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If you have a sports dream, then they have the sports stunts, as three people will compete in various challenges to try to win a sports fantasy for a loved one.

Recaps by Don Harpwood, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host:
George Gray
Creator: Transworld International (based on a British series)
Packager: Transworld International, Mass Media, EOE
Airs: Mondays at 10pm ET on ESPN2



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Episode 3 - April 25
 

(C-Note: we haven't had an active recapper for this show for some time and as a result, we missed the first two eps. That's changed. Here's Don!)

Time for more PAIN, SHAME, and INSANE as a trio of women step up this week to compete on behalf of a few guys. As we see host George Gray standing in front of a pool table while knee-deep in water, he explains that this week, the sports fantasy that the guys are hoping to get is a NASCAR weekend in Bristol, Tennessee with Rusty Wallace. Of course, only one of them will have that dream come true, and their fates are in the hands of 3 women.

So, who are those women, and the guys that they'd do anything for?

Tanya Buzzetta
Age: 27
From: Marlton, NJ
Competing for: Ronnie Buzzetta (brother)

Cody Furlow
Age: 27
From: Nashville, TN
Competing for: Charles Christian (brother)

Carol Lasher
Age: In her 40s
From: Tarzana, CA
Competing for: Billy Baum (son)

Day 1 (PAIN): A Full Day's Food in 10 Miles

The competitors and their relatives arrive at the finish line for the first Sacrifice, where George explains the rules for the competition (as usual, win 1 Sacrifice to reach the Final; win 2 to have one of the others eliminated before the Final; win all 3 to be able to pick your opponent in the Final). He then goes on to explain the first Sacrifice, which he calls an homage to the Tour de France. The players will be racing a 10-mile uphill road course along a few mountains (via mountain bikes, of course). They'll be racing in the rain, as it happens to be the type of weather that's there at the time. First one to the finish wins. Oh, and they'll have to stop at a few locations along the way to eat a full meal.

This kinda reminds me of an episode from Season 1, where one of the Sacrifices involved running around a track, stopping to eat food along the way. Some of the differences this time: It's on bikes, it's a longer course, and there's no time limit (which means someone will have to finish the race).

The race begins, and Carol breaks out into an early lead. She has the lead, but with Tanya close behind in second and Cody in third, upon reaching the 2-mile mark, where the first table is set up. The meal here is Breakfast, which consists of a 1/2 lb. breakfast burrito and a 16 oz. glass of orange juice. The 3 women sit down to eat the burritos, as they mention how big the burritos are. Eventually, Carol is the first to finish the meal, and returns to her bike to continue the race. Tanya soon finishes the meal afterwards, and gets going to try to make up some ground on the course. It's not a big problem for Cody either, as she also finishes the burrito and OJ and gets moving on her bike.

The 3 race along the course as Carol, who remains in the lead, receives some encouragement from her son Billy, who is on a truck slightly ahead of the race alongside George and the other guys. But after a few moments, Tanya catches up to Carol, and passes her! Now it's Tanya in the lead, and she pulls farther ahead of Carol, who eventually resorts to walking her bike along the course for a bit. Cody remains behind in 3rd place, and she also gets off her bike and walks it up the road for some time! I think we can tell who has more endurance now.

Tanya is the first to arrive at the second table located at the 4-mile mark, and the meal this time is Lunch (can you sense a pattern, here?), which includes meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and a 16 oz. chocolate milkshake. For some reason, that seems more like dinner to me. Anyway, Tanya takes a deep breath before starting on the meatloaf, which she says is cold. I guess they couldn't have made sure the food was warm somehow just before the players reach the table or something. As she eats, Carol arrives at the table in 2nd place, soon followed by Cody. While eating, the ladies complain about the meatloaf (I can't blame them, since it IS cold, after all). George reminds them that the name of the show is "I'd Do Anything", but Cody would apparently like to add "except this", referring to eating this food.

