In the eighth and final episode of I Survived Bear Grylls, Season 2, the survivalist and toughest man on the planet is making sure whoever wins his contest really puts in the work to earn the $10,000 grand prize. “We’re about to find out if you’re as tough as you think you are,” Bear tells the five contestants vying for the top spot: Mary, a linebacker on her local football team; Shelby, a former girl scout and current dietician; Neil, a barber and father of three boys; Will, an ex-boxer; and Vondell, a retail manager. The four challenges Bear has lined up, he says, are “just as harsh and unforgiving” as anything he’s had to face in the wild. Ahead are the top moments from each.
The first challenge is based on Bear’s 2011 experience of exploring a deep cave system in Borneo. In Down and Dirty, the five contestants have to crawl through mud and find five critters — a spider, grasshopper, frog, centipede and scorpion. While it sounds easy, Bear reminds the player they’re in a cave, which he simulates by making them don blacked-out goggles with tiny pinpricks to affect their fields of vision. The last person to finish is gone from the game. The final two battling it out have their own challenges to overcome: Will can’t remember what a centipede, his last bug to find, looks like, and Shelby is off to a glacial start, initially finding just one of five creatures in her collection. Bear notes Shelby has “tenacity” and she proves him right by suddenly blazing through the challenge.
“You survived by sheer heart and grit,” Bear says.
Snail Gunk and Snake Bile
Bear next explains dehydration is a major danger in the desert, and to be avoided at all costs (He once had to squeeze liquid from fish eyeballs and elephant dung for a disgusting drink.) The four remaining contestants are ready to vie against each other in You Drank What?
“This challenge will truly test your guts,” Bear says of the drinking game he’s dreamed up. After tasting a liquid from 10 canteens, the contestants must run to a table with 10 full glasses and match the taste. Some delectable delights include rotten coconut milk, monkey urine, camel saliva, yak blood and snail mucus. To top it all off, the players have to finish what they’re sipping. If they need to vomit, they accrue a 30-second penalty. “I am excited to taste all of these wonderful beverages and get nice and hydrated,” one contestant boasts. Belching, gagging and vomiting ensues.
Dawn of the Dead
In Never Leave Home Without It, the remaining three players head to a very creepy forest, where they must use a machete to attack zombies. To move on, the contestants have to hack through five “vines” — really thick ropes — attached to a tent, grab the tent and then decapitate zombies. At the end of the course, they must then pitch their tent and display five zombie heads on poles. Zombie parts fly and fake blood flows as the players clearly find it cathartic to take out their aggression on the dummies.
“I very much so enjoyed whacking the zombie heads with my machete,” one player says. “That was definitely a first to whack off the zombie heads.”
The final two contestants are pitted against each other in Nature’s Lunchbox. Bear shows his colder side when he presents two ice blocks to the pair. This contest is modeled after a 2009 excursion Bear took to the Arctic Circle, during which he had to scavenge for whatever food he could find. The players must strip down to their skivvies, sit on the ice blocks and then chisel six food items out of a second chunk of ice: a cupcake, steak, donut, chicken, pizza and animal fat. To make it even more difficult, they can only chisel when they’re seated. Whoever gets the coveted animal fat, eats it and then gets dressed first wins. There’s a definite chill in the air when ice water gets dumped over the contestants.