These are theater kids; the challenge would be hard enough if they were doing all these things in separate takes, let alone one continuous take. Asking Ali to sink a "basketball" backwards over her shoulder at the end of all this is just setting them all up for failure. All in the name of television that only people with extended cable packages can watch.
I would love to see them get it all on the first take, just so that this whole irritating, failure-driven concept would blow up in its creators' faces. But no, they call for a cut right at the beginning, after Blake has already charged needlessly up to the top of the bleachers. This is clearly Operation: Wear Blake Out (and make him sweat and glisten as we just sit back on our couches, potato chips in hand, and say "that right there's a MAN" out loud to ourselves).
"Blake's my best friend here, but this is also a competition, so I'm going to think 'what would Blake do?' and then do that way better," Michael says, revealing his poor strategizing skills. Another wrench thrown in the works for the contestants is the mid-shot costume change, in and out of sweats. Again, I couldn't tell you why. But Lily, who only has to catch and throw a goddamn ball, ruins the whole shot because she can't get her sweatpants off. Zach Woodlee seemed to enjoy when Lily tripped over them and fell down.
"Could you help Lily?" Zach asks Aylin, Lily's sudden nemesis. "Strip?" Aylin asks. They come up with a plan for Lily to just lay there while Aylin pulls her pants off, and Lily will "take care of the top." Lily is still all hurt about Aylin saying she was loud in the studio, so she's not happy about this arrangement. Please go home, Lily.
Erik, Robert, and Zach also demand that the kids "keep singing," like a demented three-headed Ursula the Sea Witch. "Who's not singing?" Robert wonders, scanning the crowd of tired, sweaty kids for the one most in danger of fainting. I don't understand why it's important for them to sing out loud since it's a lip-sync, but who am I to say which of these elements will push each contestant to the brink and bring on the meltdown the ratings so desperately need?
The jump-roping section is falling apart because nobody is singing, Aylin and Lily must work together, and Michael has to instantly know how to jump double-dutch. Something tells me this kid wasn't raised on a street where they practiced that. They change to one rope, and things seem to be going fine in Take 12. Until they weren't. Shanna slips, but manages to push through, and Abraham also slips and turns an ankle. He makes a big deal out of it, making everyone uncomfortable, but manages to pull it back together in the name of someone noticing his tenacity.