After a bit, Cody gets the urge to throw up, and Tanya points to a good location off the track to do so. Cody walks to that point and proceeds to hurl over a cliff, as Charles heads over to comfort her. Soon after, she returns to the table and continues eating. Tanya is the first to finish Lunch, and gets right back on her bike to continue racing. Carol then seemed to also want to throw up, but she holds it in and finishes the meal, getting on her bike in 2nd place. And Cody is left behind again. As Tanya continues biking along, she says that she thought she just had dinner, but George, still on the truck ahead, reminds her that that was lunch. She didn't seem too pleased to hear that.

Cody, still at the second table, has to return to the cliff for more barfing, but she does manage to eventually complete the meal and move on, as Tanya arrives at the third table, saying "Oh God, no" when she sees what's there at the 6-mile point. And yes, it's Dinner, which is 2 slices of pepperoni pizza and a 16 oz. glass of soda. What, did they switch lunch and dinner for some reason? Oh, and I'll bet the pizza is cold, too. After Tanya asks about where to throw up at this point, Ronnie tells her to just keep eating. So she does. Tanya sees Carol in the distance, then goes and hurls on the ground nearby as Ronnie pats her on the back. Carol sits down at the table with an opportunity to catch up and take the lead if she can get the pizza and soda down while Tanya is, well, being sick. Eventually, Tanya gets enough out of her system and returns to the table to continue eating. Then, Carol goes to throw up, as Billy urges her to keep going.

But where is Cody? That's what Charles is wondering, as he looks back down the road to try to spot his sister. There's no sign of her at first, but after a few moments, Cody does appear some distance away, walking her bike forward. But before she arrives at the table, Tanya finishes the pizza and moves on, maintaining 1st place. Cody arrives and starts eating, but soon after, Carol gets up after finishing the pizza and soda, and getting back on her bike to race on.

Tanya arrives at the 8-mile mark, where the fourth table is located. And what better way to finish a day's worth of food than with Dessert? Apple pie a la mode and a 16 oz. glass of milk awaits the players, and Tanya doesn't seem to like the idea of drinking milk after all the biking she's done (and with 2 more miles left after this). But she digs in, and she manages to get it down and get back on the bike to hang on to the lead. Meanwhile, Cody is still lagging behind at the dinner table, and after taking a few bites of the pizza, she decides at that point to basically quit. Back at the dessert table, Carol arrives, makes short work of the food and milk, and gets back on her bike to finish the race. But can she catch up to Tanya?

Nope, as Tanya is too far ahead, and she crosses the finish line first, winning the Sacrifice and bringing her brother Ronnie one step closer to hanging out with Rusty Wallace. And Carol, despite seeing that the race is over, still wants to at least finish the task, and does so, crossing the finish line in 2nd place. And Cody is still at the dinner table, apparently ready to barf yet again.

Day 2 (PAIN): A Tennis Ball Onslaught

On this day, the women and men meet George indoors for the second Sacrifice. This time, the ladies will be playing a little tennis, and they just have to return some balls over the net. Whoever volleys the most balls over the net wins. Oh, and they'll have to deal with 1000 balls in 90 seconds, and those balls will be fired at them from 8 tennis ball machines at 100 miles per hour. And before I forget, I should also mention that the players will be on in-line skates. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

After a demonstration of the balls being fired from the machines, Cody straps on the skates first, and gets ready for the barrage, tennis racket in hand. She says that her strategy is to focus on swinging the racket and hoping to hit something over the net, and not the skates or the pain of the balls that will inevitably hit her. The horn sounds, and the balls are unleashed at Cody, who doesn't really seem to be swinging the racket much; she's just holding it up to shield herself. So much for that strategy. But she does start trying to swing the racket to hit the balls over the net; she just swings down at first, sending most of whatever balls she hits into the net. With less than 10 seconds left, she does manage to start hitting the balls up, albeit slightly, and she does get some balls over the net. Time expires, and the count for Cody is 14 balls (out of 1000).

