The women would be secured via two locks in a sunken pit covered with a bamboo cage and filled with live bullfrogs. The men would have to run across the swamp and fish out a key from a pit filled with scorpions, then run back and undo the first lock. Then, the guys would cross back through the swamp to a pit filled with rats to get a second key...using only their mouths! Once they freed their females, the duos would race back to Joe for their frog shake. Since this was not an elimination stunt, I wondered if any of the couples would even attempt it. However, once the prize was revealed - two new Jeep Liberty's - I knew everyone would want in on the action! Craig & Maria were up first - and were not known for their ability to eat gross things. The other couples felt that Craig & Maria would probably have a slow time. Add to that the fact that Craig & Maria had not won a SINGLE PRIZE in the past 6 weeks, and, well, it was easy to underestimate them. Maria, wearing only her bathing suit, got comfy in the swamp pit and was covered with hundreds of bullfrogs. I'd do that any day over sticking my FACE in a rat pit, which Craig would soon attempt. Craig got through the scorpions in less than 20 seconds, but had trouble opening the first lock. Then it was off to the rat pit! He put goggles on and had to stick his face in the rats to get the key with his teeth. Craig, understandably, hesitated. Maria cheered him on from afar and Craig did it! The couple was reunited and headed to their frog shake. The three-minute mark approached as Craig & Maria literally choked down frog parts and swamp water. Seven minutes later…they were still drinking. Soon they were approaching FIFTEEN MINUTES. That's just how gross this stunt was! Finally, they finished at 15:28, and promptly threw it all back up in the handy Fear Factor buckets.
Dean & Ashley were up next and Dean now realized that no matter how fast he freed Ashley, winning would depend on getting the frog shake down quickly. The blonde bombshells had already won Jeep Wranglers during Couples competition. Would that deter them from finishing this stunt? Ashley was a champ as she got doused in frogs. Meanwhile, Craig raced to and from scorpions and rats to get the keys to free her. The twosome made it to the blended frog in under two minutes, giving them plenty of time to beat Craig & Maria. They both held their noses and tried to power through it; however, it was tough. Just past the three-minute mark, Dean finished then added half of Ashley's mixture to his glass. Final time: 4:13! Dean & Ashley were animals! Roberto & Leah were bummed! None-the-less, Leah cuddled up to hundreds of frogs while Roberto got friendly with scorpions and rats. Roberto was quick with the key retrieval. It would all come down to the shake swallow. Roberto paused to catch his breath, while Leah started sipping. I was amazed at the lack of heckling by the other couples. No gagging noises. No hurled insults. Everyone watched in silence, while Joe encouraged Leah & Roberto to "suck it down!" As time ran out…so did any hope of Leah & Roberto finishing. Dean & Ashley won their SECOND set of Jeeps, plus they earned the ability to pick the order for the final stunt. The others had to have hated them at this point.
The time had finally arrived. The million-dollar stunt! It was daylight…a good sign in the world of Fear Factor. Usually daylight means a physical stunt, and this one definitely was physical. Each couple would begin the stunt in the back of a speedboat. As the boat raced along the harbor, couples would use a hanging ladder to pull themselves into a helicopter hovering above them. The helicopter would transport the couple back over solid ground and land on top of a moving semi-truck! The couple would then climb back down the ladder INSIDE the back of the trailer, where a car awaited. After unlocking and putting on safety gear, the couple would get into the car and crash out of the trailer to stop time. Wow! It was like the mother of all Fear Factor stunts! The combination of land, sea and air was truly a Fear Factor first. Not surprisingly, Dean & Ashley chose Roberto & Leah to go first.
Before they attempted their final stunt, Roberto & Leah told Joe that the entire Fear Factor experience had been amazing and unforgettable. Soon the speedboat was fired up and within moments Roberto & Leah were hustling up the ladders to the helicopter. Roberto was in quickly, but Leah took a bit longer - finally making it inside about 30 seconds after Roberto. Next it was onto the semi-truck, literally. The helicopter touched down and the couple ducked down inside the truck. They worked quickly to put on the safety gear, despite Leah having trouble with her combination lock. Finally, they shot out of the truck for a final time of 1:28.04. Craig & Maria were up next and already had plans for the million bucks. Two homes - one in Chicago and one in Arizona. Big talk for the couple that had yet to win anything. For the first leg of the stunt, Craig beat Maria into the helicopter, but they were almost right on target with Leah & Roberto's timing. Next, they hopped into the semi to retrieve their safety gear. Would Leah's fumbling with the lock buy Craig & Maria the seconds they needed to get ahead? It was SO CLOSE. Craig floored the car, sending them screaming out to the pavement with a final time of 1:17.8! The underdogs had pulled into the final two, while Roberto & Leah were sent packing. Could the blondies pull out the million-dollar win?
I thought if Dean & Ashley could get into the helicopter the fastest it would increase their odds of winning. They did seem to be the quickest couple to get from the boat to the helicopter, which meant they would be delivered to the semi-truck sooner. Dean & Ashley were in the truck working the locks in no time. They rushed into the car and flew out to stop the clock. Everyone's adrenaline was racing by this point, you could tell. Did Dean & Ashley nail it? Their final time: 1:11.6. Dean & Ashley were the new million-dollar Couples Fear Factor champs!
*There has been a lot of discussion about Dean helping Ashley finish her frog drink versus each of them drinking their own glass. Here is the Executive Producer's response:
Joe never describes the complete set of rules to the contestants. After Joe introduces a stunt all the contestants are informed of the specific rules of that stunt and must sign the rule sheet. In addition, Joe does not judge the contests. There are officials that keep the time and watch for rule violations. Rule number eight for this specific contest stated “Between the two contestants you must completely drink both glasses of blended frog.” Dean and Ashley chose to share the shakes (their strategy). The others did not.