chucky robertson (blue) v sean flynn (red) v j.p. charriez (purple)

event one: aerial, bulls eye--

this is the only place in the world where you actually benefit from that one day you used your nerf bow and arrow before realizing it's the worst toy ever.

first jumps are perfect all around: three shots, three bulls eyes. but chucky hits a snag on the return, and gives both j.p. and sean a chance at a second shot before he even reloads. j.p. hits, but sean misses, and the miss seems to get in his head, as sean can't seem to find the return pad either. chucky continues to struggle, and even with spotter assistance can't get his rhythm back for almost a half-minute. even when he does eventually get back, he falls into the same trap, eventually floating in no-man's land. j.p., meanwhile, keeps up his perfect rhythm, and while he may miss a few shots, he never misses a beat. in the end, chucky gets a lucky one off, and sean gets his second just under the buzzer, so the two tie for second.

j.p. 300
sean 200
chucky 200

11-year-old chucky "the conqueror" robertson is a self-described "parent pleaser"

event two: gym, basic training--

cargo net --> rings --> cruise for life --> tires --> wall --> tube slide
let's do this thing.

chucky's getting us going. is an 11-year-old this cute too pretty for gus? he's at the rings at 11+ seconds, and gets out almost at 29, getting caught up trying to make sure his feat catch every ring, while the trick to the even is to ignore your feet and only use your arms. does an admirable job with the tire crawl, but can't quite cut it in the weight-based momentum obstacles, like the tube slide and the cruse for life (aka zip line). just like with the elastic jumps, his petite frame has done him in. 46.0 seconds

sean, on the other hand, is at the rings at 6 and done by 13, tiring out his legs on the cargo net, and ignoring them so they can rest on the rings--perfect execution. his bigger frame helps him on the cruise for life, and he can attack the tire crawl in a more calculated manner--he's rolling out at 24.5. he has so much momentum at the wall climb that it would be more appropriately called the "wall run." he's down the slide and in the pool by 30.4, putting chucky's numbers to shame.

j.p. is up next, and sees that his early lead is in danger. he gets in his own head, looking to the rings before he's completed the cargo net, and is unable to find the netting with this feet right on the outset. he doesn't even hit the rings until 12.1 seconds, and then takes them too cautiously, ignoring his feet almost to his detriment, and treating them like monkeybars that only can be scaled with individual-swing momentum. he's at the tires at 29.9, and is now all-but officially only hoping for a 2nd place finish. he struggles through the tires, crawls to the top of the wall, and slides slowly into the pool for a 42.9 second finish. i can't believe a performance like that still got him 2nd.

in his post-event interview, sean demonstrates that he was coached by a professional media team, touching on how he "did the best he could," and thought "even if [he] came in second, if i did my best it would still be good." (those might be slight paraphrasing--i'm typing as fast as i can)

j.p. 500
sean 500
chucky 300

sean "the flyer" flynn is a 13-year-old trading card collector. ahhh--memories.

event three: pool, invisible boats

wow. chucky demonstrates why he made it to the extreme arena in the first place, skimming above the water like...well...either a water bug or jesus, depending on where you like to take your guts metaphors. 7.2 seconds. bam. look at that smile.

sean steps up second. good jump, but his weight is a disadvantage in this one, as it drags him into the rapids. 8.9 seconds.

j.p. looks nervous going third, as even 8.9 is a tough time to beat. he tries the hopping approach, and due to a good reach, clocks in at a very impressive 7.4. not good enough for first, but it'l keep him in first overall.

chucky's post event interview: "hi mom!"

j.p. 700
chucky 600
sean 600

this one's coming down to the very end.

12-year-old j.p. "clutch" charriez earned his nickname because of his clutch football play. he also rides waterslides. (i want the guts people to do my bios for the rest of my life.)

event four: areal, spike it

five serves. five chances at the targets. one of the harder, more randomly determined events in the game, as the kdis aren't really strong enough to aim and hit the balls in straight lines, and they're spending too much energy just concentrating on jumping.

everyone gets less air than they should, no one hits with much precision. as a viewer, you can't even really see what's going on.

j.p. finishes with 3; 2 for the other two.

o'malley comes into the interview with a fake head bandage from when he headed a ball before the game. HA! antics!
besides just the normal fluff questions, though, he asks a good one about how hard it is to jump up. when j.p. brushes it off (as he did the rest--they can't all have sean's training), o'malley ironically reacts by mocking how dumb his own questions are.

j.p. 1000
sean 800
chucky 800

sean's obviously the athlete best built for guts, and chucky is the quickest of the three, but j.p. is still in first by 200 points. maybe "clutch" is the right nickname after all...


