Plus, get an exclusive sneak peek at this week's episode of The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies, in which the veteran alliance picks its next target.
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The Challenge veterans had better watch their backs — because Emanuel Neagu is coming for them all.

One of season 37's international rookies just finished an impressive run on Survivor Romania, on which he lasted all 132 days (yeah, international Survivor seasons are long compared to the U.S. version's 39 days) and eventually became his season's runner-up, getting this close to the win. But now Neagu has his sights set on The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies, and he's ready to give the vets a run for their money — literally.

"They were scared," Neagu says with a laugh. "I'm a vampire, so they love their blood. They don't want their blood to be spilled by another contestant."

Below, Neagu opens up about what fans can expect from him this season after he dominated in last week's premiere. Plus, get an exclusive sneak peek at this week's episode in the video below, in which the veteran alliance chooses its next target and Neagu manages to avoid the heat.

The Challenge
Emanuel Neagu plans to snuff out the competition on 'The Challenge'
| Credit: mtv

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you watch The Challenge before you joined this season?

EMANUEL NEAGU: I'd seen some eliminations and challenges on YouTube, but I never knew what the show was about. I did watch a few Survivor and some other stuff close to The Challenge, but never The Challenge. But I did watch this when I got the call, so I did my homework and know what I have to do.

Was it always your goal to go from Survivor Romania to another reality show like The Challenge?

Yes, yes, yes. I wanted to do something bigger and I wanted to do some other reality shows. I never thought I was going to end up on The Challenge, which is the craziest reality competition show, but goddamnit, I'm here now. [Laughs] I was talking to a lot of friends about competitions like this and we were talking about [War of the Worlds winner] Turbo [Çamkıran], how he ended up overseas from his Survivor, and it's crazy that I got to do The Challenge now.

You almost won your season of Survivor. What did you learn from that loss that you took to The Challenge?

Yeah, I almost win it. I've learned how to interact with people and how to keep for myself some stuff, or not act based off my emotions. From Survivor, I understand how to play a social game and how to make strategies based on what people think, what they see, how they can trust you, and that helped me on The Challenge. The games and the challenges also helped me doing them on Survivor, but they're way different than The Challenge. The Challenge is crazy. [Laughs] It's like TV stunts, like you see this in movies.

It really is so different physically from Survivor. So how did you prepare?

I feel like I've always been prepared because I love sports and I'm a dancer. I've been dancing for 10 years now. The endurance I have helped me a lot. And I love parkour, I've always done parkour jumps, backflips, and stuff like that. I kind of grew up training for The Challenge without even knowing. And the fact that I have no fear, that helped a lot because if you're brave, then you can just try it. Even if you don't know [what to do], you just have to try it.

Do you consider yourself to be more of a social, mental, or physical threat?

I'd say 50-50 for physical and social. But to be honest, and I'm being humble now, I see myself as a threat in the social game and on the field. I don't want to spoil it, but I heard that from other people too. They were talking about me.

Aside from winning, what was your goal playing this season?

I knew I had to start with a strong social game, so that was my first [goal]: get in and be friends with everyone. The thing about me is that I like to see people being happy around me, so even if we have a little argument and they are really wrong and I'm right, I would rather give them the right so we end up in good terms. So starting with a social game, then once I get to the challenges and people see me and how I perform, maybe they will try to work with me instead of going against me.

How did your time on The Challenge compare to your expectations of what it'd be like?

It was actually the way I expected. It was crazy, but I expected to do what I did [end up doing]. It was strange because there were so many things happening that I didn't expect, but at the same time I expected to run this season the way I did [in my] estimations. And honestly, I expected the worst because I'm coming from Survivor, so nothing can be worse than sh---ing next to where you sleep. Or not eating.

The Challenge
Priscilla Anyabu, Emmanuel Neagu, and Emy Alupei on 'The Challenge'
| Credit: MTV

American Survivor fans are used to seeing competitors on the island for only 39 days, but on the international versions you all are out there for a lot longer. You got all the way to the end, so how long did you end up competing in Survivor Romania?

I don't really remember the dates, but there's been five months on an island. Yeah, I know it's way longer than the U.S. version, but it's like a social experiment what we did, like five months on an island. I feel like at one point it becomes easier because you get used to the way you live there and everything just becomes normal after like two months. To me, after two months I was living there, building my own housing, and it was my normal life.

Now that you've done both Survivor Romania and The Challenge, which one was more difficult?

On The Challenge you always have to be on your toes and make strategies. And you have the vets and they know the game way better, and you can't really trust people. You're basically on your own, where in Survivor we were two teams. On The Challenge if you're good, people want you out. On Survivor if you're good, your team wants you in the game for as long as they can, until you get to the individual part and they have to send you home. It was harder on Survivor because of the way we lived. But as challenges and social strategy games, it was harder on The Challenge.

Who did you end up working with this season?

I can say that the girls have always been on my side in the house, which you will see. I also worked with an alliance. There's a few alliances in there, but one was the stronge[st], and from the day I was home I chose to be with that alliance, so it kind of worked out for me. The Survivor alliance? Hmm. It was a new thing, so… I don't know, it was crazy. I'm good with strategy, so I will always find a way to make myself where I want to be.

The trailers for this season show you and fellow Survivor player Michele Fitzgerald getting quite close. What can you reveal about what happened with her this season?

Michele, not only is she beautiful but she's really smart, and coming into this season, she came the same way I did. But she had a better English. [Laughs] But we came with a strong social game, and everyone seen us as a threat. And then we hooked up and we tried to kill them all! But… you will see, you will see. I almost cried, I will say that. [Laughs] I almost cried at one point.

What is going to surprise your fans about what they see from you on this season of The Challenge?

I don't think they'll be too surprised, my fans, because they know I'm really good with girls, which that's going to be shown on this season. Oops, spoiler alert. And I have really strong physical skills, and they won't really be surprised. They might be surprised about the difficulty of the challenges and that I can really do them.

The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

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