Episode 3 - October 12
Who says women can't tough it out? We have three ladies who are willing to put their bodies and egos on the wire so that they can win a sports fantasy...for someone they care about. Well, why not? We all KNOW that women can be self-sacrificial.
Let's meet the sacrificial lambs and the shephards who hope their tortures will lead to treasures:
From: Worchester, MA
Profession: Production Assistant
Playing for: Mike Moore
Dream: Catch a pass from Joe Montana at Notre Dame Stadium
From: Lawrenceville, GA
Playing for: Andre Ware (no, not the Heisman Trophy winner)
Dream: Play football with Jerry Rice
From: New York City
Playing for: Tom Krasnoff
Dream: Hang out with New York Rangers champ team of Wayne Gretsky, Mark Messier and Adam Graves
(And, just like in "Fear Factor", ESPN wants to cover their asses. So they let you know that these stunts are put together and overseen by "trained professionals" [whatever THAT means]. So even if you WOULD do anything, you're not on TV...so DON'T DO ANYTHING THEY'RE DOING!)
SACRIFICE 1: PAIN - VERY EXTREME DODGEBALL
Three Ford F-150 trucks haul to a high school gymnasium where Anne Robinson-wannabe George Gray welcomes them all. And, since they ARE in a school gym, the ladies will be playing the school game of dodgeball (*shivers* bad memories). But it's not against the C.P.As or the Barbell Mafia, oh no. It's against a quintent of ball-throwing machines!
Each player will stand in a three-foot circle while five machines hurl 20 dodgeballs each at them at speed appraoching 100 MPH. They MUST stay inside the circle at all times and must catch balls to score (as well as defense). The one that catches the most balls out of 100 within a one-minute time limit wins the sacrifice and proceeds to the Final. Oh, yeah, and the other contestants and all three "loved ones" will be controlling the machines.
Caitlin is the first to give it a whirl. Of course, unlike the dodgeball games I had to endure, Caitlin is allowed to where a face-masked helmet and a chest protector. Mike decides to man the machine aiming the ball right at her HEAD... because that's where most of the shots hit. The problem was that Caitlin was trying to catch balls from all directions. Finally, she gets wind at what her dad was trying to motion all along: to catch the balls from HIS machine alone and do her best to drown out the others. With this strategy, she is able to endure the barrage and catch six balls. It's certain she would've caught a seventh had time not run out. She's a little mad at herself for such a low total... not to mention a little injured, needing a splint on a jammed thumb.
Trave is up next and she decides to institute the same strategy from the very start: keep focused on Mike and Mike alone to catch balls. But this proves more difficult than she imagined when she realizes that the balls were coming with the speed that supposedly Randy Johnson tossed them at in that anti-perspirant commercial. As soon as the first ball smacked her, she was so stunned that she went on the defensive for most of the round. She managed to catch ONE... between her knees. But it was enough to strengthen her confidence and catch three more. But the four total is not enough to top Caitlan
Brooke is last to try her luck... and Tom already feels his bride-to-be is in serious trouble. And he was right... because the very first shot that struck knocked her down and out of the ring. But she's not DQed because of this; she just needs to stand back up and (now knowing what to expect) keep trying. With Tom "apologizing" all the time for nailing her in the chest and head, Brooke caught one... and the streak begins. She started catching almost every ball tossed at her by Tom... and ended up catching the seventh one to win the sacrifice! She ends up catching nine and getting a hug from Tom.
SACRIFICE 2: PAIN - MALLET SHOCK
The next day, the trucks head into the mountains. Caitlin thinks the pressure is on for her now. She, her dad and the other four meet George at a hilltop mansion's spacious backyard. A nice game of croquet has been set up for the ladies and they just need to play the game. As a bonus, they get to wear an anklet and a bracelet while they play... an anklet and a bracelet that produce electric shocks!
The game of croquet is played on a grass field of two connecting "diamonds" with "wickets" in the ground at each corner and a post at one end. The ladies will strike their ball through the wickets in a counter-clockwise fashion. Whoever gets them through all seven wickets (one of them counts twice) and strikes the post first wins. If they get the ball through a wicket they get to shoot again. If they hit another person's ball, they get TWO free shots AND the opportunity to whack the ball they struck in any direction for any length.
