The Challenge USA Season 2 Episode 11 Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways

Allan Aguirre
10 min readSep 29, 2023

The 11th episode of The Challenge USA 2 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 eleventh episode.

Also, I did a trailer breakdown for the new MTV season:

10 Oil Wrestling Rules

I don’t know if you were aware before the episode aired, but the people on The Challenge are in very good shape, and they are incredibly attractive. Doing a daily challenge with their bodies on full display as they physically tussle with one another is pure entertainment.

These are the type of daily challenges where someone who is randomly channel-surfing will get hooked on this show because it looks fucking awesome. Seeing all the players go at it was fantastic.

Now, watching Chris get targeted 5-on-1 was brutal, and I think daily challenges like this, where a player who is already an underdog gets put in a no-win position, is completely fucked up. Tori, Tyler, and Cassidy also had no shot of winning. Then again, the visuals of the daily challenge were worth it. Since Season 1, The Challenge USA has needed more physicality, and this week they brought it.

9 Cory is on this season?

First, I want to acknowledge that Chris is an absolute force. He got dogpiled 5-on-1 from the jump, and it literally took three men, one grabbing his arms, one holding down his midsection, and one dragging his non-third leg to even get him out of there.

After Chris got taken out, Bananas & Tyler battled to a stalemate. Cory then put in work on Josh — which is not an easy win considering Josh’s sheer size. It took a decent amount of energy to push Josh to the edge for Cory.

And then we had the showdown between Fessy and Cory. For some reason, Fessy thinks he is the only person who has ever played football. Cory also played football at the collegiate level and was a Defensive Back. Whereas Fessy was a pass-catching Tight-End, Cory was laying hits on people. We saw Cory outwrestle, outwork, and outsmart Fessy and get the win. Cory has been mostly invisible this season, so this win goes a long way. I talked the past couple of weeks about Fessy quietly dominating the season — Cory is one of the 3 MTV “Legends,” and he has never sniffed elimination, even after becoming the first man drafted. Cory put up a dominant Day 1 Final performance on Total Madness, and he’s finished 2nd on two seasons before; maybe he can finally pull off a win.

8 Michaela is a Beast

I thought the women’s heat was far more entertaining. The women ganged up on Tori from the jump — and let me say, I’m disappointed we didn’t get to see a true Michaela vs. Tori 1 v. 1. It looked like Michaela went after Tori from the onset, and then everyone joined in.

As a whole, it looked as though Michaela was trying to have 1-on-1 match-ups that kept getting interrupted. Or when someone was getting ganged up, she’d pick a 1-on-1 fight.

I have to give credit to Cassidy. Cassidy took an absolute beating during the daily challenge — every time I looked over at her, she looked to be in peril. Yet, Cassidy stayed in there and was able to drag Desi out with her.

The solo duel between Michaela and Chanelle was excellent. In the end, Michaela proved to be the better athlete again and took home her second straight daily challenge win in impressive fashion.

7 The Desire for Danger

No woman on The Challenge USA has legitimately run a Final before except Tori. Tori has competed in 5 Finals, she has performed exceptionally in all of them, two of which she was clearly the best overall female performer, and of course, Tori just won Ride or Dies. Historically speaking, when someone wins a Final, their likelihood of winning again once there is much higher. Tori has so much experience over everyone here; Michaela knows that, understands the danger, and wants her out before the Final.

Desi & Chanelle want to make the Final and don’t want Michaela to risk their chances in the game for her intentions. I think Michaela has the right mindset, though — because, as we saw on Double Agents & Total Madness, Tori is beatable. Although she is beatable, Tori has just as strong of a shot at beating all of them in the Final.

Michaela’s mix of general paranoia and blunt demeanor did not sell the move to her alliance at all.

6 Michaela vs. Cory

Last week, the winner’s deliberation between Fessy & Michaela went swimmingly. This week, it was the opposite. Michaela pitched her idea of throwing Tori into elimination to Cory and did not even consider for a second that Cory was playing his own game.

