Now that you’ve had plenty of time to binge-watch “Finding Magic Mike,” we’re sharing some insight from the show’s last two finalists (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT), Nate Bryan and Johnny Dutch. We caught up with the two a couple of weeks ago to chat about the experience, winning (seriously, turn around now if you aren’t ready to know yet) and that steamy hat dance. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the series, make sure to check it out on HBO Max and catch parts one and two of our interview here and here.
Inside "Finding Magic Mike" Part Three
WT: Where are you from?
Dutch: I’m from the small southern town of Clayton, North Carolina. I am a runner and substitute teacher.
Bryan: I am originally from Griffith, IN, but I live in Sacramento, CA now.
WT: What motivated you to try out for the show?
Dutch: In the middle of track season, I made a decision to hang up my running spikes. I knew I was ready for something different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. After prayer and meditation, the decision to do the show felt right.
Bryan: My friends were the real catalyst behind me doing this show. They have so much faith in anything I set out to do and just proving to myself that I can do whatever I put my mind to.
WT: Johnny, what was the most rewarding part of the experience aside from winning?
Dutch: The most rewarding thing was continuing the brotherhood from our cast outside of the show. From the production crew to the creative team, everyone was such a pleasure to work with and some of the most creative people I’ve ever met.
WT: Nate, how did your family react to the hat performance?
Bryan: OH, NO! The hat dance! My family doesn’t know too much about the show because they are a little bit more conservative, but whatever I haven’t told them is going to be a surprise.
WT: What was the most challenging part for you?
Dutch: The surprise challenges. Typically, there’s always one major performance at the end of each rehearsal week. But, sometimes, the creative team would sneak in challenges to see how we’d adapt. Later, I recognized they were grooming us to be a finale contender.
Bryan: The most challenging part of this experience had to be the isolation from all my friends and family. They had to take our phones because they didn’t want anybody spoiling the show, which is understandable, but I love talking to my friends and my mom almost every day. They get me through a lot of the day, so for them to not be a phone call away was tough. Seeing all the guys, though, was great! A big ol family reunion. Just to be able to experience the whole show beginning to end with them made it that much better. All those guys deserve the world!
WT: What was it like seeing everyone again this past weekend?
Dutch: They were great as castmates but even better as friends.
Bryan: Seeing all the guys was great! A big ol family reunion. Just to be able to experience the whole show beginning to end with them made it that much better. All those guys deserve the world!
WT: How do you feel the experience has changed you?
Dutch: With guidance from the creative team, I opened up and found my magic again. Standing in your truth is a liberating feeling.
Bryan: This experience changed my confidence for sure! After playing professional baseball, I didn’t really have much to go after and was at a low point in my life. Being forced to break out of my shell and be exposed made me grow each and every day.
WT: What’s next for you?
Dutch: Stay tuned. I have some exciting things in the future.
Bryan: The Top 2 was such an accomplishment. It started out with 50 guys, and to be the last two standing shows the hard work Johnny and I put in. I feel overall I have it my best, and I do remember messing a couple of numbers up for the finale, but hey, I got offered a job, so who knows what is next. To be honest, I’m not one to be on reality shows or anything, but if Channing Tatum wants to cast me in “Magic Mike Last Dance,” I would be more than happy to strip naked again!
“Finding Magic Mike” is available to stream on HBO Max.