"I just don't want the Samadhi on my hands— if I switch some powerful teams around, I'm gonna have a huge target on my back."
— Taylor after winning the Samadhi

Hot Potato
Season 5, Episode 4
Team Switch
Aired November 4, 2006
Mission Hot Potato
Winner Blue Team
Samadhi Gray & Blue Team
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Hot Potato is the fourth episode of Endurance: High Sierras.


The teams compete in the first Endurance mission, with the winning team getting a pyramid piece and the samadhi. However, this samadhi gives a team the power to switch two players.


It’s a new morning in the High Sierras, and there are now 14 players left in the game — the seven official teams of Endurance. JD gathers the group together to announce whom Garret and Anna have left the all-important Immunity piece to. Everyone seems to be convinced that Red will be getting it, because Anna’s best friend was Aeriel, and Garret was close to Cameron. Everyone knows what’s at stake: whoever is awarded the Immunity piece will have a huge advantage in the game. But as Aeriel reads Garrett and Anna’s parting letter, everyone is shocked. Garret and Anna have inexplicably left the Immunity piece to the PURPLE team! Before JD bids the group farewell, he reminds them that there is an Endurance mission to be played later in the day. With that, Purple hangs their piece and claims an early lead in the game. They now have two total pieces and immunity. As the contestants wait to play the day’s mission, everyone continues to get to know his/her teammate. For the most part, everyone seems to be very content with their partner — everyone but the Blue team, that is. Taylor is aware that Ike has made one or two enemies already; there is a perception that he is telling every team something different and trying to turn teams against one another. In a heated discussion, Taylor tells Ike that everyone wants him gone and not to ruin this game for her.

Finally, the teams gather for the first Endurance mission played in the High Sierras. JD explains the “Hot Potato” game: Teammates will have to work together to transport water from one end of an obstacle course to the other using a small bowl balanced between two short poles. The first team to fill their bowl will see their colored flag rise up and will win the game. He reveals they will be playing for the Leadership pyramid piece. But in one of the biggest-ever surprise twists before they begin the challenge, JD reveals what Samadhi they are playing for: The right to switch partners for two teams!! The teams are shocked, as the stakes for an Endurance mission have never been higher!

With the reward for finishing first freshly in the players’ minds, the game begins. Green takes an early lead, but the game is extremely hard and many teams drop their buckets and have to start all over. Red soon pulls ahead, but then drops their bucket and loses their lead. It’s anybody’s game, but out of the blue finally one flag goes up. To everyone’s surprise, the bickering Blue team has won the game and the right to switch two teams. The rest of the contestants are visibly devastated; everyone knows that Taylor has been unhappy with Ike as her partner. Will she take karma into her own hands and get herself a better partner? They receive the Leadership piece, tying them for first with the Purple team with two pieces. Red, Orange, Yellow, Gray and Green still have only one.

Back at camp, the Blue Team gathers everyone for a group meeting. Surprisingly, Taylor is unhappy that she holds this responsibility and wants input from the group. She doesn’t want a target on her back, and is certain that if she messes up teams in the primary alliance, she will be sent to Temple. Everyone agrees that Purple shouldn’t be switched, since they already have two pieces and immunity. Unexpectedly, Green and Red volunteer to switch their teams. Cealey wants to take the burden on herself, because she knows she can adapt to a new situation. After that decision has been made, Dakota comes up with an alternate scheme that will save his friends. He tells Cameron to ask for the Samadhi from Blue so that Red can announce the decision that is going to affect their own team. Then Cameron can actually go ahead and switch Blue and Gray instead! Alex tries to convince Taylor to give the Samadhi to Cameron, and she says that’s what she’s going to do.

The teams meet JD at the Ridge to hear the Blue team’s decision on the partner switch. Taylor tells him that it has been a hard decision and she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but they have discussed it as a group and have decided that Red and Green will switch. But the catch, Taylor tells JD, is that Cameron has offered to have her give him the Samadhi, and he will announce the decision. JD questions why Taylor wouldn’t just make the announcement herself. She says that she and Cameron agreed that he would be the one to do it. Taylor unknowingly hands the power to Cameron, confident that he is going to announce the intended plan. Cameron takes the Samadhi, and JD asks which player he is switching first. Cameron says, “I’m sorry, but the first person I’m switching is ... Conner, to the Blue team.” Taylor is shocked and begins to cry. Everyone else seems shocked as well. JD then asks if that means Ike will be going to the Gray team. Cameron pauses and says, “You know what. I can’t do this." Everyone is shocked and confused as the episode ends.

