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'American Grit' recap: Firestarters

Can anyone stop Team Noah? Probably not!

Team Noah is now the ONLY team still at full strength, the only team to have not even seen the circus. This week's episode will be all about whether they can actually suffer a loss. Just to recap: Maria went home from team Nick last week, so they're down to three. Team RORKE DENVER is also at three people after the Machine went home two weeks ago. And Team Tee is still just at Ivette and Tony.

This week starts with Cam being asked whether his team is weaker or stronger without Maria. Cam has a very diplomatic answer and Goldie compliments him on his maturity and everyone has one last laugh about how they all agree Maria was the absolute dirt worst. Leave the memories alone.

We're on to this week's evolution, because this show only has two things that happen every week and John Cena doesn't like to screw around. This week, they have to race to run through obstacles and set up a camp, which includes having to purify water, set up shelter and make shelter. The curveball is this: some of the materials are closer, but will be harder to set up. Other materials will be easier to set up, but they are an undisclosed distance farther away. To further complicate things, each team member has been randomly selected to retrieve/perform a particular task.

The teams get together to strategize and Tee says that they have to use their speed to their advantage. Further, she says Ivette will have to push Tony, just as she did in the swimming challenge.

The teams are off and they all opt for the farthest location, which has the easiest materials. Team Tee retrieves their shelters and returns to base camp first. Team Nick completes their shelter first, however, so they're off and running. Team Noah and Team RORKE DENVER are having a lot of trouble setting up this little pup tent and Team Tee finishes second. Team RORKE DENVER finally finishes and suddenly it's Team Noah in last place.

Back on the road to get water, Tony is starting to lag big time. Clearly, being an ex-NFL player isn't great for distance running. There is a five-gallon jug of water at the closer location and each team has to fill one of their socks with sand and pebbles and charcoal and carry the water back. Team Nick runs to the farther location, which has a smaller jug of already-clean water. Team Nick is the only team that goes to that location, but Kjoy is starting to lag, so Cam wonders whether they made the right choice.

Goldie on Team RORKE DENVER is the person assigned to carry the five-gallon jug and the others can't help, so it's slow going for her. All of a sudden, Team Noah is right back in first place. They set about purifying their water. Noah says this is very similar to the process they would use in the infantry, although he declines to share some horror story about a landmine going off when someone was trying to clean some water.

Team Nick finally gets back and all they have to do is pour their water into a cup, so they're back off and running to get that fire. Noah finally finishes before Team RORKE DENVER even return to the camp. RORKE DENVER knows his team is royally screwed. Team Tee is leaving to get their fire as Team RORKE DENVER returns. RORKE DENVER chews his kids out for changing their game plan. RORKE DENVER gives them the stink-eye and John Cena says the last time he saw that look, it was from his father after he destroyed his Mickey Mantle autograph.

Back on the trail, Tony looks about ready to pass out and he finally collapses. Ivette has to pick him up and pull him down the trail. Dang, Tony. Also, dang, Ivette, but in the opposite way.

Team Nick gets the harder, closer fire challenge back to base camp while Goldie is still trying to purify water. All Team Nick has to do is make fire and they win! Luckily, the PROFESSIONAL FIREMAN has to build the fire for them. Nick manages to use a flint to get a fire started, but the fire has to be big enough to burn through a fuse. They start building their fire up as Team Noah returns to camp. And then Team Nick's fire burns through the fuse and EXPLOSIONS HAPPEN.


Team Noah loses for the first time! They're going to the circus. RORKE DENVER is far more upset than Noah, because of three straight last-place finishes in the evolution.

Back at the cabin, Cam comforts his bae Haze because she's sad at letting down father figure RORKE DENVER. At least these two lovebirds get another week together since Haze went to the circus last week and Cam's team is safe. In RORKE DENVER's team barracks, Goldie is pissed that the others are acting like this is all on her. Mario is insistent that Goldie didn't give her all and she should have kept going hard until she passed out. Goldie leaves the room and slams the sliding door so hard it comes off its track.

In the morning, Team Nick gets a nice outdoor steak and beer picnic with John Cena. Cena jokes about needing to check Cam's ID and jokes about his service being terrible. JOHN CENA: LIKABLE MAN. Cam goes to the bathroom and his mic catches him singing a little song to himself about how he's John Cena's best friend now. Cam/John is an even stronger one true pairing than Cam/Haze, in my opinion.

RORKE DENVER takes his team out to the woods and gives them a talking-to. He says there were a lot of people he couldn't stand, but he'd trust them with his life. Mario and Goldie have a private heart-to-heart and hug it out. That was nice!

Noah talks to his team and they try to prepare themselves for their first circus. Noah says he has a hard decision to make. It's finally circus selection time. Tony is forced to go from Team Tee, because Ivette went last week. Mario is RORKE DENVER's choice and goes to the circus for the first time. Noah's pick is Lisa, the marathon runner. Noah says she's the glue that holds their team together. Oh, good, yeah, send her, then.

That night, Goldie, Kjoy, Ivette and Haze come in to pump up Lisa. They call themselves the Girls of the Grit. That's pretty awesome. I like that this show has solidarity between teams, unlike every other show. Really, Maria was the only problem before this. That's my estimation.

Cena talks to the circus competitors, as is his custom. Mario says he draws inspiration from his mother and that he wants to instill dedication in children. Obviously, Cena is impressed by this.

This week's endurance portion of the circus is called Double Time. Cena will blow a horn and a timer will start. They will run down their lane to a log, touch it and run back. Each time, the timer will have less time on it. They will go until they can no longer reset their timer or they can no longer compete. Yeah, I think Tony is gonna be screwed on this one.

In the obstacle course, Mario and Tony jump out in front and Lisa is way behind. Mario picks up the win and Lisa hits the platform last, so she has to start the endurance portion first. The timer begins at 20 seconds, but it's a pretty short distance to run, although it is uphill on the way back. This is a competition that looks deceptively simple, but is absolute murder. After 10 circuits, the timer goes to 15 seconds. Tony is hanging in there.

After 20 circuits, the timer goes to 10 seconds and it basically starts becoming wind sprints. Lisa starts IMMEDIATELY bringing up the rear on these circuits and it really, REALLY shows the stark contrast between conditioning for distance running and conditioning for sprints. About 26 circuits in, Lisa can't make it back to the start post in time, and she has to ring out. Team Noah is down its first competitor and they're obviously stunned. Now every team is down at least one competitor.

Lisa says she's done with the circus, but she's not done with life. Well Jesus, I hope not!

Next week: tightrope walking, it looks like! And John Cena does some powerlifting! It's gonna be a good one.

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