The Challenge


The Challenge USA made its debut this past summer on July 6th. The show aired weekly on CBS and Paramount + for viewers across the globe. This season was action packed and dramatic which kept viewers invested the whole time. 

Typically, the show consists of random strangers competing in both mental and physical challenges. However, this season The Challenge USA featured contestants solely from other reality television shows. Not only did this twist intrigue more viewers as fans wanted to see their favorite contestants compete against each other, but it also added another complex level to the game as there were pre-existing friendships and animosity towards one another. The 28 contestants came from Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race and Love Island and featured fan favorites like Tyson Apostol from Survivor and Xaiver Prather from Big Brother.

This season also added another new twist: a random team generator. Each episode consisted of two challenges, competed in pairs consisting of one man and one woman. The random team generator selected those pairs each week and at the end of the episode one pair was eliminated. With this twist the contestants had the chance to have been paired with another contestant from their prior show. This occurred a lot during the season and helped underdog competitors from Love Island and The Amazing Race further themselves in the game. 

In the first competition of each episode, all pairs competed against each other. The team that came in first would hold all the power for the week and the

A picture from the first group challenge from the season.

team that came in last would be automatically put in risk of elimination. The second team up for elimination was determined by the winning team of that first challenge. This is where the pre-existing relationships would come into play. Throughout the season most players thought it would be the best for their games to try to side with the player from their own former T.V. shows. However, in some cases players wanted revenge from being backstabbed previously. Throughout the season, alliances changed, the plot thickened, and viewers were invested the whole time. 

At the end of each episode the two teams that end up in elimination would compete head to head and the losers would be eliminated, while the winning duo continues to fight another week. 

The Challenge USA adds another layer to the game, money. The host, T.J Lavin, calls the last leg of the competition, T.J’s Final. To qualify for the final the contests have to have earned enough money throughout the season by winning competitions. This prevents players from sitting back the whole game and not making big moves. 

Despite all the positives, the show does have a few downsides. For example, “T.J’s Final” was much different than anticipated. By the end of the show there were five females and five males left. If the contestant completed the final, no matter what place they came in, they would leave with the money they earned during the show. However, if the contestant was first to finish the final they got an additional $100,000. A downside to this was that in the first five events of the final the contestants had to compete in randomly generated pairs. That meant if one member of the pair quit or gave up the other member would automatically be eliminated. This twist came into effect in this season’s final and ruined the chance for some contestants to come out victorious. 

Despite the few negative critiques, the first season of The Challenge USA was filled with action and excitement. T.J’s Final will definitely leave viewers shocked as the series ends with the biggest surprise of the season.