'American Grit' ousts Melanie Mahanna after battle against Carla Mireles and love interest Herman Barr
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/10/2017
American Grit eliminated Melanie Mahanna during Sunday night's fifth broadcast of the show's second season on Fox.
Melanie, 29-year-old from Brooklyn NY, was the first person to fail and ring the bell in the "Elimination Challenge," losing to Carla Mireles, a 26-year-old from Chino, CA, as well as her showmance partner Herman Barr, a 26-year-old from Billings MT.
Melanie's loss in the Elimination Challenge ultimately sealed her fate in the survival and military-themed reality competition series.
"I think my time here at Camp Grit has been life changing. I was really looking forward to walking out here with Herman, and I won't be able to do that. I want to give Herman one more hug," Melanie said in tears following her ouster.
"I realized on my journey here that I have to let go of my past and I'm ready for that. I think a new Melanie is walking out of here and entering a new beginning."
When Melanie lost the competition, Herman said his "heart sank" in his chest and he'd really miss having his best friend around. However, Herman noted that Melanie -- who shaved her head to win a previous team competition -- "grew the fastest" on the show and so her work at Camp Grit was done.
Melanie was on U.S. Army Drill Sergeant John Burk's team. Burk said Melanie's departure would really hurt his team because she was the glue that held them all together.
After the Elimination Challenge, Herman returned to elite Green Beret Grady Powell's team while Carla would resume competing on Marine Riki Long's team.
In addition to Burk, Grady and Riki, the show's other military hero is Chloe Mondesir, a Marine whose group of players won the episode's team competition.
During Sunday night's broadcast, each team was required to choose a puzzle to solve that would result in a prize of money, power or love. The competition was all about priorities, and only the winning team would receive the reward of the puzzle it had chosen.
Burk's team was made up of Melanie; Hannah Koen, a 23-year-old from Newburyport, MA; and Chris Edom, a 48-year-old from Merrick NY.
Chloe's team was comprised of Janessa Morgan, a 36-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, and Alison Kempkey, a 36-year-old from Seattle, WA.
Riki's team consisted of Carla; Richard Mallard, a 32-year-old from Berryville TX; and Scarlett Angelina, a 24-year-old from New Brunswick, NJ.
On Grady's team were Herman; George Foreman IV, a 28-year-old from Houston TX; Michael Wilson Morgan, a 38-year-old from Brooklyn, NY; and Gigi Gustin, a 20-year-old from Glassboro, NJ.
Chloe's team surprisingly won the competition after selecting the "love" puzzle, so its two members were later surprised with a visit from several of their loved ones from home. Both Janessa and Alison were missing their children terribly, so the visit really raised their spirits and motivation to continue on the show.
Had Chloe's team won money, each player would receive $1,000. Had the team won power, two players from a different team would have to switch over to another team in order to change things up. Grady's team was fighting for money in the competition, Burk's team chose love and Riki's team was competing for power.
Since her team was victorious, Chloe got to select three individuals from the other teams to compete against one another in the Elimination Challenge. Chloe opted to target players who were known for holding their team together -- a mother figure, a challenge beast, or someone with a lot of courage and positive energy.
Chloe therefore selected Melanie, Herman and Carla, who had just won the prior Elimination Challenge against two strong and determined men.
For this week's Elimination Challenge, the three contestants were required to run back and forth on a balance beam between a dumpster filled with sand and a giant hourglass tank releasing sand. The goal was to keep filling the hourglass so it would not run out of sand by using either a small bag or a large bucket with holes.
The challenge tested balance, focus, stamina and strategy. The women utilized their bags while Herman took advantage of the bucket, and Herman was definitely ahead for most of the competition.
The players were also granted a "reserve" bucket, which Herman added to his hourglass tank immediately at the start of the challenge. The ladies, on the other hand, waited until they were tired to use their reserve buckets of sand.
After Melanie slipped off the balance beam, she lost a crucial amount of time and ended up being the first person out of the challenge much to her cadre and Herman's dismay. Melanie and Herman appeared to be falling in love during their journey together at Camp Grit.
The new season of American Grit features a cast comprised of individuals looking to regain grit they had lost or find grit they never had in the first place. The contestants are typically viewed as weak, materialistic, cocky, insecure, or vulnerable, and many of them recently experienced a tragedy or heartbreak they're hoping to move past.
Going into the new season, each person had something to prove to him or herself as well as others who have doubted, criticized or hurt them.