Evolution 5: Pass, Quit, or Drown
With only 8 candidates remaining out of the original 30, you have to wonder what will be the next thing that causes candidates to drop. We lost many of them at the beach in Evolution #2 and with tonight’s episode previews showing the candidates at the pool, you have to wonder if water will once again cause a number of the candidates to drop.
The evolution begins with the instructors “reviewing” the remaining candidates. We also get a screen shot showing the bulletin board showing the remaining candidates and the patches of those that have dropped. Why is there no patch for #14 on the board??
We hear that candidate #11 is still high on the list of instructor favorites, mentioned as a good leader and passionate. We learn that candidate #12 is a professional OCR racer. According to the instructors, #15 is “Cool as it gets” and seems unfazed by all that has happened and #17 is “Hard as nails”, being the strong and silent type. Candidate #3, the only female left is told by the instructors, “Don’t get pushed around.” They also mention that they “hammered” candidate #6 for the first 3 days of the selection.
During the first part of the evolution, the “Combative Evolution”, the candidates are taught some basic hand to hand combat skills. During this segment, we learn that Instructor Bowen was “All Army Combatants Champion” and holds multiple belts in multiple disciplines. They take what they learn and eventually are paired up to fight one another until only one remains unbeaten. After all is said and done #12 comes out as the overall winner. Not sure what purpose this segment served. Perhaps it is training for something that comes up in a later evolution. Or is it just to provide a more rounded training environment for the candidates.
We also get to see the candidates a bit more relaxed, in fact we see #12 use the term “Inspector” and #11 has the whole team down doing push-ups for his mistake. It was just after that the instructors puts the whole team on PT for becoming “Cocky.” While you may wonder if this was deserved, I believe it to be part of the mental games being played by the instructors.
As we end this portion of the evolution, candidate #15 is taken for his interview. We learn that he has doubts in his ability to finish the program. Has he given the instructors a weak point to exploit? We shall see.
At 2100 hours (and 51 degrees), the candidates are brought to the pool to begin the next stage of the evolution. Not knowing what to expect is frightening enough, but being in the water at night adds an extra element of stress to the evolution. The first thing they have to do is to be able to successfully tie and untie 3 different types of knots, a half-hitch, a square know and a bowline, while under water. Only given 30 seconds to perform the tie/untie of each knot. We can already see # 6 having issues with breath control, and he fails his first attempt to complete the task. He is taken out of the water to “regroup” and given one last attempt. During this attempt he must pass or he will be fail and be dropped. While this is going on, the rest of the team must stand in single file holding each other to keep warm. Candidate # 6 finds the strength to complete the task and passes.
Next for the candidates is what is called “drown-proofing.” The candidates have their hands tied behind the backs, and feet tied together, then jump into the water and then bob up and down for 5 minutes in the water. The “bobbing” consist of blowing the air out of your lungs as you descend, then pushing up from the bottom of the pool back to surface where you take a gulp of air and repeat the process over for a 5 minute period. This is not as easy as it seems. If you do not get enough push to the surface, because your lungs are empty of air and you do not float back up, you must undulate your body to try to get to the surface. As a diver myself and having experienced similar training, it is not an easy task.
Candidates #6 and #15 are struggling to complete this. Both are given the opportunity to get out of the pool and rethink, regroup and then retry it again. It is here that we have the first drop of the evolution with # 6 opting not to complete the task. Shortly thereafter, candidate #15 attempts the task, fails and is dropped. 25% of the remaining class has dropped during todays evolution.
So we are left with 6 candidates on the show; #2, #3, #11, #12, #17 and #19. So far 80% of the candidates have dropped, just like the opening credits state. With only 3 shows left, it will be interesting to see if more drop before the season finale and if so, who will be next.
Of the remaining 6 candidates, 3 candidates with an OCR background remain; #11, #12 and #19 . And we have 4 GORUCK GRT’s still in the running; #2, #3, #11, & #17. Notice that #11 is the only one that has experience in both GORUCK and OCR’s; wonder if that will give him an edge?
In the previews for the next evolution looks like the candidates have to meet (or exceed) some Fitness Test standards in order to continue. Not sure if they will be using the Navy Seals Fitness standards, the Army Fitness standards, or a combination of both. Also looks like candidates #2 and #3 (who are a couple in real life) are getting a lot of pressure from the instructors. Looks to be an interesting episode.
Read recaps of previous episodes here:
Watch the episodes here.
All photos courtesy of A&E Television Networks ©2016 A&E Televisions Networks
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