Sunday, January 03, 2010

SALUTE OF CHAMPIONS 2009: #15-#11

15. Elizabeth Miller ("Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?")

On October 19, 2009, this stay-at-home mom started off her syndicated game on a bad note when she missed her very first question in the subject of 4th Grade Literature on "The Wind and the Willows" (she guessed "Rapunzel"), but Zach was able to save her. The other time she used a cheat came on her next-to-last regulation question about New York City's The Statue of Liberty in 1st Grade Social Studies, when she Peeked at Danielle's answer. After clearing the board for $25,000, she went for the $250,000 on this 5th Grade World History Bonus Question:

In 1804, an Army composed primarily of former slaves defeated their colonial masters to form what modern Caribbean country?

While both Malachi & Zach thought it was her initial guess of Cuba, Miller instead nailed Haiti to become the first quarter million on the syndicated "5th Grader"!

14. Mike Kosowski ("PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge")

On the next-to-last episode of the highest-rated poker game show ever, this former NYPD detective sergeant was part of a heartbreaking episode on December 13, 2009, when after Dwayne Buth's stunning collapse against UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, he was quickly defeated by multi-time reality game show personality Joanna Krupa. But he got a second chance as he won a four-way consolation tournament to get the last remaining spot in The Challenge of Champions two weeks later with Father Andrew Trapp, Brian Barboza and Sergeant Denny Luna. Kosowski wound up taking full advantage of the second chance, as he dominated everybody that night, including Daniel Negreanu in his Million Dollar Game, to go from nothing to $1,000,000!

13. Tammy & Victor Jih ("The Amazing Race 14")

A California couple, they finished in the top three for all but the third stage on the first night of March 2009, when they were the next-to-last team to check in (and Brad & Victoria Hunt were eliminated). They won five stages in all on their $1 Million run (Stage #2, Stage #6, Stage #7, Stage #10 & The Championship Stage)! Along with the big money, they won hybrid go-karts, ocean kayaks and trips to Oahu and the Galapagos Islands.

12. Helen Phillips ("The Biggest Loser")

A mother from Sterling Heights, MI, she lost her daughter Shanon Thomas to a unanimous vote on February 17, 2009 after they lost their Weigh-In. Phillips again faced elimination on April 21, 2009 against Kristin Steede, who was the female weight-loss record holder at the ranch at that point in time. In a close vote, Steede was cut 3-2. Prior to the finale, she was The Biggest Loser of the Week twice- March 17th and April 14th. On May 5th, she finished the semi-final Weigh-In in second place behind the dominating Tara Costa. Finally, on May 12th, she defeated Costa, 54.47%-52.72%, to win the $250,000 grand prize. Her overall weight loss percentage was the highest ever before it was topped by Danny Cahill the following season.

11. Cathy Grosam ("I Survived a Japanese Game Show!")

A housewife from Bartlett, IL, she was an incredible good luck charm during the team challenges, whether she was on the Green Tigers or the Red Robots, as she was a part of the winning team during EVERY TEAM CHALLENGE! She started out as a member of the Tigers, but was traded to the Robots on July 1, 2009. Two weeks later, she was sent back to the Tigers. When it came to the individual games, starting with the semi-final one during the two-hour finale on August 5th, she was obviously not as dominant. Linda Plaxen, the last remaining Tigers teammate other than Grosam, ended up winning that game, with Grosam coming in second by less than a minute. Following a slow start, Grosam defeated Plaxen in Super Majide to win the quarter million bucks and ended the show's two-year run in grand style!

The Top 10 starts on Monday.

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