The Challenge USA season 1 was, I think it’s fair to say, a humiliating shitshow for CBS.
CBS is the home of premium reality TV such as The Amazing Race and Survivor, and also the summer sewer Big Brother. So there’s room for a range of reality TV competition shows.
But even by Big Brother’s low, low standards, The Challenge USA was an embarrassment.
It was weeks and weeks of shitty challenges and boring episodes, followed by a completely botched finale that should have ended the entire franchise if anyone associated with it cared about things like fairness, health, or safety instead of just earning more money.
For just two examples, there were reports of crew members stealing from cast members, and a lack of safety divers for a water challenge.
Yet somehow, we’re getting a second season of The Challenge USA. And it’s filming now.
The Challenge USA season 1’s finale had about half the viewers of its lead-in, Big Brother, and came in second in its timeslot behind America’s Got Talent. So not the best ratings, but also not the worst.
CBS has not yet announced a renewal for The Challenge USA—and there’s certainly a possibility the show may not actually be for CBS. It could have been ordered by another Paramount Global entity, moving to MTV or streaming on Paramount+ instead.
But considering there is a writer’s strike looming—the Writers Guild of America’s contract is up May 1, and its members have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike—that could mean fewer scripted shows in the fall. That means reality TV to fill the void, so perhaps CBS is stocking up.
What we do know for sure right now is that season two is filming—and that its cast’s composition is changing.
While season one drew from Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and Love Island cast members, season two is going outside of CBS reality TV to MTV reality TV, including The Challenge itself.
Cast members include CBS reality stars who’ve gone on to The Challenge, such as Paulie Calafiore and Fessy Shafaat, plus people from MTV shows.
So The Challenge USA basically taking a huge step toward just being another season of MTV’s Challenge, instead of a spin-off with CBS reality stars only.
According to reliable spoiler PinkRose at Vevmo, the show’s cast departed on April 7 for Croatia, with a planned production of six or seven weeks, so it may finish filming in mid- to late May. Cast members were photographed in an airport.
Last week, PinkRose started posting spoilers about who’s been eliminated.
But before that, they posted a full cast list plus alternates. That cast—with no spoilers—are below.
The Challenge USA season 2 cast
Among the 24 cast members are two Survivor winners, one Survivor runner-up, one Big Brother winner, and two Big Brother runner-ups.
- Alyssa Lopez, Big Brother 23
- Alyssa Snider, Big Brother 24
- Amanda Garcia, Are You The One? season 3
- Ameerah Jones, Big Brother 24
- Cassidy Clark, Survivor 43
- Chanelle Howell, Survivor 42
- Desiree “Desi” Williams, Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
- Jonna Mannion, The Real World Cancun
- Michaela Bradshaw, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X
- Michele Fitzgerald, Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty
- Tiffany Mitchell, Big Brother 23
- Tori Deal, Are You The One? season 4
- Chris Underwood, Survivor: Edge of Extinction
- Cory Wharton, The Real World: Ex-plosion
- Dusty Harris, The Amazing Race 33
- Fessy Shafaat, Big Brother 20
- Johnny Bananas, The Challenge
- Josh Martinez, Big Brother 19
- Luis Colon, Amazing Race 34
- Monte Taylor, Big Brother 24
- Paulie Calafiore, Big Brother 18
- Sebastian Noel, Survivor: Ghost Island
- Tyler Crispen, Big Brother 20
- Wes Bergmann, The Challenge