Expedition Impossible

Expedition Impossible (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Expedition Impossible is a 2011 American reality television series. The series follows thirteen teams of three competitors as they "solve problems while racing across deserts, over mountains and through rivers" across the nation of Morocco. The first team to cross the finish line after completing the ten stages of the competition will receive US$150,000. In addition, each team member will win a new Ford Explorer.

Created by producer Mark Burnett and hosted by wildlife expert Dave Salmoni, the series premiered on ABC on June 23, 2011 to mild critical response.


Expedition Impossible is run in ten "stages", each of which has a series of "checkpoints". At each checkpoint, teams receive instructions on how to reach the next checkpoint and at some checkpoints they face challenges that must be completed before heading to the next checkpoint. The last team in each stage to reach the final checkpoint is eliminated. If any member of a team quits, the team is eliminated.

The competition began in Merzouga and concluded in Marrakech, covering a course of around 2,000 miles including treks through the Sahara Desert and over the Atlas Mountains.


ABC and producer Mark Burnett announced the series on November 4, 2010, with Burnett describing Expedition Impossible as "high adventure television" and "an epic Indiana Jones-style experience". Open casting began later that month. Prospective contestants were required to demonstrate proficiency in several skills, including horseback riding, righting a boat that had been capsized, compass reading and rappelling.

After initially announcing a premiere date of June 21, 2011, ABC revised the date to June 23.

International distribution

On May 9, 2011, CTV Television Network announced that it had acquired Expedition Impossible for Canadian broadcast and that it would debut the series on June 21. CTV pushed back the premiere to the 23rd, corresponding with its American debut.

On July 16, 2011, Network Ten started to broadcast the show in the 6:30pm " 7:30pm timeslot on its main channel - 10.


The Gypsies

John Post, 25, Pensacola Beach, FL. Sustainable Farmer
Taylor Filasky, 31, San Diego, CA. Video Producer
Eric Bach, 26, San Francisco, CA. Entrepreneur

Group of friends that, collectively, have traveled to over 40 countries.

No Limits

Erik Weihenmayer, 42, Golden, CO. Motivational Speaker/Writer
Jeff Evans, 41, Boulder, CO. Motivational Speaker/Physician Assistant
Aaron "Ike" Isaacson, 33, Topeka, KS. Soldier

Jeff is Erik's climbing guide on mountaineering expeditions because Erik is blind. Ike is a soldier.

Fab 3

Ryan Allen Carrillo, 36, Los Angeles, CA. Business Owner
Kari Gibson, 26, Los Angeles, CA. Model
AJ Gibson, 30, Los Angeles, CA. Mortgage Consultant

Kari and AJ are siblings. Ryan and AJ used to be a couple, but are now friends. All three are roommates.

The Football Players

Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, 31, Los Angeles, CA. Broadcaster
Robert Ortiz, 27, Solana Beach, CA. Business Owner
Ricky Sharpe, 31, Costa Mesa, CA. Health and Fitness Consultant

All three are former professional football players who first met while playing for San Diego State University.

The Cops

Robert "Rob" Robillard, 43, Concord, MA. Police Lieutenant
Dani Henderson, 34, Marlborough, MA. Police Officer
James "Jim" Vaglica, 49, Billerica, MA. Police Sergeant

Cops who work together.

California Girls

Christina Chin, 24, Davis, CA. Corporate PR.
Brittany Smith, 24, Rancho Murieta, CA. Aspiring Pro Golfer
Natalie Smith, 25, Woodland, CA. Teacher/Coach

Friends who met while attending the University of California, Davis.

The Country Boys

Nicholas Coughlin, 28, Clinton, MS. Internet Marketing/Entrepreneur
Jason Cronin, 37, Pensacola Beach, FL. Business Owner/Entrepreneur
Chad Robinson, 27, Bolton, MS. Real Estate Investor

Friends coming from Mississippi and nearby.

The Fishermen

Gus Sanfilippo, 48, Gloucester, MA. Fisherman
Nino Sanfilippo, 43, Gloucester, MA. Fisherman
Joe Sanfilippo, 44, Gloucester, MA. Fisherman

Gus and Nino are brothers and Joe is their cousin. All three are crew on the fishing boat Captain Dominic.

