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One hero vs. ten total strangers. Miss just one question and you'll fall through the floor, but drop all ten strangers and you win $1,000,000.

Recaps by Brian Moore & Brian Sapinski, GSNN
Host Ben Bailey
Announcer Tom Kane
Creators Lisa Shiloach-Uzrad & Amit Stretiner (based upon "Still Standing")
EP Craig Plestis
Tim Puntillo
Lisa Shiloach-Uzrad
Amit Stretiner
Avi Armoza
Packager Armoza Formats & Smart Dog Media for Universal Television
Origins Sunset Gower Studios, Los Angeles
Web nbc.com/wss
Airs 8p ET Mon, NBC
@Who's Still Standing

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Country Strong
December 19

We've waited five long months for this, and then some. Welcome to Who's Still Standing?

First, let's review the rules:

One person competes against 10 strangers. They choose one to face off with in a battle of trivia word puzzles. In each puzzle, only a few letters are shown, depending on the length of the answer, and the difficulty of the question produces longer answers with fewer letters.

The stranger goes first, trying to solve their word puzzle in 20 seconds. If they succeed, control goes to the challenger for their try. Play bounces back and forth with more difficult questions until one person misses. That person drops out of the game... literally. That's right, break out Russian Roulette, cuz the trap doors are BACK, baby!

One additional note: The challenger has two Passes available. If they're running out of time before they know the answer, they can pass the question to the stranger. The stranger, however, cannot pass. They must answer the question.

If the challenger wins, they win a random amount of cash worth 1 to 20 thousand attached to that stranger. If the stranger wins, they win $10,000. No indication if that stranger becomes the new challenger or not.

TONIGHT'S CHALLENGER: JARED YOUNG (Conway, AK - Volleyball coach)

Will solving crosswords with his grandmother lead him to a million? We're about to find out.

MATCH #1: JARED VS. #3 APRIL MARQUETTE (Astoria, OR - Web Designer)
Our opening match pits crosswords against coding. Who will win?

Well, the match start off well for both, neither one missing a beat until all the way at April's 5th question:

The best-selling General Mills cereal:
_ _ _ _ Y _ _ T _ _ _ _ _ _ O _

Sometimes you feel like a nut... HONEY NUT CHEERIOS, that is. And April does. Then, on her 8th question:

What International Monetary Fund chief resigned in 2011?
_ _ _ _ _ I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _

April nails it: DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN. Impressive solve. Even Ben's in awe after that one. But now let's fast forward to Jared's next question:

What Minnesota city topped Money magazine's 2010 list of "Best Places to Live"?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ I _

Unless you're Rose Nylund, I don't think you're getting this. And neither is Jared, so he chooses to PASS to April. Does she know it?


No, she doesn't, and so it's *open* bye-bye! The correct answer: EDEN PRAIRIE. Did any of you have that out there that don't live in that town?
Well, that doesn't matter to Jared, because in spite of using a pass, he wins the battle. And now, let's see what he wins.

JARED WINS: $3,000

So that's 1 down, 9 to go for the million. It should be noted that if Jared drops half of the group, he can bank his winnings and walk away. But if he loses beforehand, he gets nothing.

MATCH #2: JARED VS. #8 RON RAMSEY (Detroit, MI - Commercial Marketer)

SPECIAL ROUND - TRUE DAT (All questions in this round are associated with "true" and "truth".)

They trade off 3 questions, and Ron faces this as his 4th:

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" deals with what environmental crisis?
_ _ O _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ G


The best Ron can do is "Range rover". Well, they may have contributed to GLOBAL WARMING. But right now, Jared has received a contribution of...

JARED WINS: $20,000

Big one! $23,000 now, let's see where we go next.

MATCH #3: JARED VS. #5 ERIN ??? (no last name given) (La Habra, CA - Makeup artist)
Jared can beat some no-name makeup artist, right?

Well, he faces his first heat on his 3rd question:

The initials in what catalogue company's name stand for Leon Leonwood?
_ . _ . _ _ _ N

But he gets it: L.L. BEAN

Erin's #5 gets even hotter:

Whitney Houston's hit "I Will Always Love You" was written by what country star?
_ O _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ N


"Brooks Dunn..." *sigh* Country music gets no love: DOLLY PARTON

JARED WINS: $15,000

Another big payout, and 3 wins under his belt.

