‘The Challenge: USA’ Only Brought 1 Familiar Face From the MTV Flagship

The Challenge is getting yet another spinoff this summer with the premiere of The Challenge: USA. The new version on CBS is similar to the original that airs on MTV, but there are a few key changes. How will this new spinoff be different from the original series? And will there be any familiar faces competing? Here’s what we know.

‘The Challenge: USA’ cast season 1 cast poses with host TJ Lavin
‘The Challenge: USA’ cast with host TJ Lavin | Laura Barisonzi/Paramount

All competitors on ‘The Challenge: USA’ are Americans

The Challenge began as a competition series for former cast members of The Real World and Road Rules. But in recent years, producers have expanded the cast to include reality stars from other shows that are part of ViacomGlobal (CBS, MTV, etc…). And they’ve also started including international contestants from reality shows abroad.

But just like the name indicates, The Challenge: USA will only feature contestants who are from American reality TV shows. The goal is to find “America’s Best Player.” Another new feature is that contestants will be given a $1,000 stipend to start with, and they can earn more through challenges and eliminations. Or, they can lose it to other players.

Another difference in the new spinoff is that new teams of two will be formed in each challenge, which changes up game strategy. If a player forms an alliance with someone, and their new teammate for a specific challenge is allied with someone else, those two players are forced to work together.

CBS included one familiar face from the MTV flagship

The majority of cast members on The Challenge: USA are from CBS reality shows, which makes sense since the competition series will be airing on the same network. But they only included one familiar face from the MTV flagship — host TJ Lavin.

“Yeah, this CBS thing is amazing. I love The Challenge: USA and how we did it. We actually filmed it here in Argentina as well. So I’ve been here since March. I’m still living here as we speak; we’re filming season 38 [of the MTV flagship series],” Lavin told Parade.

“So it’s going really well. And it’s just the franchise seems to be expanding instead of getting smaller. Most series chill and tend to go a little bit more relaxed. And this one just cranks the volume. It’s crazy.”

No one in the cast of ‘The Challenge: USA’ has played the game before

Joining Lavin this summer for The Challenge: USA is a star-studded cast that includes a number of former CBS champions from Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother, and Love Island. But for the very first time, it’s a cast filled with contestants who have never played the game before.

“They were all like deer in headlights at the first challenge. They were all taken aback, like, “Oh my God, what did we sign ourselves up for?” Lavin revealed.

The eight Survivor castaways who are competing are: Domenick Abbate, Tyson Apostol, Ben Driebergen, Tasha Fox, Sarah Lacina, Danny McCray, Shan Smith and Desi Williams.

The nine houseguests from Big Brother are: David Alexander, Azah Awasum, Alyssa Lopez, Tiffany Mitchell, Enzo Palumbo, Xavier Prather, Angela Rummans, Derek Xiao and Kyland Young.

The three Amazing Race alums competing are: Cayla Platt, Leo Temory. and James Wallington. And, the eight islanders from Love Island are: Cashel Barnett, Kyra Green, Melvin “Cinco” Holland Jr., Justine Ndiba, Cashay Proudfoot, Javonny Vega, Shannon St. Clair and Cely Vazquez.

The Challenge: USA premieres July 6 on CBS.

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