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The Challenge: USA’s TJ Lavin and Survivor stars discuss competitive strengths and weaknesses

tj lavin in the challenge usa promotional video
TJ Lavin appears in a promotional video for The Challenge: USA. Pic credit: MTV’s The Challenge/YouTube

The Challenge host TJ Lavin is familiar with a handful of Survivor stars who have crossed over to the MTV competition series, so he knows they possess a lot of strength in the game.

In a new promotional video for the new spinoff show, The Challenge: USA, TJ says, “Survivors are f***in’ awesome,” as competitors and people. Many have proven they’re battle-tested when it comes to intense challenges.

TJ also mentions Survivors also get some bonuses when they enter The Challenge, as they didn’t have a nice place to sleep on their show or meals provided regularly, something they’re gifted with for his show.

Survivor stars ready to conquer The Challenge: USA

In a five-minute promo video, Survivor stars in The Challenge: USA cast are again under the spotlight. A previous video introduced viewers to competitors, including Tyson Apostol, Desi Williams, Shantel Smith, Domenick Abbate, Sarah Lacina, and Danny McCray.

Now they’re sharing what they feel their major strengths and weaknesses are heading into this new competition show. A majority of them reveal it’s their strength or their ability to take on any challenge. Ben Driebergen reveals he’s been involved in all sorts of “high intense” situations and is a “lover of adventure and fear.”

Domenick says due to most of the cast being younger, his life experience may give him the edge. He also says he’s “probably smarter than most of them.” For Shantel, she says it’s not necessarily her physical strength but her ability to read the room and get people to trust her.

Former Survivor winner Tyson Apostol believes his humor is a major strength in this game. However, he says his personality may also rub some of his castmates the wrong way.

Survivor stars’ strength could also be their weakness

During the promotional video, TJ Lavin says while many Survivor stars possess confidence as a strength, that “could also be their weakness.”

“Maybe they think they’re the best at something, and they don’t have a shot,” TJ says.

Tyson says he has weaknesses, but he won’t go on record saying that they are, in case of returning for future competitions, including The Challenge.

Like many fierce competitors, Tasha Fox explains that she goes hard when it comes to the game and hates to lose. That may give her what it takes to transition to MTV’s main stage, even at 45.

Danny McCray says his weakness is “trusting too much and too fast.” Desi has a similar disadvantage of being “too loyal and too trusting” with others. She said “being loyal” is what got her voted off Survivor.

Domenick also gives an honest self-assessment, saying he wishes he had more time to prepare physically for what The Challenge: USA will demand from him.

For Sarah Lacina, it’s the “gross food” that’s her weakness, something that some competitors on MTV’s main show and Paramount Plus’ All Stars spinoff also struggle with.

Survivors reveal their relationship status

A strength or weakness with The Challenge: USA could also be that there will be other competitors there from Amazing Race, Big Brother, and Love Island there, some of whom are ready for romances or showmances.

In the promo video, the Survivor stars reveal whether they’re single heading into the spinoff show. Shantel calls herself “single-ish” but says, “there will be no showmances with Shan this season.”

Danny is happily married to his “beautiful wife Kiki McCray,” and Tyson has also been married for seven years. Desi says she’s in a relationship currently, which is something different for her because she’s “not really a relationship person.”

Sarah, Domenick, and Ben are also married and all have children with their significant others. Meanwhile, Tasha says she began dating her contractor while she was having home renovations done, so it’s been “like the best ever.”

Based on the above, most of the Survivor stars won’t be looking for love on The Challenge, which should be yet another strength when it comes to competing to win that big prize money.

The Challenge: USA premieres Wednesday, July 6, at 9:30/8:30c on CBS.

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