Carmen Taglia was determined not to be a two-time loser. After taking one of the most memorable spills in Fear Factor history during a boat-to-boat jump in his first appearance, Carmen returned for a second chance - and emerged victorious!
How important was it for you to come back and win on Second Chance Fear Factor?
The first time I came out, I took it serious, but I wanted to be the biggest, funniest Jackass ever to grace the show. I thought it would be easier. I really
didn't realize the opportunity that I had. The 2nd time around I wanted to prove to myself and those closest to me that I could actually win it, or at
least go the distance. Can you tell I've seen "Rocky" one too many times?
Did you get a lot of flack back home for your famous wipe out on your first Fear Factor appearance?
I always get a great reaction out of the wipe out. It made my Mother sick. She almost cried. My friends knew how un-coordinated I am and give me credit just for jumping head first into a speeding boat. Everyone thinks it's cool or crazy one way or another. Other tough guys and girls think they could of done it, but
it's easier from the comfort of your couch than with helicopters whizzing overhead on the back of a slippery, speeding boat.
Did you think you had an advantage coming into this episode of Fear
Factor since you'd already done the show once before?
Of course, it helped me create my "Fear Factor training regiment" I totally trained differently. Instead of weights & cardio, I trained in mixed
martial arts, Yoga, swimming, climbing, holding my breath, strengthening my grip etc. I also watched "Rudy" about 100 times and slimmed down 40lbs.
Were you worried that it took you so long to complete the first stunt?
No, I knew I did my best, and it would stick. Remember for the 1st stunt you just have to not do the worst. I knew that Eric the "Viking" was worried because he was hamming it up on camera like he may not be there the
next day. If you're going to be eliminated, you want to be sure that you're memorable on TV. That's what got us all back the 2nd time around.
How did you handle Fudge's smack talk? Did you play along or tune it out?
Fudge is one of the funniest guys I know. If you try to go toe-to-toe with him, he'll just keep talking over you till he gets the last word in. Gina was the
same way. Let's just say there were some pretty intelligent conversations going on set. I can take a joke pretty well being a hairy Italian with a name
You managed to drink down the maggot and fly shake far faster than any
other player. What was your secret?
Being Italian I come from a big family of big eaters. If you don't eat fast, you don't eat. I just had to man up and eat that crap. I just kept saying over and
over in my head, "don't stop". Then I just tuned everyone and everything else out.
Were you surprised that Gina quit the shake stunt?
Being a hard head will only get you so far. No matter what you tell yourself, maggot taste like maggot. Gina just lost it. Gina said that the buffalo penis she ate last time on the show wasn't half as bad as the maggot shake. She was very strong willed.
Did you think that Mandy would make it all the way to the finals?
I knew after the 1st stunt that Mandy would go all the way. She just had this crazy determination and a lot of heart. In her first episode she went all the way.
What she didn't have in physical strength she made up in other ways. She beat us all in the 1st stunt, she beat Fudge & Gina in the maggot shake, and she beat Fudge's jump in the end. Don't ever judge people, you'll lose every time. I'm a big fan of the underdog.
What's it like to jump a car over a moving train?
That is every boys dream. Who wouldn't want to flip cars over moving trains? Forget golf or sky diving, that's a real hobby. When I'm rich I'll start a club
After buying a ring for your fiancée, how do you plan on spending the rest of the $50,000? (or is she getting a really, really, big diamond?)
That's a not so funny story. My whole plan was to ask her to marry me when my show aired, at a "surprise Fear Factor/engagement party", in front of all our
friends, family & co-workers. At the end of the show when I won it, that's when I was going to pop the question. That didn't quite work out as planned.
Actually one week after she & I got back home from filming the show, she left me. She said she felt like she never "found herself", and flushed 4 years down
the tubes. Now I have $50,000 all to my self. I'm going to donate $1,000
in the name of each contestant on the show to a charity of their choice. The rest of the money, I'll have fun with people who appreciate me. I'm actually a pretty giving guy.