'American Grit' recap: Noah Galloway's team loses their first evolution and member Lisa Traugott
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/13/2016
American Grit eliminated the first member of Army Sergeant Noah Galloway's team, Lisa Traugott, during Thursday night's broadcast on Fox.
Lisa, a 42-year-old trainer and author who was dubbed "The Bikini Bodybuilder" on the show, was one of four remaining members on Noah's team. After being chosen to compete in "the circus," Lisa was the first person to give up and ring the bell, ultimately sealing her fate in the new survival and military-themed reality competition.
"I'm done here at the circus, but I'm not done. I'm not done with life. Even when I fall, I get back up. There is a Chinese proverb, which is, 'Fall down nine times, get up 10.' I fell down; I'm back up. I wish I didn't run out of steam, I wish I ran harder, I wish I could be with them until the end, but I'm so proud to have been part of that team," Lisa said following her ouster.
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 Noah, Army Ranger Nick "The Reaper" Irving, Navy SEAL Commander Rorke Denver, and Marine Gunnery Sergeante Tawanda "Tee" Hanible.
Noah's team consisted of Lisa; 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.
Nick's team was comprised of Jim "The Boston Cop" Vaglica, a 54-year-old police officer; Cameron "The Wrestler" Zagami, a 22-year-old professional wrestler; and Kimberly "KJoy" Joy, a 38-year-old yoga instructor.
Rorke had recruited Tabatha "The Roller Girl" Chandler, a 39-year-old registered nurse; Mario "The Triathlete" Robinson, a 25-year-old personal trainer; and Ashley "The Marine's Daughter" Hazlett, a 31-year-old event coordinator.
The two remaining civilians on Tee's team were 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.
The season's fifth evolution required each team -- while standing on a survival skill training ground for U.S. troops in World War II -- to race to get materials to build a shelter, return to the start, and then build a shelter. After then racing to get materials to purify water, they must come back and purify water. After racing again to find materials to make a fire, they were told to return to the start and build a fire high enough to burn through a taut string.
The twist? Some materials were closer to the starting point but would ultimately make the task harder to complete. The materials farther away would make each job easier, however, no one knew how much easier. Each civilian was randomly selected for one of the three tasks, and while the team could give that person advice, only the person chosen for the job could do it.
The team to finish first would not participate in the circus and therefore be safe from elimination. Breaking Team Noah's streak of four consecutive victories, Nick's team ended up winning the evolution for the first time.
John then explained the three losing teams must send one member into the circus, the most brutal combination of military exercises which Rorke previously described as "a savage beating." The first person to give up/fail/pass out in the circus and ring the bell would be sent home.
Rorke, Noah and Tee were tasked with choosing which one of their team members would represent them in the circus.
Tee only had one option since Ivette previously competed in the circus, so Tony had to go in by default. Rorke sent Mario to the circus because he's a tough competitor, and Noah selected Lisa, calling her the "glue" that held his team together because she has so much heart. Noah was hoping Lisa would tap into an inner strength she had yet to discover.
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, where they were required to sprint down a lane to a log, touch that log, and then run back up the lane within 20 seconds. As they became exhausted, they'd have to work harder going back and forth because the time would decrease to 15 seconds and then eventually 10 seconds on the clock.
Mario arrived at the endurance platform in first place and therefore received an advantage in which he could rest and skip the first two circuits. Tony got to the platform next and got to relax during the first circuit. After 21 circuits, the clock gave the civilians only 10 seconds to complete their full sprint, and Lisa grew very tired.
Lisa gave it her best effort but failed to complete one of the sprints in under 10 seconds. She dropped to the ground in exhaustion and was hugged by her proud coach.