Melissa handed in her number after a sky-high infiltration challenge left her in tears, trembling on the edge of a window sill as she admitted she couldn't go on. Despite being the first celebrity to leave the course, the DS praised Melissa for battling her insecurities.
"Hold your head high. Extremely high. From day one, from the very first hour, you were petrified," Ant Middleton told her. "You faced every single fear and phobia that was put in front of you. You are one brave woman."
Ant Middleton was as surprised as we were when Orpheus Pledger suddenly announced "I want to go home" in the middle of a psychological evaluation chat.
The former Home And Away heartthrob said his decision was "me doing what I want for myself because I care about other people".
Orpheus handed in his number and withdrew from the course, becoming the second star to do so.
The third recruit to leave in episode two, pro boxer Michael was forced to medically withdraw after a painful shoulder injury made it impossible for him to continue the course.
Though the self-professed "fighter" wanted to keep going, his condition made it impossible.
"Having to quit because of an injury is the worst feeling in the world," he said, before adding that he would be keen to come back and try again
After recruits were forced to be incapacitated by pepper spray and carry out a task, Ant described the unpleasant experience as “a whole f***ing world of pain”.
The crippling task proved too much for Simone and she chose to withdraw from the course, confessing: “I’m disappointed I didn’t go out on more of a high but I’m really not huge on physical pain.”
A challenge involving climbing a cliff flared up an old shoulder injury for former AFL star Wayne Carey, leading him to withdraw from the course.
"This is arguably one of the hardest things that I've ever done. But I'm tremendously proud and I have no doubt this is just something that stays with you forever."
As the course began to take a mental toll on Ellia, they decided to hand in their armband and withdraw during a brutal beach beasting.
Announcing their decision to the DS, Ant Middleton told them: "Great effort. You've grown from strength to strength. Work on it, and I promise you, you will be a f**king formidable force. Amazing effort."
When convicted drug dealer Richard Buttrose failed to see eye-to-eye with the DS, his future in SAS was in question.
“I don’t want to be a part of your stupid TV show anymore,” the nephew of Ita Buttrose said. “You guys are tearing strips of me for s*** I’m not f***ing doing,” he continued.
The last straw came when Richard failed to answer a question by Ant Middleton, which saw the Chief Instructor demand the recruit's number and ask him to leave immediately.
After popping his rib out during the course, AFL legend Barry Hall tried to tough the injury out, but the pain proved too much and he voluntarily withdrew from the show.
In a chat with Ant Middleton, the former athlete explained how his anger during his days on the pitch had subsided, and he is now focused on being a devoted family man.
“Go away with your head held high,” Ant told him. “You’ve absolutely done yourself proud, your family proud, and the group amongst there will be extremely proud.”
Still reeling from being tear-gassed, recruits were then faced with one of the most physically arduous tasks on the battlefield – an eight-kilometre casualty evacuation through unforgiving terrain.
The exhausting exercise proved too much for the course’s oldest recruit, lone wolf Pauly, who chose to hand in his number, saying: “I feel fantastic, it was a great experience. I'm just a little too old and probably not quite fit enough.
“I guess the only thing I regret is I clashed with some people," Pauly said.
"But you know that’s just me and at the end of the day for an old dog I go alright you know.”
Swimming legend Geoff Huegill voluntarily withdrew from the SAS course after a freezing beach challenge, confessing he was struggling to keep up with the other recruits.
"I've achieved more than I wanted to. It's nice to know I've still got it," the former athlete said. "I've gone through a lot of setbacks and challenges over the last couple of years but to be in an environment like this where success breeds success... I'm going to take that energy and that drive and apply it to a lot more things."
In what was a DS cull, both Locky Gilbert and Ebanie Bridges were on the chopping block.
In the end, it was only Ebanie's number that Ant requested, telling Locky he was on thin ice.
The Chief Instructor told Ebanie to leave with her "head held high" as she left the compound.
“It’s sad obviously, I would have loved to have stayed to the end but I’m very proud of how far I’ve come," the boxer said upon her exit, adding that she gave it her all.
Following Ebanie's exit, Ant instructed the recruits to go and submerge themselves before returning to their marks.
When The Bachelor alum Anna Heinrich didn't follow his orders, the Chief Instructor questioned what she was waiting for.
“I think it’s my time," she told the veteran. “I can’t do this anymore. I feel like I’ve given it my absolute all – I’m really proud of myself," she emotionally added as she voluntarily withdrew.
“You should be," Ant earnestly said. “You’ve done extremely well."
Olympic diver Melissa Wu’s SAS journey came to an end last night, within the final 48 hours of the course. After completing an interrogation while submerged in ice, and writing ‘death letter’ to her family, an injury stopped her from making it through a package extraction task.
Melissa handed in her number, knowing she was only holding the team back.
“Before I was just a diver, an athlete and everybody saw me as that and that alone,” she admitted.
“This experience has shown me that I’m a lot more than that. Just that strength of mind, strength of body, strength of character.
“This experience really pulled that out of me and showed me that I can be all of those things I am as an athlete but in a completely different way and in all areas of my life.”
The final episode of SAS Australia 2022 will air tonight on Channel Seven at 7:30pm.
For more SAS Australia content, check out the links below:
- Meet the celebrity SAS Australia recruits for 2022
- SAS Australia 2022: Where to follow this year's crop of recruits on Instagram
- Locky Gilbert is out to prove he is a "tough alpha male" on SAS Australia
- Is Orpheus Pledger single or taken?
- SAS' Pauly Fenech is no stranger to pushing boundaries
- Millie Boyle's sporting family sticks together through thick and thin
- How Anna Heinrich and Tim Robards set the Bachie bar with their enduring romance