Welcome back to American Grit, the FOX reality competition show hosted by John Cena. We definitely explained all the rules and how everything works last week, so click on that if you missed the series premiere recap.
Last week we said goodbye to one of the worst people ever, Chris, but Maria is still around, so our work is far from done here. Let's see how things work out this week, as the temperature drops and things get ... grittier. Maybe. Who knows.
As we begin, Team Noah looks to be in the catbird seat and Team Tee is a man down. I wonder what happens if a team loses all their people while the three other teams still have people. Probably a redistribution of participants. That's pretty standard reality show stuff.
Right off the bat, we meet up with someone we didn't get to know last time, Kjoy, a 38-year-old yogi. She's on Team Nick and she got frostbite on her foot during the very first evolution! Whoops!
She's hoping the second evolution doesn't involve running. But she says being a yogi involves mental toughness and she's the toughest person here.
Jim is over on the couch, doing some fully-clothed foam rolling, which is somehow a lot more disturbing than normal foam rolling.
We also meet Mario, 24, a triathlete on Team Rorke. He's not here to talk, he's here to compete, so he's glad Chris is gone.
Hey, time for the second evolution! They're out by a lake, but before they go any further, John Cena calls Cam out for a bro hug. Cam says the John Cena hug feels like hugging a huge boulder. Wrestlers gotta stick together.
Tee has some words of advice for everyone after last week: don't let your cockiness rule you. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Today's evolution is based on Navy SEAL training. They have to make their way through an obstacle course, then paddle a raft across a freezing river, then find a third paddle and get across the finish line. Once again, the teams meet up to go over a game plan.
Kjoy (whose name is pronounced "K-Joy") is limping really badly, so Nick tells her she'll be sitting out this evolution, which you can apparently do.
We meet Clare, who is on Team Noah. She's a 47-year-old fisherman from Alaska, which is probably a good background to have in this ice-boat competition.
Rorke thinks this race will be won on the river and that people think paddling a boat is about power, but it's really about rhythm and efficiency. He favors the rhythm method, in other words.
We meet Brooke, on Team Tee, who is a 25-year-old obstacle course racer. Oh, never mind, THAT is a good background to have for this entire dang show. Wasn't aware that could be a profession.
Oh never mind again, because Team Tee falls behind right away because Brooke can't get over the first wall. Team Rorke is the first to get their boat in the water. Over on Team Nick, Maria takes a disgusting fall back over the wall, which is her second bad fall in as many episodes.
Goldie says the water is freezing cold and she's "feeling all kinda stuff in my lady parts" due to the water getting in the boat. Oh, heavens. Team Tee continues to be terrible at everything, just going in circles and arguing with each other. They're wayyyyy behind.
Noah's team is once again way out in front, thanks mostly to Clare, who is keeping everyone together. On the other side of the river, the teams have to get a key out of a block of ice to unlock the case with the third and final paddle inside. Team Noah, mostly behind Mark the lumberjack, bashes apart the ice with rocks and gets the key, then sets off on the return voyage before any of the other teams have even made it to the sore.
Nick yells at his team that they don't HAVE to unlock the paddle, so he instructs his team to put the 100-pound case back in the boat and head out. Tee, meanwhile, with her team in last place, instructs HER team, which only has three people on it, that they can't afford to add ANOTHER HUNDRED POUNDS, so they take the time to chip apart the ice. Tee thinks this was some great teamwork.
And what do you know: Team Tee passes Team Rorke and Team Nick, but of course Team Noah wins for a second week. Team Tee comes in second, but it doesn't really matter, because they have to go to the circus again. Team Tee is pretty proud of themselves, however, and feels like they're going to come back strong.
Team Rorke came in last place and RORKE DENVER is understandably disappointed. Because they went to the circus last week, Goldie and Jim are ineligible to be selected for two in a row. Numbers would suggest that's an unsustainable rule, but that's nice for now.
Back in the barracks, someone is checking Maria's ankle and she says "ouch." The other person then asks, "Good ouch or bad ouch?" Good ouch? Bruh. Maria says her ankle feels "unwalkable." But is it the eppa-toam of unwalkable, Maria? She starts crying and says she'd rather be home with her kids, anyway. But she doesn't want to ring out. Cam rightfully points out that she's the worst, because she is.
