Hopefully the contestants have thinned down enough to be able to fit through the winding cracks of some Kangaroo Island caves, because that’s just what today’s breakthrough experience has in store for the yellow and blue team as they go caving to face their fears!
The sun rises on another day on Kangaroo Island. Kate is inside a cave (just) as she talks us through today’s breakthrough experience. To help, Christian and Tim will be on hand to help today.
Tim tells us that while breakthrough experiences are usually based on thrills and experiences, today, it is based on small confined spaces and facing fears.
The contestants are on their way to the caves and discuss their fears. Nathan fears of getting trapped. Tim welcomes them all to the breakthrough challenge and Christian tells them that some parts are pitch black and some parts will require them to drag themselves on their stomachs. Nathan is getting more anxious. Surely these guys are mentioning this to really strike fear into them.
Kevin asks if Christian is nervous and he says he has never been caving, so he would like Kevin’s help in getting himself through the challenge.
Tim asks how, on a 1-10 scale, how fearful they are today. Many of them say above five with some contestants conceding they are a 10. With that, they had to the cave entrance. They head down and Renae begins to doubt herself.
Back on land, the other contestants head towards a body of water where Kate is there to welcome them. She wants them to ‘get back into nature’ and Kate introduces Julie, a wildlife worker. She will be introducing them to some pelicans.
Ajay says she is an animal lover, but it isn’t long before she is nipped by a pelican. The pelicans are snappy as the contestants feed them. They learn about the pelicans and Darryn, who loves wildlife, is so happy to experience this. He loves experience this side of life.
Back at the caves, the blue and yellow teams are descending and descending. As they enter the natural part of the cave, they are in awe in the beauty of the cave, but it is, as Nathan points out, the viewing cave. Their venture hasn’t even begun!
Renae thinks it is nice, but you can hear the fear in her voice. She is scared there will be an earthquake and she can’t enjoy the beauty. Now, it is time for the cave exploration. Tim introduces them to Nick and Daniel, the guides.
Christian feels confident now that he’s met the guides. With that, they head to the less-beautiful part of the caves. Christine’s anxiety is at 2, which is quite low compared to what I was expecting. Christian thinks that the contestants are taking the mickey out of him as he talks about his potential fear for this sport.
Opinion point: What are your thoughts on the cave breakthrough?
After the break, the cave crawl continues. Christine and Nathan are doing well; it is Renae who is struggling a bit. After a few chambers, it becomes pitch black, and now Christine is a bit scared. Renae is scared of being trapped.
They come to a narrow space, and Nick shows them how to get through the next part of the challenge. Christian ‘pretends’ to be scared, but it is clear this is all for show. He’s scared, but I don’t think he had any intention of carrying through with his plan to stay behind.
Christian explains that his fear is having no control. They get to another section and Tim tells them to turn their lights off. The room goes pitch black, but they still have the camera light. Nathan is afraid about things that could happen to him in the dark.
Outside, the beautiful scenery graces our screens. Isn’t that water lovely! The contestants are seeing a show about different birds, including roosters and owls.
They even get to pat the birds, and they are so good with them all!
Down under, lights out continues. With all their lights off, Renae is scared, so Christian puts his arm around her to calm her down.
Nathan is hating it and we see him rocking back and forth. Tim talks to Nathan about this. Nathan says that if anyone was to touch him, he’d scream so loud. Tim talks them through the meanings of anxiety.
Then, Nathan gets clarity on everything. He really sees all the fears and anxieties he has felt over the years, and how meaningless they are. All the names he has been called, all the bullying he received, gone! How nice, but how corny.
After a while, Tim gets them to turn their lights back on and they begin to head out of the cave. They all have to go one by one, which is daunting. Nathan goes first. They’re going back another way- one that requires them to crawl on their stomachs.
Opinion point: Who is coping the best? Who is surprising you?
After the break, the contestants on the outside continue their bird watching with Dipper getting to hold a real hawk!
Back down below, Nathan is still crawling through the cave, and Nathan concedes this is the most amazing thing he has ever done. It looks fun!
