Since “Physical 100” started airing a few weeks ago, we have had certain complaints regarding its pacing, yet we kept on since this was the first show of its kind that we had laid our eyes on in a long time. It looks like our patience paid off because “Physical 100” Episodes 7 and 8 were spectacular. There was no trash talk or deliberate silliness; it was engaging simply because the sheer grit and determination of the participants made us unable to look away from the screens. There was also a moment of heartbreak for us, but this show, especially these two episodes, can be considered the peak of reality television for the year 2023.
Picking up from “Physical 100” Episode 6, Team Yun Sang Bin and Team Ma Sun Ho’s troubles continued, with their ship refusing to budge from its place. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw one of the guys go to the front and tie the rope around himself to try and pull it with all his might. To put oneself out there like that deserves a cash prize of its own. As for Team Jang Eun Sil and Team Kim Sang Eul, everyone believed that they would lose this round as their team had the most women and very few men, one of whom was injured. The teams played with harmony and strategy, without much drama, and took care of their injured players appropriately. But unlike the previous episodes, the underdog lost here.
Team Choo Sung Hoon and Team Jo Jin Hyeong took first place, and we swooned a little bit when the former spoke so confidently that he knew that he was going to win. Unlike other contestants, Choo Sung Hoon’s ambition has not been flashy. He came with a lot of charisma, but this was when we caught a glimpse of the drive that was tempered with the level-headedness of experience. We felt a bit bad for Jang Eun Sil and Kim Sang Eul, who lost by a margin of just 2 minutes and 20 seconds, but hey, someone had to lose. Now, there are 20 people left and two more quests to go. This is getting more and more like “Squid Game.” Since we are the self-proclaimed experts of this show, we expected the next game to be an individual battle rather than a team effort, which is what it turned out to be.
The 20 people were divided into four teams of 5 people. One person from each team would compete in one of the games, each designed to test a different facet of strength and the winners would go to the final quest. Well, it is getting a little “survival of the fittest” in here, as it should. The first task, called “Punishment of Atlas,” needed the participants to hold up a 100 kg ball on their backs for as long as they could. Right from the beginning, Jin Hyeong was the most confident, and he openly claimed that he was unrivaled when it came to handling heavy things. It turns out he was right, and it was an easy win for him. But in this round, we really felt Bo Mi Rae’s frustration travel through the screen when she couldn’t even lift the ball. As for Kim Sik, we smiled at his expert balance between the task and his way of taking some rest. We were not quite rooting for Jin Hyeong because we like to see the underdog win, but his humility and sincerity meant that we liked him regardless.
The next task, called “Fire of Prometheus,” was a race and we sincerely apologize for laughing when Nippert lost. We have nothing against him, but everyone really built him up since he was so tall, and yet that was the exact thing that caused him to lose almost immediately. But that was not the most intriguing aspect of this round. We are sure that Miracle pushing Jin Young must constitute cheating. Did the series not call it out to avoid controversy? It was somewhat cinematic, the way the cheating push actually landed Jin Young on the torch, making him win. Miracle’s frustration was quite sweet to witness at that moment.
Coming to “The Wings of Icarus” just showed how the right man for the right job could make such a difference. Had it not been for Min Cheol being chosen from Sang Hoon’s team, two contestants would have ended up losing instead of just one. Wasn’t it he who had said in a previous episode that his muscle and stamina were built “on the job and not in the gym”? Everyone was convinced that it was either going to be him or Hee Dong since the latter was a wrestler who was similarly used to “hanging off things.” One can sense that people’s analysis has gotten sharper about who would win, without room for optimism of any kind, the way it was during the previous quests. Of course, Min Cheol won, laughing all the way and claiming he could have hung on for another hour.
Hee Dong mentioned how he gave up after seeing Min Cheol’s face. It is instances like these that show that “Physical 100” is as much about the mind games as it is about one’s strength, and that is exactly what happened in the “Tail of Ouroboros.” It was nice to see Cha Hyun Seong again. We feel bad that he lost the way he did after almost reaching the end, pretty much like his stint in “Single’s Inferno,” but we sincerely hope that in the next reality show he participates in, he wins. This game was all about pacing, and Jin Yong increased his speed at the exact moment, giving him the victory.
Then came what was probably the most grueling task of them all, the “Punishment of Sisyphus.” The only punishment for this is that we had to see Sung Hoon sunbaenim go. Honestly, we knew that he might not be able to win this, yet we liked him a lot and are sad about his leaving. His presence on the show was unmatched. The one thing that acts like a balm on our burned hearts is that the cheers and hoots in the audience were greater when he took off his shirt than when the other guy did. He is called “Sexy Yama” for a reason. We also felt bad for Sun Ho, who had persevered through the quests by slapping all those patches on his shoulders. We just wish he hadn’t been the first to lose, but he fought as much as he could, and that is admirable.
Next week, they will tell us the name of the fifth finalist and reveal what the last quest is going to be. We think the winners of the fourth quest might have been lulled into a false sense of security, considering that the rounds they won were based on their strong suits. The final quest will certainly be something that will not only test their strength and endurance but how well they are able to play others as much as they play the game. After all, the stakes are as high as 300 million Won, and the contestants will have to bring everything—and then some—to get their hands on the prize.
See More: ‘Physical 100’ Finale Episode 8: Review – Who Wins The Final Quest?