The Challenge: USA was touted as a series “where anything can happen.” And the premiere episode of the brand-new CBS show — featuring alums from Survior, Big Brother, The Amazing Race and Love Island — certainly delivered on this promise with an unexpected curveball that will undeniably affect each decision moving forward.
Shortly after the first elimination in The Arena — which featured BB23 pair Kyland and Azah, plus ousted Islanders Javonny and Cely, in “Knot So Fast” — host TJ Lavin declared he had something to show the remaining 26 players.
No, it was not a Redemption House (seen before on Dirty XXX and Final Reckoning) on Ex-ile (featured on Battle of the Exes 2).
“My heart drops. I really don’t like twists, so I’m super nervous,” Survivor 41 alum Danny, who faced a flurry of shockers courtesy of Jeff Probst, declared. It’s not a Shot in the Dark, obviously.
“This is the algorithm,” TJ explained to the shocked crowd. The digital device will “randomly select new teammates” at every showdown in The Arena.
Well, they should have known that the opportunity to select their partners in the inaugural mission may be a sign that this would not continue.
So what does all this mean? These pairs will no longer be in a team together:
Alyssa and Ben
Angela and Tyson
Azah and Kyland
Cashay and Derek
Cayla and David
Desi and Cinco
Justine and Domenick
Kyra and Cashel
Sarah and Enzo
Shan and Danny
Shannon and James
Tasha and Xavier
Tiffany and Leo
Most disappointed? Survivor winner Tyson and BB20 fourth-place finisher Angela, who hoped to “steamroll” their way to the end after besting everyone in “Down to do the Math.” Biggest jaw drop? Amazing Race Season 32 champ James.
“The algorithm is cute and all, but I love to be in control of my own fate,” he said. “And who knows what that thing has in store for us?”
Well, this “thing” is undoubtedly going to up the ante, and chaos will ensue as they scramble to make power plays and guarantee they have enough “bounty” cash for the final.
What do you think of “the algorithm,” and more importantly, the series premiere of The Challenge: USA? Tell us your thoughts, then be sure to watch every Wednesday at 9/8c on CBS and stream the next day on Paramount+.