The Challenge USA Episode 9 Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways

Allan Aguirre
8 min readSep 1, 2022


Episode 9 of The Challenge USA is in the books. You probably have some thoughts, so let’s compare. Instead of giving a simple summary, I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the 9th episode.

If you prefer audio/video, my podcast recap can be found above/below.

10 The Fab Five vs. Double A

We got introduced to the “Fab Five” alliance in this episode. It consists of Desi, Cayla, Justine, Sarah, and Cashay! How they clinked their glasses and kept saying Fab Five as Angela & Alyssa sat 10–15 feet away was hilarious. The line in the sand got drawn, and it made sense; Angela aligned herself with the top men in the game as it was a partner game for most of the season. She fostered those male relationships over the female ones, and now it’s somewhat coming back to bite her and Alyssa.

The Fab Five was a Grandpa Simpson alliance because we got introduced to it at the beginning, and it was gone by the end.

9 Justine is a Class Act

When Sarah talks about Angela, her voice and face reek of jealousy. In comparison, we saw Justine describe God creating Angela as a splash of brilliance mixed with a splash of athleticism and then got tired and threw everything good into her. I’m so accustomed to players throwing backhanded compliments toward their opponents that when Justine was entirely complimentary in explaining why she wanted Angela out, all I could think was: “Damn, Justine is the embodiment of class.” Not only that, Justine has all those skills that Angela has too!

8 What Restaurants Does Tyson Eat At?

Before the daily, Tyson mentioned how he was upset that Enzo overtook him as the male with the most money in the game. He then dropped a gem of a line: “I always like to be the richest person in the room. It’s why I go to cheap restaurants.”

It got me thinking, where does Tyson frequent? So McDonald’s and Taco Bell are off the table because those are rich people’s guilty pleasures. In N Out, Shake Shack, and Five Guys are also off the board, as wealthy people love those places too. I don’t think Tyson eats at Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, Golden Corral, Subway, Olive Garden, or Arby’s. So what’s Tyson’s Top 5?

  1. Outback Steak House: Just barely the richest guy to eat there.
  2. Chili’s: No matter how rich he gets, Tyson can’t deny a good 3 for $10 deal.
  3. Burger King: I think Tyson enjoys Chicken Fries. Also, the BK value onion rings are one of the most slept-on fast food items.
  4. Carl’s Jr: The Western Bacon Cheeseburger is a powerful force.
  5. Moe’s Southwest Grill: Tyson loves to say queso.

7 Blue McCray

The Kiki McCray universe expanded this week as we learned her father-in-law’s name, Blue. In the process, Kiki’s husband Danny finally got his first daily challenge win of the season, qualifying him for the Final. Dom came through for Danny by sabotaging David — I must note that David has been impressive in recent weeks.

Danny’s speed and social connections came in clutch during this connect four daily challenge. RIP Blue. You’re my boy, Blue.

6 Angela & Alyssa’s Killer Connection

Going into the daily challenge, the Fab Five had a 5–2 numbers advantage where they easily could have guaranteed either Angela or Alyssa as the player to go into elimination automatically. Except they never got on the same page, whereas Angela & Alyssa keyed in on Sarah from the jump and ran at an incredible pace to assure Sarah as the last-place finisher.

While Angela is a very talented and athletic player, what sets her apart is she has the Laurel/Johnny Bananas ability where she sees a daily challenge and immediately has a strategy. You compare it to Sarah, who assumes her athleticism will carry her, and then we see how things play out in execution.

5 Sarah’s Ridiculous Freak Out and Lack of Awareness

Sarah’s full-on freak-out montage where she was yelling to any and everyone to block out Angela & Alyssa’s space once she realized they were going after her was one of the funniest things I’ve ever watched. It was a crazy level of desperation for someone who was begging to face Enzo in a Hall Brawl last week. The problem with Sarah is she’s reactive instead of proactive. They would have been able to take out Alyssa/Angela if she had gotten her numbers organized from the start.

Instead, Justine, Desi, and Cashay realized that if Alyssa/Angela spent their time going after Sarah, it meant they wouldn’t come in last and would have an open path to win the daily. My favorite moment was Sarah thinking Cayla was the only person who understood what she was saying in terms of trying to black out Alyssa/Angela. In reality, Cayla was the only person gullible enough to hitch themselves to Sarah’s shitty Oregon Trail ass wagon.

4 Desi Flexing On Us

Desi got her second daily challenge win of the season and somehow looks more gorgeous and even more jacked each week. No way in hell that I’m the same species as Desi Williams. Sheesh.

3 Danny The Fibber?

Sarah asked for Angela (or Alyssa) in elimination. Desi agreed as it would be wise to get a strong girl out before the Final. Danny countered with Cashay as she was someone who would be easy money and would not create waves that would “hurt” Desi or Sarah’s chances to make the Final.

Danny is the most wholesome “I don’t want to rock the boat” guy in the house. So the fact he tried to spool a lie to Desi that there is supposed to be an alliance/deal between the six Survivor players & Angela/Alyssa to go to the Final together was so funny. In reality, the Survivor men have both a Survivor-strong alliance and a deal with the BB girls; however, Angela/Alyssa and Sarah/Desi are enemies, so trying to slip this by Desi to her face was bonkers.

I don’t blame Danny, as the lie was his way to create as few waves as possible, yet, out of all the cast to be duplicitous, he is who I expected the least to fib.

2 Sarah’s Terrible Intimidation Game vs. Angela’s Mist

Sarah’s had multiple confessionals saying her goal was to intimidate her opponents, and it worked for the early part of the game until Tyson threw her in. Besides eating turkey legs, Sarah’s perception of her intimidation level and what she’s put out in performance have been nowhere near equal.

Meanwhile, Angela literally terrified Danny. Once Sarah discovers that Angela won’t be her elimination opponent, she “reluctantly” accepts Alyssa instead, even though Danny & Desi never fully confirmed the choice. With a male elimination coming the next week, Danny didn’t even want to risk throwing in Angela’s #1 ally based on her chances to win next week’s daily and come back to go after him. That’s legitimate intimidation. Sarah couldn’t even get her second choice because Danny knows Angela kills dailies, and Sarah doesn’t.

1 Hamster Wheel

There’s nothing fun about watching two people separately do cardio in an elimination. The fact that we’ve had to watch this elimination in some form multiple times now is abysmal.

Congratulations to Sarah for picking up her second elimination win this season in what was a pretty dominant performance. Everyone expected her to win, similar to Enzo/Leo in Hall Brawl last week. Cashay was pretty clearly the worst girl left in the game by a decent margin which is not even me shading her; it’s just this female cast is extremely strong.

Now that everyone has money to run the Final, we might see some big plays in the last couple of eliminations here. Or at least I hope as a fan of Reality TV. Sidenote: this episode was 10x better than last week. Thank you to Angela & Sarah for having a fun rivalry. Shout-out to Kiki.



Allan Aguirre

27 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.