Renae is next to confront her fears. As she is smaller, the space isn’t as tight for her and she actually has the biggest smile on her face. She finishes the challenge and it’s quite surprising. She did it with Tim, but still a top effort. She feels the sense of achievement. She feels as if nothing can hold her back. Cliché much?!
Christian is next to confront his fears. Kevin goes down as well and he loved being down there. He feels it is intense, but he has fun. He thinks Christian fared the worst of everyone. He hates how his shoulders are touching the roof above him. And, he can’t see where he is going!
Opinion point: Are you tired of all the reality-television show clichés this show is featuring?
After the break, the contestants not on the breakthrough experience are headed to the beach to see some seals! Wow, that really does look amazing. But what happened to the ‘this competition is about to get tough’ stance Christian had yesterday?!
The contestants also get to see some mating…although I don’t know how excited I’d be to see that! Darryn thinks the sea-lions and Lisa have the same waddle. That is hilarious!
Kate does not envy the contestants on the climbing challenge, but it isn’t the contestants struggling right now, it is Christian! At the end of the experience, they all huddle for a congratulatory hug! Christian has completed his own breakthrough experience!
They all climb out of the cave having conquered their fears! Well, some of them anyway. They all hug each other when they get to the top. Even Kevin gives a yell.
They all then travel back to tell the rest of the gang.
Opinion point: Who else would you put into that breakthrough experience if you got the chance?
After the break, the contestants go sand-boarding before they head to a psychology session. It is a couple’s counselling session- so today; they will be talking about how they can improve their relationship with their partner.
Here, they must write down what they think their partners can improve on.
And now, Kate & Sarah will be first to air their grievances with each other, although most of this was done last week. Kate has Sarah tell her to step up and learn to talk to Sarah better.
They need to believe in themselves AND in each other. Kate does concede that the pink team bounces back.
Lisa reads out what Darryn has written about her. He wants her to ‘run more’, and Lisa tells him that running is not her think. She refers to him as her husband, which stuns him.
Kevin reads that Renae wants him to push her more and to stay relaxed and calm and give good encouragement. Kate thinks Sarah was not up front, pretty much.
Tim probes Renae to tell Kevin something that she wants changed. Ajay thinks Renae should have told Kevin to ‘man up’ and stop smoking and drinking.
Matt and Ajay want to stop blaming others and keep their cool when things get tough. Cue the aquaculture challenge back story. They both agree.
The orange team now air their grievances. We review this week’s spirit challenge, which was a massive dummy spit for the team. Lana wants Dipper to work through things through with her and Dipper says ‘enough said’.
Opinion point: Who needs to ‘change’ in this competition?
After the break, the couples counselling continues. Lana begins a rant about Matt’s disinterest in the session. Matt is taken aback and says that he is only tired because he hasn’t eaten for a while. Lana doesn’t want him to take it as an attack and Dipper wonders why Lana is bringing up Matt’s ‘apparent’ disinterest.
Dipper asks her to mind her own business, and Dipper is getting annoyed at how people keep being honest like this because, as Matt says, it came out wrong.
To the yellow team, and we review how Nathan & Christine have had recent troubles.
Nathan reads out that Christine wants him to have more self-belief and honesty on himself and trust to let Christine in more. There are quite a few points. Don’t give up easily and participate with more enthusiasm.
Christine reads that Nathan doesn’t want her to sugar-coat and talk things out with him. Christine wears the sugar-coating tag, but when Nathan mentions about not being competitive, she doesn’t think that is good enough.
Renae thinks the team has some working out to do with each other. Tim is pleased with how this session went and they all head off for some rest. Matt may need it!
So the episode ends, and with great production quality and a good balance of material, this episode has fared better than others. Some points I have to make however, include the show being a tad boring, and even a bit disjointed (after an ad break, we went straight into Lana ripping into Matt, with no real explanation on how it started) at times, and with some very heavy uses of cliché’s like ‘I feel like I can conquer anything’, sometimes, the episode seemed cheesy.
But, overall, it was well done, and was of very high quality.
Production Values (visual and audio techniques, overall ‘bling’ of the show):4.9/5
‘Sell-out’ factor (Cross-promotion and product placement free?): 2/2
Entertainment Value (emotional feel, storyline, eventful?): 2.5/3
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.4/10