‘The Challenge’ Alum Is Still Bruised From Grueling Elimination Match

TJ Lavin on "The Challenge: USA season 2."

CBS TJ Lavin on "The Challenge: USA season 2."

Two contestants on “The Challenge: USA” season 2 battled in an elimination match for hours. And according to one of them, they’re both still bruised months later.

This article contains spoilers for “USA 2” through episode 8 which aired on September 7.

Former “Big Brother” runner-ups Tyler Crispen and Monte Taylor met each other in the “Arena” on Thursday night. Crispen had been nominated for elimination by daily challenge winners John “Johnny Bananas” Devenanzio and Tori Deal alongside his showmance, Alyssa Snider.

When Taylor arrived at the elimination grounds with the cast, host TJ Lavin revealed he had received the most balls destined for the “Hopper.” The machine then spat out a ball with Taylor’s name on it, setting up the match between the two allies.

They played in “Too Cool For Spool,” a loser-go-home challenge that had the players stacking balls into a pyramid on top of a spool. The kicker was that the spool began to spin every time they went to retrieve balls, and ultimately when they made way for the buzzer.

Each man successfully built their pyramid several times, but getting to the buzzer while keeping the balls intact proved to be a difficult task. They were in a harness attached to a rope that pulled on the spool, which not only kept the spool unsteady, but the resistance kept the players’ muscles engaged.

Their pyramids came crashing down over and over again, and it wasn’t until they nearly hit the three-minute mark that Crispen got the job done. Taylor was sent home as the fourth male eliminated.

Taylor spoke with Parade about his first “Challenge” elimination in an article posted on September 8. “Me and Tyler both still have bruises on our hips from the harness that was pulling. It was just so grueling, and three hours is understated; it felt like way longer than that. But yeah, it was a crazy challenge.

“It required a lot of patience, a lot of persistence, and just a lot of faith that, at some point, they would stay up and you wouldn’t knock them over. But I’m definitely proud of the way things ended, and I’m glad they just ended.”

Monte Taylor Said There Was No Way to Prepare for His Elimination Match

Taylor, who came in second on “Big Brother 24,” admitted to Parade that he wasn’t the biggest “Challenge” fan before he got the call to compete on “USA 2.”

Apprehensive at first, Taylor decided to join the cast after he learned two other “Big Brother 24” houseguests — Snider and Ameerah Jones — were crossing over to the reality competition show as well.

That prompted him to binge-watch several “Challenge” episodes ahead of his franchise debut. But, even all of his studying didn’t prepare him for the grueling nature of “Too Cool For Spool.”

“I just kind of study certain seasons to get prepared,” Taylor said. “So, I think I had seen a decent amount of eliminations before, but there’s no way to expect or prepare for that. It was grueling.”

Monte Taylor & Tyler Crispen Played Together the Whole Time

Even though they weren’t from the same season, Crispen placed second on “Big Brother 20,” Taylor and Crispen were steadfast allies. They were both part of the “Green” team from the get-go through to the individual part of the CBS spin-off.

According to Taylor, they had such a good relationship that they cheered each other on during their elimination match.

“I think it was conflicting because you’re going against your closest ally in the house,” Taylor said. “So it’s like, ‘Damn, I want to win. But at the same time, I’m gonna be conflicted afterward, just knowing that I eliminated my closest friend.’

“But at the same time, it kind of helped. Because, I don’t know if you noticed, but during the elimination, we were kind of encouraging each other the entire time. We’re like, ‘Dude, come on. Finish strong, don’t give up.’ All that sort of stuck because we both wanted one of us to finish.”

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