Carol is next, and she starts by standing sideways, with her racket out to the side. The balls begin flying at her, and Carol manages to at least swing the racket more than Cody did, hitting balls over the net while taking those aimed directly at her on the side. Halfway through, Carol decides to switch strategies due to all the balls hitting her, and go for the same approach that Cody used, though she did note that she wasn't hitting as many balls as she did before. With 30 seconds left, Billy must have also noticed this, as he told her mom to go back to the sideways stance. Carol does do so, and gets more balls over the net before time runs out. But as time ran out, the balls kept going for another few seconds before stopping. I don't know whether or not the balls that came afterwards counted, but the official count for Carol is 20 balls, putting her in the lead.

Last but not least is Tanya, who already has her ticket to the Final, but a win here will ensure that she won't see one of her opponents there. She has to beat 20 to win, and she starts in a stance similar to what Cody started with, but at an angle. The balls start shooting out, and Tanya swung the racket about as much as Carol did. She eventually shifts sideways, but as she did, about halfway through, the balls start to take their toll on her, as Tanya began saying "Ow!" as the balls struck her. She did eventually shift her stance back to the angle that she started with, still clearly getting hurt by the balls while she's at it, as the 90 seconds run out. She needed to beat 20 to win the Sacrifice, but her official count is... 13. That means that Carol wins the Sacrifice, and she and Billy are excited about getting into the Final and getting one step closer to a weekend at Bristol for him. This also puts pressure on Cody, who now must win the next Sacrifice to avoid elimination. And because the ladies went through so much pain, they gets ice packs for their trouble.

Night 3 (SHAME): Bruised Bodybuilding?

On this night, the 3 competing ladies and the 3 hopeful guys are on a stage in an auditorium with some ads behind them, as George, after a reminder that Cody must win or else she won't be in the Final, explains that there is going to be a bodybuilding competition on that stage, which will involve some professional female bodybuilders. A packed crowd will be watching, and so will a panel of judges, who will be judging the competition, of course. And it's not just professional bodybuilders competing in this competition... Yes, Tanya, Cody, and Carol are also competing! While they'll most likely be outclassed by the pros, especially considering the bruises from the tennis balls from the previous day, the 3 will get a chance to prepare for it. First, they get some pointers from 8-time Ms. Olympia winner Linda Murray, who tells them that they'll be shown 7 poses, which they must work into a 60-second posing routine. She then shows off the moves, as the 3 women try them out as best as they can. The players then start exercising, trying to get their bodies in the best shape that they possibly can (and considering the limited amount of time they have, they'll need it).

The competition starts, and one of the professional bodybuilders starts things off, doing her thing. The 3 women were obviously intimidated by the pros, but as Tanya said she kept telling herself, the main thing was that they were competing against each other, and not the pros. George mentions that they had 1 hour to put together their routines, and the judges will decide which of those 3 has the best routine; that woman will win this Sacrifice. Cody, who must win this to reach the Final, is up first. She starts her routine, and she's not looking too bad. Despite the lack of muscles, Cody manages to pull off a good routine that gets the crowd cheering. She gets some praise after finishing up and walking off the stage.

Up next is Tanya, and although she had one or two visible bruises, she gets into it, and also does a good job. She doesn't quite get the crowd cheering as much as Cody did, but despite her nerves getting to her at first, she pulls off a good routine nonetheless. And finally, Carol walks on to show off her routine. She had the most visible bruises of the 3, and Billy mentioned some embarrassment seeing his mother up there like that, but she went for it anyway. She didn't seem to put as much effort into her routine as the others did, though, but it wasn't too bad.

But wait, that's not all! Next, all 3 women had to go into a pose-down, and joining them on stage were 2 of the professional bodybuilders! All 3 of them give it their best shot, but the pros attempt to steal the spotlight by standing in front of them. So Tanya moves to the side so the crowd's view of her isn't being blocked. All in all, a good effort by the 3 competitors. With that, the judges deliberated, and after that, George explains that the women were judged completely on their routine, and not their physique. So much for the bruises being a handicap. But they won't find out who wins the Sacrifice yet. They'll have to wait until just before the Final. Has Cody done enough to keep Charles' dream of meeting Rusty Wallace at Bristol alive?

Night 4 (INSANE): Now THIS is Pool!

