'The Challenge: USA' Host T.J. Lavin Sheds Insight on Newest Crop of Competitors (Exclusive)

You know and love The Challenge on MTV and, now, the show is taking things to CBS. The newest spinoff, The Challenge: USA, is set to feature your favorite contestants from Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother and Love Island. In advance of the show's July 6 premiere on CBS, longtime Challenge host T.J. Lavin spoke to PopCulture.com and gave a preview of what fans can expect from their favorite CBS reality show alumni. 

Considering that you've likely seen many of the competitors in action on their original shows, you might have an idea of how they're going to play on The Challenge: USA. However, as Lavin explained, some of their performances may just surprise you. He explained, "Alyssa [Lopez] is real good. She's actually not just a pretty face; she's really a gritty challenger. It was awesome. Angela [Rummans] is really good. Azah [Awasum] was awesome about the challenges." Lavin even noted that Awasum was "killing it" when it came to the eliminations, adding, "Some kind of a beast came out of her, and she was just completely — she's savage. I love it."

Since some of the players put on such a bold front on The Challenge: USA, Lavin would like to see how they'd fare on MTV's version. In particular, he named Tyson Apostol and Danny McCray as two of the competitors that he could see doing well on MTV's The Challenge. "Danny, he's my guy. I love that guy," Lavin said. The host added that it was a thrill simply being able to watch McCray, a former NFL player, in total game mode, "I was just saying earlier ... I watched him run. And when you see somebody do something they were supposed to do in their life, it's amazing. It's so fun to see something [and know] that's what you were born to do."

Even though every single player on the show is new to the Challenge universe, they're certainly not going easy on them when it comes to the level of competition. "Well, it's [The Challenge] gaining popularity, right? So, if you're gaining popularity more eyeballs seeing it, more people wanting to do it, so there's more, and more, and more and more," he explained. "The producers are all knowing all this, so they have to step it up every time. And that's the hard part." They definitely stepped things up for The Challenge: USA, so much so that Lavin said that quite a few competitors were in for a "rude awakening." To see who is up to the task, watch The Challenge: USA on Wednesday, July 6 on CBS.