Point of clarification: I'm not happy that Maria is injured, and I hope she's okay. She's still the worst.
RORKE DENVER takes his team out to the woods to give them a pep talk and he says all he wants is for them to give it everything they have and hold nothing back. Ashley, AKA "Haze," 30, says RORKE DENVER reminds her of her dad, who was a Marine.
John Cena sits down for a chat with Team Noah, because they look unstoppable right now and John Cena digs winners.
Team Tee is all fighting for the right to go to the circus. Tee is so happy with how they're all coming together.
Team Nick is basically forced to send Cam to go to the circus, because Maria and Kjoy are injured and Jim is ineligible. Sorry, Cam. Hope you don't go home this week. Kjoy says she wants to go and Nick tries to remind his team that pain is only temporary. Well, sometimes!
Time to find out who's going to the circus! Tee is sending Brooke. Brooke says she's ready, because six years ago, she broke both hands and didn't have the use of either hand for about two years. HOLY SHIT WHAT. She didn't give up then and she's for sure not going to give up now. WAIT BACK UP DON'T GLOSS OVER THAT WE NEED THAT STORY.
RORKE DENVER is sending Haze, who is "uniquely prepared" for this circus. Hmmmm. Nick says he doesn't believe that he's hamstrung by injuries and says this reminds him of a friend who got shot in the face and still managed to kill the other guy and get to safety. JESUS CHRIST NICK STOP HAVING THIS SHOW REMIND YOU OF THE WORST THINGS THAT HAVE EVER HAPPENED. He's sending Kjoy! Hey! Good job, Cam!
The teams chat with one another at the barracks the night before the circus. Haze is also an obstacle racer so she's interested to see what Brooke, AKA "Beast Mode Barbie" has.
John Cena takes the circus combatants on his traditional walk in the woods. Thank Christ, Brooke elaborates on her backstory. She was in a head-on collision and the airbag shattered both her hands. She couldn't use them for two full years. She had to have her dad help her out the whole time, including him having to bathe his grown, adult daughter. She's mentally prepared for this and gets a John Cena hug.
Haze and Kjoy are both confident in themselves, but come on, we're all rooting for Brooke now.
This circus is completely different than last week's! I expected it to be the same obstacle course with a different final challenge. On John Cena's mark, they will do 10 burpees. Then they will have to submerge themselves head to toe in ice water. They will repeat: submerge, exercise, until one person rings out.
Oh, they have to do the obstacle course first still. I was right. The people who finish first get to rest, because the endurance bit doesn't start until all three people make the platform. So basically, Haze and Brooke will get to rest a bunch before Kjoy finishes.
Haze takes an early lead, but Kjoy isn't THAT far behind her and Brooke. Someone yells at someone "NO POINTS FOR SECOND PLACE," but this is a course where that is patently untrue. Haze is first to the platform, so she gets the longest break. Kjoy arrives and has to start her burpees first. Oh, she has to do one set of burpees and ice water alone, then Brooke joins for the second set, THEN Haze joins for the third set. So first place really was a pretty good benefit. Stop making me immediately wrong about shit, American Grit.
Whoa, damn, during Round 9, Brooke starts falling behind. Then she just straight-up passes out.
Medics gather around and Brooke is just totally out. They finally determine she's awake and they bring out a gurney for her and wrap her in blankets. RORKE DENVER says he sees this all the time in SEAL training and this is just what happens when you body hits the wall. Teammate Tony starts crying really hard, but he's proud of her because she never gave up.
John Cena lets people know that Brooke is going to be okay, but she's being taken to the hospital purely as a precaution. Tony will be going with her. Cena says what they saw here today was nothing short of heroic. He says this is what people look for when they put someone in a military uniform. Brooke's teammates ring out for her (despite them saying in episode one that no one can ring out for you). What a bummer of a way to go out.
No matter what happens in the rest of the season, I'm going to consider Brooke the winner, because she never actually got eliminated. BROOKEAMANIA.