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Wednesday’s episode of The Challenge: USA followed what seems to be a trend for the season, as viewers witnessed another pair of Big Brother and Love Island players meet their fate in The Arena. 

This week, we said goodbye to Kyland Young and Kyra Green, both of whom proved to be some of this season’s most formidable players. It wasn’t hard to imagine seeing either Young or Green compete in this season’s final, but unfortunately a trivia question about the number of divorces Madonna has had was enough to take the pair out of the competition.

Their elimination came at the hands of Domenick Abbate and Cayla Platt, who both earned their first daily win of the season in this week’s challenge, ‘Wreck-Reational Driving.’ Although this competition didn’t play out in all its glory due to several disqualifications, it was surely one of the most inventive and entertaining challenges we’ve seen on The Challenge in a very long time.

Pop Crave caught up with Kyland and Kyra to discuss their elimination, social dynamics in the game, as well as who they had in their plans to run a final with. Keep reading for the full exit interview!

Courtesy of Jonne Roriz/Paramount

In last night’s episode, we saw quite a bit of Angela campaigning to avoid going into elimination. Besides Kyland’s conversation between Domenick and Cayla, what was your pitch to stay in the game, and how likely did you think you’d be the pair thrown in?

Kyra: I think once we were done with the daily challenge, Kyland pretty much told me we’re going in. I think just because he threw them in, they automatically were like, “It’s y’all.” I actually had a couple of conversations with them, but I knew whatever I said or did was not going to change it. I was honestly okay going in because I didn’t have money yet. Having a strong partner like Kyland, I was ready to go in and win that money to make it to the final.

For the most part, we’ve seen Big Brother and Love Island players consistently eliminated each week. Prior to this week, how did each of you shift your social strategy as numbers within your shows dwindled?

Kyland: I mean, I think for everybody, it’s different. I wasn’t working with the show lines. Some people, for them, their game, and their relationships, it just made sense for them to work with the show lines. For me, it didn’t, because the relationships I had started building from the time in the house, so I had a cross-show alliance… with Angela, Tyson, and Justine. We already had this money team alliance formed in week one. That was the alliance that I was looking out for the most. That [alliance] plus Derek! Derek’s my boy.

Kyland, after throwing you into elimination, Cayla mentioned that you would have individual conversations with everyone in the game but her. Was there any truth to that, and if so, would you consider it your downfall?

Kyland: I wouldn’t say that’s exactly true. We definitely did have some conversations. On the game side, though, with 20 people in a house, you don’t get to talk to necessarily everybody all the time, but we did chat for sure. On the game side, we realized very quickly we were on separate sides of the house once the lines started getting drawn. On a personal level, it was all good and all love, but on the game side, we just were like, “There’s not much for us to do here! Hopefully we get each other as partners sometime and can change that!” But on the game side, and also because we knew Dom was dead set on throwing me in anyway, it was like, “Let me focus on the conversations where I can gain traction!” That week, that just wasn’t one of them.

Courtesy of Jonne Roriz/Paramount

Kyra, in our interviews with Cinco and Cashel, both said they didn’t necessarily feel welcomed by the Love Island women, which made aligning with you all pretty difficult. Coming into the game, how did you specifically intend on going about your relationships with the Love Island players?

Kyra: The girls bonded way more. Honestly, that was our frustration as well. I think on our side, we felt like the guys weren’t on our team. They were kind of socializing with different people, and me and Cashay were like, “It’s because we’re their exes! Maybe they feel strained,” but I actually had one-on-one talks with Cashel pretty often. He always said he had my back, but besides that, he was just doing his thing, you know? I think it was honestly the opposite, if it’s from my perspective on how the guys were acting toward us. As far as the girls, I think a lot of people saw us as underdogs. We just kind of huddled up together because we wanted to prove them all wrong, have each other’s backs, and make it as long as possible to do exactly that: Prove everyone wrong.

Kyland, Domenick referred to you, Angela, and Tyson as a three-headed dragon, but throughout the season it felt like Tyson and Angela were mostly highlighted as a duo. What was your relationship like with them in the game, more specifically Tyson?

Kyland: Yeah, I know, right? That was unfortunate! Tyson, after his first win, we had a lot of talks like, “Yo, I feel like we’ve created a really good bond. Does that matter as far as having a say and who goes into elimination?” He’s like, “The bond feels real to me!” You never know with someone like Tyson because he’s just iconic, personable, and so charming and stuff, but then he was taking my advice there. He started even before I won. He started filling me in on his plans for the game, and then I won and we were in this official alliance! I was like, “Okay, wait, this is real!” And then afterwards, you always wonder how much am I being played by somebody, but then he has all these interviews. On his podcast, he’s like, “My number one female was Angela. That was my number one bond, then after that was Kyland.” We just had that good of a bond. The fact that they don’t show that prior to this episode, when they really show the three of us together, was unfortunate. I think having the back-to-back wins… At a certain point, I had the most money in the house – more than Tyson when he had to win it back – and it was kind of just that we had a good competitive friendship and partnership.

If you came back into the game, would either of you be willing to take a shot at a stronger player or were you wanting to take the strongest competitors to the final?

Kyra: I think everyone realized that you were going to be partnered up with someone. Especially with the opposite sex, you wanted the strongest guys toward the end. I feel like you said it before, Kyland, that it’s kind of dope to go against the people that you think are the strongest. If you really do achieve that, then that feels even better than being like, “Let me get all these people out and be conniving!” And then it’s an easy breeze, you know?

Kyland: I mean, it’s funny… That’s literally the thing I’m known for on Big Brother. I was like, “Okay, how do I get the strongest players to the end to compete against them?” No one else thought that way, and that was my downfall [laughs]! I knew they didn’t, but I thought I could make it happen. I think similar here, I was looking on the male side like, “Who are the strongest players here?” You know, we have obviously Tyson. We have some well-rounded players like Danny, and so I had the conversations with the people I wanted to work with to the end. If you are a strong player, you never want it to be the theme of, “Hey, here’s what we need to do, guys! Let’s get out the strongest players in the house!” They’re like, “Okay, cool,” and you’re like, “Wait, that’s you! Your name is on this short list!” That’s not the strategy. I’ve said before, if you look at Jordan, Terrell, or CT, they’re not trying to get the strongest players out because they know that list would easily include them.

Courtesy of Jonne Roriz/Paramount

New episodes of The Challenge: USA air Wednesday nights at 9/8c on CBS.