Lists Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers
News

The Challenge: USA star claims production gave castmate win on the show ‘because of the story’

ben driebergen during the challenge usa episode 8
Survivor star Ben Driebergen during The Challenge: USA, Episode 8. Pic credit: Paramount+

One of the stars from The Challenge: USA has recently claimed that their castmate was given a win during the spinoff show, even though they didn’t win in the event.

The latest claims arrived after Episode 8 of the spinoff aired on CBS and featured an emotional storyline for cast member Ben Driebergen.

During the episode, footage presented Ben dealing with some difficult emotions on the anniversary of his Marine Corp friend’s passing.

That led to a sleepless night for the Survivor star, who reflected on the loss during confessional interviews shown during the episode.

It also may have led to a win being gifted to Ben in the daily challenge by production, according to Amazing Race star Leo Temory.

Temory spoke out about losing the event in recent exit interviews and brought it up in comments responding to another Survivor star online.

The Challenge: USA, Episode 8 daily winner

In The Challenge: USA, Episode 8, the competitors were going into the daily challenge as individuals for the first time of the season as host TJ Lavin said they’d no longer use The Algorithm to assign teammates randomly.

For the first daily as individuals, the cast competed in Having a Blast, which involved jumping from a Zodiac raft onto a runway that a tugboat was towing in the water. That runway was all soaped up, making it slippery, as competitors had to run back and forth to collect flags for a station.

Castmates standing in the back of the tugboat had fire hoses they could spray at competitors to make things more challenging, although not many did that.

The objective was to be the fastest to transfer four flags from one end to the other, with the fastest man and woman to complete the event becoming the winners.

Once everyone had finished competing, TJ revealed the winners. He said Angela Rummans finished ahead of Sarah Lacina for the women, and there were two men separated by only 10 seconds: Leo and Ben.

However, TJ announced that Ben was the winner, and it was clear he got a bit emotional at that moment as he got the win in honor of his friend. Later at the bar, he offered a toast to his castmates in memory of his friend, Michael Blake Wafford.

Leo calls out production for giving castmate win

With Ben the daily winner, it qualified him to run in TJ’s final. It also gave him power alongside Angela to send another man into elimination against Enzo, the slowest performing man in the daily challenge.

They sent in Leo, who ended up going into a Hall Brawl against Enzo. Leo was clearly outsized and ultimately lost in two straight rounds to Enzo.

That ended Leo’s time on The Challenge. He was also taken to the hospital for a concussion, so he didn’t get to say goodbye to castmates or shake TJ’s hand after the loss.

A few days after CBS aired The Challenge: USA episode, @thechallenge on Instagram shared a video clip of the Hall Brawl featuring Leo and Enzo.

Multiple cast members from MTV’s The Challenge commented on the clip, including Jay Starrett, who praised his fellow Survivor star for standing as a champion in the upper stands at The Arena.

After Jay indicated that Ben was standing at the champion’s podium, Leo elaborated on his claims, mentioning The Challenge producer Justin Booth by name.

Ben replied with a flexing bicep emoji, but Leo also jumped in, commenting, “haha he didn’t win.”

“S***head Justin Booth gave him the win because of the story. I beat everyone by more than 10 secs. That’s what I was told. 🤷‍♂️,” Leo fired back.

leo temory replies jay starrett the challenge ig post
Pic credit: @thechallenge/Instagram

It wasn’t the first time Leo mentioned that he’d won the daily challenge. He appeared in several exit interviews following his aired elimination episode and spoke about winning the daily.

While speaking about the daily challenge on Wendell Holland’s podcast (below), he suggested he knew he’d won the event.

“I kid you not. We need to check those time records, you know? I don’t know what’s going on, but I know a hundred percent I won that challenge. Mark my words. People on the boat were like, ‘You won. You won.'” Leo said.

So far, Leo’s the only one making the claims, but he seems positive he was the winner of that daily challenge. That would’ve put him in the power position rather than Ben and ultimately would’ve meant viewers saw more Leo in upcoming The Challenge: USA episodes.

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