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The Challenge: USA ratings drop with Episode 9 of spinoff

the challenge usa star alyssa lopez in episode 9
Big Brother star Alyssa Lopez appears during The Challenge: USA, Episode 9. Pic credit: Paramount+

The ratings are in for The Challenge: USA, Episode 9, and the numbers showed a significant decrease from the previous week’s installment.

In the ninth episode, which aired on Wednesday, September 1, viewers saw the second-straight episode with competitors going into the daily challenge on their own rather than with teammates.

That was due to host TJ Lavin getting rid of The Algorithm in the previous episode. The special computer program randomly assigned each competitor a new partner every episode to make things interesting, but finally came to an end with the final approaching.

Episode 9 was also the second-straight individual elimination, but this time it was two women competing at The Arena, with one getting sent home for the season.

Ahead of that big event, a rivalry intensified between two particular castmates who both are intent on winning the spinoff to prove their greatness in the game.

Keep in mind that this report will contain some spoilers for Episode 9 of The Challenge: USA.

Ratings drop for The Challenge: USA, Episode 9

Each week, Showbuzz Daily reveals the Wednesday primetime ratings for the various shows on network and cable television. For this past Wednesday, September 1, the top program in ratings was the episode of Big Brother 24, which had a 0.81 rating and approximately 3.8 million viewers.

BB 24 airs at CBS’ 8 p.m. Eastern Time slot, with The Challenge: USA arriving at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Despite Big Brother’s strong rating, The Challenge spinoff couldn’t do the same. Per Showbuzz Daily, it recorded a 0.33 rating in the 18-49 demographic, a drop of 0.06 from the previous week.

The show’s overall viewers dropped to 1.94 million, compared to 2.1 million in the prior week. Those viewer numbers remain higher than MTV’s overall viewers for episodes of The Challenge Season 37, aka Spies, Lies & Allies.

The Challenge: USA was up against reruns in its time slot with NBC’s Chicago Fire and ABC’s Abbott Elementary. The encore episode of Chicago Fire pulled in the same 0.33 rating, with 2.64 million viewers.

Episode 9 featured heated rivals, women’s elimination

In The Challenge: USA, Episode 9, viewers watched as the rivalry between Big Brother star Angela Rummans and Survivor’s Sarah Lacina continued to heat up.

Early in the episode, a new alliance called the Fab Five was revealed. It consisted of Sarah with castmates Justine Ndiba, Cashay Proudfoot, Desi Williams, and Cayla Platt.

The daily challenge was a huge game of Connect Four played inside a large soccer stadium. Competitors had to race into the stands to retrieve their large tokens and bring them down to the field to place on their game boards. The first man and woman to line up four tokens were the winners.

Competitors could also use the black flipside of their tokens and place them on an opponent’s board to block them. That’s what Angela did with her Big Brother ally, Alyssa Lopez, as they worked to block Sarah from winning. Ultimately, Sarah lost due to their strategy, which meant she went straight into elimination.

With her Survivor allies Danny McCray and Desi winning the daily event, Sarah believed they would give her Angela or Alyssa in the elimination. However, Angela’s deal with Ben Driebergen in the previous episode kept her and Alyssa safe from elimination due to them aligning with the Survivor men.

Ultimately, Danny and Desi chose to send in Love Island’s Cashay, who couldn’t outbattle Sarah in an event featuring large hamster wheels they had to run on to pull a ball from the center of The Arena. With that, Cashay got sent home, leaving Justine as the only Love Island player in the game.

With her elimination win, Sarah finally qualified to run TJ Lavin’s final, joining Danny, who qualified by winning the earlier daily challenge. Now they’ll try to survive until the final arrives so they can compete for that big prize money and a trip to the world championship tournament.

The Challenge: USA airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.