Eliminator (Gladiators)

Infobox Gladiators Event
Event_Name = Eliminator|

width = 320px

Int. Year = 1989
origin_country= flag|United States
Used In = flag|United States
flag|United Kingdom
flag|South Africa
Last_Used = present
num_cont = 2
num_glad = varies from 0 to 6
timelim = Original American Seasons 1&2: 60-75 seconds
All other versions: none

The Eliminator is an event played in the television series "Gladiators". This is the final event of the show in which the shows contenders race against each other over an assault course, ending with the Travelator, with the first to finish becoming the winner of the show moving on to the next round (or in the case of the final, winning the series). It is the only event to appear in every episode of Gladiators across all territories and incarnations. It is also the only event in which the Gladiators do not compete.

Head Start

Prior to the Eliminator, contenders face Gladiators over a number of events, picking up points should they be successful. The point difference between the two contenders by the end of the last event is halved and converts to a time advantage resulting in a 0.5 second head start for each point lead. Should there be no points difference, then the contenders both start at the same time.


Should a contender endure an injury and pull out after the final event against the Gladiators, then they are not replaced by a substitute and their opponent wins by default. The winner does not have to race the Eliminator course unless a qualifying time is needed to determine pairings in the next round or in cases where a prize is awarded for the quickest Eliminator time.


Contenders must only use the side of the course that is assigned to them and must not skip any part of the course or deliberately impede their opponents progress. Contenders must start on their allocated whistles. Should they not complete part of the course then they may have to either restart the particular piece of apparatus or face a time penalty.

The winner is the first participant to cross the finish line. In the event of a tie, a video replay will be shown. Should this prove inconclusive, then the Eliminator is re-run with both participants starting simultaneously.

Should both participants fail to reach the top of the Travelator after numerous attempts, then the event is halted and after a short rest period, both contenders start again simultaneously from the same point.

The Travelator

The Travelator is a steeply sloped treadmill which usually forms the last part of the Eliminator course before the final rope swing, and is present in nearly all formats of the Eliminator. The Travelator has possibly become the most notorious piece of apparatus in Gladiators, with many contenders finding themselves unable to run up it on their first attempt, sometimes losing the race. After repeated unsuccessful attempts (often due to contender fatigue) the Travelator is sometimes slowed down, and in the case of a losing contender unable to make it up, the Travelator may be stopped to allow the contender to run up and finish the course. In some American versions of the Eliminator, contenders were given three attempts to complete the section before being allowed to run up the side, and in other seasons, contenders were given one minute of time on the section before being allowed to run up the side. Some contenders have been known to give up the event completely following repeated unsuccessful attempts up the Travelator.

International differences

The layout for the Eliminator courses varied greatly over the years across the different territories. The American version was the only show to have Gladiators form part of the event for a short period.

In the UK, from series 5 (1996) to series 7 (1998), the male and female contenders who clocked up the quickest Eliminator time for their gender during the series were given a cash prize.

Although often referred to as 'The Eliminator' most promotional material and event cards for the shows visually label the event simply as 'Eliminator'

Event History


In the first two seasons of the American version, the Eliminator was a scored event. Both contenders started simultaneously, and the winner was determined by who had the most points after the Eliminator, so the contender in the lead could (and often did) lose the Eliminator, but win the overall competition. The Eliminator had a time limit ranging from 60 to 75 seconds, depending on season, round of competition, and gender, and contenders earned either 5 (first half of Season 1) or 2 (Second half of Season 1 until the head-start format was adopted) points for each second left on the clock when they finished. Under this format, contenders were assessed penalty points for any obstacles that they didn't complete. Under these rules, if a contender was injured during the final event before the Eliminator, they were not replaced, but the winning contender still had to run the course, as their total score was used to determine pairings in the next round.

In Season 3, the head start format was introduced. As Eliminator results were not used for any purpose from this season on during the original run of the show, contenders who won by default due to an injury to their competitor after the final event did not have to run the course.

The exact replacement rules for the US revival have not yet been determined, as no contender as of the end of Season 2 has been injured during the final event.

fnb|1 A seven second penalty was incurred for falling off.

fnb|2 Male challengers used the Hand Bike, while Female challengers used the Hand Ladder. A seven second penalty was incurred for falling off.

fnb|3 Challengers are hooked up to safety harnesses prior to climbing the Wire Ladder and must unhook themselves at the top.


* [http://www.gladiatorszone.co.uk/events/eliminator.php Gladiators Zone- Eliminator]

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