FEAR FACTOR:
Season 3
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Six men and women must conquer their greatest fears or face elimination. In the end, one will claim the $50,000 prize and the honor that "fear is not a factor for them."

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Joe Rogan
Creator: John De Mol
EP: John De Mol, Matt Kunitz
Packager: Endemol USA, Pulse:Creative
Airs: Mondays at 8:00pm ET on NBC


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Episode 3.13 - December 15

Ho ho ho! It's the Christmas Fear Factor. I have always wanted one of those stunts to eat some sort of raw venison - but that's just me. Let's see what sort of Winter Horrorland that our contestants will be having to go through this time around.

Since, of course, it is a holiday show, we have some...let's just say different points of views. Lea Wade predicts that she isn't going to win (wha?), while Michelle Giraedi predicts that she will be winning the money and Selena Jay is Mexican, not Mexican't. On the men's side, Brian Smith thinks the other contestants will be intimidated, while Daren Ferden will win by bringing together his feet and mouth and Julian Laurence will be bringing 'Championship Qualities' to the show.

We'll soo be seeing some of those prediction and qualities as Joe introduces the first stunt. The players get to be Santa as they scoot across on a sled, which is actually a platform held up by wires located fixated 100 feet in the air. While they are motoring on the platform, the players have to grab candy canes without falling off. The four people who get the most candy canes get to see what else Santa Joe has laid out for them.

Lea is first - and she's a professional bodybuilder, showing off her ability as she walks across the street on her hands. Will that ability help her on the platform? "All you have to do is to be a candy-cane snatching fool for $50,000." says Joe. Well, she gets the fool part right, as she starts the event by standing on the wet platform. When you stand on something wet, and it starts to move, what happens to you? Yep - bye bye. She flies off the sled without grabbing a single candy cane, and in the words of her, "Platform moved, Lea fell."

"I'm like the biggest loser in the history of Fear Factor," says Lea, as she fulfills her own 'I'm not going to win' prophecy. But as a parting gift, we get to see her walk on her hands as she departs from the show.

Earlier on in the show, Joe asks Daren, who is a corrections officer, to show off some of his moves when he is dealing with a prisoner who just broke out of his cell - and he runs. Nice. Well, he can't run off of the sled, but he has the right idea - he starts on his knees, and then once the sled moves, he stands up to get his balance before getting the canes. He misses a few, but he gets 6, which should be good enough to advance to the next round.

Michelle, who needs the money to pay for her sister's wedding since their parents passed away due to a drunk driver, believes that Fear Factor is in her life so she can win the money. She misses 2 candy canes, and then after missing the second one, she slips, loses her shoe and falls off the platform for a total of zero canes. So much for the big fancy wedding. "I suck!" says Michelle, who adds "I don't think my sister will be too disappointed, because she knows that I am going to be at her wedding."

Selena says "I advance!" where as Joe reminds her that she still has to grab a cane. "Are any of the girls going to advance?" asks Joe - and the guys say no. They tease her for being daddy's little girl - but after a quick muff, she shows up the guys and Daren.

"I think they all underestimate Julian," says Julian, and Joe asks why he is talking about himself in the third person. He takes partial credit for screwing up the 2 girls who didn't pass the stunt, and Joe asks him who gets the credit when he falls on his ass. Heh. He does fall on his ass - but not before he gets three, which means that he will be hearing more third person-speak in the show.

Brian is the last person to go - and his strategy is to wing it. He wings it enough to get 2 before he goes flying off of the platform. "That sucked" says Brian - but he does advance along with Selena, Daren and Julian.

The caroling will have to wait, but it looks like the people will be using their mouths as they sit at a Christmas table with Joe. We will be having a gift exchange, Fear Factor style, as we have gifts under the Christmas Tree. One contestant opens up a present, which will be some sort of item that they have to eat. The next player can either take their gift, or go to the tree and get their own 'delicacy' gift. This continues until all of the 'gifts' are opened. The players have 20 minutes to down their food, and I have a feeling that in this case, it will be truly better to give than to receive.

