After his time spent as one of seven strangers on MTV's "The Real World: D.C.," we're assuming Baltimore native Ty Ruff, 23, was better equipped to handle drama. Then came this season of MTV's other addictive reality show "The Challenge" (10 p.m. Wednesdays). This year, the "Real World"/"Road Rules" vets still compete in random feats of athletic strength, but each cast member is paired on a team with an ex. In Ruff's case, that means working with former "D.C." flame Emily Schromm. Ruff, who grew up in Park Heights and now lives in Los Angeles, said he had mixed feelings about the pairing.
"Emily is the best female competitor on these shows and one of the better ones I've met in my life," he said. "Our personal relationships is far past a point of no return and it's fair to say we have a mutual dislike for one another." Yikes. Here, Ruff talks unwinding at the library and whether we'll ever see a "Real World: Baltimore."
Did you know that you'd be competing against your ex for the show?
Not really but I knew she would be there.
How'd you react when you found out?
Definitely had some mixed feelings. Emily is the best female competitor on these shows and one of the better ones I've met in my life. Our personal relationship is far past a point of no return and it's fair to say we have a mutual dislike for one another.
What training do you do to prepare for "The Challenge"?
Training for a "Challenge" is unlike training for any organized sport. You have to be ready for just about anything. I incorporated long-distance running in just about every workout. Also there is a lot of strength training, high-intensity interval training, swimming and even some mental agility drills. I really like to stay busy with organized sports such as football, basketball and baseball to keep motivated through competition.
Worst pet peeve?
Non-athletes equating something non-athletic with athleticism.
What song are you hating/loving right now?
Loving Childish Gambino, "Fire Fly." [I] love music that keeps me motivated and reminds me to take advantage of the present.
Best/worst part of competing with ex?
Competing with an ex is messy. Getting past who has the power in a given situation and focusing on completing the objective as efficiently as possible.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan?
The lack of African-American actors in mainstream movies.
When will there be a "Real World: Baltimore"?
Ha ... hopefully sooner than later. In my opinion, ["The Real World"] has become rather mundane with the black, gay, conservative, all-American, crazy ... they used to have jobs and actually get involved in the culture of the host city. Baltimore has tons of culture but it's not as glamorous as many other cities in the U.S.
Last movie you liked/disliked?
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was fantastic! Very artistic and great storyline without forcing action or force-feeding CGI. Not a huge fan of"Moneyball" (although I loved the book).
TV shows you can't get enough of?
"Community,""30 Rock,""It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,""Boardwalk Empire,""[The] Walking Dead"…
Favorite book you recently read?
Reading a lot of theater/acting literature. Favorite would have to be "The Lee Strasberg Notes." About to start "The Hunger Games" — I'm sure I'll enjoy that as well.
Best way to unwind after a long day?
Actually going back to the library to get something good to read. So I would say a good book.
Any physical challenge that has scared you?
[Laughs] No way. I worry about winning and everything else is secondary.
Last great meal you had?
[I recently] had a smoked salmon egg white omelet with onion and dill. Fried potatoes and corn bread on the side. Could go for that again.
Food you hate?
Have always hated mashed potatoes. The smell makes me gag.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore?
Anywhere is good. Really haven't been old enough to drink in Baltimore but love Power Plant and Mother's in Fed Hill.
Favorite thing about Baltimore?
My family for sure. Gillman school, Harbor Place, Power Plant live, crab cakes, Baltimore Ravens.