At the halfway point, the nine remaining recruits had bonded, but their trust in each other was tested with a suburban warfare drone task.
In teams of two – a drone operator as the eyes in the sky and the other, a lone ground soldier – the teams worked to navigate a series of buildings and exfiltrate to safety.
Showing reckless behaviour in the task and a questionable attitude, the DS summoned Olympic diver Mathew Mitcham to the mirror room.
During questioning by the DS, Matthew shared the torment of his drug addiction, his devastatingly low self-esteem and how he used self-harm as a coping mechanism.
“When I got overwhelmed with feelings that I couldn’t keep on the inside, I used to cut myself out of anger. Because I felt like then the problem was dealt with, it was some sort of release for me. And after one particular episode, I went far too far, and I, I had to call my grandma to take me to hospital.”
He also talked about how diving gave him a sense of self-worth, saying: “It was my ticket to being special, basically, because I knew I could do it really well. And that’s all I kind of wanted.”
For the second task of the day, the recruits paired up, with one person rappelling down a mountainous cliff face while the other had full control of the rope to break their teammate’s free fall.
Breaking too late and with no control of Abbey’s free fall, international rugby star Mahalia needed DS Jay to step in and save Abbey from hitting the ground.
Shaken and disappointed by her performance in the task, Mahalia was called in to talk with the DS.
Speaking with the DS, Mahalia opened up about the heartbreaking accident that put her mother in the hospital for over a year.
“She’s still with us gratefully. But she did die three times on the table. She spent a year and a half in hospital.”
Mahalia’s older sister moved away and faced with the responsibility of looking after the family and with no one to guide her, her other sister spiralled into drugs.
“My sister had to take responsibility, but she was going through that phase where, because she didn’t have a figure around her to lead, she kind of just took the wrong path, got involved in drugs.”
Tragedy hit the family again when Mahalia’s older sister passed after suffering a heart attack.
“To lose my sister when I was 13 had a massive impact on my family, again experiencing grief at a young age. I went into a shell and isolated myself from everyone. It was painful. The fact that I will never see her or hear her voice again give her one more cuddle, really hurts.”
Lasting five punishing days, Anthony “The Man” Mundine handed in his number. “Walking away, I feel great. I feel that I’ve changed, and something has pushed me out of my comfort zone,” he said.
“Doing a task, even though I didn’t pass a lot of them, I actually learned there are certain things for certain people. So, I’m like one of the best athletes ever. I didn’t say I was the best SAS fella; I just came to enjoy the experience. I made it halfway through and I’m grateful for that.”