The Challenge: USA final was one for the books. While the flagship Challenge has featured numerous, difficult finals, the majority of the finalists on The Challenge: USA couldn’t get it done. In the end, Sarah Lacina and Danny McCray walked away with the win after being the only two to cross the finish line. During a conversation with PopCulture.com after the finale aired, Sarah and Danny not only opened up about that difficult final, but they also addressed some of the more interesting takes that their competitors had about how everything played out.
The final presented so many issues for the competitors that all but two ended up tapping out during the course of it. Sarah and Danny may have outlasted them all, but the final still got to them at certain points. As Sarah explained, the situation was “horrific” and she “absolutely thought about quitting.” But, when it really came down to it, she pushed through in order to set a good example for her eight-year-old son. The Survivor: Game Changers winner said, ” He plays baseball. If he goes out there and it’s cold out and he watches us and he is like, ‘Mom, why’d you stop?’ How do you explain that to him? Oh, because I was cold buddy. I was tired. I was hungry. But he’s like, ‘Hey, I don’t want to go to practice.’ Why? ‘Well, because it’s raining and it’s cold.’ Well, so what? He’ll be like, ‘Well, you didn’t do it.’ And I can’t set that example and I don’t want to live with that repercussion either of knowing or regretting quitting.”
As for Danny, he pushed through, especially in the last leg of the final, all while knowing that Tyson Apostol was on his tail. So, he didn’t have the chance to consider tapping out. Still, he did have times when he question whether he should have signed up for the experience in the first place. He explained, “It was super hard. I did question, what am I doing here? A few times. I’m happy at home. I got a good life. I’m okay … You watch it on TV all the time and you question yourself, say, hey, I think I could do that. Or you’re sitting on the couch saying, I think I’m better than that person. And then you actually get on there and you accomplish it and you win. Best feeling I’ve had in a long time.”
Throughout much of the season, Sarah had a dicey relationship with fellow Survivor winner Tyson. Following the finale, Tyson addressed several discrepancies that took place during it on his podcast on The Ringer network. He and his co-host even discussed that there appeared to be some interesting editing going on surrounding Sarah when it came to the last two puzzles in the final, with Tyson sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see that she allegedly did not finish one of the puzzles while he was disqualified in a latter portion for doing the same. When PopCulture.com asked Sarah about this, she didn’t mince words as she admitted her frustration over her rival’s comments.
“It’s [par] for the course for Tyson. It is. I voted him out twice in Survivor. Dom and I overruled him on the Alyssa vote-in. The guy just cannot … he can’t stand to see me succeed,” Sarah said. She went on to call it a “shame” and added that it’s particularly frustrating to hear about him questioning the “integrity” of what went down during the final. Nonetheless, both Sarah and Danny earned their wins and, in addition to walking away with the grand prize, they secured their spots in the upcoming Challenge: World Championship spinoff that will air on Paramout+. According to winners, they’re already ready for that next challenge.
“We know what the final entails. We know what the season entails. We know we can do it now,” Danny said. “So, we just need to sharpen our tools so we’re ready to go in there and compete with the best of the best.” Sarah added, “Danny and I won. So, if it’s not broke, what do you got to fix? We’re winners, we’re ready. We could go right now and kick ass. So let’s do it.”