Original Airdate: 11/22/04
by Fearless Frankie
Well, pilgrims, this was a Fear Factor first. In honor of the special Thanksgiving episode, players remained on board a schooner ship for the duration of competition! I think the first, unofficial challenge was not getting totally seasick because that ship was swaying! The first, official challenge involved players being dragged behind the schooner in a rowboat. A cargo net suspended between the rowboat and the ship contained Fear Factor flags. Each player would have to climb out of the smaller boat, up the cargo net and onto the ship - clipping six flags onto themselves along the way. It seemed to me like that carnival game where you climb the shaky ladder to ring a bell or something. It sounds simple. It looks easy. But no one can ever do it. Kathy, a small girl with big hair, was up first. Kathy tackled the task well. While the net dragged in the water, she got the first few flags quickly despite the wave action. Next she shimmied up the portion of the net leading to the stern of the ship (that's the rear for you landlubbers). Her final time: 59.7 seconds. April, who still seemed bitter over missing her spot on the 2004 Olympic Pole Vault team, was determined to best that time. She blazed through the stunt, finishing in 33.8 seconds! Elizabeth was motivated by her dad, who was home battling cancer. I think players with sick parents or siblings should automatically advance to day two, but that's just me. Liz (I can call her that) struggled with the first flag, but made up for lost time on the rest of the stunt. She scrambled to release the final flag, for a final time of 48.3 seconds. Big hair Kathy was heading home. I thought maybe they'd just throw the eliminated players overboard and let them swim home, but Kathy was just sent "down below."
Vadim was up first for the men. Since he had both nipples pierced, Vadim shouldn't have had any fear about anything. While the others watched off the back of the ship, Vadim dove into the stunt. However, he wasn't as nimble as the previous competitors and finished in one minute and 3.1 seconds. The girls had smoked him! Taller, leaner Jayson took to the seas next. Jayson finished in 44.6 seconds! Landon, a professional soccer player, wouldn't tell Joe his motivation until after he won. Sneaky, that Landon. But soccer players are hot, so I forgave him. Despite Vadim's clever taunts ("Fall!" "Fall!"), Landon finished in 52.1 seconds - sending Vadim home. Once Vadim left, Joe informed the remaining four players that they would have a bonus, fourth stunt in honor of Thanksgiving!
The group went ashore for day two. Just as the pilgrims arrived on Plymouth Rock and spent the first Thanksgiving sharing foods with natives, our players arrived to find that Joe had assembled a Fear Factor feast. With a rotting, maggot-infested turkey as the table's centerpiece, Joe explained that players would have to choose three out of five mystery side dishes to chow down on. They could be thankful that it wasn't an elimination stunt. For each side dish they consumed, the players had a chance to throw a hatchet at a nearby target. Whoever got closest to the bull's eye would win $10,000 from Activision Call of Duty Finest Hour game, plus the game itself. PLUS, the winner would get to pick the order for the third stunt.
Joe then revealed the yummy side dishes. Trust me, maize was not one of them. They all piled their plates with thick worm green beans first. Elizabeth passed on the second dish, maggoty mashed potatoes (with rotten fish sauce gravy), as did everyone except for April. Dish number three was bile gelatin topped with live African cave-dwelling spiders. Jayson ordered up some gelatin, as did Landon. The girls, however, passed. Elizabeth was now stuck with the final two side dishes: Beetle, Worm and Cockroach Stuffing and Sheep's Brain Pie. April rounded out her dish with the roach stuffing, as did Jayson and Landon. They had 9 minutes to finish the food items on their plates. As Jayson said, "Nothing tastes like chicken here." While the others choked down their dinner, Elizabeth picked and poked at her food like my little cousin at the kid's table. Landon finished first, but almost chucked it back up several times. Especially when he and Jayson had to suck up the JUICE that was left on their plates. SO GROSS! When time was finally, mercifully called, the hatchets were distributed. Elizabeth, one hatchet. April, two hatchets. Jayson, two hatchets. Landon, three hatchets! After a brief puke break (seriously), it was time to hit the target and try for $10,000. Elizabeth did a wussy girl toss and didn't even get close to the target. Pole-vaulter April missed with her two shots, although she sort of nicked the target. Landon stuck his first hatchet at the top of the bull's eye, but missed with his second. On his third try, Landon got a bit closer, hitting the dark outer circle of the target. Jayson had one toss to steal Landon's cash and game prizes. He actually nailed the outer ring of the target too - and beat Landon by a two-inch margin!
It was back on the boat for day three, which would be another elimination stunt. Party time was over! Although, walking the plank was probably considered a fun party game back in the pirate days. That's right, sailors, each player would be shackled with a ball and chain, then forced to walk the plank. Once they dropped into the ocean, they had to unscrew the shackle, swim to the surface and touch the ship to stop the clock. Ahoy, mateys, she be a fearful stunt indeed! Jayson chose April to go first. It's wench discrimination, I tell ye! Okay, I'll stop with the pirate talk; I'm annoying myself now. Once shackled up, April admitted she was a little nervous. She carefully walked the plank, then took the plunge. While underwater, she remained calm and worked the shackle. She swam up, touching the boat for a final time of 20.4 seconds! Once back on board, April told Joe she made a couple of mistakes and wasn't happy with her time. Wow, I guess that's how you become a professional athlete - you just are really, really hard on yourself! And speaking of professional athletes, mystery man Landon was up next. Once again, he would not reveal his three motivations for doing the show. But, if he beat April's time and/or advanced to the finals, he promised to reveal all. Of course, by then, we wouldn't care. Landon jumped off the plank and immediately began working the shackle, while kicking with his free leg to maintain position. In a surprising turn of events, Landon ran out of air before he could free his other leg! After being rescued by safety divers, he was eliminated from the stunt! Now, all Jayson and Elizabeth had to do was finish the stunt to advance. Time was no longer a factor. Jayson chose to go next and used the plank as a platform. He stood there talking to himself for a few minutes before he finally decided to jump. Jayson did well and finished in 22.5 seconds. April was still the speed queen! Elizabeth took to the perch next. Although Liz seemed to struggle underwater, she still managed to finish in 24.7 seconds.
The players went straight from the plank to the final stunt. If they thought being dragged down underwater by a ball and chain was frightening, they were gonna hate this one. A rope containing Fear Factor flags was strung beneath the hull of the ship from port to starboard. Players would dive down beneath the ship (almost 12 feet!) and cross underneath it to collect flags within a 2-minute time period. The person able to collect the most flags would be very thankful and $50,000 richer! April, winner of the previous stunt, chose Elizabeth to go first on the final stunt. Elizabeth got her first five flags - and lost her bikini top in the process - before coming up for air. She gave up on her top and continued diving down to retrieve flags until she had all seven. Her final time: 1:52.4. Afterwards, Elizabeth thought that losing her top actually slowed her down because she had a mini-freak out and had to come for air sooner than she would have otherwise. Jayson was up next and decided to go topless to better his chances. For all his big talk, Jayson was back up for air after only one flag. He continued his slow pace, resurfacing for air often. Ultimately, he knew he'd never catch up to Liz's time and Jayson quit! He later said that he discovered he had a huge fear of being trapped underwater. Another Fear Factor shocker! All April had to do was beat Liz's time to win. And remember, April had won every timed event so far. She took a deep breath, jumped in the water, and didn't come up again until she had five flags on her belt! On her second breath, she grabbed the final two flags and finished in exactly one minute! April was the Thanksgiving Fear Factor champ!