Previously on… listicles that celebrate the masculine minefield that is SAS: Who Dares Wins, we plucked two Springfieldian handfuls of the most emotionally taxing moments from its debut season. We’ve only just finished wiping the (manly) tears from our eyes.
If you’re new to the show, here’s the set-up: 30 men of varied backgrounds and body types brave an eight-day regiment modelled on the elite Special Forces selection process. The episodes are themed as follows: character, weakness, fear, survival and interrogation, and when experienced in succession, they test every aspect of emotional and physical potential.
Today, we’re turning our minds to show's hardcore physical challenges. They're so extreme that SAS: Who Dares Wins easily takes out the title of Most Strenuous Game Show in History (sorry, Survivor and Japan).
Hit the ground running
Right off the bat, chief instructor Ant Middleton lumped 30kg on the backs of all 30 men (who were now only referred to by an allocated number) and sent them off on a long-distance run. Half the pack struggled to maintain pace.
Not long after we were introduced to the father-and-son duo of Phil (38) and Callum (19), the latter was quickly culled from the competition due to finishing in last place.
What’s worse than a surprise fitness session in the middle of the night that includes more push-ups than most have completed in a lifetime?
A fitness session in the middle of the night that includes more push-ups than most have completed in a lifetime ON TRAIN TRACKS.
Ah, finally. A physical challenge where budding recruits could take a relative breather. Or so they thought.
The staged evacuation involved each man taking his turn in lugging a fellow faux-injured contestant through brutal woodland terrain. After the challenge, we lost a contestant and almost lost another.
The instructors used a ravaging endurance test to further push a 19-year-old named Calvin, who despite showing impressive tenacity the day before, apparently needed to prove he was still worthy of the program.
The test - during which Calvin was both stripped of his number then given one more chance - involved the men sprinting back and forth along a pebbled beach, broken up by stops to stand still while raising gigantic rocks high above their heads.
A fourth episode challenge saw the five remaining contestants forced to fall backwards off a 100ft cliff into a river (see top image). For popular gay contestant Anthony Selwyn, it meant facing one of his greatest fears.
Afterwards, the men relaxed triumphantly in the back of the SAS minivan. Thinking they were returning to camp, they were met with a nearby explosion and crash, before being manhandled out of the van, their heads shrouded in black material.
Left alone in a metallic tunnel on their knees with their hands behind their heads, the fivesome were forced to push through the pain. At the 11th hour, while they were waiting for a mock-execution at the hands of the enemy, they were saved - just in time for the final, finale interrogation.
Not to mention, multiple unending runs across unforgiving terrain…
...frequent leaps over genuine barbed wire…
...punishing individual penance…
...and more push-ups on train tracks.
Watch season 2 of SAS: Who Dares Wins on Mondays at 9:30pm on SBS.
Missed last night's episode? Watch it right here: