my time to shine. The more of the season I watched, the more I realized that theses cast members were not casted based on just their personality. They were casted because of an interesting relationship or scenario they were in back home, so because of their “ex” they got this opportunity, had they not had an interesting relationship, story or break-up they wouldn’t have been there. So, I would have hopefully realized this, which I hope would’ve helped me cope with the situation and be level headed. All this being said, I was 23 and very immature when I was first cast and most likely would’ve been with someone else by the time my ex got there. So I’d like to say I’d be good about it, but truthfully I would probably be a complete train wreck and really fun to watch.
2. To keep as professional as possible, you’re an incredibly fit guy. I may or may not personally refer to you as the Hercules of the MTV. What are some of your favorite ways to stay fit?
Growing up I never really thought of what I was doing as a way to stay fit, instead, I was training for some sort of sport. Athletics has been one of the most defining aspects of my life beginning with recreation all the way to paying for my college degree and for a short period of time I got paid to play football so it was a job. Staying fit was my life. I’m far too active of a person now because of habits I developed at a young age. Yes I do crossfit, no it does not define me, I also play a lot of sports and other activities to stay active. I love competition in all forms so if it’s a contest I’m doing it. I try to stay as active as possible, and work up a sweat everyday, that’s all.
3. Put your itunes library on shuffle and tell us the first 5 songs that play and how each one makes you feel.
1.Take me home country roads by John Denver. Relaxed, free, reminds me of my childhood
2. Fly over states by Jason Aldean: I have a country background, I grew up mainly listening to country and in a flyover state; Mi. Takes me home a bit
3. Brown Eyed girl by Van Morrison: My mom, who will always be my brown eyed girl.
4.Changes by Tupac : Be an OG like Tupac, do not conform.
5. Like a rock by Bob Segar : My dad, he’s not only a rock but he’s my rock
4.You and former roommate Frank Sweeny have had a relationship filled with many nationally aired ups and downs. What is your relationship like now with him?
Frank Sweeney and I have a complicated 4 year relationship filled with peaks and very deep valleys. Frank and I are ultra competitive and more alike than either of us would like to admit. We grew to hate each other in San Diego(During the filming of the two’s Real World season), but got a very unique chance to work on our relationship during The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons. During that final race I saw a side of Frank I’ll always love. His never quit win at all costs mentality, the same as mine.
So it was no surprise when put on other teams on The Challenge: Rivals 2 why we butt heads. After all is said and done, I love Frank. I love his ambition, his passion and his ability to make people laugh. I don’t know MTV without him there and we’ve grown up together, like brothers. No matter what I’ll always be there for him and I know that’s reciprocated, that’s not to say that we may fight over a friendly game of cards, or a competition for 150k.
5. You must have been pretty excited to be a part of another season of The Challenge, especially when it was revealed that this season would be a free for all. Who were you most excited to be competing against this time around? Any enemies you were excited to get a chance to settle up with? Any friends you might feel a bit weird competing against?
The Challenge: Free Agents was and is a unique experience for me. I got to compete in different formats every challenge as well as play my own politic game. I loved every second of this challenge and value the very close friendships that I garnered in that 7 week period. I am and forever will be looking forward to a one on one showdown with CT, I feel like regardless of what I do until I send him packing I haven’t reached the top of The Challenge totem poll. That being said CT and I get along great and we remain close. I can’t say there’s many people I’m excited to go up against, but I always love seeing the “new kids” compete, how they react.
6.Speaking of competitors,is there anyone you would want to see on a season of The Challenge that you haven’t seen on it before?
As long as I’m on a challenge I don’t care who’s on it. I would love to see Theresa run a final, I think she is a fantastic athlete and such a sweet heart. Also Devyn has been a good friend of mine and she helps keeps sane on these things.
7.In a showdown between competitive reality hosts who would win: Survivor’s Jeff Probst or you boy TJ Lavin?
Are you kidding me? TJ Lavin no competition. TJ is a bad ass.
8. Since this is TMI Thursday, can you tell our readers something they may not know about you?
I have an alter-ego, that resides in a make up world that’s even more of a state of mind than anything. I’m the mayor of Rip City, and that’s all you need to know.
9.I need to get a little TMZ on you right now, so bear with me. It’s not much of a secret (at least to your Instagram followers) that you and fellow MTV alumni Ashlee Feldman (Real World NOLA, etc) are dating, how did that happen? And even more so, how is it going? How did your fellow Real World alumni react to the partnership?
As a matter of fact, I met Ashlee at a psych exam and it blossomed from there. She’s a career lady now, so no more television stints for her.
10. Whats next for you?
I’m not sure what’s next for me, even I don’t know. As of right now, I’m working as a crossfit instructor and an athlete, but I’ve always been a bit of a rambling man with a gypsy soul. So you never know.
Stay tuned next week for another interview from my archives!