Believe it or not, after just four episodes the two-hour season finale of Stars Earn Stripes aired Monday night on NBC; and you better beliEve that WWE Diva Eve Torres came out on top to win the $100,000 grand prize for the USO.
But she almost didn’t make it to the final two missions.
At the top of the show the final five contestants – Eve, Picabo Street, Dean Cain, Todd Palin, and Nick Lachey – were all forced to compete in an elimination shootout, the winner of which would get to choose his or her teammate in the penultimate mission. The loser, of course, would be eliminated.
Cain wound up winning the shootout, and after Street and Palin cleared their targets it came down to Eve and Lachey. Lachey certainly seemed at a disadvantage: not only was he battling against arguably the best shooter in the competition, but he was already worn out from having just competed in an elimination shootout which had aired at the end of the previous episode.
However, as fate would have it, Eve’s rifle jammed with two of four targets left.
This was the most frazzled – and not to mention the furthest behind – Eve had been throughout the entire season. She lost her cool trying to unjam her weapon, and with only one target remaining for Lachey it looked like Eve would become an unlucky cut.
But, thanks mostly to Lachey’s poor aim, Eve was able to clear the jammed bullet from her rifle and take out her final two targets in two shots and move on in the competition, thus eliminating Lachey. Thank goodness too, because as amazing a shot as she’s been it would have been unbelievably cruel irony for her to go out because of a jammed rifle.
The second to last mission was titled “Operation Lifelock,” and required the celebrities and operatives to infiltrate an enemy city, steal a hard drive, and destroy the enemy command center before escaping. As the winner of the elimination shootout, Cain chose Eve and Grady Powell to be his and Chris Kyle’s partners for the mission. They were, once again, a winning combination as they finished with a time of 9:43. However, it was an extremely tight race; Street/Brent Gleeson and Palin/JW Cortes finished only two seconds slower at 9:45.
Nevertheless, Street and Palin were forced to compete in an elimination shootout. Palin, like Eve, is pretty handy with a weapon; but on that day Street was more accurate, and Palin and Cortes were sent home.
The final mission, “Harbor Demolition,” required the final three contestants to compete alone with only their operatives. To complete the mission the celebrity and their operative would have to repel out of a helicopter into a moving zodiac, scale up a cargo onto a ship, take out 17 total targets on the ship, zip line off the ship into a cargo hold, drive a truck out of the cargo hold and destroy an ammo depot.
Cain and Kyle were up first. They completed the mission with a time of 6:46 after Cain had some trouble taking out a few of the targets.
Eve and Powell competed second. Eve expressed some concern over the fact that she’s not a fan of water, especially the ocean, and she was afraid of falling off the cargo net into the drink. She may not have scaled the net as quickly as Cain or Street, but once again she made up for any lost time with her extremely accurate shooting – and no gun jams. She and Powell completed the mission in 5:10, thus eliminating Cain and Kyle.
Up last were Street and Gleeson. Right from the start of the season Street looked like top competition for Eve, and she proved to be just that in the final mission. She had a sloppy start repelling out of the helicopter, but she scaled the cargo net the best of the final three, and her shooting was not bad at all.
But, as expected, Eve’s shooting was just a little better. Street and Gleeson finished with a time of 5:37, just 27 seconds behind Eve and Powell.
As the first Stars Earn Stripes champion, Eve won a total of $150,000 for her charity as well as a brand new Ford F150 each for herself and Powell. Oh yeah, and she also proved to everyone that she’s a complete and total bad ass.
Eve came out with a flawless record; she finished every single mission with the fastest time. Knowing that it’s hard to believe she ever doubted herself. After completing the final mission, Eve noted that it wasn’t until the fifth mission that she finally started to give herself credit for how awesome she is. She certainly fooled me, what with her overflowing confidence and killer shooting skill and all.
Well, Eve, allow me to remind you in case you forget: you’re a bad ass, and you owe no one any credit except yourself. Well, maybe Powell can have some credit, too, but it mostly goes to you.
Hopefully someone else (coughVinceMcMahoncough) will start giving you some more credit too.