Fear Factor
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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 4.16 (Couples 1) - January 5

"I don't remember who won second, but I remember who won last year's million."

That is said by Roberto as we start the new year with the second annual one million dollar tourney. You know the deal - 8 couples, 7 weeks, 1 million - and a lot of prizes to match. Will we get a repeat of another Las Vegas wedding (as what happened last year with Jackson and Monica)? Maybe we will - but we will probably also get a lot of break-ups, like Adam and Meg. Either way, it should be fun.

Let's see who gets to participate in all this fun...

Ashley and Dean - They've been there for the longest (4 years) so they feel that they have the edge. They look like a buffed up Barbie and Ken.

Richard and Tara - They are the only engages couple, and they say they will win it all and use it to pay for their wedding. Think Barbie and Ken if they were going part grungy, part hillbilly.

Maria and Craig - They have been in a long-distance relationship for two years, and if they win, the Midwestern Maria will be moving to Arizona to be with the bandanna-wearing Craig.

Leah and Roberto - They admit that their relationship is on the rocks, but the Latino couple will still be going for the cash.

Tina and Randy - Randy complains about Tina scratching him - ouch. The Asian/Hispanic couple do say that they will channel their anger towards winning the competitions.

Lisa Marie and Scott - Lisa Marie is another blonde, while Scott is dark-haired. They say that they are the most competitive group there, and if they work as a team, then they are unstoppable.

Bobby and Amy - Bobby looks like Lex from Survivor Africa, while Amy looks like a matured Goth Girl from the Greek Games. Both of them look like tattooed hippied from the 70's - but maybe their plan is to intimidate all of the teams. Bobby has an 'Amy' tattoo on his armpit. Now if that ain't love...

Andre and Amirah - The lone African-American group can't wait to get it on with everyone else. "We were born to this."

CHALLENGE 1: Joe welcomes them all as we hear the traditional spiel and pep rally. He rallies the troops for the first stunt - the man will be dangling by their ankles on a helicopter. They will be grabbing on to a rope. On the bottom of their rope is their female counterpart as they try to hold on to the rope for as long as possible. The couple that does this the longest wins a Capital One credit card worth anywhere from $10,000-$50,000. Well, that's a nice way to start.

The first two pairs will be Dean/Ashley and Maria/Craig. They both last awhile, but Maria falls at the 50 second mark. Dean and Ashley are trying to set the bar, but at a 1:02.5 bar, I'm not sure if it's going to be enough.

The second squad is Leah/Roberto and Tia/Randy. The couples think that Leah wears the pants in their relationship - and that Roberto will drop the rope. They are....right, as he does drop the rope - at 1:01. Tina, at 1:08.8, becomes the new leaders. After seeing their time beaten, Dean starts going after Ashley, who shrugs it off. Leah goes after Roberto, who just has to shut up and take it like a man - though he seems to be more of the womanly type.

Bobby and Amy and Lisa Marie/Scott are next. The teams are already complaining about the fact that Bobby and Amy don't wear deodorant. 'They make Right Guard turn left.' says Randy. Heh. Scott says that they will hold on for 2 minutes - but they are a good 1:30 short of that. The lack of deodorant doesn't wilt the rope, as Bobby and Amy are the new leaders at 1:18.4. 'The Stinkies have done it!' says Joe in glee. Way to be tactful, Joe.

Finally, it's Richard/Tara and Andre/Amirah. Tara falls out, so it's up to Amirah to hold it for the team. She drops at...1:08. The tattooers win the first challenge and get to pick a card. They select the card worth.... $10,000. It's the minimum, but at least they will be walking off with something.

CHALLENGE 2: The problem is that someone is walking out of the next stunt with nothing. They will be leaving with full bellies though, as we get the Fear Factor lunch! What's in the lunch today? Glad you asked, as we have...

Cod Egg Sac
Fish Eyeballs
Fish Stomach
See Snails

Before they get to the food, the couples first have to transfer four 200 pound tunas in a pool of fish parts and seaweed. They then have to get a canister that's filled with one of the four fish parts mentioned and eat all of it.

The team that does it the quickest wins $10,000. The team that does it the second slowest can not participate in the prize stunt on the next episode. The team that does it the slowest will be the first team eliminated.

By winning the last challenge, Bobby and Amy select the order. They choose their toughest competition to go first - which is Andre/Amirah and Dean/Ashley. They all think it's a compliment and promise to set the bar high. On the tuna transferring part of the race, Dean and Ashley are blowing out Andre and Amirah. Andre is letting Amirah carry the 200 pound fish and dropping it over the side by herself - not smart. Dean/Ashley select the cod egg sac, which is really tough to eat, while Andre and Amirah are munching down those much easier to pop in your mouth sea snails. Thee food makes the difference, as Andre and Amirah actually get the win in 6:00 even. Dean and Ashley, and to the throng of everyone else making vomiting noises, do finish - but in a very slow 9:55.

Next up - Randy/Tina and Tara/Richard. Richard says that he is hungry, which is good, because there's plenty to eat. In a neck and neck battle, Randy gets the fish stomach, while Richard finds the fish eyeballs. Joe warns them that if one of them throws up, they will be eliminated - but if one of them can't eat it, the other person can eat all of it. Randy says that the fish stomach is by far the worst thing to eat, and he and Dean will be debating it. I say that because Dean will be around next week - because Richard's eyeballs takes them 10:58 to eat. I say Richard's eyeballs, because Tara refuses to eat anymore after two of them (for fear of vomiting), which leaves Richard to eats almost the entire portion. Richard may have something to say about it, but he can't join in the conversation if the other 4 teams beat his time.

Bobby and Amy select themselves next - and Roberto and Leah, who says that Bobby and Amy are making a huge mistake. Based on Roberto's lack of effort on the first stunt, I think that they haven't. They actually lose the tuna (now how do you misplace a 200 pound tuna?) as Bobby and Amy easily get to chow down first. They get the...eyeballs, which Amy wanted to eat - but she changes her mind quickly. That may give Richard and Leah the break that they need - but they also pick the eyeballs and it's an all gag-fest. Believe it or not, Richard and Leah do get the stunt done first, but Bobby and Amy's 10:18 time also keeps them in.

Finally, it's Lisa Marie/Scott and Craig/Maria. Both teams complete the stunt in under 3 minutes... but they both get eyeballs and Andre is stoked about it - until they see Scott eating the eyeballs like candy. They munch them in 5:30, which gives them the $10,000. Maria and Craig have another strategy - she crushes the eyeballs and spits them in Craig's mouth (ewwwwww) - but they get it done in 7:11. They are safe. Randy and Tina had the second slowest time, so they can't participate in the first stunt next week - but they are safe. Tara's lack of eating costs them, as she and Richard are eliminated. Tara hugs Richard, who looks down and can't make eye contact with her.

Andre and Amirah are sad - but they also know that it could have been them. Joe reminds Tara that she cost them the match as they leave them behind. Richard's response "That's alright - you're worth more than a million dollars." AwwwwBarf.

As usual, we have a fun first episode of the tournament. We'll have fun with cow stomachs 7 days.

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