Elimination favorite returns after TJ changes the game

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ben driebergen on the challenge usa episode 8
Survivor star Ben Driebergen during The Challenge: USA, Episode 8. Pic credit: Paramount+

After footage recapped the previous episode’s elimination, The Challenge: USA, Episode 8 opened with host TJ Lavin telling the cast it was time to stop using The Algorithm to determine teams.

Instead, TJ said it’s now an “individual game” from now on, with no more teammates for each daily challenge. TJ told everyone to get out of The Arena.

There are just 14 competitors left: Alyssa Lopez, Justine Ndiba, Cashay Proudfoot, Angela Rummans, Cayla Platt, Sarah Lacina, Desi Williams, Ben Driebergen, Tyson Apostol, Danny McCray, Leo Temory, David Alexander, Domenick Abbate, and Enzo Palumbo.

Ben and Danny talked about having each other’s back, possibly forming a secret alliance that also had Sarah in it. Ben said he won all the time on Survivor and expected to do the same on this show, but it hasn’t happened so far.

In a confessional, Danny said he doesn’t have enough money for the final yet, so he may have to go against someone from Survivor to qualify.

Sarah talked to Justine about how she’s the only woman there who has yet to earn enough money to qualify for the final. Sarah has $3,500 of the $5,000 required.

In another scene, footage showed most of the cast sleeping in their beds in the early morning, except for Ben. He was struggling a bit as he remembered his good friend from the Marines who died. Ben said it was good to have Sarah there to talk to about things.

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First daily challenge for individual competitors

TJ introduced the competitors to their daily challenge, Having a Blast. They started out riding in a Zodiac boat, then had to jump onto one of the soap-covered runways pulled behind a tugboat. If they fell off the runway, they were automatically disqualified and out.

Next, competitors raced down the runway to a key station, grabbed a key, raced back to the safe, unlocked it, and grabbed a flag. Then they’d run the flag back to put it into the key station. Competitors had to do this four times to complete the event.

Adding to the difficulty, two other players in the back of the tugboat got to spray competitors on the runways with a fire hose.

The fastest man and fastest woman were the winners. The slowest man and slowest woman were the losers. According to TJ, today was a men’s elimination day, so the slowest guy was headed straight to The Arena.

Two competitors went at once in each round. Ben set the bar high early with his run. During the hose spraying, not many players were spraying at the competitors. In one scene, Tyson convinced Dom not to spray Angela, even though Dom didn’t fully trust her.

“Ain’t nothing more important than the moolah. Go get your money,” Danny said his wife Kiki would tell him for this event.

Once the event finished, TJ revealed that Enzo was going into The Arena because he finished in last place. The winners were Angela and Ben, edging out Sarah and Leo. Ben qualified to run the final and got an emotional win on the anniversary of his friend’s passing.

Pre-elimination conversations and deals arrive

Enzo cut his leg during the daily challenge and wore a bandage when meeting Angela and Ben about who he’d like to face. After Enzo left, Ben and Angela talked about a game plan.

Angela asked Ben to get the Survivor guys on the same page with him to give her and Alyssa protection. She spoke to Alyssa about the plan to team up with the Survivor guys. Alyssa was good with that. Ben went around and talked with Survivor guys about protecting Alyssa and Angela.

They showed the cast going out again for the first time since the early episodes. Ben offered a toast in honor of his friend who passed away.

In a private chat at the bar, Leo tried to make a deal with Angela to protect him from elimination. He said if he gets a fourth cat, he’ll name it after her.

Enzo told castmates, including Sarah, in another part of the bar that he needed two or three stitches for his leg ahead of elimination. He said he wasn’t sure how he’d feel the next day at The Arena.

Sarah spoke with Desi and Cayla about going into elimination against Enzo. Sarah said she could make history for The Challenge as the first woman to defeat a guy and was serious about doing it.

Who went home in The Arena elimination?

The next night at The Arena, everyone could see the event was Hall Brawl. TJ called Enzo down to the ground level. Angela and Ben revealed their choice for Enzo’s opponent was Leo, putting him into a third elimination.

TJ told everyone this was his favorite elimination and explained Hall Brawl. The first player to get through or past their opponent and ring the ball on the opposite side would win the round. The first player to win two of three rounds was the winner.

It was Enzo’s second elimination, and he was the favorite based on being bigger than Leo. He made it look easy as he ran over and through Leo in two-straight rounds to ring the bell. It gave Enzo the win he needed to boost his bank account, qualifying him to run in TJ’s final.

hall brawl from the challenge usa episode 8
The Challenge: USA, Episode 8 featured Hall Brawl making its first appearance on the spinoff. Pic credit: Paramount+

Enzo said Leo has two cats and his girlfriend back home. It was nothing personal from him. TJ reminded everyone they needed to make it to the end and win his final to compete in The Challenge World Championships.

The Challenge: USA airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.

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