One of the unique elements of the format in The Challenge: USA Season 2 has been the anonymous voting system and The Hopper.
After each daily challenge, the team that won the daily gets to vote amongst themselves for one man and one woman to face elimination.
From there, each competitor on the two losing teams cast an anonymous vote, choosing a yellow ball with a man or woman’s name to put into The Hopper.
At The Arena, TJ Lavin reveals how many votes went to cast members and then fires up The Hopper so he can randomly draw one competitor’s name to go into the elimination matchup.
If a man’s name got drawn, it’s a man’s elimination, while if a woman’s name is drawn, it’s a woman’s elimination.
The one exception was in USA 2, Episode 4, when viewers saw a double elimination.
Here’s how the votes went for elimination in USA 2, Episode 5
In Episode 5 of USA 2, the Green Team picked up a valuable win, thanks to Wes Bergmann’s strategy of not stopping to solve all the puzzle stations like other teams did. That allowed them to get ahead with their boxes and ultimately cross the finish line first.
With the win, they got to vote for one man and one woman to go into elimination. Wes seemed able to turn the tides against Survivor players, much to his teammate Michaela Bradshaw’s objection.
With that, it ended up being Survivor’s Cassidy Clark and Chris Underwood, who were up for a potential elimination matchup. It was Chris’ second straight time getting sent down to The Arena’s ground level.
Regarding voting, Tiffany Mitchell and Dusty Harris got the most votes, with four each. Based on data tallied by @ChallengeStats, Tiffany received votes from her teammates Dusty and Cory Wharton, along with Blue Team’s Chris and Sebastian Noel.
Dusty’s votes came from Blue’s Michele Fitzgerald, Cassidy, and Desi Williams, as well as his team’s Chanelle Howell.
Speaking of Channelle, she had two votes, which came from Josh and Alyssa Lopez. Beyond that, four players received one vote each, as seen below.
The vets used ‘Operation Hat Trick’ in Episode 5
With Blue Team gaining two new members in Johnny Bananas and Desi Williams after their elimination wins, the MTV vets also began strategizing how to turn the game in their favor. They came up with what they called Operation Hat Trick.
The plan, hatched in a meeting involving Bananas, Josh, and Tori, involved putting six cast members’ names on pieces of paper and putting them into a hat. Each person involved in the plan drew a name from the hat to vote for. Cory and Fessy were also in on the plan, and Bananas’ biggest fan, Dusty, may have also been involved.
As shown in @ChallengeStats’ tweet above, Faysal voted for Desi, Cory for Tiffany, and Josh for Chanelle. When voting in the episode, Johnny revealed that he deviated from the plan to cause further confusion by putting one vote on Fessy. He initially drew Sebastian’s name from the hat, per the plan.
Tori cast the lone vote for Alyssa L., and she ended up going into the elimination against Cassidy.
Ultimately, the plan worked as it took just one random vote on Alyssa L. to get her put into elimination and sent home. She’d been one of the more vocal CBS stars when it came to trying to get rid of the MTV vets, including her comment toward Tori and rumored dislike of Johnny Bananas.
The Challenge: USA 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c and Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.