"who's got the guts to win? who's got the guts to get to the top of the mountain first?" tell 'em, mike.

from the onset, it's jp v sean. maybe the glitter got to chucky, maybe he was too small to scale the rock, or maybe he just couldn't find the actuators, but by the time they go to the wide shot to show j.p. and sean's neck-and-neck finish, chucky's still at the very bottom. sean reaches up and hits the final actuator in what seems like record time, barely inching out j.p. ...that is, until we realize j.p. missed one at the beginning of the course. sean stands at top in first, watching as j.p. climbs from the top back to the bottom and back up again. if chucky can beat him, sean wins. if j.p. gets second, the game is his. j.p. gets down extremely quickly, and chucky struggles to get around the boulders (which shouldn't require a struggle). j.p. beats him up by a lot, and after he's already hit the final light, we realize chucky missed an actuator at the bottom anyway. a pathetic performance by chucky costs sean the game, and they zoom in for a closeup to see the dejection on his face.

j.p. 1550
sean 1525
chucky 1175

they don't get closer than this.

chucky takes his bronze metal like a gentleman. sean throws his arms in the air, proud. j.p. just looks uncomfortable in success. clutch? he should be used to it. he doesn't have enough strength to hoist the crag in the air, but he does try.

sean, this game should have been yours.


mike azzinaro (blue) v justin bellucci (red) v nathan welch (purple), also known as mike o'malley's wet dream

what a freakin' episode. this is what guts is made for. you could see the excitement in mike's face from the instant the game started--games like this are the reason he gets up in the morning. three real athletes hungry for a glowing piece of that radical rock.

event one: off the wall.

mike (in blue)'s first jump is directly in the center of the wall. it is possible that he knocked off more balls with that one jump than any other single jump in guts' off the wall history has. he now, however, has a huge gap in the center of the wall and cannot really make efficient use of his remaining time with any of his following jumps since there are no sectors big enough to be worthwhile. on top of this, he has continuous trouble getting back on the aerial bridge.

the event ends, and seemingly out of nowhere, justin has only 2 of his 50 balls left on the wall. 48/50. that is an unreal score. unquestionably the best score i've ever seen. the replay reveals why: he attacked the game perfectly. he went at the wall in a well-designed pattern and used every jump to its fullest. a near-flawless execution.

nathan finishes with 33 and mike with 26--also two of the highest scores i have ever seen.

justin's post-event interview reveals that this will most probably be the high point of his life.

justin 300
nathan 200
mike 100

for 14-year-old mike "boom boom" azzinaro, guts = being a contender

event two: wild pitch.

for the pre-even explanation, mike asks us to imagine the following pitcher(s) (this should be noted every time this--or any other baseball game--is played):
roger clemens

nathan and mike both seem to know that contact is key--they pick up on the nearly-unbeatable bunt technique, but nathan before mike. justin shows the world that he is indeed a competent baseball player, but skill in a sport doesn't always translate to the guts game that is derived from that sport. besides just employing the bunt technique before mike, nathan seemed to have better concentration while in the batter's box. he finishes with a commanding 19, handily defeating mike's 10 and justin's (quite respectable for non-bunting) 7.

for 13-year-old justing "terminator b" bellucci, guts = combat
what the hell is that? terminator b? was that really necessary? and one of the worst guts='s i've seen in a while.

event three: mad max.

mike's pre-rule description:
well, combat's good for our next event, because our next event is a post-nuclear race that really gets in your face. it's "mad max": a frantic dash through all sorts of terrain! --look out for the stray tires LETS GO TO MO FOR THE RULES--MO!

they used the prop-master's self-powered-tail-lights bike for this one. not exactly the best use of these three athletes, but, still, a fun and rare event-type never hurts an episode.

in a weird foreshadowing, mike warns about taking the course too fast right before justin goes. justin naturally goes too quickly and loses control, both costing him off-the-track penalties and forcing him to run into the side of the crash finish instead of through it at first. again--his 48/50 was indeed the high point of his life. it was all down hill from there.

nathan takes first with 17.5 seconds, mike second with 18.9, and justin third with a generous 26.6.

nathan 800
mike 500
justin 500

for 13-year-old "notorious" nathan welch, guts = controversy (which mo pronounces conTROversy [as opposed to CONtroversy])

event four: jump jump!