Selena goes first - and she unwraps a cod egg sac covered in ants. She is freaked out, which prompts Joe to say, "This is Season 4, we have to kick it up a notch...maybe Julian has a taste for ants." It turns out that he does, as he thinks it's not that bad (and I have to agree with Julian), so Selena gets to pick again. This time, she gets a LIVE worm sausage, which is a combination of worms in a sausage casing. Those ants are looking good, aren't they?

Daren is up next - and he decides that he wants the live worm sausage. Selena gets to pick again - and this time the present is 6 rotten squid covered in flies. This just gets better and better for Selena, doesn't it? Brian takes a gift - which is Julian's Ant and Cod Egg Souffle. That means that Julian gets the last gift left - which is 5 live dragonflies. That doesn't seem too bad when you look at what else is on the table.

It's time to start the feast - and Selena can't even bother smelling the food, much less eating it. "Once again, we really need to have the smell-o-vision at home," says Joe, and that does her in. She balks at eating the squid due to the smell and she has to leave. The last female shimmies out of the game.

"Julian, it's dragonfly time," says Joe, and Julian starts to get into it. "Time to say goodbye, Mr. Dragonfly," says Julian, as he rips his head off. Joe reminds him that he only has 20 minutes as Julian puts on the theatrics. He doesn't need the time as he munches them all down and secures himself a spot in the finals.

Daren is next, and it's time to eat the sausage. Joe keeps reminding Daren to worry about the time - and to not puke. Daren listens to Joe, which is good enough to have him join Julian.

Brian can join them if he eats the sac. He's eating it and talking about it while he's eating. Joe tells him that there should be less talk and more eating. At the 10 minute mark, Joe tells him that he should talk less, and I have a feeling that there's a reason why he's saying it. My thinking is justified - with one minute left, there's still a decent amount of fish left, and he gets the last amount of fish in his mouth when time runs out. But the fish is in his mouth, not swallowed, and Joe tells him that he has been eliminated.

Brian finishes the fish around 30 seconds after time runs out - but it's too late and Joe tells him again that he is out. Brian tries to deny that he didn't finish it, but Joe reminds him that he didn't - "You had a time limit, and you didn't eat it in the time limit." Flashback to when Brian was talking and not eating, and that talking, which is the dumb-ass move of the episode, costs him dearly. Brian, needless to say, is not a happy camper. He says that he's not leaving, then he curses out at Joe. Brian says that it's wrong and he's pissed but he eventually does leave, as he wishes Julian and Daren the best of luck before storming off the set.

Speaking of storms, we have a snowstorm outside the set. What better to hat things up than have a fire - a lake full of fire, to be exact. The contestants have to swim under the fire and the structure under it and release 5 'Christmas Balls'. Whoever can release all 5 balls and get across the lake the quickest wins the $50,000.

Losing a coin toss, Daren has to go first. Daren does complete the stunt, but he takes his sweet time and he is really pausing when he goes up to take breaths. His time of completion - 2:48. Daren is exhausted, and what does add to the difficulty is that the fire on the top eats out the oxygen that you are trying to breathe - but it's still fairly slow and Julian believes that he's taking it to the bank.

Will he? He says that it's already done, and he predicts that he will get it done in under 2 minutes. Daren - "I hope he uses all of his hot air talking." He may have - he gets the first 2 without a problem, but he winds up out of air and he is struggling to get ball #3. He stays up on the surface and Joe screams at him, wondering what he is doing. Daren: "I don't care what he's doing, let him stay up there." Daren's own prophecy comes true - Julian does run out of air, and he runs out of time as he's stuck on the water trying to get a breath. A half naked Daren hugs Joe, then hugs the snow, knowing that he has won the $50,000 and a whole bunch of Christmas presents.

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