With The Challenge: USA, cast members learned of a surprising twist at the end of the premiere episode featuring The Algorithm, a program that would randomly give them a new teammate for each daily challenge.
The Algorithm appears at the start of each episode, as host TJ Lavin reveals who the new teammates are heading into the next day’s event. He indicated that it would ensure nobody was teamed up with the same person twice until that was no longer possible.
The Algorithm produced some exciting pairings, including an early situation where exes Cashay Proudfoot and Cinco Holland got randomly paired up for a daily challenge despite having broken up months ago. Somehow, they managed to co-exist.
In Episode 7, The Algorithm created a highly intriguing pair of teammates who had previously been at odds due to one cast member’s decision to throw the other and her teammate into elimination.
That was none other than Survivor winners Tyson Apostol and Sarah Lacina, who would have to put their differences aside for the game’s greater good, or would they?
Following the airing of Episode 7 on CBS, Tyson spoke about being paired with Sarah and how he felt overall about that situation.
Tyson said he ‘knew it was coming’ with Algorithm
During his weekly Spotify podcast, Surviving The Challenge, Tyson Apostol spoke about the partnership that The Algorithm created for him in The Challenge: USA, Episode 7.
TJ revealed that Sarah Lacina was his partner several episodes after Tyson and Cashay had put Sarah and her teammate Leo Termory into elimination.
After Sarah and Leo won at The Arena, it brought heated aftermath. However, based on his comments, Tyson mostly felt safe once Sarah became his partner.
“I knew it was coming,” he told podcast co-host Amelia Wedemeyer, adding, “She doesn’t win challenges, so I was like, ‘If I could get her a win, that would be good,’ but also like, I’m not stressing.”
“I’ve got more than enough money for me and all the people I like in the house to go to the final. So, it’s at this point, no stress for me,” Tyson said.
He brought up that anyone Sarah might have rallied against him in the house wouldn’t go after him since she was his teammate.
While that generally kept him in a good spot, he also mentioned that Sarah might go behind his back and ask the daily challenge winners, Domenick Abbate and Cayla Platt, to send them into elimination. That would help Sarah potentially win enough money to qualify for the final.
“Worst case scenario, I go in, we win, and I get a stack of cash, and then I’m like head and shoulders above everyone else in the cash department,” he said during the podcast episode.
While Sarah and Tyson didn’t win the daily challenge, they didn’t finish in last place either. That distinction went to Leo Temory and Alyssa Lopez. The winners, Dom and Cayla, ultimately decided to send in Kyland Young and Kyra Green, who lost in the elimination event.
The win allowed Alyssa and Leo to remain in the game. They also split all of Kyland and Kyra’s bank account money, which helped Leo qualify for the final. Alyssa previously qualified by winning a daily challenge with Kyland.
During Episode 7, Tyson and Sarah also talked about their situation and agreed to work together moving forward so they could compete in the final. However, there were still some lingering trust issues.
New twist coming in The Challenge: USA, Episode 8
While Tyson mentioned in a previous episode of his podcast that he’d figured out how to beat The Algorithm bot, that might not matter once Episode 8 arrives.
After Leo and Alyssa had won the elimination in Episode 7, host TJ Lavin prepared to launch The Algorithm so everyone could find out the new teams. However, he suddenly stopped the procedure.
TJ indicated it was time to change things up a bit. As fans have seen on MTV’s The Challenge and the Paramount Plus’ All-Stars spinoff, that usually means a twist is on the way.
Heading into Episode 8, 14 competitors remain in the game. They could either compete as individuals or get split into two teams of seven with a unique voting system for the eliminations after daily challenges.
TJ never revealed how many competitors would compete in his final, meaning it could be five men and five women. If that’s the case, four more players will need to be eliminated, possibly via a purge in the daily challenge or single-player eliminations in the upcoming episodes.
Fans will learn how the game is changed when Episode 8 arrives on Wednesday, August 24.
The Challenge: USA airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.