Survivor winner Chris Underwood was the focus of last week’s The Challenge USA 2, and the start of the 10th episode, too. In his recap narration, T.J. Lavin said, “Chris spiraled out of control, turning on the women of his own Survivor alliance.”
But it was another internal alliance backstab that may have led to a Challenge player’s final episode ever. Not because they died or anything—though this is The Challenge, so you never know.
First, the alliance of Survivor women was still annoyed with Chris. Michaela explained, “we did not come this far for our games to be blown up by this dude.”
Chris admitted to us, “I definitely betrayed my Survivor family” and said, “I’m going to own this one.” But in a conversation with the Survivor women, he was so not owning things that Michaela finally told him, “Let’s not lie to each other’s face.”
Meanwhile, when Josh said “it is so important to finally make my first final” and then added he might have to go after Wes, I jumped up and screamed PLEASE LET JOSH GO HOME PLEASE. But I have been burned before!
At a quarry, the remaining players faced “Go the Distance,” a relatively simple challenge: run off a platform, grab a dangling baton, and do that again and again, with the batons further and further away, until they miss.
T.J. said the dangling batons had been adjusted for their height and wingspan, which is interesting.
More interesting, though, was what T.J. also said: This would be The Challenge USA 2’s second double elimination.
Among the women, only Cassidy, Desi, Tori, and Michaela got their first batons. Cassidy was out in round two, and Desi and Michaela made it to round four. Desi missed; Michaela got hers.
That was remarkable because, on her third jump, Michaela was crying and freaking out, and looked like she might not jump. She told us that on her previous jump, “I had to call on Jesus on the way down,” and added that she did not want to do it again. But she did, two more times, and won.
Among the men, only Wes missed his on the first round. In round two, Josh was out. In round three, Tyler, Cory, and Chris were out. Bananas and Faysal went to round four, and made a deal to not vote the other in. Bananas missed; Fessy did not, and thus won.
“I need this win bad because I need my safety,” Josh said previously, LOL, BYE.
“For me, this is do or die,” Chris said, but surprisingly didn’t die.
Michaela wanted to nominate Tori, but Desi worried about that choice because she assumed she or Chanelle would be nominated against Tori.
Desi called this “selfish,” but the only options Michaela had were Alyssa S. or Tori—every other woman is a Survivor alliance member.
But Desi didn’t need to worry. Fessy and Michaela met, and decided to “keep our hands clean,” as Michaela said. They nominated Chris and Alyssa S, letting the house vote in heavier hitters.
Because this was a double elimination, both nominees knew they’d compete.
Alyssa locked herself in a bathroom; Chris cried in the confessional room. “I deserve to be in the room with the best of the best,” he told himself. “I always come back.”
Meanwhile, Josh cried in an interview room and the voting room because of his “really good friendship with” Wes, which he planned to betray by voting Wes in. Now is a good time to point out that earlier in the episode, Wes said this about his good friend: “Josh wants so badly to be a real Challenger. … He will never be my rival. I will never consider him to be a threat.” To be Josh watching this episode tonight!
Votes went to Wes 3, Tyler 7, Bananas 2, and Tori 2, Michele 1, and Cassidy 9.
“My own allies turned on me,” Cassidy said, “because they consider me weak.” Michele, crying on the sidelines, said, “I betrayed a friend. … This game makes you do bad things.”
Chris actually wanted to go against Wes because of “the impenetrable wall of the vet alliance,” and he got his wish: randomly selected were Wes and Cassidy.
The elimination competition, “Ripped Off,” was effectively a version of flag football, without the football and with the addition of dangling in the air around a tower.
Each player had five minutes to grab the other player’s 10 patches, and then they switched. The results:
- Cassidy got 9, and Alyssa S. only got 8
- Chris got 10, and Wes got 9
Wes had a fascinating strategy of fleeing by flying around the tower—and then Chris caught him in a bear hug and ripped off every single one of his patches, sending Wes home.
Chris has now won his third elimination. Will Cassidy join him as an ally in alienation from the Survivor alliance?
As they said their goodbyes, Wes wanted to know who voted for him, and Josh finally confessed: “I’m sorry,” he mumbled repeatedly, and finally answered Wes’s question of “Why?” by saying, “You’d beat all of us in the end, dude.” That is—especially coming from Josh—a logical and coherent reply!
The final twist in this The Challenge USA 2 episode had been foreshadowed earlier in the season. “I’m not coming back,” Wes told everyone. “It’s been a privilege.”
Wes later told us he was proud of his legacy, and “this whole world is a really large part of my life.” Wes Bergmann’s legacy includes:
- being on 21 seasons of The Challenge and its various spin-offs
- winning three seasons
- making it to five finals
- starting on MTV in The Real World: Austin in 2005, 18 years ago
Whatever you think of him, and I don’t have the time or the desire to review 18 years of his on-screen behavior, it’s clear he’s been a prolific player and one of the faces of the franchise. Maybe Josh can take on his mantle—if Josh ever makes a final, that is.