And where do the anklets and bracelets come in? Well, the course has randomly placed electrical wires buried underneath. As soon as any of the girls enter one of those zones with the wires, botht the anklet and the bracelet will give off an electric shock ranging from mild to WHOA! This is simply to hamper their play.
Trave shoots first...and she's scared as HELL. And no sooner does she send her black ball than she gets her first shock. Caitlin and Brooke start their travels and Brooke likewise get the zaps. Brooke makes the first two wicket s and gets out to a long lead. Caitlin is next to get her first wicket while Trave falls behind. Brooke, oddly enough, doesn't get HER first shock until after her third wicket... and all that anticipation really through her off when the shock came. But she remains ahead. Trave finally strikes back and pulls ahead of Caitlin for second... which doesn't really count in this competition.
Brooke hops around one one foot for most of the rest of the game but gets her fifth wicket while looking like a flamingo with a torn Achilles' tendon. Caitlin then started HER comeback by playing smart and focused on the "back three" and tied the score, leaving Trave in the dust. Brooke gets annoyed at all the "advice" by Tom and, without too many words, politely tells him to shut up. She scores her final wicket and heads for the final post. Caitlin abandons the final wicket and tries to hit HER ball with Brooke's... but she misses wide and far. Brooke then MISSES the easy shot to win, giving Caitlin the chance to try again. This time, she actually HITS Brooke's ball and sends it flailing far off the field.
But the two free shots Caitlin has doesn't get her much closer to her final wicket. THIS gives BROOKE the opportunity to give a good whack and get it back near the post. As Caitlin fails to get her last wicket, Brooke, fighting the pain of the shocks of the "hot zone" her ball is in, taps it lightly, strikes the post and wins her second sacrifice. This means that, for the first time on "I'd Do Anything", there will be only TWO people in the Final! Caitlin is VERY upset for losing the game, not wanting her dad to miss the opportunity to play with Montana at the field of the Fighting Irish. But she insists that she'll come back strong in...
SACRIFICE 3: SHAME - DYING IS EASY, COMEDY IS BRUTAL
The girls pull up in front of the world-famous Improv Comedy Club in Los Angeles, the club that launched a hundred comic careers. George meets them inside and asks them what athletes have in common when it comes to the limelight. When nobody answered, George says that it's working under pressure. And that is EXACTLY what they're going to be doing: performing a comedy routine in front of a live audience! (Who didn't see THAT coming?)
The players will have all morning and afternoon to come up with two minutes' worth of material. They must incorporate into their routine the name of their loved one and their sports fantasy. The will perform that early evening in front of a packed house...and, most importantly, three celebrity comic judges. The judges will determine which lady was the funniest and, thus, who wins the sacrifice. If Brooke wins again, she gets to choose which one to eliminate. If Caitlin or Trave finally win one, the other will automatically be gone.
Each team spends a bit of time talking about what to put in their routine. And, one by one, they're visited by one of the celebrity judges: comedian, TV star and "Celebrity Mole: Yucatan" runner-up, Mark Curry. Mark gives them tips on their routines. Caitlin goes outside the club to think and let her instincts "kick in", as she says. During the last half-hour before showtime as the crowds started to file in, the girls practice their routines and try their best to get the jitters out.
It's Showtime at the Improv and Mark Curry is joined by fellow comics Randy Sklar and Joey Medina. As Caitlin and Brooke pace in the backstage area, Trave starts off the show. She starts by asking how everyone is doing... then gets them to cheer louder by saying, "I'm a black women, I'm PMSin' and I'm broke!" She "complains" about his husband's fantasy and that she "doesn't even like ESPN". (Chances are she really does.) Andre is shocked that she "shot from the hip" and was actually quite funny! Trave admits afterwards that she was just being herself.
Caitlin is the next one thrown to the wolves... and she was a nervous as a lamb IN a pack of wolves. She explains what she's here for (her dad playing with Montana) and goes into Mike's "obsession" with Joe Montana. But the nerves are definitely getting to her. She manages a few good lines (like, since Mike was a bartender for 35 years, how she learned to make a 'highball at age 4), but nothing like Trave.
