Sun! Sand! Sahara!:
Thirteen teams of three are going to
attempt the impossible, traversing the sands of Morocco for a shot at
winning $150,000 and three new 2012 Ford Explorers. The teams will have
to be physically and mentally at the top of their game. If not, they
could be on the way home with nothing. It's an adventure seen... maybe
once or twice on TV before.
This... is EXPEDITION IMPOSSIBLE!
Our 13 teams (thanks, Wikipedia)...
- California Girls: Christina Chin
(24, Davis, CA, Corporate PR), Brittany Smith (24, Rancho Murieta, CA.
Aspiring Pro Golfer), and Natalie Smith (25, Woodland, CA.
Teacher/Coach). Friends who met while attending the University of
- The Cops: Robert Robillard (43, Concord, MA. Police
Lieutenant), Dani Henderson (34, Marlborough, MA. Police Officer), and
James Vaglica (49, Billerica, MA. Police Sergeant). Three police
officers from Massachusetts.
- The Country Boys: Nicholas Coughlin (28, Clinton, MS. Internet
Marketing/Entrepreneur), Jason Cronin (37, Pensacola Beach, FL. Business
Chad Robinson (27, Bolton, MS. Real Estate Investor)
- The Fab 3: Ryan Allen Carrillo (36, Los Angeles, CA. Business
Owner), Kari Gibson (26, Los Angeles, CA. Model), and AJ Gibson (30, Los
Angeles, CA. Mortgage Consultant). Kari and AJ are siblings. AJ and Ryan
used to be a couple but are now friends. All three are roommates.
- The Fishermen: Gus, Nino & Joe Sanfilippo (48, 43, and 44 from
Gloucester, MA). Gus and Nino are brothers and Joe is their cousin. All
three are crew on the fishing boat Captain Dominic.
- The Football Players: Akbar Gbaja-Biamila (31, Los Angeles, CA.
Broadcaster), Robert Ortiz (27, Solana Beach, CA. Business Owner), and
Ricky Sharpe (31, Costa Mesa, CA. Health and Fitness Consultant). All
three are former professional football players who first met while
playing for San Diego State University.
- Grandpa's Warriors: Dick, Steven & Samantha Smith (69, 48, and
23). Store managers from Illinois. Samantha is Steven's daughter, Dick
is Steven's father.
- The Gypsies: John Post (25, Pensacola Beach, FL. Sustainable
Farmer), Taylor Filasky (31, San Diego, CA. Video Producer), and Eric
Bach (26, San Francisco, CA. Entrepreneur)
- Latin Persuasion: Dashia Imperiale (44, New York, NY. Fitness
Instructor), Raven Garcia (30, Bronx, NY. Freelance Writer), and Mai
Reyes (38, New York, NY. Manager). Friends and co-workers.
- Mom's Army: Eleanor "Ellie" Vanderbeck (52, Reading, PA.
Bookkeeper), Ruthie Vanderbeck (28, Reading, PA. Realtor), and Abbie
Vanderbeck (30, Norwalk, CT. Nanny). Army sisters Ruthie and Abbie are
- New York Firemen: Kevin "Fathead" Coursey (39), Rob Keiley
(34), and Mike Egan (34). Firefighters from New York.
- No Limits: Erik Weihenmayer (42, Golden, CO. Motivational
Speaker/Writer), Jeff Evans (41, Boulder, CO. Motivational
Speaker/Physician Assistant), and Aaron "Ike" Isaacson (33, Topeka, KS.
Soldier). Jeff is Erik's climbing guide on mountaineering expeditions.
Erik is blind.
- Team Kansas: Lindsey Haymond (27, Houston, TX. Teacher), Kelsey
Fuller (22, Overland Park, KS. Student), and Mackenzie Fuller (18,
Overland Park, KS. Student). Sisters from Kansas.
They'll have to have courage, teamwork,
and character to survive this tour... And we start with an area of
Morocco guarded by... local Berber warriors. Nice. With their blessing,
we're off. Remember: "Choose your companions before choosing the road."
That's important, because if one team member quits, the entire team is
The rules are simple: the race is divided
into 10 stages, each with a series of checkpoints leading to a finish
line. The last team to cross the finish line of a stage is eliminated.
The team that crosses the finish line at the end of stage 10 will win
$50,000 and a Ford Explorer for EACH team member!
Worth playing for?
First up, a trip to the sand dune, then
look west for your first checkpoint... a camel outpost.
And with the Berber's gunfire... the
Expedition... IS ON!
It is 95 degrees out, and the teams are
wishing that they worked out a little bit more. Each team is on their
own set of trekking poles, and that helps them get to the top of the
dune. First up... the Gypsies. They arrive at the first checkpoint and
get this clue...
CHECKPOINT #1 - CAMEL OUTPOST
To survive a journey across the unforgiving desert, you're going to need
the right camping equipment AND three camels. You must select three
camels for your journey and load them with bedding and firewood before
heading off to your next checkpoint, located at the Lone Palm camp.
And 10 minutes in, and we already have a
team mixing languages up. Last I heard Arabic was not French.
