Thanks to MTV, we’ve been able to get our reality TV fix over the years with Teen Mom, Road Rules, The Real World, and of course, The Challenge. While the show was originally known as Road Rules: All Stars when it first began back in the late ’90s, the game has since evolved — though we’ve seen some of the contestants on the competition for over a decade. The show is set up so that fan favorites from The Real World, Road Rules, Are You the One?, and other MTV reality series can compete against each other for money that can total up to $1 million. There are plenty of twists and turns in the show, too — and viewers come back season after season for the drama.
There’s one contestant, Chris “C.T.” Tamburello, who has been on 14 seasons — and fans loved that he returned for the most recent season, The Challenge: Final Reckoning. Here’s his total net worth, how much he’s made from his winnings, and what he thinks about it all now.
C.T. was known for his hot-headed nature back in the early years
C.T. Tamburello and Cara Maria Sorbello from The Challenge | Cara Maria Sorbello via Instagram
For those who’ve only watched recent seasons of The Challenge, C.T. seems like a good-natured guy who’s slightly out of his element at38 (the majority of the fresh-faced contestants are in their 20s). Even so, he’s certainly built up a reputation over the years of being physically intimidating, temperamental, and rough around the edges. He’s even been kicked off of various seasons in his younger years due to physical altercations.
In regards to his past, he told Rolling Stone, “I do regret getting into fights and getting kicked off. Looking back now, I’m like, ‘Oh my god, so many wasted opportunities.’ It’s all part of learning. I’m lucky that I had another chance to come back.” He also mentioned that people still view him as the strong force he once was, but he’s changed. “I guess some people still look at me in the same way and there’s this intimidation factor. When I get into an argument with someone I don’t even have to raise my voice,” he added.
Now when he goes on The Challenge, he wants to set a good example for his young son. While he considered never returning to the show, C.T. picked himself up and revisited TV to prove to his child that he can be a good influence after all. As he told People, “The time’s going to come when he realizes I was on TV. It’s going to be hard enough to get this kid to listen to me if he’s anything like me growing up.”
He’s best known for his relationship with Diem Brown who died of cancer
Diem Brown from The Challenge | Legacy of Diem Brown via Instagram
Aside from his temper, C.T. was also known for his on and off relationship with contestant Diem Brown. The Huffington Post notes the two of them met on the show in 2006, and he helped her get through the emotional effects of chemotherapy for her ovarian cancer diagnosis. Though Diem beat ovarian cancer twice (once in 2006 and again in 2012), she was later diagnosed with colon cancer in August 2014. She passed away when the cancer spread to her liver and kidneys.
Diem wrote about her relationship with C.T. on a blog post for People. She told the publication that while she was recovering, “There is comfort there – I’m not sure what that means but when I think of those moments, I just felt comfort and an acceptance of who I was.” Though she succumbed to the cancer, C.T. was notably there for her through it all – and Us Weekly reports he even proposed to her while she was on her deathbed. She said no knowing how little time she had left.
In an Instagram post, C.T. honored Diem with a photo of her beside a rosary and a ring. “You have always been My Angel. And now you have your wings,” he wrote.
His total net worth and earnings from the show
C.T. Tamburello on The Challenge | The Challenge via Instagram
While he’s consistently kept jobs outside of reality TV in realty and construction, C.T. has still done quite well for himself over the years. Celebrity Net Worth notes his total net worth stands around $400,ooo, and Rolling Stone says he’s won over a quarter million dollars in prize money from The Challenge alone.
Will we see C.T. again in future challenges? Though he’s said he doesn’t want to do the show in his 40s, he notes he’s tried setting age deadlines for himself in the past and failed. While he hopes to “ride off gracefully into the sunset and pass the torch to a new generation,” there’s no doubt fans love seeing him compete, too.
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