'American Grit' recap: Cadre Chloe Mondesir loses team member Nathalie Martin
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/19/2017
American Grit eliminated the first member of Marine Chloe Mondesir's team, Nathalie Martin, during Sunday night's second broadcast of the show's second season on Fox.
Nathalie, a 45-year-old from Youngsville, LA, was one of four members on Chloe's team. After being chosen to compete in the "Elimination Challenge," Nathalie was the first person to fail and ring the bell, ultimately sealing her fate in the survival and military-themed reality competition series.
While Chloe was "heartbroken" to lose a team member, Nathalie told the cameras following her ouster, "I've learned a lot about myself. I'm going home with a new lease on life actually. Right now, I'm feeling real sad because I feel like I let Chloe down and I let my teammates down because I told them I was coming back, but I tried my best."
In addition to Chloe, the show's three other military heroes are Grady Powell, an elite Green Beret; John Burk, a U.S. Army Drill Sergeant; and Riki Long a fellow Marine. In each episode, these four cadres are shown advising and leading their previously-selected team of contestants through a difficult challenge or obstacle course.
In Sunday night's broadcast, each team was required to participate in a relay race in which they had to pass through four gates to retrieve a flag and ultimately plant it at the finish line. Once at each gate, one member from each team had to complete a daunting task in honor of the theme "self-sacrifice."
On Grady's team were George Foreman IV, a 28-year-old from Houston TX; Herman Barr, a 26-year-old from Billings MT; Michael Wilson Morgan, a 38-year-old from Brooklyn, NY; and Gigi Gustin, a 20-year-old from Glassboro, NJ.
Chloe's team was comprised of Nathalie; Janessa Morgan, a 36-year-old from Los Angeles, CA; Shermon Braithwaite, a 22-year-old from Brooklyn, NY; and Alison Kempkey, a 36-year-old from Seattle, WA.
John's team was made up of Hannah Koen, a 23-year-old from Newburyport, MA; Melanie Mahanna, 29-year-old from Brooklyn NY; Chris Edom, a 48-year-old from Merrick NY; and Will Westwater, a 23-year-old from West Hollywood, CA.
And Riki's team consisted of Gill Morton, a 36-year-old from Vernal UT; Richard Mallard, a 32-year-old from Berryville TX; Carla Mireles, a 26-year-old from Chino, CA; and Scarlett Angelina, a 24-year-old from New Brunswick, NJ.
The tasks turned out to be putting on a shock collar, consuming a shake of liquefied alligator tail, and stripping down completely naked. However, the winning team could only be deemed safe from elimination if the one person who did not complete a prior task agreed to shaving his or her head.
Burk's team ended up winning the challenge after Melanie opted to have her beautiful, long brown hair shaved off completely. This was a huge sacrifice for Melanie considering she viewed her hair as a form of self-expression. When Melanie stepped up to the plate, her fellow cast members knew she'd be a tough one to beat this season.
Because Burk's team won safety, Burk was able to select the three individuals from the other teams who must compete against one another in the "Elimination Challenge."
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Burke chose to have Nathalie, Gill and George compete in the challenge because they are some of the strongest cast members on the show and therefore need the least amount of work in discovering their grit.
For the "Elimination Challenge," the three contestants were required to hold onto a metal bar as they stood with their legs apart inside a wooden frame. Every 15 minutes, the frame would be tilted forward at an angle so the competitors would become closer and closer to falling into "gator lake." Host John Cena called it a test of "resolve" rather than one of "strength."
The first person to drop into the water would be ousted from the show, and that person ended up being Nathalie, who had been called the "mom" of her team.
In this new season of American Grit, the cast is comprised of individuals looking to regain grit they had lost or find grit they never had in the first place.
Unlike last season, the majority of Season 2's cast is comprised of people who are not physically strong or athletic. These contestants, on the contrary, are typically viewed as weak, materialistic, cocky, insecure, or vulnerable. Many of them recently experienced a tragedy or heartbreak they're hoping to move past.
The cast includes individuals dealing with disorders such as anxiety and OCD, crippling fears such as swimming, health issues such as being overweight, or sudden loss such as a partner cheating or child dying. Going into the new season, each person had something to prove to him or herself as well as others who doubt or criticize them.