Ultimate Cowboy Showdown: All-Stars
Recap Episode 2: Grit, Guts, and Danger
Judges: Trace Adkins, Buddy Schnaufer, and Cash Myers
GOLD TEAM: Ethan, Tyler, J Storme, Jackson, Fatty, and Diamond Jim.
GREEN TEAM: Buck, Sarah, Cuatro, Jared, Cody, JP, and Brianna
The First Immunity Challenge: Drop in the Bucket
At one end of the field were 13 5-gallon water buckets, each bearing the name of one of the remaining cowboys.
At the other end of the field was a water trough, where each cowboy was given a smaller aluminum bucket.
The Task: Fill the aluminum bucket with water, race to the 5-gallon buckets, and pour water into any bucket bearing a competitor’s name. As soon as a 5-gallon bucket is full or overflowing, the cowboy whose name is on that bucket is out of the challenge, and no longer eligible for immunity. The last cowboy whose bucket is not full, at the end, wins the Outlaw Spirit Immunity Buckle and is safe from elimination.
On the first run, clearly, Jackson was the biggest threat to the other cowboys. His bucket quickly filled, and he was out. Then one by one, cowboys were dropping off. It came down to three: JP, Brianna, and Sarah. The rivalry between Brianna and Sarah came to a head as they desperately tried to knock each other out—literally as Sarah bumped Brianna’s horse to slow her down heading to the 5-gallon buckets. Their intense focus on eliminating each other made them lose sight of the other competitor: JP. JP was filling their buckets, but neither Sarah nor Brianna filled his. In fact, very few of the cowboys went after JP at all. With J Storme and Sarah out, JP, whose bucket had hardly any water in it, won the Immunity Buckle.
Elimination Challenge: Bucking Broncs
At the outset, the cold, rain, mud, and rough, rocky terrain combined to make a difficult challenge, harder—and more dangerous. But what happened later caused more stress than anything else.
Objective 1: In the wide-open space, over treacherous terrain, round up 15 rodeo broncs.
Objective 2: Drive the horses 3 miles through a gate and into the arena.
Objective 3: Choose two broncs. Choose two riders. In ranch rodeo style, in turn, each rider must stay on their bucking horse for 8 seconds.
The team that completes the challenge in the fastest time wins and they move on in the competition. One cowboy from the losing team would be sent home.
First up: Gold Team
Herd and Drive: The Gold Team seemed to learn from their mistakes in last episode’s Elimination Challenge. This time, they planned, communicated, and made the extremely difficult chore of gathering and driving galloping horses in rough, wide-open space seem practically effortless.
Saddle and Ride: Tyler stepped up first to ride. Though not a bronc rider, he was a professional bull rider in the past. He stuck in fine form. Next up, Jackson, a true horseman who spent years riding rodeo broncs. His horse gave him a much rougher ride, but he hung on. The Gold Team got it done!
The Green Team:
The Green Team gathered and made their plan. JP vowed that though he had immunity, he would give his all to the team effort. But they had trouble from the start. These horses were fast, and the cowboys were having a hard time settling them. JP and Cuatro began pushing them hard when they needed to get around the herd and send them in the right direction. Instead, they were running in the opposite direction of the arena. Galloping flat- out in this terrain and in these weather conditions was not only dangerous, but also potentially life-threatening. Cuatro’s horse was breathing so hard, he stopped and quit the chase. The broncs were getting farther and farther away, and the more time the cowboys spent trying to catch up, going up and down hills and over large rocks and stones, the more likely it was that someone—or a horse—could get hurt. For safety, Trace called the challenge. The Green Team loses.
The cowboys headed back, and soon the finger-pointing began. Then someone asked, “Where’s JP?” He was nowhere to be found on the ranch. The last they’d seen him, he was chasing the herd, so he was still out there alone, looking for the horses, as night was about to fall. Sarah took off to find him, but no one else joined her. She searched for quite some time before she realized it was getting late and all the landscape was starting to blend. She found her way back to the ranch. Trace took no chances. He called the police and emergency response personnel. They deployed drones. Sent out search dogs and rode out on horseback to look for JP.
Meanwhile, Buck showed no mercy for JP and he and Diamond Jim ended up in a heated shouting match. The skies darkened and the temps plummeted, and still, there was no sign of JP.
Nearly five grueling hours later, the police spotted him and his horse and brought him back to the ranch safely. JP wanted to finish the job and herd the broncs, but he caught none.
All the cowboys were relieved to see JP, but as soon as he got the opportunity, Buck laid into him, placing the blame for the team’s failure squarely on JP. The two nearly came to blows. It was all competition strategy on Buck’s part. He planned it to get under JP’s skin, to throw him off his game, and it seemed to have worked. Buck was feeling pretty cocky after the encounter. He had JP just where he wanted him—flustered and unsure.
Due to the evening’s traumatic events, Trace called off the elimination. But these cowboys could rest assured, they would not hear the end of this.
Enjoy a digital encore of Ultimate Cowboy Showdown season 4 episode 2 on INSP YouTube.