Famed ex-MuchMusic VJ Rick Campanelli, a.k.a. “Rick The Temp,” may have been a favourite in the Much On Demand era, but he got into some heated arguments on CTV's The Traitors Canada.
"Boring TV doesn't succeed," Campanelli told Yahoo Canada, after being banished from the show by his competitors. "It's exciting, dramatic TV that gets good numbers and good ratings, and makes for excitement and entertainment."
Specifically, Mai Nguyen, who was on Masterchef Canada Seasons 4 and 7, was certain that Campanelli was a Traitor. While ultimately mistaken, Nguyen was determined to get him out of the game.
"So when Mai attacked, I remember this vividly because we're all sitting around the breakfast table that morning, ... I remember David, the director, coming in and saying, 'Can you guys talk more about how you're feeling?,'" Campanelli recalled. "As soon as David the director leaves the breakfast room, it was on like Donkey Kong, and Mai was attacking me, and of course Fierce is joining in, and then I heard it from Mary [Wisden]."
While there was a lot of tension, the Traitors Canada star also admitted that he "brought it on."
"When you get attacked, you must stand up for yourself and try to explain it, in the best way you can, why you did things, especially in a manner like that when all eyes are on everyone," Campanelli said. "You've got to stick up for yourself, stand up for yourself, kind of fight back, in a way, if it's getting to that level, but at the same time, explaining your every move."
Now that the show is over for Campanelli, it's all good between him and Nguyen, who remain in contact.
"It's all good in the camp now, but in the heat of the moment ... it goes off the rails," Campanelli said. "You've got to go after who you feel the Traitors are and get them banished."
"There was a part of me that kept thinking though, Mai is coming so hard on me, she can't be a Traitor, because that's not Traitor behaviour. I just didn't like all the drama. Even if she wasn't a Traitor, I just wanted her to leave the manor, because I didn't want to deal with it anymore."
'I wanted to challenge myself'
In terms of what made Campanelli want to be a part of Traitors Canada initially, he actually thought he was being contacted to host the show.
"I had been on TV since '96 with MuchMusic, and then after on ET Canada, but I had never been on TV in a role like this, on a reality competition show," Campanelli said. "I've always wanted to host a show like this and that's what I thought my role was going to be, when they first started reaching out to me to talk about this."
"Since Season 1 of Survivor with Richard Hatch and Jeff Probst, I've always wanted to be included or participate in an adventure, a project like this. ... My wife and I talked about it and we thought, can I even do this? This is a tough game to play. It's a bit of a mind mess. ... It brings you back to high school, this group is talking about you, that group is talking about you. If you don't like being talked about, it's not for you, that's for sure. I think I had a tough enough skin, in all these years on television. I was ready to challenge myself and I'm glad it was with this Traitors Canada."
As we saw in the first episode of the series, Campanelli did want to be a Traitor initially, and he actually thought he was likely going to be selected.
"I was sure I was going to get tapped on the shoulder, I was sure of it, because I had went in saying that I would like to be a Traitor," Campanelli said.
"I thought having the role of the Traitor, there's more control. ... I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could be that person that lied and betrayed and manipulated, because I've never been that person."
While Campanelli's time has come to an end as a contestant on Traitors Canada, the famed Canadian TV personality is open to the possibility of joining Karine Vanasse as a host in the future.
"I do love working with someone, I've always liked co-hosting a show with others, I like playing off a person," Campanelli said. "If that ever came to be, sign me up."