Tonight on SAS Australia, exhausted, bruised and battered, the 10 remaining recruits were put into pairs and directed not to leave each other’s sights for 24 hours in a lesson in teamwork.
After days of intense physical exertion, Isabelle Cornish was suffering from severe leg pain and made the difficult decision to hand in her number, saying: “I think I’m done Staff, it’s been a pleasure.”
On seeing the physicality required for the day’s first task, Koby Abberton also chose to VW, not wanting to risk his bad back any further.
“Like I said from the very start, if my back gets sore I’m outta there,” he said. “For a man like me, the things that I’ve gone through in my life, I’m living a success story right now. I’m happy and I want to keep it that way.”
The eight remaining recruits tackled a punishing Casualty Rescue Mission, transporting four 70 kilogram sandbags – representing casualties – to a safe extraction point, 10 kilometres away, in just two hours.
The hellish task almost broke Jessica Peris, pushing her to the brink of quitting, but with the support of her oppo Dan Ewing, she finished the task saying afterwards: “I feel like I’ve pushed myself to my absolute, absolute. I’ve never cried in a workout before.
“I can hold my head high and be proud of what I’ve done. I can walk out of here and say I was f*cking lifting the same amount that Sammy Burgess was.”
Recruits then put their lives into each other’s hands in the death-defying Fall and Brake task, a frightening freefall from a 110 metre high cliff face.
Mark Philippoussis was hard on himself for releasing the rope too soon, causing teammate Jana Pittman to hit the cliff face, propelling her toward the ground.
He was later brought in for questioning by the DS who told him he’s holding back and the “grab the bull by the horns” work ethic he had as a tennis player, isn’t showing.
“I wish I was a little more like that now,” said Mark. “I feel like I’ve had to step up and take care of my family. I’m a husband and a father, that’s the most important thing. I want to go back to my family the best version I can.”
The DS encouraged Mark to readopt his youthful mindset and stop overthinking things.
“Don’t be afraid to get knocked down,” said Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham. “Push yourself to the limits here and enjoy it.”