First of all, the surprise. Every season has surprising results. (Im thinking Kristy McPherson going out third in Big Break VI and Matt Every going out second in Big Break: Mesquite.) But, usually the surprises unfold in a way that you start to see them coming a little before they happen. I dont know if anyone saw it coming with Anthony.
He is an excellent player and one who I think is typically strong under pressure. I thought he was a lock for the final four. As the day unfolded, I kept telling myself that he would somehow find a way to make it through. Even as late as the last stage of the elimination, when Mark hit his shot into the water, I figured that meant Anthony was safe. But, theres a reason you play the game to the end. When it was all said and done, Anthony was the one taking the longest walk in golf.
What made it unusual was the fact that half of the players werent there. Because of the nature of the team competition, the guys from the winning team were away and having fun in Las Vegas. (You can view extended coverage of their trip by clicking the link.) To the best of my knowledge this is the only time that all of the competitors werent present at an elimination. And, because it was such a surprise, we did something unusual. We videotaped the players finding out which player got knocked off. They were all in the common house the players used for relaxation. We let the remaining players trickle in one by one until it was obvious that either James or Anthony had been eliminated. When James walked through the door, the response was priceless. We didnt use that on the show, but we have included it here on the website. You can view it by clicking here.