New York Firemen

Kevin "Fathead" Coursey, 39, Belle Harbor, NY. Firefighter
Rob Keiley, 34, Rockaway Park, NY. Firefighter
Mike Egan, 34, Rockaway Park, NY. Firefighter

Co-workers who are firefighters in New York

Team Kansas

Lindsey Haymond, 27, Houston, TX. Teacher
Kelsey Fuller, 22, Overland Park, KS. Student
Mackenzie Fuller, 19, Overland Park, KS. Student

Three sisters who are originally from Kansas.

Grandpa's Warriors

Dick Smith, 69, Normal, IL. Store Owner
Steven Smith, 48, Savoy, IL. Store Owner
Samantha Smith-Gibbs, 23, Thomasboro, IL. Store Manager

Samantha is Steven's daughter, Dick is Steven's father.

Mom's Army

Eleanor "Ellie" Vanderbeck, 52, Reading, PA. Bookkeeper
Ruthie Vanderbeck, 28, Reading, PA. Realtor
Abbie Vanderbeck, 30, Norwalk, CT. Nanny

Ruthie and Abbie are Ellie's daughters. They were also in the military.

Latin Persuasion

Dashia Imperiale, 44, New York, NY. Fitness Instructor
Raven Garcia, 30, Bronx, NY. Freelance Writer
Mai Reyes, 38, New York, NY. Manager

Friends and co-workers, all with Latino heritage.


Team Relationships Position
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
{{colorbox}} The Gypsies Friends 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
{{colorbox}} No Limits Friends 6th 3rd 2nd 2nd 5th 3rd 2nd 5th 4th 3rd 2nd
{{colorbox}} Fab 3 Siblings and Friend 2nd 5th 5th 8th 1st 2nd 6th 3rd 2nd 2nd 3rd
{{colorbox}} The Football Players College Friends 3rd 4th 4th 3rd 3rd 4th 4th 2nd 3rd
{{colorbox}} The Cops Co-workers 10th 11th 8th 5th 4th 6th 5th 4th
{{colorbox}} California Girls College Friends 9th 9th 7th 7th 8th 7th 3rd
{{colorbox}} The Country Boys Friends 7th 2nd 3rd 9th 7th 5th
{{colorbox}} The Fishermen Brothers and Cousin 5th 6th 10th 6th 6th
{{colorbox}} New York Firemen Co-workers 8th 10th 6th 4th
{{colorbox}} Team Kansas Sisters 4th 7th 9th
{{colorbox}} Grandpa's Warriors Family 12th 8th
{{colorbox}} Mom's Army Mom and Daughters 11th
{{colorbox}} Latin Persuasion Friends/Co-workers
  • A team placement means the team was eliminated.
  • A team placement means the team won the expedition.


No. Title Winner U.S. viewers (millions) Original air date


Before its debut, Expedition Impossible drew comparisons to other reality television series, including The Amazing Race, Pirate Master, and Burnett's own adventure race series Eco-Challenge. Burnett has repudiated the comparisons to TAR, saying "There's no taxis. There's no hotels. This is very, very different. Here, you actually need to put yourself on the line, really be willing to cross the deserts and the mountains and use the camels and the horses. So, it's a very, very much more difficult competition."

David Hinckley of The New York Daily News found the premiere to follow a familiar formula and wondered whether a "saturation point" for this style of entertainment had been reached. In saying so, he stressed that he in no way was diminishing the accomplishments of the participating teams. Similarly, Brian Lowry for Variety, while calling the series a "transparent knockoff of The Amazing Race", complimented Burnett on his ability to create "a sense of jeopardy in the challenges" while finding that the series as a whole "travels such a familiar course" that it was tantamount to "recycling" the concepts of other series.

Expedition Impossible was the top-rated program the night of its debut, pulling 2.4/7 in adults 18/49 and 7.18 million viewers. The premiere was the 8th most watched show that week. In the second episode, Expedition Impossible pulled a 1.8/6 in adults 18/49 and 6.16 million viewers. This drop was not unusual for a holiday weekend, as other shows also experienced a rating decline. Despite this, Expedition Impossible was the top rated program of the hour and the second top rated program of the night, as well as the 12th most watched show that week in the 18/49 demo. Ratings however continued to slip when its fifth episode only garnered a rating of 1.3 for the 18/49 demo and 4.68 million in total viewers. The show hit a season low for its eighth episode, with a demo rating of 1.1 and only watched by 3.83 million viewers. The show's ninth episode was watched by 4.45 million viewers, and the season finale ended with a rating of 1.3 for the 18/49 demo and 4.61 millions in total viewer number.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Expedition Impossible (TV series)". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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