Through five episodes of The Challenge: USA, Survivor winner Tyson Apostol has shown castmates and viewers how impressive he is in competitive events. However, he’s also been highly strategic in his approach to working with others and deciding on elimination matchups.
According to Tyson, he came up with a way to defeat The Algorithm, a complex part of the game that had never been on The Challenge before.
The Algorithm is a “random program” that host TJ Lavin revealed in a shocking twist that arrived at the end of the premiere episode.
It features a large board with all cast members’ names on it. The Algorithm randomly pairs up new teammates at the start of each episode, so nobody is paired with the same person twice in a row.
That makes it difficult for some individuals to work with allies or rivals in the game due to the random matching of partners. That’s because only the daily challenge winning team is safe from elimination.
The winning team also picks a team to face the losing team from the daily challenge at The Arena elimination. While it can lead to tough decisions for some, Tyson developed a smart strategy for it that he felt took The Algorithm away as a threat for him.
Tyson shares strategy he used to defeat The Algorithm
Following The Challenge: USA, Episode 5, Survivor star Tyson Apostol talked about the episode on his weekly podcast with The Ringer. He shared with his co-host that he figured out how to ‘beat The Algorithm’ twist.
During Episode 5, Tyson and his teammate, Cashay Proudfoot, won the daily challenge involving swimming in water to retrieve puzzle pieces and solve a puzzle before the other teams. Despite Cash struggling to swim and getting her team a penalty at one part, they still won the event.
Later on, it led to decision-making for Tyson and Cash, as they had to figure out who to send into elimination against the daily challenge losing team, Cinco Holland and Azah Awasum. Cinco and Azah didn’t give them any names of people they wanted to face or keep safe either.
Ultimately, Tyson chose to send in one of his “Survivor strong” allies with their teammate. However, he had a reason for that move, and it came down to defeating the Algorithm.
“I had figured out a way to beat The Algorithm,” Tyson said, surprising his co-host.
“The way was, anyone who won a [daily] challenge, I went to them, and I said, ‘I will protect you. You’ve earned your way into the final. You protect me,'” he explained.
“Anyone who’s won a challenge has a greater chance of winning another challenge than somebody who hasn’t won any challenge,” he said, continuing, “So that was my whole strategy. I could not put in anybody who had money because I did not want to open the floodgates and make it okay to target people who had enough money to run the final.”
Tyson among favorites to win, but could be in trouble
If there were betting odds for who would win The Challenge: USA, then one would have to think Tyson Apostol would’ve been amongst the favorites to win the spinoff before the season was filmed. Now that the episodes are airing, he’s clearly leading the pack as a favorite to win TJ’s final.
Through the first five episodes aired on CBS, Tyson was part of the winning team in three daily challenges. His winning teammates included Big Brother star Angela Rummans, by choice in Episode 1, followed by Love Island’s Justine Ndiba in Episode 2, and Cashay Proudfoot in Episode 5, courtesy of The Algorithm.
With the wins, Tyson has qualified for TJ’s final three times over, as his bank account currently sits at $16,000 heading into Episode 6. The next-closest individuals to him are Kyland Young at $12,000 and Angela Rummans with $11,000.
They’ve both won a daily challenge twice, and according to Tyson’s strategy, they’re two people he promised not to send in, asking that they return the favor. The other two are Cashay and Justine, both of whom Tyson worked with and helped win a daily, qualifying them for the final.
Based on his plan to beat The Algorithm, things seem on track for a Tyson appearance in the final. However, Episode 4 saw Tyson send his Survivor ally Sarah Lacina into elimination with her teammate, Leo Temory.
With the duo winning to come back into the house, Tyson might need to figure out an additional plan if Sarah wins the Episode 5 daily. However, Tyson seems to be winning consistently, giving him a leg up on all opposition.
The Challenge: USA airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.