'Expedition Impossible' eliminates Latin Persuasion team in premiere
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/24/2011
Expedition Impossible eliminated its first three-person team during Thursday night's premiere broadcast of the new ABC reality competition.
Latin Persuasion became the first team eliminated from the adventure race after they were the last team to arrive at the initial stage's finish line in the Sahara Desert in Morocco.
"Being the first team eliminated is disappointing, but I'm not sad. This was an amazing experience. What we've done in just the first Expedition was incredible," said Latin Persuasion member Raven Garcia, a 30-year-old freelance writer from Bronx, NY.
"Being able to say that I rode a camel through the Sahara desert and rappelled off a 30-story cliff in Africa, nobody can say that. We didn't win, but we didn't quit either. That's something that makes me really proud."
In addition to Raven, Latin Persuasion also consisted of Dashia Imperiale, a 44-year-old fitness instructor from New York, NY, and Mai Reyes, a 38-year-old manager also from New York, NY.
Expedition Impossible's premiere began with the competition's 13 teams arriving in the Sahara desert. Once there, host Dave Salmoni warned the teams their entire team would be disqualified if any member was to quit. He also revealed the competition would be broken up into 10 stages and each stage would have a series of checkpoints.
The last team to check in at the end of each stage would be eliminated, while the first three-person team to cross the finish line hundreds of miles away from their starting point would win the competition and receive $150,000 and three new Ford Explorers.
A group of local horsemen then fired their weapons in the air and the teams took off and were required to hike up an enormous sand dune and reach a flag marker. Once there, the teams were able to see their first checkpoint -- a camel outpost -- to the west, and had to travel on foot to the outpost.
Upon arriving at the camel outpost, the teams learned they had to select three camels to carry them across the desert to their next checkpoint at Lone Palm Camp. Once they transported their camels to the competition's second checkpoint, they were required them to find water "the local way" and gather a full jug of water for their thirsty camels to drink.
Team Fab 3 -- which consisted of Ryan Allen Carrillo, Kari Gibson, and A.J. Gibson -- was the first team to come to the conclusion they should dig underneath the sand to find water. While other teams initially found Fab 3's strategy ridiculous, they were proven wrong when the Los Angeles-based team discovered water just as they had anticipated.
Once the teams gave their camels their jugs of water, they were instructed them to walk the treacherous and rocky terrain to the top of a mountain, where they would find their next checkpoint.
After they made it up the mountain to the stage's third checkpoint, the teams were required to complete one of the highest rappels in Northern Africa and and rappel more than 300 feet down into a gorge. Once an entire team reached the ground, they then had to follow a dry river bed to a checkpoint at the center of Snake Valley.
Once the teams arrived at Snake Valley, they had to watch a traditional Moroccan snake charmer routine and count the number of snakes it featured -- and after they believed they had determined the correct number of snakes shown, they had to choose a box with the number written on it.
The teams who guessed the number incorrectly were sent 30 minutes off-course until they reached a "wrong way" sign and instructed to return to the snake charmer and try again -- a mistake that could have cost them the competition -- while the teams that selected a box with the correct number were directed to trek five miles over rocky terrain to the stage's finish line.
Teams No Limits, California Girls, The Fishermen, Team Kansas, and The Country Boys all guessed there were 10 snakes instead of 11, which was the correct answer. They all wandered off in the wrong direction and were unaware they had strayed from the course until they came across the sign. They all had to watch the snake routine again and finally came to the right answer.
Meanwhile, the teams who had nailed the snake routine task advanced forward, giving them a significant advantage, and The Gypsies -- which consisted of John Post, Taylor Filasky and Eric Bach -- crossed Expedition Impossible's first stage's finish line in first place.
Fab 3 came in second place, while The Football Players happily secured third place.
Team Kansas then finished in fourth place, and The Fishermen managed to arrive at the finish line in fifth place. Following The Fishermen were No Limits, The Country Boys, NY Firemen, California Girls, The Cops, and Mom's Army.
Latin Persuasion and Grandpa's Warriors were racing to the finish line in the hopes of avoiding last place and snagging twelfth place, but Grandpa's Warriors were able to make it there first, resulting in Latin Persuasion's elimination.