In “The Challenge” with his ex-girlfriend Tori Deal, Jordan Wiseley “had to do some real thinking.”

Season 38 of The Challenge was not a “break up” focused season (rather the reverse, in fact), but it did bring Jordan Wiseley face to face with his ex-fiancee Tori Deal.

We hadn’t seen one other in a year and a half, and there was just so much there that still needed to be spoken,” Wiseley, 32, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We realized we had to have a conversation about certain things.”

The audience “has been with us from before we were a thing and now after we are a thing, and whatever that occurs there is just as much their business, too,” he says. “Having the audience experience it with us is a tremendous full circle thing because we were able to establish solid common ground and closure.”

Even though he and Deal, 29, broke up, they got along so well that they collaborated on a movie called The Stalking Fields.

The Challenge with Ex-Tori Deal

The Challenge

The Challenge: The two of us have one other’s backs in so many ways,” Wiseley adds. Although we aren’t back together, communication has resumed.

Wiseley says he had to think long and hard about whether or not to join Deal for a season.

He reflects, “I had to do some actual thinking.” “I simply asked production outright, “Is Tori leaving?” They agree and say, “Yeah.” After some consideration, I decided, “Okay.” And then I was like, ‘Hey dude, I was here first.’ As you can see, I get a lot of enjoyment out of this. I’m thankful for the opportunities that have arisen because of my participation in The Challenge, but I’m not ready to end my time there just yet. This led me to the conclusion, “You know what? I’m in. Come on, guys!”

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He decided at the last minute, leaving him “extremely unprepared but very eager” for Ride or Dies.

The Challenge: Nothing had been taught to us, and it scared the hell out of me,” Wiseley elaborates. “That’s why I said it before anybody asked the question. In my mind, I was thinking, “I haven’t trained at all.” “Your out of shape is most people’s in shape,” they said.”

Wiseley was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to “play with the swagger that I’m accustomed to” if he wasn’t in peak physical shape.

Because I lay it all on the line, I have to play a certain kind of game. When it comes to competing, I don’t plan on backing down from any challenge he explains “This is a sport for me, and I want to make a name for myself in it. In addition, I believe the audience appreciates it. I’m able to play that way because I always feel like I have something left in the tank, but it’s tough when I really turn up empty.”

The Challenge with Ex Tori

The three-time Challenge winner considers being paired with Aneesa Ferreira “a godsend” due to her “social game” in this year’s competition. Wiseley, though, admits that the fact that they were two veterans in the game made them an easy target.

I was expecting that our good names would help us stay afloat for a while, but they were just like, No, we know you guys.” So, you’re entering,’ “What a sage remark.

Wiseley thinks that Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, an eight-time champion, is the man to beat this year.

The Challenge: Wiseley claims that “if somebody thinks that he is not their toughest rival, then I don’t sure that they fully comprehend the level at which we are playing.” “However, Johnny is always my toughest opponent when the season is in full swing. From a strategic standpoint, he and CT [Tamburello] are the two best players of all time. Both strategies are very different, yet they achieve similar results in terms of victory % and overall impact on the match. When they appear, voters’ allegiances are solidified in advance.”

Wiseley was mentioned with Devenanzio (age 40) and Tamburello (age 42) as two of the game’s greatest players on The Challenge: Untold History.

It truly touched my heart to witness that, adds Wiseley, who will also be seen in the forthcoming television series Helmet and the thriller Smile. I was well aware of my own strengths and weaknesses, but “The Challenge has such a loyal fan following and I can’t dispute with them that when new individuals come in and they’re confident, it is incredibly hard to trust them.”

The Challenge News

On Free Agents, Wiseley says he learned a valuable lesson when he purposefully put himself in danger to eliminate Devenanzio.

The Challenge: Then, he says, “I figured out how to play the game.” “To what extent, then, do I consider myself to be great? Sorry, but not quite yet. I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, yet these people have accomplished a lot more and have been around longer than me. After a quick start, I was able to rack up a number of victories; but, is this something you are capable of maintaining? Is it sustainable? is the single most important thing I need to demonstrate.”

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Wiseley teases, “it’s a beautiful finale,” but he won’t confirm whether Ride or Dies gave him another victory. “The outcome satisfies me, therefore that’s good enough for me. We’re putting Aneesa through surgery to prove that we mean it when we say we’re giving it our all.”

The debut of The Challenge: Ride or Dies will air on MTV at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.