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The Challenge: USA ratings reveal dip for final episode, high viewership overall

big brother star angela rummans in the challenge usa final episode
Angela Rummans appears in The Challenge: USA, Episode 11. Pic credit: Paramount+

TJ Lavin’s final has officially concluded for The Challenge: USA spinoff show, and based on recent ratings revealed for the grand finale, the episode saw a drop in ratings and viewers.

Throughout the season, viewers watched cast members from CBS reality TV shows Amazing Race, Big Brother, Love Island, and Survivor battle in a game of intense daily challenges, physical eliminations, and mental wits.

Episode 11 brought the final competition to determine winners, featuring 10 competitors battling to win $250,000 in prize money and a trip to the world championship tournament.

In the grand finale, viewers saw all sorts of crazy events happen from the start that hindered competitors, including injuries, panic during portions of the final, and cast members unaware of how the rules worked.

Eventually, two individuals became winners of The Challenge: USA after the rest of their competition ended up quitting or getting eliminated from the game for other reasons.

Spoilers will appear in this report for the spinoff season’s final episode and what’s next for The Challenge.

The Challenge: USA final arrived in Episode 11

With The Challenge: USA, Episode 11, viewers watched as two best friends had to battle it out at The Arena to determine who was moving on to the final. Ultimately, Angela Rummans bested her best friend, Big Brother ally Alyssa Lopez, in two rounds of Pole Wrestle.

That put Angela into the final alongside nine others: Tyson Apostol, Ben Driebergen, Enzo Palumbo, Domenick Abbate, Danny McCray, Sarah Lacina, Justine Ndiba, Cayla Platt, and Desi Williams.

Things were messy and chaotic from the start of TJ’s final, which took place in Patagonia. Ben traveled with his castmates to the starting site for the final, only to get informed that he couldn’t compete due to badly hurting his shoulder in the last daily challenge of the season.

Due to there being fewer women than men competing, it meant each checkpoint or leg of the final would have one woman competing by themself. The others were paired up randomly by The Algorithm for each leg of the final.

In just the first leg, Enzo gave up on the swimming portion, throwing in the towel and quitting right there. His teammate at the time, Desi Williams, got disqualified from competing due to Enzo quitting, and as one can imagine, she was devastated.

A later leg of the final arrived at night, with competitors having to transfer dirt from a large pile to an empty sandbox. One teammate could work on the task, while the other could get rest in the tent nearby.

Unfortunately for Angela, she was by herself for this one. She opted not to strain her back and slept in the tent to conserve energy for the following day. However, when TJ greeted everyone the next day, he informed her she could no longer compete due to not attempting to finish the checkpoint.

Viewers ultimately saw the rest of the competitors trudge on through cold and wet conditions, solving puzzles and hiking up a tall mountain. A Sudoku puzzle was the last checkpoint necessary before heading to the top of the mountain. However, Tyson, Justine, Dom, and Cayla all quit due to being unable to solve the puzzle under such extreme conditions.

That left Danny and Sarah as the only two to complete the final and reach the top of the mountain. The two Survivor stars won $250,000 and the money they had in their personal bank accounts.

Ratings and viewers dip with The Challenge: USA finale

According to Showbuzz Daily, Episode 11 of The Challenge: USA dropped 0.4 to a 0.36 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. As far as viewers, there were 1.76 million who watched the season finale, compared to 2.11 million watching the episode before that.

The two-hour finale aired in the 9 p.m. Eastern Time slot on CBS, right after a new episode of Big Brother 24. The Challenge: USA was bested in its time slot by NBC’s America’s Got Talent which had a 0.62 rating and over 6.8 million viewers.

For the season, CBS’ spinoff had better overall numbers than MTV’s The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies pulled in.

According to The Challenge: USA’s Fandom Wiki page, Episodes 9 and 11 of the spinoff season were the only two with fewer than 2 million viewers. No episode of MTV’s Season 37 had over a million viewers.

What’s next for The Challenge franchise?

With the CBS spinoff concluded, diehard fans of MTV’s The Challenge can prepare for another installment of their favorite competition series. MTV recently revealed that Season 38 arrives just weeks after The Challenge: USA finished.

Season 38 is The Challenge: Ride or Dies and features pairs of teammates with a strong bond. That can be husband-wife, boyfriend-girlfriend, family members, or close friends. They’ll compete together throughout the season’s intense daily challenges and eliminations to reach TJ’s final with a million dollars on the line.

The season premiere arrives on MTV on Wednesday, October 12, at 8/7c. Before that, fans can watch a three-part documentary series about MTV’s competition series, called The Challenge: Untold History featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the creation and evolution of the iconic show.

The documentary series premieres on Wednesday, September 21 at 8/7c on MTV, with the second part on September 28 and the third part arriving on October 5.

The Challenge: USA episodes are available on Paramount Plus. The Challenge: Ride or Dies premieres Wednesday, October 12, at 8/7c on MTV.