After last night’s penultimate episode of 'American Gladiators,' we have the finals set for Sunday’s two-hour episode. It’s been a long and rough road for both the competitors and gladiators, and last night’s group of Andy, Alex, Venus, and Monica was no exception. As with last week, the competition is longer than in the preliminary rounds – five events before the Eliminator instead of the usual four. Who will succeed and take one step closer to their dreams of glory?

For Andy (the preacher that replaced the Jewish shark hunter) and Alex (the high school teacher and wrestling coach), last night started with Hit and Run. An interesting tidbit of info I learned outside the show: in the UK version of Gladiators it’s illegal to crawl across the bridge – something that’s very popular for the contestants to do this year - because the medicine balls don’t reach all the way down across the bridge and you can easily stay underneath them. Even with this distinct advantage, both men managed to get clocked in the head with the 100-pound balls and went flying into the water below.

Although Andy had a nice head start in the Eliminator, Alex came from behind on the hand bike and beat Andy up the Travelator to secure his spot in the finals to face Evan.

Venus, another replacement that came back from a huge deficit in the Eliminator in her preliminary, went up against Monica, a mother of twins whoblew through the preliminaries and set the fastest Eliminator time among the women. The first event was Power Ball, an event that has thus far injured two competitors. In the latest episode it claimed a Gladiator. On the first tackle, Fury looked like she twisted her knee and hobbled about for the rest of the event. She didn’t appear for the rest of the show. Both women scored well, with Monica slightly ahead. Monica continued to increase her lead for the rest of the show, assisted in part from Venus failing to win any more events.

After being knocked around in Joust and Pyramid, it looked like Venus had to come from behind just as she did in the preliminaries. Unfortunately, Monica was just too fast and blew her away, advancing to the Finals to face Shanay. The semi-final Eliminator times were only separated by three seconds, so it should be a very good competition next week.

There was one unfortunate example of awkward plug placement. Before the women took on the Wall, the play-by-play man just "happened" to notice the star of NBC’s new show, Quarterlife, in the stands. It totally took away from any build up and made me think more about how stupid that moment was than what was happening during the event.

Sunday’s finale special is set to be a great competition. However, I think it’s safe to say that Evan and Monica will be the champions at the end of the day. The finale will air Sunday at 7 EST on NBC.

Recap by Casey Johnson
Starpulse Staff Writer