‘Big Brother’ Star Enzo Talks Being ‘Terrified’ on ‘The Challenge: USA’

Enzo Palumbo

Getty Enzo Palumbo

Two-time “Big Brother” contestant Vincenzo “Enzo” Palumbo is one of 28 reality TV stars featured on “The Challenge: USA.” The popular competition show will debut on CBS on July 6th.

Enzo, known by “Big Brother” fans as “The Meow Meow,” was featured on the 12th and 22nd seasons of the show in 2010 and 2020, respectively. He placed third in his first showing and when he returned for the “All-Stars” season, Enzo made it all the way to the end. He ultimately came up short, however, being crowned as the runner-up behind Cody Calafiore.

Enzo spoke with Heavy’s Stephen McCaugherty ahead of “The Challenge: USA” premiere. They covered several topics, from Enzo’s knowledge of the show prior to being cast, his relationship with the other “Big Brother” players going into the game and much more.

You can watch the full interview via the YouTube video embedded below:


Big Brother's Enzo Was 'TERRIFIED' on The Challenge: USA, Talks TJ Lavin Throwing 'Shade'Stephen McCaugherty spoke with two-time "Big Brother" contestant Enzo Palumbo for Heavy.com about being cast on "The Challenge: USA." "The Challenge: USA" premieres on CBS on July 6. Timestamps: (00:00) – Intro (00:26) – Enzo had some hesitations about doing The Challenge: USA (01:50) – What kind of training he did before going the show…2022-06-25T18:00:12Z

When asked how much he knew about “The Challenge” before signing onto the show, Enzo revealed that his brother is a big fan. Because of that, along with The Meow Meow wanting to try something new in the reality TV space, he agreed to join the cast.

“I’ve always known my brother is a big ‘Challenge’ guy. He always watches it,” Enzo said. “And he was like, ‘Yo, you should do ‘The Challenge’ if you ever get a chance. If they call you for that, do it.’

“So, I always had my eye on it. I never really watched it. But you know, I know the show, the premise of it, and I just wanted to do something different. You know, I’m like, it’s another great show that’s out there. To me, it’s that, ‘Survivor,’ ‘Big Brother.’ Those are like the Hall of Fame shows for me. So, why not do another one, man?”

Enzo’s decision wasn’t without hesitation, however. He was aware of the extreme nature of “The Challenge,” a show where contestants are frequently hanging from heights, jumping out of helicopters and wrestling in the mud — a far cry from “Big Brother” competitions.

Further, Enzo has always been known for his social game, something that’s gotten him close to the $500,000 “Big Brother” grand prize twice. But in “The Challenge,” relying just on a social game can only get someone so far.

“There was definitely hesitation,” Enzo said. “I’m like, look, I don’t know what I’m signing myself up for. ‘Big Brother’ to me is very methodical. It’s very social. So, I get away with a lot there. Here I’m like, at one point or another it’s gonna have to get physical.

“So, do I want to do it? I’m 44 years old. I’m like, look if I’m gonna do it, it’s got to be now then.”


Enzo Was ‘Terrified’ on ‘The Challenge: USA,’ Said Every Challenge ‘Was Just Enough to Almost Kill You’

Enzo went on to further explain the difference between playing “Big Brother” and “The Challenge.” And in short, “Big Brother” was a much less terrifying experience for The Meow Meow.

“‘Big Brother,’ I was excited for the competitions,” Enzo said. “I was like, I can’t wait to see what they got next. On ‘The Challenge,’ I was terrified. I was like, what are they gonna do now? It was almost like every challenge was just enough to almost kill you. Not kill you, but almost.

“So, that was the difference for me. I was like, yo, what are we doing today? Like, what are we getting? Are they going to throw us out of a plane?

“That was always seeping in your head. So, I was terrified. I mean, look, it was fun, but it was scary. It was scary as hell, man.”


Enzo Had ‘Nobody’ Walking Into ‘The Challenge’ House

Big Brother on The Challenge

CBS“Big Brother” players on “The Challenge: USA”

Although there were nine former “Big Brother” contestants cast on “The Challenge: USA,” Enzo felt like he had “nobody” walking into the house. Enzo had even played with David Alexander during “All-Stars,” but because The Meow Meow voted him out of the game, he wasn’t sure where he stood with the two-time “Big Brother” star.

But, as mentioned before, Enzo has a sound social game. And he leaned on that to navigate his way through, especially considering six of the nine “Big Brother” alumni were all from season 23.

“When I walked in, I was like, I ain’t got nobody in here,” Enzo said. “I don’t know these people. I’ve never met him.

“Six or seven were on the same season just a year prior, or a couple of months prior to this. So I’m like, are they tight? Are they gonna stick together? So, I’m on the outs of that, you know, but I always believe in me. I feel like I can always adapt to anyone, anywhere, any gameshow, any people you throw at me, no matter what race, creed, religion. I will adapt to that, to those people with my social game.

“I know Angela (Rummans) was on a different season. So, I felt like I had to get close with her at some point. But, if there was cracks in that whole ‘Cookout’ or whatever alliance they brought in, I got to try to find a way to finagle through that.

“So, that was my thing. I was gonna play it cool.  Like look, I’m with ‘BB.’ Plus, we got a lot of numbers right now. So, I’m with you guys. But if I could try to cause a fracture somewhere I’m gonna do it.”

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