The contestants and their families greet Sami in an outdoor space with lots of pillows and Christmas lights and oriental rugs. Sami is dressed like a Michael Jackson-inspired ringmaster, minus a giant hat. She congratulates everyone, and says how happy she is to celebrate this night with them. Also there to celebrate the evening and put on a little concert is Ashanti. I'm surprised it's not Mariah, there to take advantage of the opportunity to look skinnier amongst the contestants. Ashanti gives a message of inspiration, about how important it is to shine. Is her new song called "Shine"? Yes. Yes it is. Is there a verse about Multigrain Cheerios? Probably. I think she's wearing a necklace made of Jennie-O ground turkey. We get sepia-toned flashbacks of the contestants in the day, when they were a lot bigger and sadder than they are now. Now, you know, they shine and shit.
With makeovers over, it's time for a challenge. The contestants get back into their sweats and t-shirts, and arrive poolside to see the dreaded "Jacob's ladder" climbing machine. Each contestant has a Jacob's ladder machine suspended above the pool. All they have to do is keep climbing. If they stop, they'll fall ten feet into the water and be eliminated. The last person climbing wins a one-pound advantage at the weigh-in. The first person to fall in the water will get a one-pound disadvantage. So, there are some serious stakes here.
The challenge and the climbing begins. Sunshine tells us that not only is the machine going faster than she's used to but, being suspended in the air, the machine is a bit wobbly. At two minutes in, Ashley is getting low on her ladder. She pushes it in an effort to avoid being the first one out, but she doesn't succeed. At three minutes, she's the first person to fall and gets the one-pound disadvantage. She's disappointed in herself. At five minutes in, Mike is the second person to fall in the water. The remaining four are machines on the machines, though, and all are still climbing at forty minutes. That's some serious willpower. Ashley has no idea how they're all staying on there, since the three minutes she managed to stay on were pure hell. At forty-five minutes, Sunshine falls in the water and it's down to the big boys. Sam knows that Koli will throw it if they're the final two, so he tells us it's up to the two of them to collectively beat Daris. For his part, Daris is tired of the Gray Team winning challenges. He wants to win something fierce.