With the conclusion of The Challenge: USA on CBS, cast members are speaking about their experience on the show, including how things are going with certain castmates following the season.
That includes Enzo Palumbo, one of the many competitors on the show from the world of Big Brother, who lasted until TJ Lavin’s final.
Viewers saw him battle past his friend and ally David Alexander in Episode 10’s elimination, much to the dismay of some of his castmates who didn’t want Enzo as a partner in the final.
The first leg of the final seemed to prove that the women had the right idea about Enzo. TJ brought back The Algorithm, which randomly paired Enzo with Desi Williams.
To begin the final, she and Enzo were required to complete a long, cold swim together to get to shore and then solve a puzzle. However, Enzo panicked during the swimming part, flailing around and yelling for help after several minutes in the water.
That ultimately led to him getting rescued by a boat and telling them he was quitting, which due to the rules, meant his teammate at the time also got disqualified from continuing in the final. Footage showed Desi in tears as she could no longer compete for $250,000.
Enzo talks about his situation with Desi after the final
Based on comments in interviews after The Challenge: USA final aired, Enzo said he’s completely “devastated” by his performance during the show’s grand finale.
On Thursday, he appeared on YouTube’s Rob Has a Podcast (below) in a dual interview with his friend Ben Driebergen. During the exit interview, host Rob Cesternino asked Enzo about what happened in that first leg of the final.
Enzo confessed he didn’t even watch the show’s final episode because he didn’t want to relive what he called his “worst moment of TV.” He described the water conditions and said he felt awful for what he did to Desi.
“The water was cold. You know, I wish it was calm because I think I would’ve finished it if it was calm, but I think just being choppy as it was, it was hard for me to catch my breath a lot, and I think that’s when the panic started to settle in, but no excuses I gotta get that done,” Enzo said of the swimming task.
“I got a partner there in Desi, who was a beast…I gotta do it for her, and like I said, I broke her heart, and I gotta wear that on my sleeve now. I think about this s**t every single day,” he said.
Rob also asked Enzo where things stand with him and Desi now. He said he “apologized a million times out in Argentina” and then sent a lengthy message to her on Instagram.
“So, we’re friends, but I know she wants to punch me in the face. I know she does, and I’ll let her if she wants to if that’s what makes it better,” he said, adding, “She’s an awesome girl. She didn’t deserve that.”
Enzo Palumbo on how he’d have done in the rest of TJ’s final
The swimming was only part of TJ’s final in Patagonia, as competitors had to solve puzzles, run, hike, move dirt, consume large onions with garlic, and battle the elements as they attempted to rack up the most points and get to the top of a tall mountain.
Enzo got asked how he thinks he would’ve done if he got past that swimming portion of The Challenge: USA final and reiterated that he felt horrible after his performance.
“I’m upset with myself…The eating- look I’m Italian. I’ma eat garlic. I’ma eat onions. I could do that. When I heard what my brother was telling me about, like they were in like the wet and the cold and this and that, maybe that could affect me a little bit, but I would’ve been happy that I was on land, and I’m like, ‘let’s go,'” he said.
He continued to share how frustrated he was about his performance in Episode 11 of the spinoff season and his poor showing in the final.
“I’m upset at myself because I wanted to get to those stages, and I wanted to see how I would’ve fared. You know what I mean? I wanted to get to that point, and look man; I’m devastated, bro, and that’s why I couldn’t watch it yesterday. It’s just something I think about every day. It eats at me every day,” Enzo shared.
After the show’s final episode aired, Desi commented about Enzo in other exit interviews. The former Survivor star said she’d had time to heal since then, but it still upset her to watch things back and relive what happened due to feeling she could’ve won $250,000.
The Challenge: USA episodes are available on Paramount Plus.