Wyclef Jean Conquers Former MTV Intern In Push-Up Competition

By Josh Rosenstrauch

After four months of training and plenty of trash talk, it finally went down. This morning, I competed against Wyclef Jean in the push-up competition he challenged me to during my internship at MTV this past summer. It took place at a free concert he put on at the Nokia Theater in Times Square.

When I first entered the venue, I was greeted by Wyclef's manager and a few of his band members. After explaining to them what it was I was doing backstage, one of them told me that an artist will never let someone upstage him on his own stage. I should have taken the hint.

I had been training for a head to head push-up competition with Wyclef. This meant we each do push-ups until one of us drops. If you ask me, I was pretty prepared.

When Wyclef arrived backstage, he shook my hand and said, "This is the guy who I am going against?" He looked me over and then quietly said, "You look like a killer." I think it was at this point that Wyclef may have begun to have second thoughts about the challenge he had issued.

The concert began and I waited on the side of the stage for my time to come out. I was getting very pumped up listening to him favorites of mine like "911" and "Sweetest Girl." After waiting for almost the entire show, Wyclef finally gave me my introduction. As I walked out onto the stage, I was surprised at the amount of people in the crowd who cheered for me. He explained how the challenge had come about, and then added in a twist. He told me to do a handstand against the speaker on stage and do my push-ups upside down. Since balance isn't really my strong point, I was only able to five before I fell back to the ground. Wyclef then ran over and doubled me up with 10.

Did I lose? Yes. Was it a great experience? Absolutely. Would I like a rematch with standard push-ups? Definitely.

After the show, I shook Wyclef's hand and thanked him for the opportunity. When I told him I would be writing something about this experience, he told me, "Make sure you tell everyone with MTV that the old man can still show everyone how it's done."