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Endurance
Endurance logo
Format Reality
Created by J.D. Roth

Todd A. Nelson

Hosted by J.D. Roth
Language(s) English
Production
Running time appx. 24 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel NBC (2002-2006)

Discovery Kids (2002-2008)

Original run October 5, 2002 – March 8, 2008
Endurance is an American children's reality television program, that aired on the Discovery Kids cable network in the United States. The show's format is somewhat similar to the CBS television series Survivor, though with a teenaged cast. Endurance contestants live in a remote location and participate in various mental and physical challenges, although Endurance contestants compete as pairs (one boy and one girl), and the outcome of the competitions determines which pair of players is eliminated.

The Competition

The Right To Stay Challenge

Shortly after they arrive (time varies between several hours and a day), the group of 20 contestants competes in the first Endurance game, called the Right To Stay Challenge. As the name implies, this game eliminates a group of contestants from continuing any further in the game. The game is normally a test of endurance, where each contestant has to hold on to something such as a bar or a pole for as long as possible. In Seasons 1 through 4, the first three girls and the first three boys to let go were eliminated. In Season 5, the game was a test of balance and speed, and the last two boys and last two girls to finish the game were eliminated. In Season 6, the first two boys and two girls to let go of a rope were eliminated, reducing the sixteen hopefuls to twelve contestants who earned the right to stay, forming six teams of players.

In Season 3, the eliminated players were brought back the following day to compete in a second chance Right to Stay game. The winner of this game chose his partner from the group of girls, forming the Brown team.

In some seasons, the group was allowed to choose two players (a boy and a girl) who were allowed to sit out the Right To Stay Challenge, automatically advancing as if they had survived the challenge. In season 3 the boys were required to choose one girl to be safe and the girls were required to save a boy, the boys saved Lindi and the girls chose Reece. In season 5, Darci and Aric were selected to sit out. They were then each allowed to save one other person (of the same gender). Darci chose Kelsey, while Aric chose Alex.

Choosing teams

The day after the Right To Stay Challenge, the remaining players compete in another game to determine teams. Each team consists of one boy and one girl. The game and the rules vary from year to year. The team colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and gray (brown is added in seasons with 8 teams).

After the teams are decided, they each receive one pyramid piece of the Endurance Pyramid. To win the game and the grand prize trip, one team must possess all of the pieces. (10 pieces in the first season, 12 in Seasons 2 and 3, 13 in Seasons 4 and 5, and 14 in Season 6).

Endurance Mission

Main Article: Endurance Mission

With the teams now assigned, they begin competing in Endurance Missions. This is usually a test of skill. The team that wins an Endurance Mission will typically earn another piece of the Endurance Pyramid and the Samadhi. The Samadhi contains something that will have a negative effect on one team during the Temple Mission, and the winners of the Endurance Mission get to choose which team has to play with its effect. However, it is customary, that when three teams remain, the winners of the Samadhi have the right to not give its effect to a team, leaving a level playing field for the final Temple Mission.

Samadhi

Main Article: Samadhi

The teams compete for a Samadhi fairly often through the entire game. All but two samadhis had a negative impact on another team. In Season 3 there was a Samadhi that benefitted the team that it was given to. The Gray Team won that Samadhi, and decided to keep it and in Season 5, the Blue team won the power to switch two teams around. In Season 1 the team that won the Samadhi at the Final 3 stage chose to eliminate it from the game. In Season 2, the team that won the Samadhi at the Final 4 stage chose to eliminate it from the game as well. This pattern was broken in Season 3, however. Also, in Season 5, the first Samadhi (won in the mission "Hot Potato") was the ability to make two players switch teams or give another team the power to make the switch. Taylor and Isaac, the original Blue team, won this Samadhi. They gave it to the Red team, who used it to switch Connor onto the Blue team and Isaac onto the Gray team. The first time the Samadhi was introduced, J.D. noted that the word Samadhi means "contemplation."

Temple mission

Main Article: Temple Mission

This mission is usually one of endurance (hence the show's title). The team that wins a Temple Mission usually earns the right to choose two other teams to send to the "Temple of Fate", the elimination challenge.

Temple of Fate

Main Article: Temple of Fate

The two teams sent to the Temple of Fate bring with them all pyramid pieces they have won up to that point. In a variant of the Rock, Paper, Scissors intransitive game, the teams select fire, wood, or water to defeat one another in a best 2 out of 3 match, e.g.,

  • water puts out fire (water wins)
  • fire burns wood (fire wins)
  • wood floats on water (wood wins)

The first team to win two rounds wins the challenge and the right to stay in the game. The losers are immediately eliminated. In Season 1, the losing team's pieces went to the team winning the next episode's challenge; in all subsequent seasons, the losing team gave their pyramid pieces to any team of their choice, with a farewell note read to the remaining contestants.

Pyramid pieces

Main Article: Pyramid Pieces

The pyramid pieces play an important part in the game, since one team must possess all of the pieces to win the game. A team must collect all 14 pyramid pieces. To do this you must win Endurance Missions and make alliances so that when they are eliminated from the island they will leave behind their pieces to you. Season 1 had 10, Seasons 2 and 3 had 12, Seasons 4 and 5 had 13, and Season 6 has 14.

Triangle of Immunity

In Season 5, the Triangle of Immunity was added. It is a border that is placed around the Friendship piece. It may be transferred to another team with any temple mission. In Season 5 the Triangle of Immunity was given to the Purple Team of: Dakota and Kelsey, by Anna and Garret. The team in possession of the Triangle of Immunity can avoid being sent to temple once, but is only able to use it until the final four. Once they reach the final three, the Triangle of Immunity is removed from the game. Season 6 removed the Triangle of Immunity, as the Friendship piece is back to a regular pyramid piece.

Magic Box

In Season 6, a new aspect of Endurance called the Magic Box was introduced. This is a challenge where teams compete for the chance to gain an advantage over the other teams. The Green team won the first Magic Box in the episode "Mana Kisi". Inside, the Magic Box contained one free round at the Temple of Fate, to be used before the Temple of Fate challenge begins. In addition to winning a Magic Box, teams are allowed to do what they want with the information given. They decided to lie about it. In the end when the Green Team was sent up to temple with their friends the Orange Team, they used their advantage against them and sent the Orange Team home.

Final Challenge

For the Final Challenge, both teams go to the Temple of Fate with all the pieces they have won. These pieces are now used as chips to play a shell game type challenge.

The team with fewer pieces starts by placing pieces by a group of pyramids, one of which has the gold pyramid under it. That team may claim as many as it wishes but must leave at least one pyramid unclaimed. The team with more pieces must claim the pyramids that its opponent did not claim. At this point, the gold pyramid is revealed, and the team that has claimed it wins all the pieces that were played on the board. If teams have the same number of pieces the team that had fewer pieces the round before places first. If teams are tied in first round, the team that won the final mission places their pieces first.

There are three pyramids to start the game, and one more is added every round there after. The team that gets all the pyramid pieces wins the challenge, the game and the grand prize trip.

Reception

Endurance has been around for six consecutive seasons and is praised for being a teen reality show that allows teens to compete. It was nominated three years in a row for a Daytime Emmy Award. Production of Endurance was put on hiatus after the filming of the sixth season; it's debatable whether or not the show's been canceled. However, the odds of revival are very low.

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