I Am A Wipeout Judge!!

Yes! Yours truly will be a guest judge on Wipeout this Saturday. Can’t even wait, hope I get some nutty nuts people!

Update: My story for the National Post or read it below…The Weird and Whacky Wipeout.

A tattooed man sporting a revealing Borat-esque army green wrestling singlet is on the ground doing the splits while making it rain (apparently, this is the term for pulling out chest hairs and gently sprinkling them to the ground).

So it goes at the Wipeout Canada callbacks hosted on Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Producers, co-hosts Ennis Esmer and Jessica Phillips and selected guests assembled to interview candidates who survived the application evaluation process. A staggering 44,619 Canadians applied online. The pool we were given an opportunity to interview about 400 possible contestants.

It’s why we find ourselves witnessing Mango Madness, a man dressed as a nun singing Ava Maria while balancing a lit match on his fingertips.

It’s also why Jungle Woman is decked out in a cheerleader uniform and bicycle helmet writing a thesis on invasive fire ants and describing bug eating stories. (It turns out termites don’t taste like chicken).

The zany, the bizarre, the outlandish and the loud bring their earnest desire to be on Wipeout Canada —a mad obstacle course, featuring moats and giant red balls. The game show, and the chance to win a $50,000 purse, attracts outgoing personalities confidently determined to victoriously triumph. However, as the show’s title suggests most players are battered down to the water or the mud.

I learned some things at this event:
One question we often asked: “you just won $50, 000 on Wipeout…what will you do with the money?” I learned $50, 000 sparks many visions. Spend it all on cheeseburgers. Get a vacation away from my wife and kids. Buy a better car to attract the ladies. Smash a guitar just like the iconic cover of The Clash’s London Calling. (Have to admit this is how I’d spend it too.)

People are desperate for fame, to be on TV, to be anywhere than where they are. Some even begged. Seriously, on their knees, hands clasped together. Sad and strange, as one contest revealed: it’s time to “expose Canada to my presence.” Oh my.

Don’t trust anybody. On the surface the individuals we interviewed appeared normal functioning members of society. One worked at a funeral home, another made quilts, a forklift operator, a paramedic and an admin assistant. Once we quickly got past that we found talents such as a girl who can transform into a boy, ride a unicycle and a man with a fondness for wearing a pink cape emblazoned with PRINCESS while eating meatball subs. These are the people on the subways with us, in the lines at Tim Hortons. I’ll never look at them the same way.

Lastly the lesson for all of us is radiate energy and confidence no matter where you go or what you do. After all the secret to wiping out is the ability to light at yourself.

The callbacks will continue in Calgary and Vancouver to select the 260 contestants necessary for the first season. Wipeout Canada is expected to air in spring 2011 on TVtropolis.

Also published on Medium.

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