While Cory keeps a low profile and doesn’t seem too into the game, Cory isn’t going to make a rash decision — he got those moves out of him a half-decade ago. Now, it would behoove Cory to play riskier sometimes, specifically when it comes to targeting certain male players. That said, there’s no reason for Cory to put in Tori when they are aligned and when an easy Cassidy nomination is right in front of them.

Michaela was so bewildered that Cory didn’t play her game, and even messier is that she didn’t consider that Cory would tell Tori about her plan. It was terrible gameplay on Michaela’s part because she got the blood on her hands without even making the move.

5 People Actually Had Fun

The Challenge USA has felt devoid of the fun and drama we came to expect from the old MTV version of the show. This week, we saw players get some drinks in them and unwind. Well, we saw Cassidy and Michele have some fun as they had a good old drunken makeout.

While the “party” scene was very watered down compared to what we are used to, for CBS, it was decent. We need Cassidy on the MTV show.

4 Cassidy vs. Michaela

After the partying, one of the episode’s highlights was Michaela and Cassidy’s kitchen confrontation. Cassidy called out Michaela for playing a scared game and not tossing in Tori. This was hysterical because Michaela was the only person in the building trying to take a shot at Tori; meanwhile, both alliance sides were protecting Tori from Michaela taking the shot.

Cassidy was wrong in this moment. And Cassidy’s been wrong in a lot of moments, which Michaela called out. Michaela noted that when the game started moving, she and others adapted while Cassidy didn’t.

At the same time, Cassidy was 100% in the right in clapping back that Michaela does talk down to her. It was a great scene because both players were justified in different ways.

3 The Hopper & The Votes

The MTV Challenge alliance put their votes on Chris to make it a guys’ elimination.

Chris and the Survivor ladies decided to put their votes on Tori. Meanwhile, one vote went to Chanelle (I believe from Tyler).

The Survivor ladies assumed Michele would be on their side, and she wasn’t. Michele put a 6th vote on Chris, and Chris’s ball got picked out by the Hopper.

2 Michele in the Middle

Desi, Michaela, and Chris felt betrayed by Michele choosing to toss her vote on Chris rather than take the shot at Tori, as they all agreed. However, Tori kept Michele out of elimination twice, and the Survivor girls could have done a better job of keeping Michele in the loop in recent weeks.

I think Michele made the right move by voting in Chris as a ploy to keep Cassidy in play. Unless this would’ve been the last female elimination, Tori beating Cassidy does not help Michele’s game. If Cassidy is out, then Michele becomes the new Cassidy. Plus, when Michele eventually goes into elimination, she would much rather face Cassidy than Michaela, Desi, or Tori.

1 Chris vs. Tyler

Whoever is the person producing the eliminations for The Challenge USA — they need to get brought on full-time for the MTV version of the show. It’s five weeks in a row where they’ve taken simple concepts and made them creative and interesting. They have been eliminations where it feels like each player has a shot at winning, takes some on-the-fly thinking/strategy, and usually, there is a physical aspect to boot.

I was shocked when TJ revealed how long it took for Chris & Tyler to tag each other. Typically, we see a trimmed-down version of most eliminations. This one, we saw more elimination than it took as they each tagged one another in less than 2 minutes — Chris got to Tyler in less than 90 seconds! With his back against the wall, Chris covered the distance quickly and impressively, yet again pulling out the win.

Chris has now won 4 Eliminations; he is one of only nine players in Challenge history to win 4 Eliminations in one season. He is tied with Derrick Kosinski as the only man to win 4 Solo Eliminations in one season. Along with that, he now officially holds the record for most wins on the USA franchise, both for career and single-season totals. There is one elimination left, most likely — Chris can tie Sarah Greyson’s twenty-year record for solo elimination wins in one season if he goes in again and wins. Chris also completed the Challenge USA Elimination Grand Slam. He eliminated a player from The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Challenge (RW), and Big Brother.

Tyler was on this season. He had a showmance with Alyssa, won an elimination against Monte, and now he’s been eliminated. That sums up his experience.

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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.