The Challenge USA Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: 10 Biggest Takeaways

Allan Aguirre
10 min readSep 1, 2023

The 7th 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 seventh episode.

10 Wes’s Sob Story

Wes emotional outcry from last Sunday’s episode, along with the posts on social media by him, his wife, and other Challengers, has really divided the fandom. Fans were very defensive of Wes when he said it could be his last season, and the overall belief was that he was leaving to focus on being a dad/family man.

Then online, he said it was to focus on his business, making money, unlike us broke bitches, and offered more insight into his life…on his Patreon…

People like Laurel Stucky & Rachel Robinson came out of the woodwork and bashed Wes for trying to play a pity card yet also flaunting wealth that may or may not be there. It’s been a clusterfuck.

And then this week on the show, Wes complained that people aren’t giving him a fair shot in the game — something he deserves due to his years of service to The Challenge. Fessy’s immediate reaction had me dying laugh. He was not eating up that bullshit and couldn’t believe anyone could. Except, of course, White Alyssa believed it!

Wes needs to contain his emotions because he keeps painting a bigger target on his back; meanwhile, the other MTV vets are taking advantage of it as he takes the heat off them.

9 Michaela vs. Wes

I’ve loved every minute of the Michaela & Wes rivalry. Michaela won the nomination during the first Green Team win and put Wes in his place, and then Wes hit the Uno reverse card and took control after their second win. Both players have thrown random rogue votes on each other, and Michaela hilariously didn’t even vote for Wes in the last episode.

Wes tried to confront Michaela this week about why she is so against him. It is nothing personal other than Michaela doesn’t vibe with Wes and won’t bite for his tricks.

Michaela is incredibly headstrong — it has been both a strength and a detriment to her in the past. Right now, it’s a strength because she is breaking Wes’s brain. What frustrates Wes most about Michaela isn’t that she dislikes him; he is used to people hating him. What gets under his skin is that she’s not having a bigger reaction to his instigating. Wes wants Michaela to make a big scene so he can paint a target on her or play the victim in some way in return. She has not done that yet, and so he sulks with his hands on his head.

Sidenote: I loved the scene where Michaela openly talked about how so many people were hyped for her Challenge debut (including me!) and how disappointing it was for her to be a first boot. Michaela came onto this season with a clear focus, and seeing the pictures of her and her Godfather was heartwarming (RIP).

8 The Daily Was Meh

As a fan of the OG Nickelodeon game shows and American Gladiators, I will always love the visual of seeing competitors in giant hamster balls. However, I mentally checked out during this daily challenge.

The Blue Team won. Good for them.

7 The Challenge is Hard

After the daily challenge, we saw a scene where Tiffany and Alyssa were teary-eyed and looked like they were struggling with the mental aspect of competing in the game. Tiffany openly talked about how it sucks that it feels like she’s the weakest player on her team and that there hasn’t been a daily challenge where she felt comfortable and made for her.
I will note that Tiffany did perform well in Trivia daily despite the loss.

Let’s get back to the heart of things — I respect Tiffany’s candor. She is a natural strategist and an outstanding political player. Tiffany loves playing that side of the game and has on this season; except when you aren’t winning the challenges, there is a ceiling as to what you can do. The Challenge is not geared towards Tiffany’s strengths, and she’s aware of it.
Still, Tiffany wants to play the game at a high level, and instead, she’s feeling like a liability and is taking the losses to heart. That’s tough to stomach and endure, and this episode gave me more respect for Tiffany because players are often not that transparent about where they stand in the game.

6 Josh is getting too messy

A week and a half ago, I applauded Josh for his performance during the Red Team nomination deliberation, where he got Desi & Luis nominated rather than Amanda & Wes. I still think that was the best performance of Josh Challenge’s career to date. This week, though, Josh was simply doing too much.

Michaela & Tyler were straightforward nominations considering the daily winners and the state of the game. I don’t think Josh needed to press as hard as he did for the Michaela vs. Chanelle elimination. Those are two strong women in the game, and Josh is painting a target on himself where, at the very least, one of them is coming back. Those two strong women also have allies, and the easy person to vote in will be the guy unnecessarily involving himself in the women’s side of the game.

Especially as we have more male eliminations than females likely to come. Josh is putting himself in a tough predicament, not to mention, when you look at the remaining male cast… I don’t see Josh beating Bananas, Fessy, Wes, or Cory in either a Final or most eliminations. The same vets Josh helped save will likely end his game.

The worst thing Josh did was the way he spoke up after Tiffany went down for the elimination. Even though what Tiffany said was shade/a shot at Josh, he needed to be quiet and not react. It’s a whoever smelt it dealt it situation, and Josh did too much in that moment.

5 Nominations

Michaela & Tyler ended up as the nominations as expected. I thought Tori & Bananas were very snotty during the deliberations. I do think they should feel good taking over the game after being on the ropes to start — they were just boasting a little too hard for my liking.

I did love Michaela’s reaction to the nominations. She knew it was coming, had fun with it, and got Josh rattled to where you would’ve thought he was the one going in.

4 Tyler & Alyssa’s Snoremance

I could not care any less about Tyler & Alyssa’s showmance. Tyler was a fantastic Big Brother player — he just doesn’t vibe or make sense on The Challenge for me. Hilariously, I hated his ex-fiance Angela on Big Brother, and yet, I thought she was the female MVP of Challenge USA 1 and wanted her on many more seasons. Alyssa did upgrade in that her previous ex from Big Brother couldn’t last more than 10 seconds in bed, did cringe TikTok dances, and had the support of the Klan behind him.

Tyler used to live comfortably in Angela’s rich pockets, but now he has actually to do stuff. Alyssa kept her relationship with Kyle going in order to receive money, gifts, and social media engagement from crazy Big Brother fans. If these two can figure out a proper boondoggle, they might be a match made in heaven.

Did I write all that after saying I don’t care? Well, I don’t, but I care about your entertainment as the reader.

3 Hopper

10 votes were on the table and four them went Chanelle’s way. Cory and Michele burned their votes on Tiffany — Michele’s being a shocker as she’s working with Michaela and the Secret Garden alliance.

Tiffany’s ball was taken out and that was a death blow to Josh as they shot a blank at Michaela (sorry, Tiffany). The second TJ called Tiffany down, she did look defeated and her only win was getting Josh to bite by her call out.

2 Michaela vs. Tiffany

The design of the elimination was awesome. It had the old-school Challenge feel where it felt a bit carnival-gamey and fun, yet there were aspects of balance, hand-eye coordination, skill, and a bit of strategy in the elimination.

Michaela performed excellently. Her height was a big help as she was able to reach and grab the balls a bit easier, but overall, she did a phenomenal job using momentum to her advantage, and her shot accuracy was terrific. Tiffany did not get momentum down and had zero accuracy when it came to shooting. I wish we could run this elimination back with so many different competitors because it had such a cool design!

Tiffany is out, which felt inevitable, and Michaela stays in. She wanted to take Tori’s spot on Blue….unfortunately, or fortunately…

1 Individual Game

It is now an individual game! I wonder how the format will evolve. Will we get a Tribunal that will then nominate one man and one woman, and they keep the Hopper in play? Or does it become more Duel-style? Or does last place goes in, and then the first-place finisher votes someone in to face them?

It’s going to be interesting to see. Cory, Faysal, and Desi look like the players in the best shape going forward, as they are threats to win but not the biggest targets currently.

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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.