"Do you remember, on the first day, when we competed, and the six players who were eliminated got sent home?"
J.D. Roth announcing the return of the six contestants eliminated in the Right to Stay.

Season 3, Episode 4
Aired October 16, 2004
Mission Headstrong
Winner Tom (+ Vanetta)
Eliminated Eleanor, Taylor,

Brandon, Marshall

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Headstrong” is the fourth episode of Endurance 3: Hawaii.


The competition goes to a whole new level when JD shows up with an unexpected surprise. At first the teams are thrilled, but they quickly realize the next challenge may drastically change the outcome of the game.


While the 14 official Endurance: Hawaii contestants wax nostalgic about their six fallen comrades, JD is concocting the biggest twist of the game thus far: he's in the process of informing the six kids who lost the Right to Stay game that they are going back to the jungle. Brandon, Marshall, Tom, Eleanor, Vanetta and Taylor will compete against each other in a final, winner-takes-all contest. The winner not only gets the right to stay onEndurance: Hawaii, but also gets to choose his or her partner from the remaining five contestants. These two "second-chance" kids will be the Endurance: Hawaii Brown Team.

With his plan in full swing, JD heads into the jungle to meet with — and surprise — the unknowing Endurance players at the huts. Before revealing anything, JD reminds the contestants that later in the day they'll all participate in their first Endurance mission and someone will end up with the Samadhi that will handicap them for the following day's Temple mission. But first, the twist ... JD discloses that the eliminated contestants are back in the jungle for a second chance to stay in the game. Everyone is shocked and delighted that their friends are back. JD gives the six second-chance contestants an opportunity to catch up with their friends, but warns that he'll be back later to play the game that will determine which two players will become the Brown team and which four players will be going home for good.

As promised, JD returns and details the game to determine the Brown team: Headstrong. In this contest, the six players will have to balance a native Hawaiian totem pole between their heads and a bamboo log perched above them — and they can't use their hands to help balance the totem. The slightest body movement will cause the totem to fall to the ground and will eliminate the player from the contest. The game begins, and as the sweat begins to pour down their faces in the stifling heat, their determination becomes evident. Slowly, however, the contestants begin to fade and one by one they begin to drop.

The first to go is Eleanor, who is visibly upset at being the first eliminated in yet another game. The second to drop is Taylor, much to the dismay of her close friend Monroe. The next to drop after a fierce battle is Brandon. Then Vanetta bows out after giving it everything she had. It's down to Marshall and Tom, and after nearly 30 minutes, Marshall's totem falls to the ground. Tom is now an official Endurance: Hawaii contestant — again! JD congratulates him and asks him for his partner choice. He chooses Vanetta, since she lasted the longest of the three girls in the Headstrong game. Together, Tom and Vanetta officially become the Brown team and JD gives them their pyramid piece: Perseverance. The final 16 official Endurance: Hawaii contestants sadly bid their farewells to Taylor, Eleanor, Brandon and Marshall. But JD reminds everyone that the day is not over just yet. In a little while they will play the first Endurance mission of the game, and a pyramid piece and the dreaded Samadhi will be on the line.

As everyone makes their way back to the huts, the alliance talks begin. Kareem and Tom are already positioning an alliance between Red and Brown. Meanwhile, Monroe is none too happy with Tom, because he didn't choose Taylor to be his partner, making a Yellow-Brown alliance unlikely.


Pyramid Pieces
Teams Pieces
Tom & Vanetta Perserverance
Monroe & Bryanah Teamwork
Antonio & Willa Commitment
Kareem & Rachel Trust
Chris & Lindi Knowledge
Demian & Nicole Leadership
Reece & Sarah Discipline
Bjorn & Alex Heart

Production NotesEdit


  • Like in the Right to Stay challange, Eleanor lost first.

Quotes Edit

  • JD: "By all accounts, you guys should be heading home— you guys gave it everything you had, but you just couldn't hold on; I know it was tough to get kicked off that very first day, but I brought you six back here to this beach for a reason... we're gonna give you a second chance."
  • Taylor: (gasps excitedly) "Shut up!"
  • JD: "You're gonna head back into that jungle to play one more game; the winner will get to choose a partner, and get to become the eighth team on Endurance— we got a little surprise for the fourteen contestants back there, you guys are going back."
  • Vanetta: "I'm very excited about getting a second chance, because it's like getting a second chance in life."
  • Tom: "I just hope the next competition will be physical, as long as it's not holding onto a giant metal pole in the rain."
  • Bryanah: (about Lindi taking Chris as her teammate): "I'm fine with it; she did what she had to do."
  • Alex: (about Lindi stealing Chris) "I think it could definitely affect her in this game; but whatever, I just hope people play their cards right."
  • JD: "Do you remember, on the first day, when we competed, and the six players who were eliminated got sent home?"
  • JD: "Your friends are back, but only two are staying— they're gonna compete in one game, where the winner will get to choose a partner, and that team will make up the eighth team, the Brown team."
  • Bryanah: "We knew there had to be another twist coming up somewhere, because JD loves his twists."
  • Monroe & Taylor: (in confessional) "One, two, three— we're soulmates!"
  • JD: "Just holding a carving between your head and a pole, but let me tell you, when that burning sets in you are gonna feel it in your legs; do you have the perseverance to ignore that pain? All you have to do is hold that tiki between your head and that pole the longest, then you’ll be able to join those guys over there."
  • Taylor: "It hurts so bad!"
  • Tom: "Agh, my cerebral cortex!"
  • Tom: "I'm gonna pick Vanetta, because she was the last of the girls to be up there."
  • Monroe: "Tom is so arrogant, he seriously thinks he's the king of Endurance; well you know what, Tom? You got cut once already, and it's gonna happen again— do I wanna see his face around here, no I would rather not!"