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'American Grit' recap: Civilian Brooke Van Paris eliminated after passing out in "the circus" and trip to hospital


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/22/2016 

American Grit eliminated the second member of Tawanda "Tee" Hanible's team, Brooke Van Paris, during Thursday night's broadcast on Fox.

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Brooke, a 25-year-old sales rep who was dubbed as "The Obstacle Course Junkie" on the show, was one of three remaining members on Tee's team. After being chosen to compete in "the circus," Brooke passed out and was taken to the hospital, ultimately sealing her fate in the new survival and military-themed reality competition.

While the circus typically ends with an individual giving up and ringing the bell, Brooke gave it all she had and pushed her body until it gave out.

American Grit's episode began with host John Cena explaining the four teams led by military heroes would embark on another challenge called an "evolution." The four leaders are Tee, a Marine Gunnery Sergeante; Navy Seal Commander Rorke Denver; Army Sergeant Noah Galloway; and Army Ranger Nick "The Reaper" Irving.

Tee's team was comprised of Brooke; Tony "Touchdown Tony" Simmons, a 41-year-old sports performance coach and former NFL player; and Ivette "The Equestrian" Saucedo, a 35-year-old model.

Rorke trained Tabatha "The Roller Girl" Chandler, a 39-year-old registered nurse; Marc "The Machine" Lobliner, a 35-year-old CEO of a nutrition company; Mario "The Triathlete" Robinson, a 25-year-old personal trainer; and Ashley "The Marine's Daughter" Hazlett, a 31-year-old event coordinator.

Nick had recruited Jim "The Boston Cop" Vaglica, a 54-year-old police officer; Maria "The No Excuses Mom" Kang, a 35-year-old nonprofit founder and author; Cameron "The Wrestler" Zagami, a 22-year-old professional wrestler; and Kimberly "KJoy" Joy, a 38-year-old yoga instructor.

Noah's team consisted of Lisa "The Bikini Bodybuilder" Traugott, a 42-year-old trainer and author; David "The Olympian" Neville, a 31-year-old college track and field head coach; Clare "The Fisherman" Painter, a 47-year-old horse trainer and fisherman; and Mark "The Lumberjack" Bouquin, a 26-year-old Timbersports athlete.

The season's second evolution required each team to paddle a boat back and forth on an ice-cold lake with obstacles on the shore at both ends. The task was inspired by Navy Seal training, so Rorke thought his team would have a slight advantage. Nick sat out KJoy because she already had frostbite on her foot. The first team to cross the finish line would be safe from elimination.

In the end, Noah's team won its second evolution. Rorke's team surprisingly finished in last place considering their leader was skilled in this area of training and best equipped to guide them during this challenge.

John then explained the three losing teams must send one member into the circus, the most brutal combination of military exercises which Rorke previously called "a savage beating." The first person to give up in the circus and ring the bell would be sent home.

Rorke, Nick and Tee were tasked with choosing which one of their team members would represent them in the circus. Tabatha and Jim were unable to compete since they entered the circus last time. Maria was also injured and didn't want to exert herself too much. Tee therefore picked Brooke, Nick sent KJoy in, and Rorke had Ashley compete. 

For the circus, the three participants were instructed to complete a muscle-draining obstacle course complete with climbing a three-story cargo net, ascending a 30-foot log structure and tumbling down a canyon. At the end, the civilians had to stand on an endurance platform, complete 10 Burpees and then submerge themselves into a tub of ice. They had to repeat these two exercises over and over again until someone couldn't continue.  

Ashley reached the endurance platform first followed by Brooke and then KJoy. For finishing in first place, Ashley was allowed to skip the first two rounds of the endurance portion of the circus. Brooke was able to skip the first round for finishing in second place.

After nine rounds, Brooke passed out, fell and was taken to the hospital. She was later deemed fine.


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