On The Challenge: USA, another pair's journey has come to an end. James Wallington from The Amazing Race and Tasha Fox from Survivor ended up in the elimination round after coming in last place for the daily challenge. Unfortunately, they met their match in Survivor's Domenick Abbate and Love Island's Cashay Proudfoot and ended up going home. Following their elimination, PopCulture.com had the chance to catch up with Tasha and James, who shed some insight into what fans didn't get to see in the latest episode.
James and Tasha may have been eliminated from The Challenge: USA, but they had nothing but great things to say about their experience. Of course, they also offered up more information about the drama surrounding the elimination, including the "third option" that was being floated around by the house that viewers didn't see in the episode. In addition to sharing that information, Tasha and James gave a clear picture of what the social dynamics were in the house and how there was a big alliance brewing between two of the shows.
What else did Tasha and James have to say about their time on The Challenge: USA? Read on to find out all of their takes on the competition. (This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
PopCulture.com: Let's hop right into it because we have a lot to cover. I really want to know the circumstances leading up to the elimination. James, you had a little bit of strife there with Leo. I wanted to know what the status of your friendship is after the game.
James: Well, we watched the episode together last night here in LA. I was able to go to his house. We laughed. I was more worried about it because I got to see it early since I did the Challenge podcast and I was like, 'Leo, I'm just so worried.' And he's like, 'It's going to be hilarious.' And so he just had such a really positive outlook on it all, but no, our friendship is still great. I think the experience actually made us stronger in our bond.
Last thing I’ll say before my exit press tomorrow… 🥰 I love @LeoTemory & @Cayla_Platt_. The bond we formed was unbreakable. Team #AmazingRace for life & I’m so glad we got to share this experience together. 💜 #TheChallengeUSA I wish you were able to see more of our bond! pic.twitter.com/wVgP8MgofW— James | The Challenge USA (@JamesWallington) July 21, 2022
PC: And Tasha, I wanted to know from your perspective too, in the first episode, it almost seemed like there was kind of a Big Brother, Survivor pseudo alliance there. So, I want to know ... how did we end up with two Survivors in the elimination?
Tasha: Yeah, well actually quiet as kept the relationship was really strong between Survivor and Amazing Race. And there were some subgroups where we were trying to infiltrate like Big Brother and build relationships and kind of get the tea and bring him back to the group. And so that was the original strategy ... we knew once we were in the bottom, that either way, it would probably be a Survivor going against Survivor or Amazing Race going against Amazing Race. And neither one of us wanted to lose somebody from our show. So we were actually floating David and Shannon to Kyland and Angela. It just didn't pick up steam. Our focus was like, 'Let's try to save our numbers.' But, at the end of the day, we ended up going against Survivor. We tried another option.
PC: And was that what you were referring to? I think I saw some tweets maybe last night, there was a talk of a third option. So it was David and Shannon there?
Tasha: David and Shannon, yeah.
James: Yeah. I did tweet there was a third option and then I put it out there and people screenshotted it. They were sending it to Shannon and Shannon's like, 'What's happening here? I haven't watched the episode.' But yeah, it was David and Shannon actually. That was what was presented to Tasha and I by Kyland and Angela. Yes. And so when they said their names to us, we were like, 'Oh, this door might be cracking open where we can see a clear path where we don't lose anybody on our side.'
PC: And I wanted to know, you guys did, unfortunately, leave the game, but I imagine that there were a lot of things that you learned either about yourselves as competitors, as people. So what are some of those takeaways that you guys are learning about yourselves from being on the Challenge USA?
Tasha: I would say for me, since I played Survivor twice, I know how I work within that game that I can do well since I made it to the end, but being able to go on a different show and still be able to form relationships, not be the annoying person, not be the person that's the target. I know my gift is relationships. And so what I've learned from the Challenge is how to really navigate relationships, use people in a way that helps me further the game. So, I know I have that skill. And if I get a chance to play again or go on a different show, I think the Challenge just confirmed for me, no matter what show it is, I feel like I'm adaptable enough to fit within whatever the format is.
James: I definitely share a lot of the same feelings Tasha does. So many things come to mind for me about what this experience meant for me. And I think coming off a show like Amazing Race where I had my husband and someone I could lean on when times got rough, right? We just had that kind of support and going into the challenge where I was by myself, I really had to just find my inner strength and find ways to come out for just me, and support myself, and be proud of myself, and be a fighter, and never give up on myself. That was a nice reminder that no matter what odds are thrown my way I can face it head on. And it just gave me that confidence again. So, I think that would be something else that I learned from walking away from The Challenge.
PC: Tasha, it's been a little bit of time since you have been on TV ... When they shared [that you would be on the cast], people went crazy. People were so excited, and people are just so appreciative that you are back on TV. And James, you've had this journey since the start of the season, people are loving you and loving what you brought to the show. You guys have both had such a positive fan reaction, I would say. What would you say if you have a message for the fans?
Tasha: Well, I would say for me, you're right. I was just honored to be asked because it has been a while since I played, and I'm a little older now and so I just wanted to represent for the 40-plus people out there. And I love competition. I love reality TV. So, the fact that my name was still out there, and then to be able to come back and be my authentic self, and be genuine and just enjoy every single day, I loved it. And the fans show me so much love. So, hopefully I didn't disappoint. And if they see me again, I guarantee you, just like my second time on Survivor, I'll get to the end. Promise.
James: I think for me it's... you can't underestimate the underdog. I said it in the episode last night. I hope that people who watch, whoever doubted themselves, realize that if you really dig deep and realize the stuff that you've dealt with in your life, the adversities that you've overcome, that actually gives you the inner strength to face life challenges head-on. And so I hope that people who watched and were really connected to my journey on the show can have a little glimmer of hope that moving forward in life. You can do anything you put your mind to. You just got to believe it and find that within you. So, just never underestimate the underdog. And no matter what situation you find yourself in, you can find a way out of it.