the dreaded fourth hurdle. for some reason, people never have problems with the second (although sometimes they miss the first--and usually they miss the second--aerial bridge) hurdle, even though in theory they should be equally as challenging. i guess it's a rhythm thing.

mike starts and as predicted does incur 5 second penalty for knocking down the fourth hurdle. 23 seconds even.

justin looks fantastic up until the first aerial bridge and then gets overexcited, coming off too fast. he winds up overshooting the third hurdle and he finds himself taking the fourth too quickly. he can't back out, and he crashes directly into it. he forgets that the game is not over, though, and lethargically hangs for almost a full second before trying to finish. 24.7.

nathan has trouble with the first bridge and gets spotter help. he too knocks the fourth hurdle down, and finishes with 45.6 (including the hurdle and two five-second assistant penalties).

going into the crag we have an unreal game. baring missed actuators we're in for one helluva ride.
nathan 900
mike 800
justin 700

as predicted, the crag is a memorable one. all three handle boulder canyon like it's child's play. three athletes at the peak shape of their guts-eligible lives scale our rock in near-perfect sync. they reach the final vertical-climb at nearly the same exact time--the entire game comes down to this. nathan reaches the top first, right as justin is slipping. he falls and mike takes advantage of the opportunity. he jumps ahead of justin to claim second.

nathan 1625
mike 1350
justin 1075

one of the greatest games i've ever seen played.

Moira Quirk standup

What do we think about this?

nikki stewart (blue) v bianca alaimo (red) v t.j. simmons (purple)

a blow by blow account of one of today's games

event one: aerial (elastic), rebound--

tj is suffering from the same fate as most males in the typical male/female/female game: weighing noticeably less than the females, victory in an elastic event is almost impossible. at the end, though, he seemed to notice this, and in a cut-off-the-nose-to-spite-the-face move, he began playing defense.

bianca's interview? she talks about the balls slipping out of her hands. no credit to t.j. despite his pathetic zero-rebound performance, i'm predicting victory for him.

biancia 300
nikki 200
t.j. 100

for 14-year-old "tricky nikki" stewart, guts=equality

event two: track (running), tornado run--

this one was extremely close, but again t.j. suffered from slow-development male woes. his upperbody strength (or lack thereof) got to him in the vines climb. another third place finish for him. having them run against each other instead of against the clock is always interesting to see.

bianca 600
nikki 400
t.j. 200

for 13-year-old bianca "the barbarian" alaimo, guts=uninhibited

event three: pool, hang 10--

nikki's up first. she's concentrating too much on hanging onto the board and not paying enough attention to the bouyies. still, she collected seven, but she could have benefited from using her hands more to maneuver herself.

bianca is second. she is using her stomach to hold on--as she should--and she is letting her arms do the dirty work. perfectly executed, she finishes with eight and takes the lead going into the last contestant's turn. this will be difficult for t.j. to match.

t.j. third. the determination in his eyes is fierce. he is using the right technique, but it is obvious that he is running out of stamina. he stayed still in the water at the end, practically giving up. six.

bianca 900
nikki 600
t.j. 300

t.j. needs to pick it up majorly in this last event if he even wants a shot at second.

for 12-year-old t.j. simmons, guts=living (yeah, right)

event four: field (elastic), fumble--

again, t.j. is suffering from being too young and too light. he can't even reach the footballs. still, though, it is obvious that he is the best pure athlete of the three, and he may take it home. nikki's lack of lower body strength is getting to her, but she picked it up at the end to finish with 5. bianca had 4, and t.j. finished in first with 10. he's back in the game.

bianca 1000
nikki 800
t.j. 600


i'm predicting a t.j. victory. ehrin is saying t.j. as well, since he's been picking up his game at the end. andy is also going with t.j. but notes that he seems like the type to miss an actuator. still, a second place finish is in his future.

bianca and t.j. handle boulder canyon very well, but bianca gets caught up in the snow. nikki is doing fantastically, but the rocks didn't fall, so it implies that she missed an actuator. wait--t.j. did as well! he finishes in third, nikki overcomes her miss and gets first, and bianca, who also missed one, finishes in second.
all three missing actuators? is that acceptable? it's a good thing the crag troll (as mike called the judge) was there to let them know.

bianca 1550
nikki 1525
t.j. 975

t.j. is an extreme disappointment. he can't even climb down the crag, so he almost misses the awards ceremony. pathetic. if anyone knows where we can find him on fbook or myspace, please post. he deserves hate mail.