The 8th episode of “The Challenge: USA” was the first one as an individual game after host TJ Lavin announced that the algorithm would not be used moving foward. He also revealed that the first week would be a men’s elimination.
“The Amazing Race” star Leo Temory performed very well in the challenge but just missed out on first place, which went to Ben Driebergen, while Enzo Palumbo came in last. Unfortunately for Leo, his alliances weren’t strong enough to keep him out of elimination and he was thrown into the arena for a Hall Brawl. Enzo defeated Leo in two rounds and kept his place in the house while Leo told producers he didn’t want to go back out for TJ’s final words.
After the episode aired, Leo shared that he didn’t return to the arena was because he wasn’t able to stand and needed to go to the hospital. “That’s why I was sitting,” he explained in an interview with TV Insider. “And that’s why I say there’s no point of going inside because the ambulance had just got there. I had to go get myself checked out, and I got a concussion.” Leo added:
If you notice, I had four different outfits in those interviews because I didn’t get to do my exit interview. So that clip of me calling everyone a snake was when me and Sarah were blindsided on Episode 5, they put that in there and made it seem like [it was said in that moment]. TV magic.
I would’ve loved to have gone back out there and shook, if not anyone, TJ’s hand because he’s such a great guy. I would’ve not done that to him.
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Leo Asserted That He Believes He Actually Won the Challenge & Not Ben
In the same interview, Leo claimed that he, not Ben, actually won the challenge but that production wanted Ben to win cause it worked better for his storyline. “I won the daily, OK? 100 percent, I won,” Leo said. “I was sprinting. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I swear, I won that challenge. Hands down, I won it… There was a big storyline that made more sense for TV, but it happened at the cost of me being sent to the hospital. So that’s why I’m not scared to say it.”
He also lashed out at production in comments on “The Challenge” Instagram page, writing in one, “s***head Justin Booth gave [Ben] the win because of the story. I beat everyone by more than 10 secs. That’s what I was told.” In another, he said, “I wanted to go back out. The medics wouldn’t let me and took me to the hospital. I suffered a concussion and the clips they played was from 2 episodes ago. And I wanted to quit because producers be acting a foo and changing what was in my contracts. F THAT.”
Later in the TV Insider interview, Leo reiterated his belief that he lost the challenge “because of a certain storyline.” He then slammed Ben for putting him into the elimination and called him “spineless.” The “Amazing Race” alum continued, “for Ben to throw me in there, it’s just pathetic.”
Leo Shaded Ben & Said Some of the Competitors on the Show Were ‘Scared’ of Him
Leo made his feelings about Ben clear during the interview and even shared that “People were scared of him, not game-wise.” He explained:
They said he was a loose cannon and people were moving beds, people calling security, because they didn’t want to be near him. He’s punching walls.
Leo shared that he didn’t do that and actually had Ben’s back so it hurt to have the “Survivor” winner throw him into elimination. “These people, I swear, they’re ruthless,” he told TV Insider. “They’ll sell their kids if they have to.”
Leo’s not the first person who’s made the claim that security was brought in because people felt unsafe. In their exit interviews earlier in the season, Shannon St. Clair and Derek Xiao revealed that there was a “scary” vibe in the house after episode 5, when Tyson Apostol and Cashay Proudfoot threw Sarah Lacina and Leo into elimination. “We had a literal personal security guard- not one of us, like an actual security guard sleeping with us that night for 24-7 watch, inside the compound,” Derek shared, saying that some people were “scared.”
Shannon added, “Ben was pacing back and forth. I thought if I talked to him, he was gonna throw a punch,” she joked. “I love Ben. I think he’s the best person ever. I just think tensions were running high, and they wanted a precaution.”