July 23, 2001
It's a damp day as Joe greets the six contestants on the roof of the historic Argyle Hotel in Los Angeles, California. All six have no idea what awaits them as Joe directs them down to the 12th floor.
Joe basically tells them to jump out the window! They will climb onto the ledge after being hooked up to a decelerator. Then they will hang from a bar for a few seconds before letting go and plunging downward. No bungee. No airbag to soften a fall. As Joe says, it's a "meet and greet with the concrete." Immediately the players' personalities emerge. Billy, who is playing to pay off his upcoming wedding and honeymoon, has a wicked fear of heights. But he is first up and jumps with no problem - rocketing down 120 feet to the awaiting crew below. Sofia - a cosmetologist - is trying her best to psych everyone out with her trash talking. She thinks she's got Angel's confidence weakened, but Angel is a single mom playing for her son Regan and refuses to chicken out. Angel jumps with no problem. Now it's Laura's turn. Even Joe is chiding Laura, and as she hangs 120 feet in the air she yells at him to shut up! She counts to three four times before letting go and screams and flails the entire way down. Despite the crowd that has gathered on the street below, Michael and Matt both complete the stunt. Now, only smack-talking Sofia is left. Laura makes up a story about being hurt to freak her out... but Sofia suits up and jumps. At the bottom, she swears she's going to throw up, but manages to keep the fear down.
The next day, in a boiler room reminiscent of Freddy Kruger's lair, the players face a huge water tank. How long could you hold your breath? Keep in mind, you'd be suspended upside-down in the water tank. Whoever stays underwater the longest , wins. Michael, a DJ from Austin, Texas, is already freaking out. He hates water and his time proves it... he's only under for 12.5 seconds. Angel doesn't do much better, but eliminates Michael with a time of 18.6 seconds. Now, Laura - a Chicago media buyer and Sofia's nemesis - goes for the dunk, and she scores with 49.1 seconds. Sofia gets quiet when it's her turn. She wants to beat Laura's time! However, she can only hold her breath for 39.4 seconds. Laura is ecstatic, but nervous as Billy goes in the tank. In an amazing display, Billy manages to stay in for over a minute! Matt, a smoker, must beat 1:06.6 to win. Matt's strategy involves hanging onto the side of the tank and staying perpendicular, rather than upside-down. As the seconds tick by, even Joe is amazed that Matt is doing it. He squirms as he approaches Billy's time, but stays in. As Matt reaches 1:08.5, Joe yells that he's won. Matt emerges, taking a huge gulp of air and a huge cash prize with him.