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The Challenge: USA 2 premiere recap: Teams formed and elimination voting twist arrives

chanelle howell in the challenge usa 2
Survivor’s Chanelle Howell in The Challenge: USA 2. Pic credit: CBS

The Challenge: USA 2 premiere featured stars from CBS’ Big Brother, Amazing Race, and Survivor as they arrived in beautiful Croatia.

Among them were several notable CBS reality TV stars who’ve competed on MTV’s The Challenge, including Josh Martinez, Michele Fitzgerald, Michaela Bradshaw, Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat, and Paulie Calafiore.

Desi Williams, Alyssa Lopez, and Tiffany Mitchell returned from The Challenge: USA Season 1.

Newcomers included Big Brother’s Tyler Crispen, Alyssa Snider, Monte Taylor, and Ameerah Jones. Survivor brought rookies Cassidy Clark, Sebastian Noel, Chris Underwood, and Chanelle Howell.

Just two Amazing Race stars were included, with Dusty Harris and Luis Colon participating in the spinoff.

Right away, Paulie and Josh chatted about the last time they saw one another on War of the Worlds 2, which was a heated argument that nearly got physical.

Host TJ Lavin welcomed the CBS stars to the game and informed them this would be played in teams.

The Challenge: USA 2 team captains selected before MTV stars arrive

TJ introduced everyone to a large tumbling device he called The Hopper. He said everyone’s names were in it on ping pong balls, and he’d choose three randomly to become captains.

He chose Josh as the first team captain, followed by Cassidy and Desi. TJ said he had another surprise for them.

The MTV stars came riding in on jet skis. One featured seven-time champ Johnny Bananas with Wes Bergmann. Another had Tori Deal and Jonna Mannion riding together. A third jet ski featured Amanda Garcia driving and Cory Wharton on the back.

Josh got the first pick and took Jonna. Cassidy selected Cory, and Desi chose Wes, prompting Bananas to swear at his friend. Josh made a smart move in taking Paulie second, saying he wanted to keep his enemies closer.

Josh’s Red Team, aka “Team Red Flag,” had Jonna, Paulie, Bananas, Michele, Dusty, Chanelle, and Tiffany.

Cassidy’s Blue team included Cory, Tori, Fessy, Alyssa S., Alyssa, Sebastian, and Chris.

Desi’s Green Team featured Wes, Amanda, Michaela, Monte, Ameerah, Tyler, and Luis.

TJ told everyone to head to The Challenge house and get to know one another as their first daily challenge would take place tomorrow.

First daily challenge is Storm the Castle

Storm the Castle featured six tall, heavy statues on a field representing the six MTV Challengers. Each team had to carry statues along a long route to a castle room. Along the way, there were signs with symbols on them. Competitors had to memorize these signs to complete puzzles.

The first team to place their statues on the podiums in the castle would win the daily and be safe from elimination. They also would get to choose two players for the first elimination.

At the first checkpoint, the teams used symbols from the route to reveal numbers on the back of puzzle pieces. These numbers were used to unlock a combination lock for a wagon so they could transport their statue easier.

Disaster hit several teams along the route as their statues fell and wagons veered off course. Red Team panicked as everyone scrambled.

Green Team was ahead but messed up with their memorization of puzzles and couldn’t get past a checkpoint. That allowed Blue and Red to go ahead of them. Ultimately Cassidy’s Blue Team won, making them all safe from elimination.

TJ unveiled a twist with elimination voting

As winners, TJ told the Blue Team to choose two players for elimination from the losing teams, Red and Green.

He then unveiled a twist for the two losing teams. TJ told them to go back to the house and for each player to vote secretly for any player to send into elimination from the losing teams.

They placed their votes into The Hopper, making it like a lottery system where the more times a person’s name was in there, the more chances there were for them to get picked.

Blue Team had a meeting to vote for their two picks to nominate for elimination. They went with Ameerah and Luis as their choices.

The other teams met to discuss who they’d all “secretly” vote for. However, not everyone followed suit. For example, Amanda decided to put Michele’s name in due to her not liking her.

Voting takes place for the first USA 2 elimination

TJ welcomed everyone to The Arena, where all the eliminations would occur during the season. He reminded everyone that one man and one woman would win at the end, splitting $500,000 in prize money.

He revealed that the winning team chose Ameerah and Luis as their woman and man nominated for elimination.

TJ shared that everyone secretly voted. He revealed how votes went and showed that Michele, Bananas, and Monte had the most votes. That meant they had the highest chances of getting selected for elimination.

From there, he had to randomly select one name from the Hopper. TJ said if it were a woman’s name, it would be a women’s elimination, and if it were a man’s name, it would be a men’s elimination taking place.

The episode ended on a cliffhanger as TJ started up The Hoppter to jumble the ping pong balls and make a selection.

Episode 2 will feature the first elimination of the season. Check out The Challenge: USA 2 viewing schedule to find out when and how to watch this season.

The Challenge: USA 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c and Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.

Episodes of The Challenge are now streaming on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

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