Some Survivor contestants were frustrated with how the finale played out but were at least proud that the two winners represented their show.
Even though The Challenge: USA finale ended in controversy, Survivor alum were proud of Danny McCray and Sarah Lacina for representing the show. The season consisted of contestants from Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother and Love Island. Ultimately, Survivor dominated the other three shows.
Heading into TJ Lavin’s final, Survivor contestants Desi Williams and Ben Driebergen were both excited to compete. Ben, however, was ruled out before it began after injuring his shoulder in the previous challenge. Desi, meanwhile, had her experience cut short when her randomly selected partner Enzo Palumbo quit during the swimming portion of the first leg of the final. Still, Domenick Abbate, Danny, Sarah and Tyson Apostol had an opportunity to represent Survivor and bring home the win. Unfortunately, Domenick and Tyson were forced to quit when they encountered a Sudoku puzzle, which neither of them knew how to complete. According to Tyson, proper instructions were not given and they weren’t offered the option of timing out of the puzzle.
Ben, who was close with Sarah and Danny on the show, said of his fellow Survivor contestants winning, “That’s fantastic for [Survivor] and for us” and that he “couldn’t be happier for both of them.” When Desi found out Sarah and Danny had won, she said, excitedly, “Not two Survivor people taking home the whole thing!” She believes Survivor contestants are built for The Challenge more so than any other reality show and two former contestants winning this season proves that.
Danny told Screen Rant he was proud to represent Survivor, despite being newer to the Survivor community than some of the other alums. Sarah added, “It’s like representing from your high school or your college.” Representation also came in smaller victories, like when Desi and Big Brother‘s David Alexander, won a swimming challenge earlier in the season. She said, “Culturally it was a big deal.”
While the amount of contestants who hailed from each show wasn’t exactly the same — there were only three contestants cast from The Amazing Race — the Survivor competitors showed that they are physically tough and more adept at managing social politics of reality TV than other shows like Love Island. Sarah had already won Survivor before, and Danny came close in his one and only season. Now, they have set a very high standard for Survivor contestants who end up getting cast on future seasons of The Challenge: USA.