"I don't have anyone I want, I know who I'm going to get, so...I'm going to have to stick it out, and, find a way to come out on top."
|Season 5, Episode 3|
|Aired||October 28, 2006|
|Eliminated||Garret and Anna|
|View Gallery (0 images)|
The competition to decide who will choose the first team concludes, and the eight official Endurance teams are chosen. Then a surprise elimination competition sends a team home on the same day, leaving just seven teams in the game.
We enter the episode mid-game, with all 16 contestants clinging for dear life onto a bar suspended high above the water. Each is hoping to win the chance to select the first team of Endurance: High Sierras. From the start, we hear the cries of several contestants struggling to hang on, but Kesley stands out as she yells, “I’m gonna fall! I can’t hold on!” Despite her fellow competitors’ encouragement, she is the first to fall. Taylor quickly follows her. As they fall one after the other, the remaining kids are doing everything in their power to beat out Garret. No one wants him to win, because everyone thinks he’ll mess up the prearranged teams that almost everyone else had agreed to. Following Kelsey and Taylor are Aeriel, Darci, Aric, Anna, Cealey, Kristine and Ike. Glances are exchanged as the remaining contestants hang on — they cannot let Garret win this challenge! Eventually, Garret falls. Cameron, Connor, Max and Alex soon follow. The last two remaining are Lilly and Dakota. Lilly eventually succumbs to the pain and falls, leaving Dakota the winner of the Partner Selection challenge.
Most of the kids are relieved. Now that Garret has lost the challenge, they know that the partner list they created is safe and Dakota will stick to the plan they originally agreed upon. JD congratulates the kids on their efforts and reminds them about how the partner selection will work. The selection begins, and since he won the challenge, Dakota starts it off. Following the script, he chooses Cameron and Aeriel as the first team. Cameron and Aeriel return the favor and chooses Dakota and Kelsey as the next team. They then choose Cealey and Alex, followed by Aric and Lilly and Max and Kristine. The kids remaining are Connor, Darci, Garret, Taylor, Anna and Ike. A look of panic spreads over Taylor’s face and she begins to cry. JD, concerned, asks her if she is OK. Taylor says she is upset at how this partner selection has turned out, and knows who her partner will be. JD urges her to recall other Partner Selection games from past seasons — you never know what will happen!
It is now time for Max and Kristine to choose the next team: Connor and Darci. With only four kids remaining — Taylor, Anna, Ike and Garret — Connor knows that he is essentially being forced to pick the last two teams. JD asks if Connor and Darci are prepared to make the choice. Knowing the severity of the situation, Connor asks for some time to think and discuss it over with his partner. The anticipation is agonizing as the kids silently wait for their decision. Finally, Connor reveals — to Taylor’s elation — that they’re choosing to pair Isaac and Taylor for the seventh team, leaving Garret paired with Anna as the eighth team.
The contestants are happy after partner selection is over, as almost everyone got their partner of choice. But the feeling of happiness doesn’t last long. JD reveals the latest bombshell of Endurance 5: The first team elimination game will be that day, and by nightfall, one of the newly formed teams will be leaving the High Sierras forever.
The eight teams head back to the tree houses to get to know their partners before one team has to go home. Alex and Cealey talk about how the communication between the two of them has to flow in order for them to be a strong team. Connor and Darci discuss who they think has their backs and that Arik and Lilly would be good allies to have because they’re so strong. Taylor is completely shocked that she ended up with Isaac instead of Garret, and she has come to terms with getting Isaac as a partner. In fact, everyone but Anna is content with their new teammate. Anna tries to get Garret to talk to her, but he has a hard time opening up. She begins to get nervous because she feels like they aren’t communicating very well and is scared that their team will end up being the first one to go home.
After having the chance to talk with their new teammates, everyone meets JD to play the day’s elimination game, “Unwind”. The contestants arrive to find ropes wound and tied through a wooden fence. The partners will be tied to each other by rope and the object of the game is to work through the logs and untangle enough rope to allow them to cross the finish line. After they cross it, they can unhook themselves from the rope and run to the available team color of their choice. In addition to receiving a color, JD tells everyone that each team will receive its first Endurance piece. However, the team that comes in last place will not receive a team color and, worse, will be sent home immediately.
