The Challenge: USA 2 has seen decent ratings across its bi-weekly episodes on CBS, outshining the MTV series due to being on network television.
The show has been airing two nights a week, following episodes of CBS’ popular Big Brother reality TV competition.
The Challenge: USA 2, a spinoff based on MTV’s competition series, brought several of the stars from the MTV show on board for the second season. That included Johnny Bananas, Tori Deal, Cory Wharton, and Amanda Garcia.
With that, several USA 2 episodes achieved over 1.7 million viewers watching to see what happens in the strategy and skill-based competition show.
However, a recent installment of USA 2 saw a considerable drop in how many viewers were watching.
Fans speculated about why the drop happened, suggesting it may be due to Amanda’s departure from the cast in the previous episode.
The Challenge: USA 2, Episode 5 ratings drop
The Challenge: USA 2, Episode 5 aired this past Thursday in CBS’ 10 p.m. Eastern Time slot on CBS. It featured fallout from the previous episode and the MTV vets devising a plan to confuse and take out some of the CBS newcomers.
Based on data from TV Series Finale, the latest episode had 1.459 million viewers checking out the show on CBS. That was a considerable drop of 16.63 percent compared to Episode 5.
It drew a 0.32 rating in the key 18-49 viewer demographic, which remains the best rating during the season. The season’s fourth episode has a similar rating, with the premiere episode getting a 0.31 rating. All the other episodes have experienced a lower rating.
Interestingly, despite the addition of six MTV stars and other CBS stars from USA Season 1 and MTV’s The Challenge, Season 2 has been unable to achieve better numbers than the first spinoff season.
However, feedback has been mostly positive about the show, with many fans explaining why they believed there was a recent drop in viewers for Episode 5.
Fans react to Episode 5 viewership drop
After Thursday’s viewership numbers arrived, a post on Twitter (X) via @MTVsChallenges indicated that “Amanda’s gone and so are 110,000 viewers.”
That tweet led to fans reacting with their thoughts about the drop in the number, with some agreeing with the original post and others giving unique perspectives.
“Amanda is the real captain save a show,” one commenter wrote.
“@MTV_AMANDAG numbers don’t lie ppl can hate ur game but without u no one is watching,” another said, tagging Amanda.
Another commenter suggested they were unhappy watching the “vets being picked off like this” and also said, “I want Cara Maria [Sorbello] back.”
Other commenters had different ideas about why Episode 5 experienced a significant drop in viewers, including the late-night timeslot and the Survivor players’ unappealing strategy during the season.
“I call bull, Amanda is not that likable, in fact she’s barely tolerable,” one individual commented, disagreeing with the original tweet.
“Because the new cast is not good we like are mtv vets,” another commented.
“We were all watching the pressure cooker sorry @TheChallenge lol,” one commenter suggested, referring to Big Brother’s post-episode live-streaming competition.
Amanda, known for her dramatic outbursts and dislike of several castmates, was eliminated in USA 2 Episode 4’s double elimination. Through her first several episodes, she had arguments and drama that involved castmates Tori and Michele Fitzgerald.
She is also one of several notable stars who competed in MTV’s The Challenge to get eliminated in the first five episodes. Two-time All Stars spinoff winner Jonna Mannion and two-time MTV Challenge finalist Paulie Calafiore were also ousted early.
It’s also worth noting that many viewers who are unable to watch the USA 2 episodes live are likely waiting until the next day or another time so they can catch up via Paramount+ streaming. Those particular numbers won’t appear in the network viewership numbers.
The spinoff show has aired twice a week for the first part of the season. The Challenge: USA 2 will have its final Sunday night episode on Sunday, August 27, and then switch to only Thursdays on CBS for the remaining episodes.
The Challenge: USA 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c and Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.