Big Brother Stars Talk the Challenge: USA, What It Would Mean To Win, & More!

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It's finally here!

The Challenge: USA Season 1 Episode 1 premieres on CBS tonight (July 6) at 09:30 P.M.

TV Fanatic got to speak to some of the cast members ahead of the highly-anticipated premiere.

Alyssa, Xavier, Azah Split - The Challenge: USA

We caught up with Azah Awasum, Alyssa Lopez, Tiffany Mitchell, Enzo Palumbo, Xavier Prather, and Kyland Young about their participation in the inaugural season of The Challenge: USA.

Prather won Big Brother Season 23 last summer, and he was nervous about being seen as a target when he walked into The Challenge house.

"I was the only Big Brother winner that appeared on The Challenge: USA," Prather said, noting that there were winners of the other shows (Survivor, The Amazing Race, & Love Island) in the house.

Xavier Prather on Challenge USA - The Challenge: USA

"Even though there were other winners there, given that I'm the only winner from Big Brother and Big Brother has the majority of people from one show in a house. I was like, 'oh man, I might be in trouble here.'"

For some of the Big Brother houseguests, deciding to return to reality TV wasn't easy.

Alyssa and Azah both turned the series down initially.

"The thought of being on TV again was a little nerve-wracking for me. And then I did some pros and cons when they reached back out again. And I just felt like this is a really great opportunity and to kind of prove myself more as a competitor," Lopez shared. 

Alyssa Lopez on Challenge USA - The Challenge: USA

Azah revealed that the call initially came out in October, just one month after Big Brother wrapped, and that she declined because she wasn't healed from that experience.

Fortunately, production reached out five months later, and the timing was everything.

"At the time, I was considering leaving my job, and I had healed from Big Brother."

I wanted to do something new, so I decided just to go on a whim and decided to sign up for the show, literally seven days before we departed for Argentina."

Azah Awasum for Challenge USA - The Challenge: USA

For Tiffany, it was easy to sign on to appear on the series.

"Oh my gosh, when I got the request and the offer, I was like, "absolutely. Sure, I'm up for it."

Kyland knew there were some things he would be interested in following Big Brother, and The Challenge was one of them.

He proved to be a strong competitor on Big Brother, winning the most competitions on Season 23.

Tiffany Mitchell for Challenge USA - The Challenge: USA

"Finding a show that's all about the competition was something that was really exciting to me right away," he shared.

However, Kyland didn't know what the show was before he was on Big Brother. It was other houseguests talking about it that made him check it out.

"I started watching it and just consumed season after season, and fell in love with that in a similar way that I was in love with Big Brother and was just hopeful for the call."

Enzo, who starred in Big Brother Season 12 and 22, revealed that he wanted to add "another hall of fame show" to his resume.

Kyland Young for Challenge USA - The Challenge: USA

Having played Big Brother, he was interested in both The Challenge and Survivor, so he felt like this new series was the best of both worlds.

Going into the house, there were several connections already established by Big Brother.

Xavier, Azah, Tiffany, Alyssa, Derek Xiao, and Kyland played in the same season of Big Brother.

For Azah, she found these connections both a "blessing and a curse."

Kyland and Azah - The Challenge: USA Season 1 Episode 1

"On one hand, you have five other individuals that, you know, them back and forth because you've lived with them, some of them for the entire 85 days."

"On the other hand, they know you so well, they know your weaknesses, they know your flaws, they know your strengths, and they can use that to their benefit, to their advantage, to either take you out or, you know, damage your game," Awasum adds.

The only person Enzo had previously played Big Brother with was David Alexander, and they didn't have the best relationship in that season.

"I kind of snaked him on All-Stars," Palumbo says of David.

Enzo Palumbo for Challenge USA - The Challenge: USA

He said that he had to figure some things out but warned that "you could throw me on any season on any show, anywhere, and I'll figure it out."

"That's what I did."

Enzo felt like he had something to prove coming into the house at 44 years old.

"How is my body gonna hold up in this?" he said.

"I always wanna go on these shows and prove that I belong."

The First Challenge - The Challenge: USA

Tiffany played a fantastic game of Big Brother and was revealed as America's Favorite Player.

She wanted to redeem herself this season, and securing the win would mean the world.

For Alyssa, she wanted to prove that "I am not just a good physical competitor, but a strategic one as well."

"I feel like I played a little safe on Big Brother, and this time around, I just wanted to give it my all."

Making Waves - The Challenge: USA Season 1 Episode 1

Azah revealed she wanted to win Big Brother because she was such a massive fan of the series.

"I wanted to win it for myself as a fan, and I didn't get there, but I knew that if I was able to win this, it would prove to me that if I put my mind to anything, I can do it," Azah said. 

"Even if I'm not as prepared, as long as I have the determination and the heart, I can get there."

Big Brother had a 24-hour live feed that watched the contestants' every move. Tiffany said The Challenge was "a little more peaceful or comforting to know that someone's not seeing your every move."

However, Mitchell says that you still don't know what's being recorded and what will be used in the edit of The Challenge.

"It's still a little unnerving because you're still being watched. You're being watched regardless that paranoia just does live in your mind," she shared.

Check out the trailer below for The Challenge: USA.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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