MATCH #4: JARED VS. #2 ZACK RITTER (Los Angeles, CA - Academic counselor at UCLA)
Uh oh, Zack's got a PhD and two Masters. This is gonna be a tough one.

SPECIAL ROUND - LADY KILLER (All questions in this round are about ladies.)

But it's Zack who faces the first pressure on his 2nd question:

Sponge cake shaped like a digit of your hand
_ A _ _ F _ _ _ _ R


And it'll be his last pressure. I think Zack's been too busy hitting the books to have a LADYFINGER or two. And so this one ends in a hurry.

JARED WINS: $10,000

$48,000 now in the bank, and one more match to earn the right to walk away. And still 1 pass left.

MATCH #5: JARED VS. #1 SIBANEE SNARE (Pasadena, CA - Store manager)
Simple profession, but you know what they say about the quiet ones...

Sibanee's 3rd:

The finicky "spokes-cat" of 9 Lives cat food.
_ O _ _ _ S

She needs a second to remember MORRIS, and we play on, but right on her next question:

In chess, it's what you say when your opponent's king cannot escape.
_ _ _ C _ _ _ T _


It's CHECKMATE for Sibanee. And her grandfather plays chess all the time, she says. He WILL kill you, Sibanee.

JARED WINS: $1,000

He now has $49,000. NOW, he has the option to walk with that money. If he plays on, he risks all the money and MUST play on for the million against the other 5 strangers (or at least that's how they're describing it). And as an extra incentive, Jared will gain an extra Pass if he plays on.

So what will he do?

JARED WINS: $49,000

Jared says he wants to finally own a new car. Now, he can get one. So congratulations to our first winner. And not only that, since Jared survived, they ask if wants to drop anyway! And naturally, Jared takes them up on it.

That is such an awesome idea! At first, the drop is a pressure cooker. Now, when you win, it might as well be a roller coaster. Not that I'm a roller coaster fan, but that actually makes this show fun. Well thought out, guys!

So this game is over. But we still have 5 people who didn't get to do anything. So what happens for them?

It's a winner-take-all hot potato. Each stranger gets 10 seconds to answer. A right answer going around the stage adds $1,000 to the bank.

Our participants in playing order are:
#6 STEVE EARLY (Roller rink manager and former Air Force member)
#7 MARLA McCLURE (Bachelor's in psych with a 1500 old-school SAT)
#9 CATHERINE SMITH (Avid reader... of 4 books at once!)
#10 TODD STABLES (A 4.0 mechanical engineer graduate)
#4 JEFFREY MOORE (Been reading the encyclopedia since he got one as a 5-year old)

The results:

Jeffrey's 1st:
Compounds containing this element are the basis for organic chemistry.
C _ R _ _ _

"Cur-Cur-Forgive me." CARBON

Marla's 2nd:
Ronald Reagan's favorite candy:
_ E _ _ Y _ _ _ _ S

"Well..." this is the end for Marla: JELLY BEANS

Todd's 2nd:
Nadya Suleman's "maternal" nickname
_ _ _ O _ _ M

Thank the heavens she's been forgotten now: OCTOMOM

Todd, just for NOT knowing, I'd give you $1,000 in appreciation if I had the ability to pony up.

Steve's 3rd:
Mythical hero who performed "12 Labors"
_ _ R _ U _ _ _

You know the audience knows it when they're chanting it like Eddie Murphy: HERCULES


For knowing her puzzles based on Olive Oyl and the Pine Tree State of Maine, Catherine takes home 6 grand. And... she'd rather go through the door. To each their own. But glad to see that everyone gets to choose.

And to close the night, Ben takes the drop!

That does it first this first night of Who's Still Standing? Until tomorrow night, this is Brian Sapinski saying... Watch your step...?

To see this episode in its entirety, visit the official website at www.nbc.com/whos-still-standing or their Hulu page at www.hulu.com/whos-still-standing.