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My name is Janel, I have been writing and published for many years. I wrote two poetry books. I was the Associate Editor of my college newspaper. I hope to write my life story one day and finish it.

Total Blackout, May 2 – Spiders, Rats, and Tigers, Oh My!

On this week’s episode of Total Blackout, the contestants compete in complete darkness making you wish you could throw them a flashlight. Some of the terrifying challenges are more like disgusting challenges . 

The contestants are Rob, 32, from Sussex County, NJ, a pre-med student hoping to walk away with five thousand dollars. (Maybe he can channel Snooki for help), Eddie, 41, from Los Angeles, CA, a manager. Eddie’s plan is to “jump in with two hands and just go for it.” I think he means with two feet, but whatever is best for him, good luck with that, Sir.

Ingrid, 34 from Melbourne, Australia, a waitress, has been skydiving swimming with sharks, so my money is on her. If you can swim with sharks, you can roam in complete darkness and smell weird food. Michael, 31, from West Hollywood, CA, is a Circus Aerialist. Okay, I take that back. This man performs thirty feet in the air and works for the circus. Maybe Michael has a chance; I wonder how you apply to work for the circus?

The contestants must compete against each other, one girl against three guys. Ingrid is going for the “girl power” move. Let’s hope she does well. The first challenge is all about touch. The players must identify four items in fish tanks using only their hands in complete darkness, and must not let their minds play tricks on them.

Michael freaks out and has not even touched anything yet. Eddie is going in the wrong direction, and once again … poor Jaleel, get the man some ear plugs. Ingrid actually made it to one fish tank, slightly screaming. She guessed the first tank correctly, a mouse not a snake. Good for Ingrid! 

Screaming Eddie covers his eyes … in the dark! Covering his eyes and screaming in pitch black darkness. Jaleel informs him that covering his eyes is not helping him. Get the man a bag so he can breathe. Eddie does guess correctly, a rat or as he said a “f****** rat.”

Its Rob’s turn, and he tries to feel around the tank, but he doesn’t feel anything. Is he playing charades? He just keeps shouting random things, “Turtle. Ferret. Snake. Worm.” He gets bit and Jaleel tells him to go on to the next tank.

Michael tries to make his way to the tank and insists there is no tank. There is a tank, but he is doing some kind of dance that makes me wonder if he has to go to the bathroom or if he’s just scared? This is very confusing. He also proclaims loudly “I am glad I’m giving you entertainment.”

Ingrid is in position at the second tank, and for someone who swam with sharks, I have lost hope in her. It is a snow ha. Michael is up again, but won’t stick his hand in the tank. Eddie thinks it’s a dog, or a poodle dog. Oh lord. Ingrid guesses again – a beanie or a hat of some kind. she actually is doing well. Michael and Eddie are making me nervous; they are fidgeting and dancing around the tanks. The rats are braver than the two of them sitting in their little tanks in the dark.

Bring on the snakes. Rob realizes he would have been correct the first time. Eddie feels around and realizes it is a snake and begins screaming, “I don’t like snakes!” Ingrid guesses right away with no screaming this time, but Michael needs a little help from Jaleel’s Rob Snyder impersonation. He shouts “Michael, you can do it!”

Michael, just stick your hand in the tank and stop dancing around. He doesn’t want to touch anything, so why exactly is he on this show? Michael can’t even touch the tank. He screams with no one is even near him. He sees things move, yet nothing is moving. What the hell dude? You work for the circus.

Rob makes his way to the last tank which contains a dude with a Mohawk, well just his head. Rob guesses it right away. He thought it was a severed head, but it was just a person. Eddie screams again, and Ingrid feels her way around the tank and guesses a human head right away. Eddie guesses again and is still screaming, but guesses right.

If you guess Michael would be dropped into the black hole, you are correct. Rob, Ingrid and Eddie move on to round two. They must use their sense of smell; this is always fun. Eddie’s mouth drops open, and he looks more in shock than terrified, begins screaming. He has to smell item number one. It is shoe polish, but he guesses spray paint, but is also getting high for a moment. Okay, he needs to stop smelling the shoe polish.

Rob guesses garlic for box number two, and Ingrid guesses cheese, which is correct. The third box is a funky disgusting sock. Eddie guesses a dog again. Rob finally gets one right. After he guesses a sweaty t-shirt, he refines the answer by saying a sock. I can’t even begin to tell you how grossed out I am.

The last box is, well, an ass. Eddie even says, “That smells like ass. Okay, I need a shower now. Ingrid guesses ass as well, or more like “someone’s hairy ass.” Rob also guessed right. Each person is grossed out. Eddie is the next person to leave via the black hole. Ingrid and Rob move on to the final challenge.

The next challenge involves spiders, so if you have arachnophobia, you may want to cover your eyes. I am covering mine. Oh wait. I can’t; I have to watch this. (The horror, the horror.) Ingrid and Rob must carry a huge stick with a tarantula on it and go through a maze of spider webs and all kinds of craziness. They must keep the stick very still because the tarantulas are easily agitated. What they don’t know is the tarantulas are being replaced with stuffed toys. Ingrid swam with sharks, yet is afraid of spiders. Oh great. Rob is a million times infinity scared; I think that is really scared.