The crew meets George at the site of the Final, and he is holding the trophy that will go to the winner of the third Sacrifice. And after mentioning that there was a 1 point difference between 1st and 2nd, he turns the trophy around to reveal the name of the winner... and it is Cody! She is still alive in this competition, and that means that all 3 will participate in the Final! So, what is the task that they'll have to complete to win the NASCAR weekend for someone else?

It has to do with a type of 'shark', which scares the players at first, as they are standing in front of a big pool. A pool shark, to be exact, as a cage then rises out of the pool to reveal a pool table. Yes, the same one that George was standing in front of at the beginning of the show. He then mentions that there aren't any live sharks in there (much to the relief of the women, I'll bet, though it would have made this a heck of a lot more interesting, not to mention dangerous). The women will be in the cage, though, one at a time. Upon 'breaking', the cage will start to drop into the water until it is almost fully submerged underwater, leaving a tiny bit of breathing space at the top of the cage. They'll have to sink all of the balls on the table as quickly as possible, and in no particular order. Whoever can sink all the balls (or the most balls) in the fastest time will win the Final.

Cody is up first, as George then explains that unlike in real Pool, they are allowed to just shoot the individual balls without using the cue ball. They just have to make sure all the balls are sunk (including the cue ball). Cody crosses a bridge and into the cage, and with a pool cue in hand, she breaks to start the clock. She didn't hit the cue ball hard, though, meaning most of the balls stayed together. As the cage lowers into the water, Cody quickly tries to shoot the balls, but the cage tilts a bit while lowering, moving the balls on the table all over the place. Cody is doing fine until the water level in the cage gets high, and when she gets some water in her mouth, she tries to come up for air, only to start panicking as she couldn't catch her breath. She then pounds on one of the removable panels on top of the cage, signaling that she quit. She catches her breath as the cage rises up again, and once she's back on dry land, George tells her and Charles that she sunk 5 balls in 1:58, making that the time/score to beat.

Carol is next, and she just has to get 6 balls, or get 5 balls in less than 1:58 to take the lead. She enters the cage, the cage walls close, and she gets a light break herself, as she says that she did so to keep the balls on one side of the table. As the cage hits the water and tilts a bit, Carol is nudging the balls with the cue into the pockets. At 30 seconds, the water level was at a point where she had to dive in to continue. She did so, and she found herself floating in the water above the table. She kept nudging the balls along and into the pockets, though, but she eventually had to get some air. Carol basically hugged the top of the cage to get her mouth into the air pocket, and at around 1:50, she went back down to continue. After nudging a few more balls down, she had to get some more air, though it didn't take as long this time, and she then manages to get the last ball in a corner pocket to stop the clock at 2:15.19, knocking Cody out of contention. As the cage rises, Tanya expresses concern, thinking that she may not be able to do what Carol just did. Ronnie tries to encourage her, though, but Billy says she doesn't have to. Nice kid.

Tanya does go through with this, though, as she enters the cage to get ready to shoot some underwater pool. She ends up missing the break, though, and she had to hit the cue ball into the others again quickly before getting into the swing of things, shooting the balls into the pockets. As the table is submerged, a tilt sends the remaining balls from one side of the table to the other, and Tanya takes a few breaths before... panicking. She tries to catch her breath as the cage reaches its lowest point, leaving very little breathing room. But Tanya is still trying to catch her breath, and at around 1:40... she knocks on the top of the cage, quitting. And Carol and Billy couldn't be happier, because this means that Carol is the winner, and Billy gets the NASCAR weekend at Bristol!

1 Week Later

Now we get to see Billy and Carol enjoy the prize, as they arrive at Bristol Motor Speedway. They meet Rusty Wallace, and they chat for a bit (about cars, no less; I wonder if Carol felt a little left out of that conversation). Billy gets to try using the drill used to take the lug nuts off a wheel, before a pit crew member shows off and shows how to use it, well, very quickly. Rusty then invites them to watch the race from the pit area. After the customary picture with Rusty and his car, Billy and Carol enjoys the race. All in all, a nice experience, and a loud one, too.

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