I’ve been watching Fear Factor (Indian version hosted by Akshay Kumar). Have been able to catch 2 out of the 3 episodes aired so far, and most of it has been downright gross.
The participants, all women, perform two stunts per episode. People who score the highest in the first stunt get a ‘safety band’ that excuses them from performing the second stunt, which intuitively is more difficult than the first.
In the first episode, the women had to first jump from a helicopter flying at the height of a 3 storey building, into the sea! And they had to time it so that they fell in between two pipes. Sounds easy but given the principle of inertia etc. (which makes estimating the time of the jump difficult) & the fact that you’re jumping out of a helicopter that’s flying so high and INTO the sea, it was pretty tough & scary.
Then came the second task. Plums, along with water snakes, were put in a tank full of water. The plums obviously sank to the bottom of the tank while the snakes stayed afloat. The respondents had to get the plums out of the tank but could not use their hands to do so.
You guessed it right…they had to do it with their mouths!!
I’m assuming the snakes were non-poisonous but trust me, it was gross. And just when one thought that was as gross as it could get, last night’s episode was one up.
Each participant was made to lie down in a glass box and 175 rats were let loose on them!! They had one minute to get as many rats off their bodies as they could and put them in another box. This without hurting the rats as doing so would have disqualified the participant. Each one of them performed this stunt while I was squirming just watching it. Imagine having 175 rats crawling all over your body!!!!!!!
But I’m quite liking Fear Factor. For one, it belongs to a better genre of reality shows…the MTV Roadies kinds…as opposed to retarded shows like Get Gorgeous & Splitsvilla (which oh, SO has a post coming!!)
Second, it has only women participants and that’s a fresh perspective adopted by a television channel. Had it been only male participants, my guess is the show would’ve been mainly about physical strength & stamina and the whole “conquering your fears” angle would’ve gotten lost somewhere! Having only women on the show ensures there is a good mix of challenges that require one to overcome one’s fears as well as physical tenacity.
And third, these women are genuinely doing it for a sense of accomplishment rather than to get noticed (as they do in other reality shows such as Get Gorgeous & Splitsvilla). Had their aim been to get noticed they could’ve taken a much easier route such as doing an “item” song in a movie or posing almost nude in some magazine.
So..for a public figure to go on that show and perform such stunts on national television, giving up all your inhibitions about how you might look doing those stunts while the whole world is watching, because you want to test how far you can push yourself, takes a lot of balls. To all the women on that show – MORE POWER TO YOU!!