“Everyone has this stigma of ‘Big Brother is the worst’, but Survivor is far more sketchy,” Alyssa, 27, exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, August 25, one day after she was eliminated from season 2 of The Challenge: USA, which features alums from Big Brother, Survivor, The Challenge and The Amazing Race.
She continued: “We just say it to your face. Survivor gets [cast] for being good at the game, being able to maneuver and strategize. We get [cast] for our big personalities, so it’s easy for Survivor [alums] to hide behind that.”
Alyssa’s comments come after Survivor: Edge of Extinction winner Chris Underwood called out Big Brother alums Monte Taylor and Tyler Crispen for their gameplay tactics during the Thursday, August 24, episode of The Challenge: USA.
“This is not Big Brother … you playing like it [is],” Chris, 30, said after Monte, 28, and Tyler, 28, helped facilitate a plan to send him into the elimination round, which he survived. Chris also called the pair “little bitches.”
Alyssa proved that she had no problem with confrontation while standing up to her fellow Blue Team member Tori Deal during the third round of nominations. After Tori, 30, expressed frustration with her teammates for putting her game in jeopardy by voting for Jonna Stephens (née Mannion) to go into the arena with her, Alyssa replied: “Maybe you need to not think about it as so direct and think more strategically of, ‘Maybe people wanted Jonna out.’ Maybe it’s not always about you.”
Despite the tense moment with Tori, Alyssa told Us that there was no personal beef with her and the Challenge veteran. “I slept right next to her, so I don’t think there was [bad blood] unless she was saying things behind my back,” she said. “I don’t take the game personally, so I’m still going to be the nice person I am and still talk with people, still have conversations and hang out.”
It was ultimately Tori’s secret vote that led to Alyssa’s elimination. During Thursday’s episode, Challenge vets Tori, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, Cory Wharton, Faysal Shafaat and Josh Martinez decided to employ “Operation Hat Trick” by putting five names in a hat and randomly picking which person they’d each vote to send into elimination. The idea was to disguise the fact that they are working together in the game and cause “organized chaos,” as Tori put it.
Although Alyssa received only one vote from Tori, the hopper randomly selected her to compete against Cassidy Clark and Alyssa was eliminated after losing the “Block Heads” challenge.
Alyssa told Us that she doesn’t think “Operation Hat Trick” is the best strategic move but admitted that it did work in the vets’ favor.
“It got me out and I was one of the main people vocalizing to get them out,” she said. “At the same time though, I know my strengths and weaknesses and I know any challenge I go into, I’m going to be the smallest girl, so me leaving doesn’t really benefit Tori that much in the long run because now you still have people like a Desi [Williams] or Michaela [Bradshaw] that could make the final.”
Alyssa appeared to be leading the charge to get veterans out of the game, but she told Us that “everyone was wanting that” outcome “at least a little bit.” She explained that she was forced to be outspoken as one of only two members of the Secret Garden alliance on the Blue Team along with fellow Big Brother alum Alyssa Snider.
“I’m just a very direct person and I don’t sugarcoat things. … Alyssa S. kind of would just agree with what I’m saying. She was never one to stand up and say it first,” she said. “So, I had to be that main voice to make sure the vets were going in [for elimination].”
The Challenge: USA airs on CBS Thursdays and Sundays at 10 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET, respectively.