Thomas Joseph Lavin is a legend of extreme sports. His exploits on a BMX embody taking X Games gold three times, and in 1995, he was topped the “King of Dust” for his success in filth leaping. His expertise with adrenaline-fueled adventures made him the proper selection in 2008 to start fronting Season 11 of The Problem.
However following a severe crash within the Dew Tour occasion in Las Vegas in 2010, Lavin suffered life-threatening accidents: fracturing his wrist, ribs, and an orbital bone. The prognosis was so bleak that docs positioned him in a medically induced coma. Fortunately, Lavin is product of sturdy stuff and has been on the road to recovery ever since.
He’s now into his fifteenth yr with The Problem, and through this time, has seen all of it. Lavin has change into a mentor to the contestants, and remains to be very a lot a fan of the present. “The challenges that contain talent. Something that wants super agility, that’s what I really like,” says Lavin.
Off digital camera, Lavin may be very hands-on, and is eager to check out most of the duties earlier than filming begins, however even the filth bike legend has limits. “Something that has something to do with consuming, I don’t need any a part of it,” Lavin says, laughing. “I feel it’s ridiculous … that’s one thing I don’t need to do.”
On The Problem, contestants compete by taking up bodily and mentally taxing video games together with climbing a rope that’s dangling from a helicopter, dragging weights via mud, and complicated puzzles that require nimble reminiscence recall. With massive prize cash at stake, TJ is eager for each man and lady to place of their greatest effort. “I understand how it’s to compete, and I understand how unhappy and sick you’d be about not performing to the most effective of your skills,” says Lavin. “9 occasions out of 10 when somebody is eradicated, it’s actually laborious for them as a result of it’s their first time doing regardless of the problem is.”
Winners By no means Stop
“I’m talking from expertise. I’m not just a few TV host that by no means did a factor in his life,” says Lavin. “I positively learn about hazard… however I additionally know in regards to the thrill of victory and the way glad I’m, once I do one thing that’s fairly darn cool. What a sense, you realize?”
Some contestants have drawn consideration for all of the improper causes nonetheless. Fessy Shafaat was named the “Worst Competitor Ever” by followers when he refused to eat these well-known gastronomical delights: a cup stuffed with blood and rams’ testicles! Shafaat’s companion, Kaycee Clark, dove straight into the goodies, however she was already injured from a previous job, and so Shafaat determined that throwing down the animal innards could be a waste of time, since he’d figured his probabilities of profitable had been slim, regardless of making it to the finals. “I used to be bummed about that,” says Lavin. “It was sickening. He was blaming it on his companion, and he or she was banged up, however he didn’t even attempt. I’d have tried and thrown up, however he didn’t even attempt.”
In The Problem: Double Brokers, Amber Borzotra turned a shock co-winner, together with collection common Chris ‘CT’ Tamburello, incomes a $450,000 greenback share of the prize cash.
“All season lengthy, she was simply, ‘OK,’” says Lavin. “She was a superb challenger, however she was a newbie, after which rapidly, ‘wow,’ she killed it. She didn’t hesitate on the consuming, didn’t care in regards to the working, she simply saved going”.
Don’t Sleep on Aneesa
The Problem mainstay, Aneesa Ferreira is but to win a season outright, however that hasn’t stopped her from sending lots of people residence alongside the best way. “They sleep on Aneesa, and he or she is without doubt one of the greatest elimination gamers that now we have,” says Lavin. “So, when the home sleeps on Aneesa, they usually ship in an Olympian, they’re gonna get smoked. And it’s so humorous, as a result of she has a lot expertise, and is so mentally good, however individuals simply underestimate her. I really like watching her within the elimination rounds … in opposition to anybody.”
The Humorous Aspect
Regardless of the fervour and depth within the warmth of battle, Lavin typically cracks up behind the digital camera as freak incidents provide to lighten the temper. From disgusting bites to falling flat in your face a number of occasions like Katie Coolie, the present affords as a lot enjoyable because it does worry.
Case in Level: In The Problem: Double Brokers, CT walloped Wes Bergmann within the face with a flying shoe of their first competitors of the season. “That was fairly humorous,” says Lavin. “I didn’t imply to giggle, I used to be, like, ‘Oh man, I hope he’s OK,’ however it was humorous!”
Nonetheless, as somebody who has undertaken many harmful stunts, Lavin appreciates the significance of constructing even the scariest of challenges as protected as may be. Not solely are professionally trained stunt people concerned with the preliminary testing, however challenges are additionally additional trialed by native residents and athletes of various skills to display that the duties are achievable. “If a traditional individual can do it, then [the contestants] higher have the ability to do it sooner”, says Lavin.
The Challenges Roll On
With The Problem: All Stars now streaming on the Paramount+ streaming service, and new challenges on the best way, Lavin is in a fantastic place to take pleasure in no matter comes subsequent. He’s even following in his spouse’s footsteps and embracing a extra plant-based weight loss plan. “She tells me every thing in regards to the vegan world, and why it’s so good for you, and good for the planet”, says Lavin. And to indicate you could’t maintain a superb man down, the King of Dust, now 44, can typically be discovered on his mountain bike leaving the UFC fighters that reside in his neighborhood for mud. “It’s one other stage of cardio for his or her fights,” he says.
When it comes to carrying on along with his internet hosting duties on The Problem, the longer term appears nice. “Fifteen years on The Problem thus far. What’s loopy is that I used to be an expert bike rider for 15 years, and that is my fifteenth yr as host.”