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I Survived Bear Grylls, Episode 6 Recap: Bear’s Intimate Ice Bath

Five new contestants are vying for $10,000, thinking they’ve got what it takes to beat whatever challenge evil mastermind Bear Grylls can throw their way over the course of four challenges. “I’m here to tell you, be prepared, because survival hurts and survival stinks,” Bear warns. And he’s not kidding. On the sixth episode of the first season of I Survived Bear Grylls (Thursdays on TBS at 9:00 pm ET/PT), the players — Eric, a percussionist who loves taking risks, but none too extreme; Whitney, a resourceful soon-to-be doctor; James, a break dancer training for the 2024 Olympics; Mackenzie, a former NBA and NFL dancer intent on proving she’s a badass; and Salvatore, a disciplined musician — must overcome challenges designed to test four things: adaptability, physicality, grit and guts. Ahead are the episode’s top moments from each of the four challenges.

What a Load of Crap

In the first challenge, “Feces from Another Species,” the players raise a stink when they face a pile of animal dung and a smoke bomb hanging just above it. Bear explains people worldwide use the dried material as tinder for fire, and now the five players must compete to see who can make a large enough blaze to set off the bomb. While that’s stomach churning, perhaps the most memorable scene involved a flashback of Bear drinking water squeezed from elephant dung during one of his past adventures. “Pretty disgusting, but it could save your life,” he says. The first player gone from this feces competition complains: “To be a loser and covered in poop — not a good combo.”

A Cold Send-Off

In winter 2009, Bear was stranded in the Arctic Circle and had to forge a frigid river by stripping down in order to keep his gear dry. The aspiring survivalists are likewise expected to strip down to their skivvies, submerge themselves in ice-cold barrels of water, and hold above their heads 20-pound buckets of reeking, rotting fish for the challenge High and Dry. As if that’s not enough, Bear adds buckets of dead fish to each barrel. “Bear, this is not my real hair, it smells like fish in here!” complains one player. The losing player in this competition lasts an impressive amount of time in the cold water.

Smell Ya Later!

In Happy Glamper, the three remaining players don robes and must secure their gear out of the reach of hungry bears. The newbie survivalists climb up a stick with four items in tow — a TV, toilet, target and pants — and hook them to the top of a log structure smeared in honey. One player realizes they’re probably more cerebral than sporty. “I need a little bit more muscle mass in me,” says the player, adding, “I’ve got a pretty muscley brain, but I gotta do the same thing with the body.” While that player goes home in the end, another says they’re ready to move on despite being coated in poop, fish and now honey: “I smell weird, but that’s what I came here for.”

Bugging Out

The final two players are ready to tackle the last challenge, Grub a Dub, Grub, and the chance to win the big prize. “This is where things get a little gnarly,” Bear tells the competitors. Big game is always running wild in the wilderness, but sometimes scavenging for small snacks like grubs becomes necessary. Bear ratchets up the gross-out factor with critters like meaty scorpions, beetles, cicadas, tarantulas and water bugs, which he explains are full of nasty “yellow pus and juice” but also plenty of energy-providing protein. The winning player must gather 10 bugs with their mouth and then be first to chow them all down. The winner crunches, munches and consumes the unappetizing apps and comes in first by half a second. But to claim the grand prize they must grab the bundle of $10,000 that’s nestled in a pit of snakes.

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