The Fox reality show Kicking & Screaming pairs hardcore survivalists with people who have far less experience in the outdoors.
Now that Eagle Scout Terry Fossum has made it deep into the show, I’ll recap every episode until he’s eliminated.
New episodes air at 9/8 CT Thursdays on Fox. Note: The show is rated TV-14, so parents are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended.
He can start a fire, build a shelter and carry food with his mouth. Plus, he’s an all-around nice guy.
But can Eagle Scout Terry Fossum, an active Scouter from the state of Washington who competes wearing his field uniform, continue his run of good fortune on Kicking & Screaming?
Terry and his partner Natalie, a 29-year-old professional gamer with pink-and-blue hair, are undefeated in back-to-back challenges coming into the episode. As one of five teams still in the game, they have a 20 percent chance at the big prize: $500,000.
Prepare to sniff out some money as I serve up your complete recap of Kicking & Screaming Episode 5: “Rumble in the Jungle.”
Terry and Natalie partner with Ben (an Air Force specialist) and Juliana (a model) to build an impressive lean-to shelter.
With ample space and a near-rainproof thatched roof, it’s enough to make any Wilderness Survival merit badge instructor proud.
“We were working well together and building our shelter,” Terry says.
Wilderness Survival, my favorite merit badge, has the coolest requirement of all 137 merit badges: “Improvise a natural shelter. … Spend a night in your shelter.”
Ready, set …
First up: the prize challenge, where the winner is rewarded and the loser must compete to stay in the game.
Last week’s elimination challenge winners, John and Nakeisha, get to pick one team to sit out of the prize challenge and go straight to the elimination challenge. They choose Ben and Juliana.
The remaining teams hear the rules. They must dig into the ground to find blow darts. Then they must jump into a canoe and use a rope system to pull themselves across the river.
Though there are four teams competing, there are just two canoes. It’s first come, first served.
Once across, each team member must hit a target using the blowgun. Run out of blow darts, and you’ll have to go back across to get more.
The race is on
The race reminds me of summer camp at Camp Cherokee (now Camp Trevor Rees-Jones). During Monday Night Madness, troops competed in a campwide relay race involving a canoeing leg, running leg and swimming leg. Scouts who weren’t competing gathered to cheer on their troopmates. It was awesome.
The Eagle Scout on Kicking & Screaming is awesome, too. Terry and Natalie get into one of the first two boats — thanks to Terry’s painful-looking backwards dive into the vessel.
“If I don’t dive for that canoe, Brady’s gonna get it,” Terry says. “And I can’t have that.”
Terry and Natalie’s canoe has taken on water, which is normally fine except for one thing: darts don’t float.
While another team is already firing blow darts, Terry and Natalie scramble to find theirs at the bottom of the canoe.
Eventually they find a few darts. Turns out they’d only need two. On Terry’s first try, “the Boy Scout connects!” host Hannah Simone says.
Terry helps Natalie with her aim — “higher, higher” — and she scores a hit on her first try, too.
That means Terry and Natalie have won each of the last three challenges in which they participated. The underdogs have become prohibitive favorites.
One note: the BSA’s National Shooting Sports Manual (appendix 8) lists blowguns as an unauthorized activity. (And I list them as an unsanitary activity. You don’t want to be the second person to put your mouth on a blowgun. Gross.)
John and Nakeisha swamp their canoe and finish last. At least they can check off a requirement for the Canoeing merit badge.
Hannah congratulates Terry and Natalie on another win. Terry — now sporting a beard — is wearing a huge smile, too.
“Terry, I feel like every single time you win you just knock five years off yourself. It’s like Benjamin Button is happening,” she says.
The smell of money
The victors’ prize is cash. But how much? There are three identical boxes, each with money inside: $10,000, $100 or $1.
Terry and Natalie each get to pick a box. They can’t touch them, but nobody said anything about smelling them. So Natalie takes a whiff.
“She can smell money,” Terry says.
Terry opens his box: $1.
“Really?” he says. “My choice got us a buck. But that dollar bill will buy us small fries. Which we would take right now.”
Natalie’s contains the $10,000. That’s enough to buy a lot of Scout popcorn, but Terry and Natalie have different plans. Natalie’s going to buy herself a “nice day at the spa.”
And Scoutmaster Terry?
“I just got me a new office chair,” he says. “That’s what.”
Hannah hands them the cash and says she remembers Terry and Natalie bickering when a previous challenge didn’t go their way.
And “now look at you guys as a team,” she says. Performing indeed.
Earning their wings
The Kicking & Screaming campsite is near a river full of fish, but not one is biting. So Terry has a plan: catch a butterfly to use as bait.
But he’s not having much luck with his catching device: a T-shirt he plans to throw on top of one.
Terry pirouettes, lunges and dives to try to capture one of these winged insects. No luck.
“They’re still alive for a reason,” Terry says. “They’ve evaded better predators than me.”
It’s elimination day, and once again Terry and Natalie get to stay at camp. They’re safe.
The challenge — pitting Ben and Juliana against John and Nakeisha — is basically slacklining. (Slacklining, by the way, is a Scouting-approved activity.)
Each team steps onto parallel slacklines. Holding onto each other, they must side-step down the line.
If either team falls off, that’s an instant loss. And John and Nakeisha do just that. Off the slackline, off the show.
With just three episodes remaining in their Fiji adventure, Terry and Natalie now have a one in four shot at winning a half-million bucks.
- We got a closer look at Terry’s uniform shirt tonight. His square knot count: nine. Impressive, Terry. Very impressive.
- Producers put GoPro cameras everywhere — on the canoes and on the contestants. That’s a good reminder that attaching cameras to canoes and bikes and backpacks can help you document your Scouting adventures.
Missed an episode?
Watch full episodes and learn more about Kicking and Screaming here.