There’s a new pillar in The Challenge universe, and it’s on CBS (and streaming on Paramount+). So my question: How will I cover this? If you want a recap, you’re just going to stream it, so I’m going to countdown the top 10 most important people in each episode.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about the players’ origin shows, but I know plenty about The Challenge. So we’re going to start to see people who have important roles in the show… and the people who fade into the background.
10. Javonny Vega
Javonny left with a good attitude. Clearly, he thought he’d do better, but he set a precedent for Love Island to be the most disposable franchise on this Challenge.
9. Danny McCray
Out of all the people in this episode, you’ll see the most foreshadowing with Danny. He’s being painted as a strong competitor, but his wife Kiki told him to work with Shan after he voted her off Survivor. They were partners, but now that we know they can’t work together, there might be some trouble brewing.
8. Cely Vazquez
Somehow, this Love Island alumnae found herself in the first elimination. She tried, and she lost, and she leaves behind her friend Justine who may seek revenge… but probably not.
7. Shannon St. Clair
Years ago, people would show up to The Challenge and have no idea what they signed up for. It seems like Shannon came onto the show looking for a free vacation, then she was told she’d be sleeping on a bunk in a warehouse. She emerged as an easy target, but her partner James seems to have saved her.
6. Angela Rummans
When it comes to Big Brother, production did an awful job casting. Their recency bias resulted in six BB23 players and four from The Cookout (Xavier, Azah, Kyland, and Tiffany). Angela feels very disconnected from other BB players, but she set herself up as a competitor to look out for. She won the first Challenge, is rich enough for the final, and people seem to want to work with her.
5. Kyland Young
Nobody wants to go into the first elimination, but Kyland royally messed up on the first mission. Apparently, this superfan didn’t realize math was a part of the game. But he pulled out a win, and competitors will likely view him more favorably than Azah for his grit and attitude.
4. Azah Awasum
As a member of The Cookout, Azah has built-in allies, but she messed up during the Down to Do the Math challenge, being the only girl who needed to climb the stairs for a second chance. While she did win in Knot So Fast, she’s likely not the partner that other players will want.
3. Alyssa Lopez
It’s immediately obvious that The Cookout has left some Big Brother cast members feeling betrayed. Alyssa knows that she has some connection to her BB23 castmates, but she harbors resentment toward Xavier who sent her packing on Big Brother. Meanwhile, Xavier seems to think their loyalty is much stronger.
2. James Wallington
Immediately, James and Shannon have a target on their backs, and they look like they’re an easy pick for elimination. But James is able to talk his way into safety. He’s emerging as someone who could be a social threat.
1. Tyson Apostol
It feels like everyone has Tyson on their radar this season. We keep hearing about how many times he’s played Survivor, and the number of times he’s won (once, just once). Plus, he won Down to Do the Math, so he’s already making waves in the game. He claims he wanted to ride with Angela until the end, but now that the algorithm will force him to have new partners, we’ll see if that loyalty sticks around.