Ingrid and Rob try to make their way through the maze of spider webs and freak out. They are scared and terrified, but keep going as Jaleel informs them where they are. They must keep their hands steady. Ingrid is worried about the spider. Rob needs to hear Ingrid, because he is not only afraid of his spider but her spider as well. They finally reach the finish line, and Jaleel informs them they both survived. The winner of the race is and the person going home with five thousand dollars is Ingrid. See? People who swim with shark’s rock! Congratulations Ingrid.

The next group of players (brave souls) are Cindre, 34, from Buffalo, NY, an insurance adjuster, who should do fine. She is not a quitter and finishes what she starts. Rick, 49, from Simi Valley, CA, is a pastor. He should pray while competing.

Tony, 28, from Columbus, SC is an office coordinator, Tony is afraid of the dark. That is his biggest fear, so let’s see if he can overcome it. Last, but not least, Brooke, 22, from Quincy, IL, is a server. She is afraid of frogs!

In the first challenge, the players must test their animal instincts and identify four animals using only their hands. Once they have identified the animals, they must re-arrange the animals in the order of what eats what in the food chain. Tony is first and tries to calm himself down. Cindre is having second thoughts. Don’t quit!

Tony approaches the front of the first cage and all he has to do is reach in. Jaleel tries to give him some inspiring words, but fear is kicking in. Brooke caresses the animals, and then realizes she was petting rats. Rick guesses a rabbit, then a rat, and Cindre guesses a cat and then a rat.

Tony flips out in front of the second cage, which has a turkey in it. The turkey appears to be laughing at them. Cindre asks the animal not to bite her. Rick is scared, and yes, now he starts praying. Tony can’t handle the smell. Cindre actually guesses correctly that it is a turkey.

This show is insane and entertaining. The players still have to get through this first challenge, yet the panicking and fear has already set in. This is for five thousand dollars, so they must keep going. 

The last animal is a human. Rick reaches in and says it’s enormous. This small girl sits in a cage and is being patted and pet and called a bear. She should bite them. Would they really let a bear out in an open cage? Really Rick!

Tony freaks out again, and Jaleel tells him he is doing fine. Tony says, Oh yeah, I am sure.” He doesn’t do well with animals. Brooke feels this poor girl and she says I feel fur. Fur? Seriously? Oh lord. Cindre freaks out and says, “What the hell is that?” Jaleel responds that is what they must tell him. Cindre guesses a dog and so does Tony. Cindre and Tony try again and come up with a tiger and a goat. Finally Cindre gets it right; it’s a person.

Pastor Rick is licked and pushed as he approaches and says, Hi sweetie.” I can’t take it any more. He wonders why the animal would have a sweater on? Well, it is a person. He then guesses it’s a lion and gets scratched by the lion. Finally let the bells ring. He guesses a person.

Tony is up again and looks to be in fear. They still have one more box. Tony still can’t get through the box with the person in it. Rick and Cindre line up the boxes in the correct order and are finished. After Jaleel’s countdown, it is Tony who jumps through the black hole.

Brooke, Rick and Cindre are left. Their next challenge involves their sense of smell. The twist is the food will be chewed by another person, and the players must smell the food inside the others person’s mouth. Oh, this is so gross. Rick begins smelling and keeps repeating bologna. Brooke tries to smell and guesses pizza, but it is a hot dog. Cindre guesses correctly and says a hot dog. Ding. Ding. She is right.

Next is sardines. Cindre is near tears, and Rick wants to move on to the next box containing chopped liver. They guess lasagna and bologna, so disgusting. Cindre guesses potatoes and chicken. I don’t think chopped liver smells like that. The last item is a hard-boiled egg. Rick guesses bologna again. Brooke guesses the last one and is right.

Cindre is a germa-phobe and beyond grossed out. I don’t blame her. Time is up. The players are lined up in front of Jaleel as they prepare to see who will go home and who is going to round three. Jaleel asks Rick if his bologna has a first name! Poor Cindre takes the dive through the black hole, leaving Brooke and Rick

One person will go home with five thousand dollars, but first they must go through an insane maze filled with rats and the three C’s, claustrophobia, cheese and critters. The catch is other foods have been added, and the critters are in there with them searching for the cheese and the players. They have ten minutes to do this in complete darkness. Brooke is not claustrophobic, but the rodents are bothering her. Rick is on national television cursing. Jaleel warns him to “watch his language.” He is a pastor and all he can come up with is “Oh sh*t.”

Brooke is scared and Rick is trying not to curse. They need two pieces of cheese. Rick only has one piece, so starts to pray instead of curse. Brooke thinks she has cheese and hesitates before going back in the maze after they tell her she only has one piece of cheese. The first person out of the maze with two pieces of cheese wins. Rick worries about his spandex outfit.

Time is up as Rick apologizes for letting out obnoxious four letter words, but he is only human Brooke jumps through the black hole, leaving Pastor Rick the winner. “Let the church say Amen!” Rick now has five thousand dollars and he competed in spandex on national television and won Total Blackout.

Don’t miss next week’s exciting episode of Total Blackout, Wednesday, 10/9c on the Syfy channel and may your nightmares inspire you. Don’t miss a single recap of this show or others. Check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. 

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