The game begins and everyone is fired up and determined not to come in last place. Anna and Garret are the first team to check if they have enough rope to make it to the finish line, but they fall short. After a few moments, Alex and Cealey are the first to accomplish the task and they run to green. Dakota and Kelsey are right behind them and they pick purple. Cameron and Aeriel select red, Aric and Lilly choose yellow, Max and Kristine pick orange and Ike and Taylor go to Blue. The only color left is gray and it comes down to Connor and Darci against Garret and Anna. At the last second, Connor and Darci make an attempt to see if they have enough rope to cross the finish line. Garret and Anna aren’t too far behind, but they fall just short of making it. Connor and Darci beat them by the slightest of margins and become the gray team.
Anna and Garret are disappointed to be leaving Endurance so early on, but JD awards them with the “Friendship” piece, which this year on Endurance represents the Triangle of Immunity. Having this piece is essentially a “get out of Temple free” card that a team can use for itself or give to another team. Anna and Garret still have the power to influence the game one last time before they leave, by leaving the Triangle of Immunity to one of the remaining teams. With that in mind, everyone bids a tearful goodbye to Anna and Garret as they leave the game for good.
The remaining seven teams meet JD at the Pillars of Endurance, where they hang their first piece on their team colored pole. Knowledge for the Red team, Perseverance for Blue Team, Strength for Orange, Teamwork for Purple, Trust for the Yellow team, Luck for Gray and Commitment for Green. JD then reveals that the grand prize of Endurance: High Sierras is a trip to Hawaii. The kids are ecstatic when they hear the news and are all pumped to win. The game is officially on, but to whom did Anna and Garret leave the all-important Triangle of Immunity?
|Cameron & Aeriel|
|Max & Kristine|
|Alex & Cealey|
|Isaac & Taylor|
|Connor & Darci|
|Aric & Lilly|
|Dakota & Kelsey|
In Unwind, the contestants arrive to find ropes wound and tied through a wooden fence. The partners will be tied to each other by rope and the object of the game is to work through the logs and untangle enough rope to allow them to cross the finish line. After they cross it, they can unhook themselves from the rope and run to the available team color of their choice. The last team to complete it will be eliminated.
- Taylor: "I don't have anyone I want, I know who I'm going to get, so...I'm going to have to stick it out, and, find a way to come out on top."
- Connor: (about picking the last two teams) "We talked with each of the guys about who they wanted, and we decided to put Ike & Taylor, and Garret & Anna."
- J.D.: "Your first test as a team starts in a few hours, and the team that comes in last place will be leaving the High Sierras forever."
- Cealey: "Who do you think would come in last, Connor and Darci?"
- Alex: "Anna... her and Garret, because he's gonna get frustrated with her."
- Alex: "I'm happy to be with Cealey because she actually wants to win, and can keep up pretty good with the guys."
- Darci: "Me and Connor have been discussing our strategy, and we think we'll do decent in the physical games, and great in the mental games, not to mention teamwork."
- Ike: "You good at puzzles?"
- Taylor: "Of course I am; I'm really good with puzzles."
- Taylor: "Ike was one of my last choices to be my partner, but I'm still happy to be with him and not Garret— I mean, he's not even talking to her; he's talking to Dakota and Kelsey!"
- Anna: "Okay, so, I'm stuck with Garret, which I didn't want, but I guess I'll have to see how it goes."
- Anna: (to Garret) "You really shouldn't rub your strength in the others' faces, and try to be tight with the other guys."
- Taylor: (explaining her current opinion of Ike to J.D.) "He's very talkative, and I'm glad I got to know him; I'm a very huggy person!"
- Connor: "It felt great to step on that Grey platform, because me and Darci were literally just seconds away from going home."
- J.D.: "And before you leave, you actually have a chance to influence this competition— the gold frame behind you, around the Friendship pyramid piece is the Triangle of Immunity; you can leave that piece and the triangle to any of the seven remaining teams. That gold triangle will give the team you choose the ability to save themselves from going to the Temple of Fate— still a very important decision. I want you guys to take that piece with you, and think about who deserves the power of immunity, and I'll reveal your decision to the remaining seven teams tomorrow."
- Connor: "I kind of didn't want Grey, because they have that supposed curse where they've gone home three out of the four seasons..."
- This marks the first and only time a team has been eliminated without being assigned a team color.