‘Battle Of The Seasons’ Exit Interview: Lacey Dishes On Surprise Hookups And Wes’ Bad Rap

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The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons returns tonight for its second week, and unfortunately, fans of the MTV series will have to do without the always strategic Wes.  The Real World: Austin cast member said his goodbyes last week with his arena partner Lacey, as the two were sent home after getting beat by Big Easy and Cara Maria. (Or at least, that’s what the final pictures prove.)

After showing up for her very first challenge, Lacey Buehler chatted with me about her elimination and experience. For instance, do you really think Jonna was the first to hookup with Zach? Who did Team Austin consider to be the biggest threat, and how did Melinda and Danny handle having to work together? Check out Lacey’s very revealing interview below and stay tuned for more exit chit-chats with the rest of the cast!

First, how was it being on your very first challenge?
LACEY BUEHLER: 
It was really exciting, but definitely a little intimidating! I think anybody would be lying going into a challenge as a rookie [if they said they weren’t intimidated], but it’s definitely very exciting.

Were you and the rest of Team Austin happy it turned out to be Battle of the Seasons?
I was excited because obviously, I already know these three people really well, and so, for me, I kind of felt like it was a net for me, coming in brand new. I felt like I could kind of ride their coattails for a little bit. And I would be a little bit safe. They’re like my friends and my protectors.

Now how long exactly were you there?
That’s so funny. That’s what the customs guy asked me and I couldn’t remember then either! Probably. I think about two weeks.

What was your experience like?
It’s really fun in the beginning because nobody’s stressed yet, and nobody’s really thinking about the game necessarily – I mean, I’m sure there’s a few that come into it pre-plotting and pre-determining what they’re doing, but I just went to hang out in the beginning and just sort of feel everybody out. My favorite part was we got to go to – I guess it was a nightclub, or a bar; they took us all out before the challenge started – and that was just really fun to be on a social setting with people I hadn’t necessarily hung out with before, in a foreign country. It’s definitely not a bad deal.

Did you know ahead of time that Wes, Melinda and Danny would be there?
I didn’t know for a while. They’re pretty good about setting stuff up and keeping it under wraps, and I’m not exactly Sherlock Holmes about these things. I was just excited to get to go, but slowly but surely – I talk to them – so obviously, it’s going to come up: ‘I’m going to the Challenge, what are you doing?’ I knew before the airport, for sure.

Did your team have a certain strategy straight out the gate once the rules were announced?
I don’t think we really thought about strategy. It was more because we didn’t know what the challenges were so we didn’t know what the strengths would be. I mean, I’m not the most athletic person, so I think we decided to just play it challenge by challenge, and just see what we could pull out of ourselves.

Were there any obvious threats or people you thought you wouldn’t have to worry about as much?
I think we were worried about Vegas. I mean, they were our friends, and I think our ally, but just their athletic ability – I mean, you can be an ally with someone, but when you get to the end, you still want to win. And I think they outdid us in athleticism, and if it did come down to them and us in a race, I’m pretty certain that they would win. So, definitely the more athletic teams like that. I’m trying to think – St. Thomas – we weren’t really thinking that they would be a threat, just because they’re new. Not because we didn’t think they weren’t athletic or anything, it’s just -you always assume that the new kids are just going to blend in the background and disappear first. But obviously, that wasn’t the case!

Melinda and Danny clearly have a history. Was there any tension?
I don’t think “tension” is the right word. I think more it’s more “awkwardness.” Neither one of them seemed, or haven’t expressed to me, any real anger about the whole thing. It was more it didn’t work, they both have their reasons it didn’t work, but I think they’re both equally happy with what they’re doing now, so there’s no real resentment. I think they actually truly do wish the best for each other. I mean, obviously they’ll still be bonded forever, in the background. But I think they’re both really happy to be doing what they’re doing – where they are – and just really want the best for each other.

It must have been crazy to think that out of all the couples, those two were now going to be left working together by themselves.
Sure. I guess we felt bad for her. As soon as they made the call that Big Easy hit the bell first, my first thought – I just looked over at Mel, and I just saw the tears start. I’m sure the first part was because she didn’t want us to go, but I’m sure another part was like, ‘Dammit. I’m going to be here with Danny alone. This is not really what I want to be doing.’

We have to talk about the arena competition. That must have been so nerve-wracking.
Yeah, I was not expecting it to be girl on girl and guy on guy. I really thought it was going to be me and Wes versus somebody. When they announced that, in the back of my head I was like, ‘Okay, I’m screwed.’ I mean, I obviously am a fighter – I’ll do my best – but I really wanted it to be me and him going in together because I think he and I work really well together, and we motivate each other. So, I felt like it was weird, being that it was a team challenge, and yet the elimination was sort of, ‘You work it out for yourself, and he’ll have to work it out for himself.’ And so it was very intimidating knowing that it was my first elimination – and the first elimination – and I have to do it myself.

