Television

Love Island Stars Talk Being Underestimated on The Challenge: USA & More!

The Challenge: USA brings the worlds of Love Island, Big Brother, Survivor, and The Amazing Race together.

TV Fanatic got a chance to talk to Love Island stars Justine Ndiba, Cashay Proudfoot, and Shannon St. Clair ahead of the series premiere of the new CBS series.

Justine won the second season of Love Island, and says that The Challenge: USA was a very different experience, but she was excited to sign up.

“I grew up watching it [The Challenge], and I’ve always like played sports growing up, so I always felt like it’s something I would do, honestly,” Justine shares. 

“I felt like I would end up on a show like The Challenge before a show like Love Island, so it actually ended up working out really great.”

Cashay echoed Justine’s sentiments about the two series being very different.

“I’ve always been interested in sports. I played lacrosse in school. I cheered, I ran track,” the star shared.

Cashay dislocated her knees last fall and felt like the fitness aspect of her life would be affected.

“I still work out, but I just didn’t know if my knees could handle doing a show like that.”

“My dream was never to go on The Challenge, but I just thought it’d be a really good way to push myself, see where I stand physically,” Proudfoot added.

Shannon St. Clair appeared on Love Island Season 3, and it felt like The Challenge: USA would be a rewarding experience.

“I really wanted to, like, push my limits and see how far I could go with it,” she shared.

Shannon said moving from Love Island to a more competitive show was daunting.

“It was very daunting to think like that. We were in a beautiful Villa in Hawaii, making out with each other.”

“Those were our challenges,” Shannon said with a laugh.

“And then, you know, The Challenge is very physical, cutthroat, and scary. So I was very nervous about the different dynamics.”

Shannon was grateful to have some familiar faces from Love Island on the cast.

“I honestly don’t know going into it what I would’ve done If I didn’t have them there, they make me feel comfortable, and I’m able to trust them.”

Justine opened up about how physically demanding the show was.

“What’s so crazy is I’ve obviously watched the show before I was a fan, so I knew what to expect going into it, but then getting to live it and do all of those things, I was very much even more shocked because I was like, “oh, I could handle it.” And then you’re thrown in there, and you’re like, ‘oh, so they weren’t kidding. Like, this is serious.'”

“You’re really like, you’re like hanging in the balance, which is really thrilling, and scary, but very exciting,” Justine shared.

“But yeah, it’s very, very different from Love Island. You know, I was lounging on a beach and, like by the water, flirting and making out. So definitely a very, very big change!”

I asked Justine if she felt like she would be targeted early on because she was going into the game as a winner.

“I wasn’t necessarily nervous that I would be at target, just because I know that Love Island contestants went into it super underestimated, and so I just think people would probably wanna take a lot of love Islanders to like the end and stuff because they know they would probably be able to beat us, which was great for us because I think we were so underestimated.

“I know what I bring to the table, so I was just excited.”

“It would mean the world to win,” Justine adds.

“First of all, it would be great to have two reality TV wins under my belt. It would just be so huge for my family. Everything that I do, you know, career-wise on, you know, reality TV, is for them.”

“That money would just be really, really great to support my family and help them out in so many different ways,” Justine concluded.

Shannon wants to win because she thinks people underestimate her.

“I think it would be crazy if I won The Challenge: USA because I’m five one. I’m very tiny. And nobody looks at me and thinks that’s something that I would be able to do,” Shannon shared. 

“So if I were to be able to do that, especially as a woman, that would be an insane accomplishment.”

Cashay revealed that she doesn’t see herself signing on for any other reality TV shows in the future, but she believes The Challenge: USA could be a returnable format.

“I really want to focus on acting,” Proudfoot tells TV Fanatic.

Justine would be interested in appearing on The Amazing Race with her Love Island co-star and best friend, Cely Velazquez.

Shannon wouldn’t be interested in Survivor, but Big Brother is a “maybe.”

Be sure to tune in for The Challenge: USA on CBS.

Return to TV Fanatic for a full review after it airs and a post-mortem interview with the first eliminees tomorrow.

Check out the trailer for The Challenge: USA below.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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