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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

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 3.15 - January 12

You knew that this was going to happen. I called it after the Married to the Altar couples were running around to try to win a wedding. 9 couples. 7 weeks. One million dollars. Will they still love each other, win or lose? We will find out over the next 2 months as we get our first soap opera in a stunt show.

Before we meet the couples, we'll see the first stunt, which involves dune buggies. They will be rasing across a sand track, and the guys ankles will be tied to the back of the buggy. They will be holding a rope, and attached to the rope will be the women. There will be 3 heats - 3 couples in each heat, and the couple that holds on for the least amount of time will be getting some very short face time for a 7 episode series.

Heat #1 - has Rachel and Todd (Rachel was finally glad that they got engaged, and Todd, who sarcastically says "Aren't I lucky" sounds like he wouldn't mind burying Rachel in the sand. The second couple for the heat is Megan and James, who are both blonds and look like surfer dudes. Megan - "I like to be tossed around." Hey now! They accuse each other of not working out. Couple #3 are Meg and Adam, and they are convinced that they will advance to the second round. The casting people, apparently, found them while they were arguing, and they continue to argue.

None of these couples have too much charisma, but Rachel and Todd do have strategy, reminding each other that they only have to hang on until one of the teams drop. The other teams think that Megan and James are too high maintenance. Rachel drops the rope - and she knows that Todd's going to kill her. So much for strategy. Todd - "I think I need a new partner."

So what happened? "My pants were halfway down my ass." complains Rachel. "You'd have your modesty of the world seeing your ass cost you a million dollars? I'd show my ass for 4 bucks," says Joe, who probably would, too.

Heat #2 - The first couple is Melissa and Jim, who aren't worried about beating the mark. The second couple is Tommie and Gina, who are married for 12 years and have 2 girls - the are the oldest couple in the group - and they think that they will be underestimated. Jen and Ty have been married for 4 years, and they also have 2 kids - so they want the money for the kids.

The second heat starts with all 3 couples having no problems. Jen let's go of the rope and they are out. Did they fall out before Rachel and Todd? The answer is.... yes. Rachel and Todd, the strategy pair, are back in the running, and now it's Jen and Ty that's on the bubble.

In the final heat, he have Monica and Jackson - who have the biggest height disproportion (she being short, and he being tall). Jackson accuses Monica of having a self-esteem problem - and she does. Simone thinks that married couples have more balanced. She (of Brazilian heritage) and David have been married for 4 years, so they should have plenty of balance. Of course, the team on the bubble is also married for 4 years. Finally, we get the African-American couple of Gichi and Nafisah, as Joe gives them the awards with the coolest names. Nafisah, who sort of looks like Pink, has been with Gichi for 6 years - and they draw the lane that the other couples have been failing on. Will they do the same? The answer is no - and neither do any of the other couples as they all go past the flag. Jen and Ty are the first people to be eliminated. Jen tries to get consolation from Ty, but he;s staring ahead, and it looks like that he'd like to strap her on a dune buggy - for a one-way trip.

The other 8 couples are going the other way - into a gymnasium with a table with a plastic box - and a bowl filled with worms. One person has to carry the worms with their mouth - and dump the worms into the box - where the other person's head is. Nice. The fastest couple to get all the worms into the box wins a 22 day vacation to Africa. NIce.

Nafisah is telling Gichi to use his big mouth for something (heh), but it's Simone and David who go first. They will be challenged by Melissa and Jim, who need the money just to make their bills (which is what happens when you are a construction worker and a teacher). David, who is stalling, needs a breath mint - but Jim gets it done in 1:59, which seems like a very fast time.

Next up - it's the old folks Tommie and Gina vs. bickering Adam and Meg. Adam just blazes through it in 1:50, much to the dismay of Jim, who are pissed that someone with money beat them, who are poor and struggling. They stare daggers at Adam/Meg, and I have a feeling that this little tiff is far from over.

Gichi and Nafisah do show up in the third round - as does Rachel and Todd. Todd is racing through it - but not fast enough as Todd finishes it in 1:54. Jackson/Monica and Megan/James are the last 2 couples who can beat Adam's time. Meg is talking trash, and it seems to work as both couples are slow. Jackson picks up the pace - but not quick enough. Final time? 1:51. OUCH. So are the winners happy? "I don't know if I want to spend 21 days with Meg." says Adam. OUCH!!!

There will be lots of OUCHES in the final stunt for this episode. One person of the couple will be on a helicopter, while the other person will be waiting for them on a kayak. The first person drops from the helicopter to the kayak, as the second person rows them ashore. Once on the shore, the teams will race in a sprint to the flags. The slowest couple gets eliminated, while the fastest couple wins $10,000.

The first 2 couples will be Jackson/Monica and Nafisah/Gichi. Todd and Rachel discuss strategy while Meg, in a blonde moment, can't see where the big orange spot on the helicopter is. Her and Adam get into another fight, and I start to agree with Adam that they wouldn't make it for 21 days alone in Africa.

The ladies drop from the helicopter and Monica gets to the kayak long before Nafisah (who looked like she was doing the backstroke atone time) does. Jackson/Monica get it done in a not-bad 5:38, but Nafisah/Gichi don't get any of the timing right and come in at a horrendously slow 9:09. Gichi and Nafisah better get their luggage ready to go...

Gichi/Nafisah's rotten performance means that the suspense for last place is virtually gone - but the suspense for the $10,000 is still there. The next 2 couples to try for it are Megan/James and Rachel/Todd. Will the lack of exercise come back to get the blond surfers? No, as they come in 6:42, while Rachel/Todd get it done in 5:58. Playing it safe worked in this case, as both couples are safe. Gichi, heads in hands, know that him and Nafisah are in deep trouble.

Third stunt - Meg/Adam and Tommie/Gina. Meg has no problems, but Gina dropped way too early on the stunt and she has a long way to swim to Tommie. Adam/Med complete it in 5:06, and for the second time, they are in the running for a bonus prize. Gina/Tommie make up the early screw-up and get it done in 6:19 - and the African-Americans are in deep trouble.

It comes down to Jim/Melissa and David/Simone. Jim and Melissa want payback for losing to Adam/Meg on the last stunt. Both teams are looking strong and are well ahead of the elimination time. David/Simone complete it in 5:38, and Jim/Melissa win it in....4:48! They win $10,000 as a dismayed Meg/Adam look on. It seems like we have a little rivalry brewing. There will be no more rivalry with Gichi/Nafisah, as the people with the cool names are eliminated. We'll see how heated the rivalry becomes next week - and if there are more teams that join in the pissy-fest.

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