Fear Factor Episode 209
Original airdate: April 8, 2002
As Joe greeted players lakeside, they were all in high spirits. However, when they saw a helicopter flying 25-feet above the water and learned they'd be jumping out if it - spirits were dampened by fear. In the middle of the chilly lake floated a cardboard island, comprised of stacked cardboard boxes and painted with a red bull's-eye. Players would take turns jumping from the edge of the helicopter (scary all by itself!) onto the island. If they hit any part of the boxes, they would advance to the second stunt. Jennifer was up first, which she felt was a disadvantage. She was right - and overshot the target. Jamey was particularly nervous since this stunt combined his fears of water, heights and flying! Even after he successfully hit the target, he admitted he was still afraid of all three. Lindsay jumped with precision and almost hit a perfect bull's-eye - this encouraged the remaining three players. Michael, a NY firefighter who braved September 11th and has over 900 parachute jumps to his credit, came up short and was eliminated. Alison, however, had no problems making her mark. Last up was Tom, who dove head first into the cardboard stack to secure his place on day two.
A dark, dusty location greeted players for their second stunt. Did you ever see the movie Arachnophobia? It was nothing compared to the fifty big, hairy, fang-baring tarantulas that would be crawling all over each player's head for three minutes. Joe even warned them that if they couldn't guarantee that they will remain totally still the entire time, they should drop out now or risk a painful and poisonous bite. Players went pale just thinking about it. Tom stuck his head in the see-through box and sat patiently as the spiders were placed on his face and head. He wore safety goggles and a nose plug, but was instructed not to even speak. The others, horrified at the sight of Tom buried in tarantulas, told him he was lucky to go first because he didn't have to see what anyone looked like in the precarious situation! Tom survived his three minutes and Lindsay followed. She remained calm, kept her eyes shut and also completed the "hairy" stunt. Jamey was shaking like a leaf before he even got his goggles on. His lips were quivering and he nervously rubbed his hands together while fighting broke out among two of the nearby tarantulas. His method for remaining calm? Picturing the strip club he was going to "treat" himself to once this was all over! When Jamey finished, Alison stepped up to the dreaded task. She too completed the stunt and everyone was relieved to have made it to the final round.
The ever-popular creepy boiler room was home to the final, water tunnel stunt. Players would lie down in a clear tube - resembling something a pet hamster might love -- and be immersed in 800 gallons of water. As claustrophobia and panic set in, the player who could hold his or her breath the longest would win. Each player would be given a small hand weight that they would drop to signal their need for air. Tom, who recently quit smoking, was up first. And boy did Tom set the standard! Seconds ticked by, then a minute, then two minutes before Tom signaled to stop. The other players were bummed out to say the least. Jamey was next and despite his good intentions this smoker lasted only 11.3 seconds. Lindsay, who knew the coffin-like tube would be a problem, lasted 2.5 seconds. It was down to Alison, a former competitive swimmer, to beat Tom's time. However, after only 33.7 seconds, Alison quit, making Tom the newest Fear Factor champ.