Expedition Impossible Season Premiere Recap 6/23/11

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Expedition Impossible, a new reality series that follows thirteen teams of three competitors as they “solve problems while racing across deserts, over mountains and through rivers” across the nation of Morocco.     Each member of the first team to cross the finish line after completing the ten stages of the competition will receive USD$50,000 and a new Ford Explorer.

Expedition Impossible is run in ten “stages”, each of which has a series of “checkpoints”. At each checkpoint, teams receive instructions on how to reach the next checkpoint and at some checkpoints they face challenges that must be completed before heading to the next checkpoint. The last team in each stage to reach the final checkpoint is eliminated. If any member of a team quits, the team is eliminated.

Summary of the first week of challenges:
Checkpoint one: Teams must traverse a tall sand dune to reach a camel outpost.
Checkpoint two: Teams select three camels to carry them to the Lone Palm Camp.
Challenge: “Find water the local way.” Teams must fill one jug with water obtained using traditional Berber collection methods.
Checkpoint three: Teams leave the camels and proceed on foot to Todra mountain.

Challenge: Rappel 300 feet into Todra Gorge
Checkpoint four: Teams travel on foot to Snake Valley

Challenge: Teams watch a snake charming routine and count the number of snakes, selecting a box bearing the number of snakes they see to receive directions to the finish line. If they select a box with an incorrect number, they are sent 30 minutes off course and must repeat the challenge.
Finish line

Let the games begin.

The expedition begins with the words, be strong, work together, and never give up. The teams must cross through two flags atop a massive sand dune in order to see their first checkpoint. The Gypsies take an early lead which means they get first dibs on the camels for the next leg of the journey. Choosing a camel isn’t easy. It’s not like you can take a test drive, which something the NY Firemen find out the hard way.

Back on the dune, Chad of the Country Boys is having a rough time. He takes a seat on the sand while the ladies of Latin Persuasion step over him. Chad’s teammates motivate him to press on. At the camel station, Grandpa’s Warriors manage to get underway, but Latin Persuasion is dealing with some internal bickering. It’s a lot easier to flag down a cab in the Bronx than it is to mount a camel in the desert.

It closes in on 100 degrees as the Gypsies, Fab 3 and the Football Players lead the way, but No Limits makes an impressive push to jump out in front. They reach the Lone Palm Camp checkpoint with Fab 3. The first challenge is to fill up one full jug of water. That’s not easy to do in the middle of the desert.

Akbar of the Football Players ponders the notion of finding water by cutting open a hump in the camel. Not a great plan. AJ of Fab 3 has another thought. He wants his team to dig. The Gypsies and No Limits help out. A short time later, they are staring down at a pool of water. The Football Players didn’t help with the digging, but that doesn’t stop them from tapping into the well. Other teams also take advantage of the water holes that were left behind by the lead teams.

Fab 3, Gypsies, Football Players and No Limits are the breakout leaders of the moment. The middle group consists of Fishermen, Cops, Team Kansas, NY Firemen and California Girls. The back of the pack consists of Mom’s Army, Country Boys, Grandpa’s Warriors and the bickering Latin Persuasion.

At the next checkpoint, the teams must rappel more than 300 feet down the face of a gorge. Fab 3′s Kari sheds a tear because of the intensity of the situation. She’s scared, but sucks it up and makes it down for the sake of her team. Now they need to catch up to the Gypsies.

Football Player Akbar struggles with his descent, but blind man Erik of No Limits calls upon his climbing expertise to make it down with no issues. Regarding Mom’s Army, Eleanor’s daughters have a rough time watching their mother struggle down the cliff. But in the end, Eleanor makes her kids proud.

Once on the ground, the teams travel down a dry riverbed to the center of Snake Valley. They must keep track of the number of slithery fellows revealed during a Moroccan snake charmer routine. Then they choose a box bearing the correct number. If right, they’ll be directed on a five mile hike to the finish line. If they miscount, they’ll go 30 minutes off course until they hit a “wrong way” sign.

Fab 3, Gypsies and Football Players guess the correct number of snakes, but No Limits is off by one. They get it right the second time around, but the middle teams have caught up to them. Finally, Latin Persuasion also gets the snake count right, as do Grandpa’s Warriors.

The Gypsies are the winners of Stage One. Fab 3 is second, followed by Football Players. 4th through 11th place goes to Team Kansas, Fishermen, No Limits, Country Boys, NY Firemen, California Girls, The Cops and Mom’s Army. That leaves Latin Persuasion and Grandpa’s Warriors in a battle for the final spot as they traverse the terrain in the dark.

At the end of the night run, Grandpa’s Warriors nabs the 12th place slot which means the expedition is over for Latin Persuasion. They’ll leave the camels and sand dunes behind to return to the subways and skyscrapers of New York.

Expedition Impossible reminds me a bit of The Amazing Race. What did you think of the first show? Will you be tuning in again?

Team Relationships Position
1
The Gypsies Friends 1st
Fab 3 Siblings and Friend 2nd
The Football Players Professional Football Players 3rd
Team Kansas Sisters 4th
The Fishermen Family/Crewmates 5th
No Limits Climbing Partners 6th
The Country Boys Friends 7th
New York Firemen Firefighters 8th
The California Girls Friends 9th
The Cops Police Officers 10th
Mom’s Army Family 11th
Grandpa’s Warriors Family 12th
Latin Persuasion Friends/Co-workers 13th





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