Finally, it's Brooke's turn. Tom has confidence in her... but she's is QUITE nervous. She starts off with a rant about how ESPN runs SportsCenter about 10 times a day (which is true) and how Tom MUST sit through every morning rerun if it. She then continues ragging her beau by imitating him yelling back at a game on ESPN Classic (She may be scoring votes with the judges, but I doubt any ESPN Zone will serve her ever again) and comparing it to HER yelling at Martha Stewart's TV show.
Later, once the crowds clear after the headliner finishes, Mark, Randy and Joey toss around who they thought was the best. They more or less juggle the three photos around and graffiti them to no end. After a time, though, they hand the winning picture to George.
To the Ultimate Sports Fantasy Bar in the ravine they go later that night. George has a folder which contains the picture of the winner of the sacrifice...and he says that ONE of the girls has to open it because HE won't. After much, MUCH hesitation, Andre finally opens it to find a very graffitied picture of...TRAVE! That means it's Trave vs. Brooke in the final...and Caitlin is the first person ever eliminated from I'd Do Anything before the Final. She's very upset that Mike won't be playing catch with Joe Montana...but he's proud of her...and she's proud to be his daughter.
FINAL: INSANE - YOU BETTER STICK THIS LANDING!
In the dead of night, Trave, Andre, Brooke and Tom head for a dark alley and enter an old building with an ancient elevator which takes them up to the rooftop. George meets them there on the roof of the ten-story building and says that the Final is a simple round of gymnastics...from 100 feet in the air!
Stretching 90 feet across two buildings are an array of gymnastics equipment which the players must get over and across. First is a high balance beam, followed by a small "floor exercise" mat and a lower balance beam. They then must leap to a pair of uneven bars and a pair of paralell bars and get over them. After that, the ymust jump off a vault springboard and across a six-foot gap to the (heavily padded) horse. After that, they tumble down to the other building's roof and hit a button. The one that slams that button in the fastest time wins the Final and gives their loved one their sports fantasy!
Since Brooke won two sacrifices to Trave's one, she gets to choose who goes first. She chooses herself (wanting to get the experience over with). She goes over to the start building, dons her protective gear and fall rope and readies herself. As George starts her off, she crawls across the first balance beam and inches her way across the second, She makes it to the uneven bars in under a minute... but it takes her a half-a-minute to get up the guts to lean over, grab the lower bar and hoist herself up. She uses the rigging of the bars to heft herself to the higher bar, but it takes her close to FOUR MINUTES to get over THAT one. By the time she hits the runway towards the springboard, six minutes have elapsed. She hesitates quite a bit more before finally vaulting almost right over the horse and hitting the mat. Exhausted, she crawls to the button and hits it. Brooke's time is 7 minutes and 9 seconds.
Now it's Trave's turn. If she can get past the obstacles faster than Brooke, her husband gets some quality time with Jerry Rice up in Oakland. If she doesn't, Tom gets to skate with the Rangers. Trave has NEVER been 10 stories up in the air....and she has SEVERE acrophobia. The things we do for our loved ones, huh? Still she starts OFF well enough, climbing past both balance beams (despite Andre's shouts to walk across it) in 35 seconds. Now comes the BIG problem: getting up on the uneven bars while staring down at a 100-foot drop. She looks up and down and over and out, trying to work up a strategy that will keep her from falling 20 feet before the rope catches her.
But, then,... she waves and says, "This is it... I can't do it." Despite the best efforts of George and Andre to egg her on, she gets off the uneven bars and sits down on the low beam. She has quit the Final. Andre is glad that she even MADE it to the Final. But it's Brooke who has conquered this game to get his fiancee on ice... literally.
PRIZE: Tom Krasnoff will be flown to New York City and go to Madison Square Garden to hang out with New York Ranger greats, past and present. He'll hit the ice and shoot the puck around with them.
Hey, wait a second... with the NHL guys on strike... and possibly for a LONG time... I'm guessing that either Tom won't be getting his fantasy for a long time or there won't be a game involved.