The competition is becoming more intense with each episode of The Challenge: USA, as cast members try to win, strategize, plot, and scheme their ways to TJ Lavin’s final.
They’ll be working harder than ever in those areas, as The Algorithm is now out of the picture, and it’s become an individual game. Having solid allies becomes extra essential.
Ahead of the ninth episode, all but one of the remaining competitors had qualified for the final by earning $5,000 in their personal bank accounts. That’s Survivor star Sarah Lacina, who appears to be looking to eliminate one specific castmate from the game.
Viewers saw a deal set in motion in Episode 8 of the spinoff show after Big Brother star Angela Rummans was the women’s winner in the daily challenge.
Survivor’s Ben Driebergen won for the men, and once they had time to talk behind closed doors, Angela suggested that Ben speak to the other Survivor men to ensure her and Alyssa Lopez’s safety going forth in the game.
That seemed like an intelligent plan, too, because the sneak peek footage for Episode 9 reveals Sarah rallying other women in the game to take out the two Big Brother women.
The Challenge: USA sneak peek features alliance talk
A day before The Challenge: USA, Episode 9 was set to air on CBS, @thechallenge Instagram posted some preview footage from the upcoming installment.
In the footage, Big Brother stars Angela and Alyssa talk with Ben about their plan to stay safe in the game. Alyssa tells Ben she’s “interested in what Sarah’s game plan is.”
“I don’t know. I never know,” Ben replies, seemingly in the dark regarding his Survivor friend.
He says in a confessional that Sarah is gathering her castmates Cashay Proudfoot, Cayla Platt, Justine Ndiba, and Desi Williams to work together. That’s all of the remaining women besides Alyssa and Angela.
“Sarah, I trust ya, but I don’t trust what you’re doing right now,” Ben says in his confessional.
Angela and Alyssa bring up how it’s evident that Sarah wants to align the other women against them. That way, if one of those women wins the next daily challenge, they’ll be able to send Alyssa or Angela into elimination.
However, they aren’t accounting for the fact that Alyssa and Angela are aligned with the remaining Survivor men and possibly Big Brother’s David Alexander and Enzo Palumbo.
Teaser also showed Sarah targeting Angela
By now, it’s clear that Sarah Lacina wants Angela out of the game. The Episode 9 teaser trailer that arrived after Episode 8 focused on both women. There was also the sound bite from Alyssa, mentioning all the other women were against her and Angela.
The trailer also showed a sneak preview of the daily challenge, with Sarah looking to win her first of the season. A win for Sarah in the daily would be significant for several reasons. Most importantly, she’d finally have enough money to be eligible for TJ’s final.
Ahead of Episode 9, she still has just $2,500. She started with the original $1,000 that all castmates received when the game began. Sarah added another $1,500 she received when she and Leo Temory defeated Cinco Holland and Azah Awasum in an elimination.
Not only would a daily win qualify Sarah for the final, but it would put her in a power position for the first time during the season. With that, she could decide which women’s competitor goes into elimination, although the winning men’s competitor from the daily will also have some say.
Previous trailer footage seemed to show that Angela may have been a competitor in The Arena. With very few episodes until the final begins, it’s possible Sarah finally gets that big daily challenge win in Episode 9.
The Challenge: USA airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.