Camels are known to be a) the "ships of
the desert" and b) stubborn as a mule. Getting one to cooperate is a
challenge. Getting three... is good television.
Back on the dune, it's 100 degrees. Chad
of the Country Boys and Mai of the Latinas are starting to feel the
pressure. They're going to have to dig deep or else they're done. Chad
pushes himself up the dune.
It's 105, and the Gypsies, Fab 3, and
Football Players are in the lead, but No Limits is catching up. In the
back, Grandpa's Warriors, Mom's Army, and Latin Persuasion, who are
currently in last place. And with their ability to put arguing first and
teamwork last, rightly so.
All of the teams head out on their camels
to the Lone Palm. No Limits and Fab 3 are the first to arrive at...
CHECKPOINT #2 - LONE PALM CAMP
Find water the local way! All the materials you need are here. To
complete this challenge you must have one full J-jug of water before
leaving this checkpoint.
Where to find the water in 107 degree
heat? Fab 3 figure out that the best water would be in the sand. So they
start digging. The Gypsies are the first to help out. One by one, the
teams dig until the Fab 3 hits a spring! And the Football Players arrive
at the hole and do the only honorable thing... take a bit for
themselves. Fab 3 is the first to complete the challenge.
The next step, leaving their camels
behind and climbing the rocky terrains of the Todra Mountains, where
they will find their next clue.
The leaving order: Fab 3, Football
Players, No Limits, and the Gypsies. The middle teams are taking full
advantage of the holes that the lead teams have left behind.
And Latin Persuasion is still... Latin
Explosion. The Country Boys are starting to keep pace, while the locals
are starting to get irritated at Latin Persuasion. The only way they're
going to get through the expedition is if they work together... Mai.
Meanwhile, we have three distinct groups
- The leaders (Fab 3, Football Players, No Limits, and Gypsies), the
middle pack (Fishermen, Cops, Kansas, NY Firemen, and California Girls),
and those in the back (Mom's Army, Country Boys, Grandpa's Warriors, and
in dead last, Latin Persuasion), almost an hour behind the others.
On the mountain, the teams are faced with
inclines, loose rocks, and ever-changing terrain.
The lead teams find this clue...
CHECKPOINT #3 - TODRA MOUNTAINS
What goes up must come down! Time to face your fears. The only way to
get down from here is straight down 30 stories. Strap in and rappel down
the face of the Todra Gorge - one of the highest rappels in Northern
Africa. Once the entire team has reached the bottom, follow the dry
riverbed to the next Checkpoint at the center of Snake Valley.
Gypsies are in the lead, and they cruise
down the gorge wall easily. Fab 3... not so much. Kari has an unforeseen
fear of heights that she must conquer. She did... and now her team are
in second place. Akbar of the Football Players doesn't have that fear,
so much as the fear of going backwards. He struggles, while Erik of No
Limits easily makes it down.
Gypsies are the first to make it to...
CHECKPOINT #4 - SNAKE VALLEY
To reveal the location of the Finish Line, you must watch the snake
charmer's routine. Count the number of snakes revealed, and choose a box
with the number of your choice outside. Choose wisely, and you will
receive directions to the Finish Line.
And yes, the snakes are real.
The Gypsies think they've seen 11. If
they are correct, they will trek five miles to the Finish Line. If not,
they'll be sent 30 minutes off course until they see a "Wrong Way" sign.
So far, the number of choice is 11. No
Limits go with 10 instead... Will it cost them the race?
Speaking of 10, Mom's Army reach the rock
wall face. And Mom Ellie is starting to freeze. She finally gets down to
the ground, though. Behind them, Latin Frustration, err, Persuasion. All
of the teams, excluding Grandpa's Warriors, have finished the rappel.
The lead teams (except for No Limits)
have picked the instructions in Box 11. No Limits went with 10. They...
FINISH LINE 1
The Gypsies are the first team to check in, giving them the win in Stage
1, followed by Fab 3 and the Football Players.
No Limits counts correctly the second
time around, giving them fourth place.
Meanwhile, it's a race between Latin
Persuasion and Grandpa's Warriors to avoid last place. Meanwhile, as the
sun begins to set, Team Kansas, Fishermen, No Limits, and Country Boys
cross, followed by NY Firemen, California Girls, Cops, and Mom's Army.
Only two teams remain. Who'll be the
first to meet Dave at the Finish Line?
The sun has set, making the terrain that
much more perilous. Grandpa sees flags, but he couldn't tell if they're
last or next to last. ...
... They are NEXT to last! Which means
that the Expedition is over for Latin Expulsion. Their constant
bickering ends up costing them dearly. They won't be leaving tonight,
though. They will be evacuated in the morning.
And as they leave on the chopper, the
reality of the situation sets in for the remaining teams. If they're
going to win, they're going to have to give it their all... and then
2) FAB 3
3) FOOTBALL PLAYERS
4) TEAM KANSAS
6) NO LIMITS
7) COUNTRY BOYS
8) NY FIREMEN
9) CALIFORNIA GIRLS
10) THE COPS
11) MOM'S ARMY
12) GRANDPA'S WARRIORS
ELIMINATED) LATIN PERSUASION
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