Plus, with the challenge winning team getting to choose what kind of competition you play in the arena and not knowing which players you’re going up against until last-minute.
Yeah, you don’t technically, but people talk. I mean, you’ve seen the show. These people aren’t very good at keeping secrets at all. I mean we knew whom we were going against when we were going in. Even before CJ ever got up and said, ‘us,’ – I mean, there was no doubt. We weren’t sitting around, biting our nails, like, ‘Oooh, I wonder.’ It was like, as soon as we were on the platform at the first challenge and announced ‘Cancun,’ we were like, ‘Okay, well I guess I have to go pack a bag.’ I don’t think they – I think CJ – had a personal agenda to get Wes out. I’m not saying it’s for bad reasons – I don’t really know the back story of their previous history – but he seemed like they have a legitimate reason that he wanted to go after Wes, and he got his way this time.

Even after the taping, what was everyone saying after the close call between Wes and Big Easy?
I think it was split based on who people wanted to win. I don’t think anybody in that situation is every unbiased. I mean, obviously, I’m like, ‘Bullshit! No way!’ because I don’t want to go home. And I also think it depends on where you were standing on that lineup, ‘cause I was up on the side where Wes was, so to me it looked like he got there first, but I was looking at an angle. But of course, Cancun and San Diego – all of those people who wanted to be the big men on campus, who wanted Wes gone – Wes could have hit the bell five minutes early, and they would have been like, ‘No way! Big Easy totally got it.’ I think opinions were definitely based on alliances.

Do you think Wes just gets a bad rap?
I think he gets a bad rap, but I think that he does it to himself sometimes. Some of the hate that comes his way is a bit self-inflicted, because he’s not afraid to speak his mind and be cocky, but when it comes down to it, he’s one of the most sincere people I know. Yeah, he says some douchebag things sometimes, but he’s funny as heck, and usually when you hear him say something that’s super egotistical, he’s half-joking. And the fact that people take any of that seriously is just goofy. He’s just fun-loving, he’s a hard worker – I mean, he is confident – but I definitely think the whole “douchebag, egotistical Wes” thing is a little bit blown out of proportion. He’d do anything for his friends. I mean, could hang up with you right now and call him right now and he’d answer, no matter what he was doing. He’s just a good person like that.

Is there any back story on that Frank and Wes argument? Did people just brush it off because Frank was drunk?
That started from the airport. I feel like Frank came into this wanting to be the new man on campus. And if you think about the cast – obviously, Alton and Trishelle and Sarah all have been Challenges – but without those typical alpha males like the Kenny’s and the Evans and all of that – I think Wes was sort of the big man on campus. And I think Frank was one of those people coming in wanting to take over that role. Wanting to get that reputation, so that he can move forward in his Challenge career. So, he set his sights on Day One on not liking him. I don’t even know if it was a genuine dislike. It might have not been in the beginning. I don’t think they like each other now, but I think it was more his way to place blame and it just escalated into actual, ‘they don’t like each other.’

So the incident happened pretty early on.
That was after the first challenge. That was after we did the first challenge. And Frank was getting his way right away. Wes was trying to set up all of his alliances, and do his thing – and what they really didn’t show was Frank was doing the same thing on the other end. Frank is very confident like Wes is, and so he was getting sort of puffed up about how he was in control of all of these people, and Wes is nothing anymore. What I find funny is all of the nasty things that Frank says about Wes. He’s kind of the same way. He’s like, ‘Wes is manipulative, and Wes is egotistical, and Wes is this and that,’ and I’m kind of like, ‘You’re doing the same thing on the other side.’ I just don’t understand how he points it out in another person and doesn’t see what he’s doing.

What about that Zach and Jonna hookup?
Yeah, he was actually fiddling around with Trishelle before that happened! I’m not saying they slept together, but there was definitely some making out and some stuff going on. That’s why Wes keeps calling Trishelle a cougar because obviously, Zach’s a quite a bit younger than she is. That was happening for a couple of days, and then all of a sudden I saw him kissing Jonaha, and I was like, ‘Oh. Oh. I guess we’re just swapping ‘em out!’

So they didn’t try to hide that first kiss?
Oh, they were out about it. That was the funny thing – I saw him making out with Trishelle one day, and then the next day he was standing in that bar area kissing Jonaha, and Trishelle’s standing there, and I thought, ‘Oh, please. That’s totally fine?’ I don’t know.

Did his ex Ashley ever have a reaction?
Yeah, I guess she dated him. He says she broke his heart. I don’t really know the details about their breakup. She said she was seeing somebody else. I think she thought it was skanky. I don’t think she was upset like, ‘You don’t even care about me anymore!’ I think she just thought it was rude and skanky that girls were like, ‘Oh, I want to make out with him!’ right in front of her, without even checking to see if she had any residual feelings from their relationship. Nobody cared. They were like, ‘Who cares. You broke up, I can make out with him now.’

Any other hookups you witnessed?
I saw a little clip of Devan and Big Easy, which I find baffling. I think it’s cool that they’re happy, but I would have never put my money on that. So, that will be interesting to see what happens with them.

Would you ever consider doing another challenge?
I would love to do another challenge! I was really disappointed going in and coming home right away. It’s been a long time and I never got an opportunity to do one. So for me, it was like a big tease. It’s like, I got to, but then ‘go home.’ So, I would absolutely love to do another one.

Now that it’s all been taped, did you all find out who won already?
Well, it depends. I’m tight-lipped, but I suppose that some people – Twitter is kind of dangerous, because I feel like everybody drinks and tweets, and it’s a bad combination.

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