Her showmance days are over. Big Brother 23 alum Alyssa Lopez was focused on winning when she signed on to compete in The Challenge: USA, the new CBS iteration of the MTV franchise.
The MollieBird swimwear designer, 25, opened up about how she went into this new game with a different mindset than last summer.
“Going in [to Big Brother], I was open to anything,” she exclusively tells Us Weekly in an interview, which you can watch above. “And I think that’s what messed me up a lot too. I wasn’t going in [where] my only priority was winning. My priority was have fun too. I feel like The Challenge is gonna be a totally different Alyssa people are gonna see, where nonstop my brain was moving. And the only thing my brain was thinking about was the game.”
The Florida native is of course referring to her short-lived relationship with ex Christian Birkenberger, with whom she’s still good friends. “I already did the showmance thing,” she tells Us. “That is expired for me. The only attractive thing [on The Challenge] was the cash prize.”
Five people from her season of BB23 – Xavier Prather, Azah Awasum, Derek Xiao, Kyland Young and Tiffany Mitchell – are competing alongside her, so sticking together, at least at first, was “probably the easiest thing to do,” she says. Still, things could get tricky.
“I definitely have all of these friendships. [Xavier] was the person I was closest with in the Big Brother house and outside the Big Brother house,” Alyssa explains. “It’s a weird balance going in because you have these friendships and these connections, and you were also just lied to by them just six months ago. … It was a very weird feeling having your best friends there but also your best friends who just lied to you. You don’t want to get got again.”
She may not need to worry though, as host T.J. Lavin has already alluded to Alyssa being a fierce competitor. “Going in and seeing these buff women that are just so intimidating, I just have little string bean me, not really super built,” she says. “But I felt like I definitely had the strength for my body weight. I had the endurance down. Puzzles, still not my thing, guys. I tried to practice as much as I could. I was really practicing my mental math.”
“I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to do very well,” Alyssa adds, saying her plan was “not having regrets” in addition to “going in and playing hard. Playing smart but playing hard.”
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The Challenge: USA premieres on CBS Wednesday, July 6, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
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