Ok boys and girls. A lot has happened since the first episode. We will get to the recaps of episodes 2 and 3 in a moment.
Being an Obstacle Race media site, we of course want to highlight OCR athletes when talking about an event. In my first review I pointed out folks that were OCR racers based on those my editor and myself knew were involved with the sport. The History Channel bios for the candidates don’t always mention OCR/GORUCK affiliations. so we may have missed a couple of folks. Just want to give a shout-out to a couple more candidates from those worlds:
- # 6 – Dylan Davis
- # 14 – Johnny Larios
Good luck guys. Now let’s look back to our regularly scheduled review.
Evolution 2 : Hell & High Water
Good Morning Candidates!!! Anyone that has gone through military basic training can relate to the awakening that was given the remaining 25 candidates. The look on the faces of the candidates is priceless. WTF in a major way. It was also during this sequence that we heard one of the instructors refer to candidate #30 as “Time Short.” While this was happening 2 of the candidates dropped leaving 23 as the day begins.
During the first candidate review by the instructors of the episode we learn that candidates #11’s age is 45 years old and that he is the oldest candidate. They also picked a new team leader for the day, during this segment tagging #23 for the job.
During the breakfast consisting of MRE’s, candidate #18 drops because of health issues. We also lost candidate #29 when they were being loaded up for the next evolution I refer to as “BUDS” leaving 21 candidates remaining.
At the beach, this is when the “Hell and High water” happens. Candidate # 23 is made the team leader. It was during this segment of the episode that we saw the loss of an early fan (and instructor) favorite #30. The swim to the buoy just was not in the plans for him. He gave 110% of himself but sometimes that is just not enough.
It was also during this segment that I had a letdown in regards to the reality of the show. During the buoy swim, some candidates were allowed to use flotations devices. I understand the safety aspect but it only adds fuel to the fire in regards to those that say it is not realistic. I know that all the candidates had to pass a basic military PT test to even be considered, so why was a swim test not given if it was going to be part of the show?
The audience also saw candidate #11 take more of a leadership role. After the swim he could be seen trying to get other to overcome the cold. When all was said and done, 19 candidates remain.
The candidates end the episode with Zodiac Boat Drills. They may look light but they are a bitch to carry any distance. It was in this segment that #11 is made the class leader. During this segment we saw 4 more candidates drop, the sisters; #8 and #9, #23 and we see the first med drop of the show, #4.
By the time this episodes ends 10 candidates have dropped. A pleasant day at the beach was not in the works for many.
Evolution 3: Man in the Arena
There are 15 candidates remaining at this point and this is where it becomes more of a mental game for the candidates.
Candidate #11 is still the team lead when the group has their first barracks Inspection and it is not pretty. It was also during this segment that #11 gets reamed for calling the instructors “Inspectors.” He did this first in episode # 2. Because the instructors are starting to play more mental games, #11 seemed to be challenged a bit more than the other class leaders. But at this point it is to expected. As a team leader #11 did not follow-up through with his team to make sure things are done. Also during this time #11 was asked who he felt were the weakest candidates and he picked 2 females, #27 and #3. Will this come back to bite him? Or create dissention among the team?
Since this episode entailed a lot of walking, #20, whose toenail came off during episode 2, was questioned about his ability to continue. He sticks with it and moves forward. Also at this point #11 is replaced by #19 as the team leader.
The rucking aspect is comprised of 40lbs in their bags as well as their normal gear. The instructors also expect them to maintain a 12-14 min mile pace. While this sounds doable, jogging/walking with a backpack with that much weight is hard on both the back and the legs for those not used to it. It is during this evolution the team is to perform a Downed Pilot Drill. Basically create a litter with the materials given to them and transport a 200lb duffel bag (representing the downed pilot) back to the team pit. Multiple ideas were being thrown out by the candidates on the best way to do this causing confusion and potentially causing a time hack penalty in which one of the candidates would be tagged as a causality and would also have to be carried back to the pit. They finally got things moving with no time left. For those that have done a GORUCK event, you can probably relate to what was going on. This is something many GORUCK participants have experienced during tough’s and heavy’s. Along the return route there were issues and one of the candidates was tagged as a causality. It was also during this time #2 replaced #19 as class leader. We learn that candidate # 2 is a firefighter and he was better able to organize the team during this evolution and was able to complete it with only 2 casualties.
There were a number of interrogations during this episode. It was during his interrogation that #19 admitted his faults during the evolution. He was also asked who he felt were the strongest candidates remaining and he choose #11 and #12 and had high praise for #11’s mental fortitude.
The PT also gets a bit more challenging as the team is subjected to “sit-up” hell. Over 1000 done!! Kudo’s to completing that PT.
In the closing moments of the show the interrogation of #11 took place. Candidate #11 has become a fan and instructor favorite so it was interesting to hear of his reasons for being there. This was an emotional segment for #11 .We also learned that they were required to memorize a creed for the show and #11 repeated it (This is where the title of episode comes from.)
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 (Source: http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html)
Only 1 drop during this episode, smallest amount to date. While some may say this evolution was too easy so drop rate was low, I tend to believe that the 15 candidates that started the episode were more prepared mentally and physically for what awaited them.
The show enters episode 4 with 14 candidates left. While there are still a couple that I am surprised are still remaining, I am impressed by those that are. As I mentioned in regards to the “floaties” used in episode 2 this took something away in regards to the realism, but for the most part they are being pushed. I reached out to a couple of people that I knew that had gone through Special Ops training and they generally had positive things to say about the show. Again they, like me, realize it is a TV show and that the reality of it may not be as authentic as some viewers would like.
By now many viewers have picked a favorite candidate. Would love to know who yours is. Reply in the comments and let me know.
Read recaps of other episodes here:
Watch the episodes here.
All photos courtesy of A&E Television Networks ©2016 A&E Televisions Networks
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