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The Blue & Gray Press | June 29, 2017

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American Gladiators Grapples to the Top Once More

By Joey Merkel

Fans of the NBC Monday night lineup (“Chuck,” “Heroes” and “Journeyman”) rejoice!  Gone are the Mondays past where the only thing to watch, or not watch, was “Battle of the Choirs.”
Now when sitting down in front of TV with my dinner on Monday nights, I pick up the remote control with a purpose in mind.
Tune to NBC and you will see the essence of your childhood—the very reason you wanted to grow up and be big and strong.
Back is the excitement of Saturday morning, back is the reason we woke up before noon. The first day of the academic week is now capped off with the updated re-make of “American Gladiators.”
For fans of the original version of the show, like me, the new version is right up your alley. Though slightly comical, the gladiators mean all business.  Led by the 6’3”-251 pound “Titan,” the six male gladiators are all intense competitors.
Along with the men, the female gladiators are all fierce, the most fierce of whom is the 6’1”-205 pound “Hellga.”  Oh yes, that’s spelled right.
Hosted by Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali, “American Gladiators” pits ordinary people against 12 gladiators in events to test the contestants’ strength, agility and athletic ability.
Each episode puts two men and two women against each other, in hopes of making it to the next round.
At the end of each episode, each pair competes in a race against time in the dreaded “Eliminator.”
The “Eliminator,” a true test for the competitors, is equipped with a 30-foot cargo net before which the contestants must swim under a pool of fire. The “Eliminator” is the final say in who advances to the next round of the competition.
At the beginning of the obstacle course, the player in the lead earns a half-second head start for every point he or she is winning by.
The show began with 12 men and women. The top four “Eliminator” times move on to the be in the final eight. The man and woman who win the whole tournament are rewarded with $100,000, a brand new 2008 Toyota Sequoia and the real prize: a chance to compete in next season as a gladiator.

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