Game PlayEdit


Pyramid Pieces
Teams Pieces
Cameron & Aeriel Knowledge
Max & Kristine Strength
Alex & Cealey Commitment
Isaac & Taylor PerserveranceLeadership
Perseverance & Leadership
Connor & Darci Luck
Aric & Lilly Trust
Dakota & Kelsey TeamworkFriendship
Teamwork & Friendship1


^1 The Friendship piece holds the Triangle of Immunity.


In Hot Potato, teammates will have to work together to transport water from one end of an obstacle course to the other using a small bowl balanced between two short poles. Should the bowl drop while they are carrying it, they must go back to the beginning and refill their bowl. The first team to fill their bowl will see their colored flag rise up and will win the game.

Production NotesEdit


  • J.D.: "It seems as if Purple's surrounded by good karma, because [Dakota] won the partner selection, and [Kelsey] was nominated for the free ride."
    • Kelsey: "We must be doing something right!"
  • Aeriel: "I'm not exactly sure why [Anna & Garret] gave the Immunity piece to the Purple team— I am a bit chucked about being skipped over."
  • Alex: "It was a pretty big surprise, seeing that Anna was good friends with Aeriel, and Garret was the same with Cameron."
  • Ike: "I think it's best to give the Samadhi to Purple, since they have the Immunity Piece."
  • Cealey: (after Ike exits the treehouse window where she and Alex are) "He talks to everybody— seriously, manipulating them; that's how he's gonna play the game."
    • Alex: "Then we're gonna squash him!"
  • Cealey: "Ike is going around, asking everyone, 'Will you give me the Samadhi if you win; will you send me to Temple?'; he's freaking everybody out, and they all want him gone."
  • Dakota: "Ike is digging himself the biggest hole I've ever seen."
  • Taylor: "I am...really mad!"
  • Taylor: "Don't screw the game up for me."
    • Ike: "Well, don't screw it up for me!"
    • Taylor: "At least I'm not the one everyone has a problem with!"
  • Ike: "Fine, Taylor— you just stay in your little hut and whatever..."
  • Taylor: "Ike needs to change himself— we're gonna end up going home if he doesn't fix his attitude."
  • J.D.: "What I'm looking at gives you the power to switch any two teams you want, even your own."
  • Max: "As soon as J.D. opened the Samadhi and explained it, I looked right over at Taylor because I knew she didn't wanna be Ike's partner."
  • Aeriel: "[Blue] was the last team we expected to win, and everyone was just scared and devastated."
  • Taylor: "This is so hard!"
  • Taylor: "I just don't want the Samadhi on my hands— if I switch some powerful teams around, I'm gonna have a huge target on my back."
  • Cealey: "I'm a step-up person; the team switch is an option I could live with, or else it's gonna be mayhem."
  • Aeriel/Cealey: "We'll switch."
    • Cealey: "I'll take Cameron; she'll take Alex."
  • Dakota: (confessional) "So, me and Kelsey came up with this major plan— we're going to gyp Blue and Gray."
    • Kelsey: (confessional) "He feels so guilty, but I feel amazing!"
  • Dakota: (speaking with everyone except Cealey, Aeriel and both members of Blue and Gray) "So you know how Blue can give the power away to someone else? They'll give it to Red, and they're then gonna switch Blue and Gray, because those are the two teams that we want gone."
  • Alex: "You should give the Samadhi to one of the two teams that wanna switch, so they can make the choice themselves."
    • Ike: "But I'm afraid that might end up backfiring onto me."
  • Ike: "I'm just gonna do what everyone else wants because I don't want to go to Temple."
  • Connor: "Did I miss anything?"
  • Darci: "That was a very big move of Red and Green to step up and change partners, because nobody else wanted to do that."
  • Lilly: "I feel terrible because even though I'm not backstabbing, Darci is still my friend, and I feel like I'm part of the plan."
  • Alex: "If I were [Taylor], I'd just pass the problem along."
    • J.D.: "So whenever you have a problem, do you just hand it off?"
    • Alex: "No, just this one."
  • Cealey: "Everyone knows what's gonna happen, and it won't be good on my part— me and Alex volunteered to switch because we couldn't bear to see anyone else do it, but everyone's here together."
  • J.D.: "Give me the first player you're going to be changing."
    • Cameron: "All right; first player is...Connor."
  • Cameron: "I can't do this."


  • This is the first time since Leap of Fate on E1 where a Blue Team of any season has won a challenge (excluding Superteam missions).

Episode LinkEdit