Danny and Sarah from USA on Tyson’s victory and departure

survivor alum Danny McCray as well as Sarah Lachina were the first winners Challenge: USA on Wednesday, September 14, after what looked like a grueling final test and certainly a shocking conclusion to an MTV spin-off series.

The former NFL player, 34, and cop, 38, were still reeling from their victories when Us weekly spoke to them the morning after the episode aired.

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness, I woke up pretty happy this morning,” Sarah says. Usand Danny added, “Mom bought me a bottle of champagne last night. This is how happy we are. We are still here celebrating. She’s excited and as long as I see my family happy, I’m fine.”

Danny McCray and Sarah Lachina Laura Barisonzi, courtesy of Paramount (2)

The duo spoke about their reaction to Tyson Apostleguy survivor winner, coming out of the final challenge, in addition to Domenic Abbate, Justine Ndiba as well as Kayla Platt – all of whom couldn’t solve a Sudoku puzzle without instructions.

“When they said everyone was leaving, I was like, ‘Not Tyson. And they’re like, “Yes, Tyson is gone.” I’m like, “No, he didn’t,” Sarah says. “Tyson would not leave. And, so yeah, I didn’t realize it until we were done and I talked to him and we got the story from everyone.”

Danny was also “very surprised” that the Utah native pulled out “because we all knew what kind of opponent he was,” the player explains. “He is an endurance athlete. I just assumed that no matter what, he would still finish. But then when you look back, you realize how cold it was. You see that he is not wearing gloves and you know how difficult Sudoku is where if you get one part wrong you have to start the whole puzzle over again. So now you have to process, “Hey dude, I can be here for another 35, 45 minutes.” Can I catch a cold or is it worth it? It just wasn’t worth it for some.”

Danny McCray Winners & Finalists The Challenge USA Exit Interviews
Jonna Roris, courtesy of Paramount

There was some confusion, at least for viewers, as to which stages of the finale could be “skipped” and which had to be completed. While the four eliminations were not given a timeout on the Sudoku puzzle, Justine and Sarah had a timeout in the previous stages.

“I don’t think there’s been any confusion about the timeout,” Sara counters. “At least I wasn’t confused. After bathing House and Angela [Rummans] did not complete this puzzle and they were made because they were the last ones. So, you know, technically they’re out of that time, I guess. Then Kayla finishes the next one, and Justine stops on her own. As for Angela, who misses her night flight, the sign reads, “You must unlock these bags to proceed to the next stage.” And so, unless you move all your dirt and get the code, you can’t open the bags. So how would you go to the next stage? So, I mean, the rules were written right there. And then when I was over my puzzle that timed out, it didn’t say it had timed out, but I wasn’t about to leave.”

She continues: “They had to drag me down the mountain. I would stay there until midnight trying to make it. As Danny just mentioned there in Sudoku, I’m sure there was a timeout, but they stopped doing it. The difference was that I never stopped building my puzzle. I could be there two hours before I ran out of time. So, to say there was no timeout in Sudoku, I mean they were all out before I even got there. So they weren’t there for very long. They made the choice to stop. Production didn’t say, “It’s all set.”

Sarah Lachina Challenge

Sarah Lachina Jonna Roris, courtesy of Paramount

Sarah hasn’t been Tyson and Angela’s biggest fan all season long and nothing seems to have changed. “Tyson says I have to do it all over again: “To hell with it.” Well, “F that” can be translated as “I’m done.” I’m over it.’ Angela enters the tent and her words were, “I’m leaving.” I’m sure Kayla wanted to quit or refuse food and just eat the last one, but she didn’t. She could not. I’m sure Enzo [Palumbo] as well as desi [Williams] too bad they couldn’t just give up swimming and take last place. It’s not an option.”

As for how they are preparing for the upcoming “World Cup”, which is taking TJ Lavigne keeps teasing, Danny says Us“I plan to swim more. I want to be able to use my energy properly. So I’m not dead tired after I’ve finished.”

Sarah says: “Swimming and getting to know some other puzzles. In addition, I exercise quite regularly, so I feel good.”

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