The working title for Chapter Three of Big Break Greenbrier was “Bomb Shelter”. But, at the suggestion of segment editor Derek Locke, the more apt title “Bombs Away” was adopted. That subtle change made a world of difference, because in this episode there were plenty of bombs delivered.
The first came at breakfast, where the contestants received their first envelope of the new season. That “bombshell” revealed not only that the players would be squaring off in head-to-head matches, but that some of them would be choosing their opponents.
The only problem? They didn’t know what the game was going to be. Boom.
It was a good way to get inside the mind of those competitors that were doing the picking. No one was surprised when Mark selected Anthony – least of all Anthony himself. The Jersey boy has been generally regarded as the least stable of the competitors, and Mark saw this as the best combination of how to win and how not to lose.
Chan’s selection of Brian seemed pretty clearly predicated on performance. Chan’s gut (which, unlike Anthony’s, is not tattooed) told him Brian. But Chan’s mind was basically saying I think I can beat Brian, regardless of the challenge. It may have worked, but since Chan’s mind also selected the wrong club in his first chance at immunity, the rest of Chan was headed for another challenge.
Then came Stu. Stu chose to play Ray simply because he enjoys Ray’s company. Presumably, Stu does not enjoy Ray’s driving ability. At least not anymore. Stu’s selection was a perfect display of his amiable nature on the show. And maybe if it were a short game challenge, things would have worked out differently. But, as it was, not even Stu’s most powerful laser beam could have saved him once Ray went deep.
Isaac chose Mike as his opponent in the first Immunity Challenge, saying he wanted to take one of the better players out of the competition. The pick illustrated “Sasquatch’s” confidence in his ability, his lack of fear and his willingness to gamble. This is a guy who knows what it’s like to risk his rent money on his golf game.
Out on the course, the bombs began to fly.
The first challenge of the day was unique in that all matches were guaranteed to end with a failure, and not a success. Miss the fairway, or come up short of your opponent’s distance, and you lose.
The decisions by Ray and Isaac to hit driver were met with some criticism from the bench in Safe City, but in essence, they were putting all of the power in their own hands while simultaneously putting all of the pressure on their own shoulders. Hit the fairway this one time, and you can’t be beat.
Boom. Boom. Safe, and on to the next show. It wouldn’t be a stretch to wonder if at least one crew member had to change underpants after hearing ‘Squatch yell at his golf ball.
The bombs continued to drop in the ensuing challenges. Mike made some noise in earning safety with his second shot in the Tin-Cup inspired “one-club” challenge. (What do you think was my best shot? Was it the 5-iron off the tee? The 5-iron on the green? Or maybe it was that shot from the fairway, which to my recollection was a 5-iron!)
But the biggest bomb of the day was dropped by Anthony, directly on Stu. It will go down as one of the best putts in Big Break history, a fact which probably comforts Stu little. For reasons I’m still not sure, Stu’s term of choice for Anthony’s monster putt was the “blow-snake”, and it was the death blow to Stu’s Big Break dream. Not even the Greenbrier bunker could have sheltered Stu from such a stunner.
Boom. Eliminated. Bummer, dog.
A few final words on Stu... While he may have seemed a little out there at times, he left a noticeable mark on the Greenbrier series in just a short time. In the next episode, you’ll get a better idea of just what kind of impact Stu had on his fellow competitors.
From the time he got hooked on pain killers after suffering a back injury as a teenager, it’s been an all-out war on substances for Stu that most of us will never have the misfortune of experiencing. Forget bombs and blow-snakes, immunity and elimination. Stu will likely face much tougher challenges for the rest of his life.
Only now, he’ll have 11 more allies on his side to help him fight the battle.