Fear Factor Season Premiere Original airdate: September 22, 2003
For this season's two-hour premiere, twelve contestants competed in five stunts for one-million dollars! A seaside location greeted the twelve eager participants and they sped across the water on a motorized water platform to their first stunt. A helicopter hovered nearby stirring up hair and fears. They would compete two at a time and race hand-over-hand across "monkey-bars" suspended over the water from the helicopter. They would two-minutes to traverse the bar, release a flag from one end, then made it back across to release a second flag before dropping into the water. Whoever did it the fastest would advance to the second stunt. Vivian and Leeann were up first. Vivian, a former Marine, thought she was tougher than Leanne. They both started off good, but with the bars swaying and the helicopter kicking up spray from the sea, the task got increasingly difficult. Leeann had dropped into the water before Vivian had even made it back across to the second flag. D'Nara and Katie were next. D'Nara, a college wrestler (!), was confident that she could muscle Katie out of the competition. Katie was way ahead, but lost her grip halfway through the stunt! D'Nara plunged in after her. However, Katie had already made it further than D'Nara and released one flag, so she was deemed the winner. The final girl team was Stephanie and Amanda. They were neck-and-neck until Amanda fell! Stephanie kept going and completed the stunt anyway.
Up first for the boys were Durant and Joe. Durant quickly pulled ahead and Joe wound up slipping off the bars anyway. Durant had advanced. Scott, a firefighter, was up against Grant in the next round. Grant was faster on the bars until Scott kicked it into high gear. Ultimately, Grant slipped off the bars - advancing Scott into round two. When Eric and Gordon faced off, they seemed evenly matched. Gordon got the first flag, but then lost his grip and took the plunge. Eric joined Durant, Scott and the three girls in the next round.
Day two brought the inevitable "gross stunt" in an appropriately creepy location. Once again, the men would be competing against the men and the women against the women. A water "coffin" filled with blood-sucking leeches awaited the first three. Fear Factor "ham and eggs" (i.e.: ostrich eggs and pig's tongues) awaited the second three. Four out of the six players would advance. The ladies randomly drew the leech stunt, while the guys were stuck bobbing for pig parts. Each lady would have to pump water out of the tank for as long as possible while the leeches suctioned onto their skin. The two women who could last the longest advanced. Katie was first and said the leeches felt "like boogers." A couple thousand leeches landed on Katie's bare skin while she tried to pump water out of the filling tank as fast as possible. After close to two minutes, the tank was rapidly filling with water and Katie couldn't pump fast enough. Plus, her bathing suit bottom had come undone, giving leeches a lot of extra access! Her final time was an impressive two minutes. Leeann was next and was not as good at the pumping as Katie. After only a minute, she was almost completely submerged. At one minute, twelve seconds, she gave up. All Stephanie had to do was beat Leeann's time to advance…and she did, but barely.
The guys not only had to bob in ostrich egg for pig's tongue, but they also had to eat one of the five tongues that they retrieved. PLUS, they'd have to eat a few leeches too. Eric had to remove his big, black cowboy hat in order to dunk his head into the huge container of ostrich egg. He fished out five tongues in 35 seconds, but still had to eat one of them - and eat five leeches too. Katie almost threw up just watching him! Eric's final time was 5:43. Durant hadn't eaten pork in over 10 years, but bellied up to the breakfast bar. He had all five tongues out of the yolk in under a minute. He forced down one tongue in a little over the three-minute mark. After five leeches, Durant's final time of 4:36 had Eric beat and advanced Durant automatically. Could Grant beat Eric time as well? The yolk was on Grant has he dunked over and over for pig tongue. He was a little slower than Durant eating the pig tongue, but still managed to beat Eric's time by clocking in at 3:45.
Day three would normally be final stunt day, but not with a million bucks at stake. The four remaining players had one more challenge ahead of them. Suspended over a hundred feet above a rocky shorebreak, a large circular platform dotted with Fear Factor flags swayed in the breeze. Players would have to transfer flags from one side to the other as fast as possible, without falling off. Three winners would be that much closer to a million dollars! Katie was first and was face-to-face with her fear of heights. The transparent platform gave her a bird's eye view of the deadly rocks below. Meanwhile, the pendulum like swinging motion only made the task more difficult, and terrifying. She transferred all the flags, but two flew off which meant they wouldn't count towards her final score. Durant got onto the platform and hoped for the best. All he needed was nine flags to advance - and he got them in less than four minutes! Stephanie got all 10 flags, securing her a spot in the next round. Grant got off to a rocky start when his first flag flew away, but Katie's joy was short lived. Grant lost a second flag, but still managed to beat Katie's time by six seconds - which pushed him ahead of her.