In the penultimate episode of the SAS Australia season, international rugby star Mahalia Murphy voluntarily withdrew from the course after a sickening grunt task while a savage storm flooded the camp.
With only five recruits remaining on the ruthless SAS selection course, expert sniper DS Staz led a task to see who had the skills to identify a high-value target and take them out with one shot.
Through indecision and ineffective communication, all five recruits failed the task, leaving the DS to question the recruits’ ability to operate under pressure.
Just as the recruits were settling back into camp, a rare desert storm hit, flooding their barracks and forcing the recruits to sandbag the entries while water steamed from the ceiling of the dorm.
In an excruciating grunt task – the last task standing between the recruits and the final day of selection – each recruit had to carry 40 litres of water to the top of a steep dune with the DS keen to force a withdrawal.
As the other recruits pushed through the pain, Mahalia’s body began to break down and she became the tenth recruit to withdraw from selection.
“I can push through mentally, but physically, it’s not how it works,” said Mahalia before telling the DS she was “done”.
Summing up her time on the course, Mahalia said: “Despite all the pain, the experiences have been unreal. Even the mindset, it’s given me a different perspective and made me think differently, which is going to help me a lot going forward.”
After Mahalia left camp, the final four recruits – Abbey Holmes, Tim Robards, Matthew Mitcham and Craig Challen – were brought to the mirror room and interrogated on why they should be awarded final selection and who they believed was the strongest and weakest among them.
Tim said he was the strongest while Abbey was the weakest, in a blow to Abbey’s confidence, Matthew and Craig both agreed.
Wednesday night: The final four must combine all the skills they’ve learned to tackle a final three-phase mission, pass the course and make selection. Who will make it through television’s toughest test?
The star recruits remaining on SAS Australia in 2023 are:
Abbey Holmes, 32 – AFL Field Commentator
Dr Craig Challen, 57 – Thai Cave Rescue Hero
Matthew Mitcham, 35 – Olympic Gold Diver
Tim Robards, 40 – OG Bachelor
SAS Australia - final 7.30pm Wednesday on Channel 7 and 7plus