The Challenge: USA Season 2 host TJ Lavin reveals teams format and early cast surprise

tj lavin hosting the challenge usa 2 on cbs
TJ Lavin, host of MTV’s The Challenge, returns as host of The Challenge: USA 2. Pic credit: CBS

The Challenge: USA 2 will bring notable reality TV stars from the worlds of Big Brother, Amazing Race, and Survivor to the popular competition series that originated on MTV.

TJ Lavin returns to host the spinoff following Season 1, where he crowned Survivor stars Danny McCray and Sarah Lacina as champions.

Based on early teasers and trailers, Season 2 will feature twists, turns, and drama, including several in the first episode.

Among them are a device called The Hopper, which seems to replace Season 1’s Algorithm, and helps make random selections.

There’s also an early surprise for CBS’ The Challenge: USA 2 cast members when they learn more about the game’s format.

This report may contain minor spoilers from the first episode of the USA 2 spinoff on CBS.

Host TJ Lavin reveals The Challenge: USA 2 teams format

A clip from The Challenge: USA 2’s premiere episode has host TJ Lavin welcoming the group of CBS stars to the game. Among them are recognizable faces from MTV’s The Challenge, like Josh Martinez, Michele Fitzgerald, Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat, and Paulie Calafiore.

Survivor star Desi Williams and Big Brother’s Tiffany Mitchell and Alyssa Lopez are the only returning stars from Season 1 of the spinoff.

Newcomers for The Challenge: USA 2 cast include Survivor’s Cassidy Clark, Big Brother’s Tyler Crispen, and Amazing Race’s Luis Colon.

After hyping them up on being part of the competition, TJ reveals they’ll be competing in teams. He then unveils something called The Hopper, a large machine with ping-pong balls inside, similar to something one would see at a raffle or TV lottery drawing.

TJ tells the competitors it’s time to choose teams “right now” and then uses the Hopper to determine the three team captains. They are BB alum Josh and Survivor’s Desi and Cassidy.

Not much else is revealed about the team format in the early video clip. It differentiates from the first season of The Challenge: USA, where individuals competed in pairs.

A unique computer system or program called the Algorithm randomly assigned partners each week to keep things fresh and different. On a rare occasion, individuals got paired up with one another for a second time.

These pairs competed together in daily challenges and, depending on performance and votes, sometimes in eliminations.

The finalists in Season 1 also competed in man and woman pairs, which changed for each leg. By the end, competitors were competing alone to get to the finish line.

TJ also had a cast surprise for CBS stars on USA 2

While the group of CBS competitors looked formidable on their own, TJ let them know they weren’t alone. Suddenly, three jet skis began to race across the nearby ocean.

Soon after, Josh is heard cheering off-camera along with his USA 2 castmates. The jetskis each carry MTV Challenge stars, with Tori Deal and Cory Wharton among the first shown on two different jetskis.

Also arriving via jetski is Amanda Garcia, two-time All Stars winner Jonna Mannion, multi-time champ Wes Bergmann, and seven-time MTV show winner Johnny Bananas.

The CBS stars quickly realize this game will be more challenging than they initially anticipated, with their teams yet to be determined.

A cash prize of $500,000 was previously revealed as awarded to the winner or winners of Season 2. Viewers will have to stay tuned to see which of the CBS and MTV stars can get to TJ’s final as the season unfolds.

The Challenge: USA 2 premieres Thursday, August 10 at 10/9c on CBS.

Episodes of The Challenge are now streaming on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

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