Maisy Fernandez January 30, 2012
We admit: We used to be huge fans of Fear Factor during its heyday in the early 2000s.
Seeing random people do all kinds of crazy, often-dangerous things to win money was a rush, especially when viewing from the comfort of your own couch while drinking a cup of hot chamomile tea. But eventually, the gross-out show ran its course and was canceled in 2006.
However, Fear Factor — complete with its original smug ass host Joe Rogan — made a triumphant return late last year, and seems to be enjoying a whole new surge in popularity. (Not to mention controversy — NBC recently pulled an episode featuring a stunt involving a glass of donkey semen.)
Perhaps it was met with such fanfare because folks are tired of watching people be nasty and dirty for 15 minutes of fame (see: Bad Girls Club), and are excited to see something that goes back to the basics: Doing nasty, dirty things for pure, unadulterated greed.
At any rate, one thing is certain: If Fear Factor wants to enjoy another five-year run, it’s going to have to keep things fresh and unexpected, since there’s a whole lot more craziness for it to compete with on the tube these days. So, FF producers, here are five ideas to get your challenge team thinking in some new directions:
1. Have unprotected sex with The Situation.
Clearly, there are several terrifying things about bedding Jersey Shore’s biggest womanizer. First, we’ve seen the skanks he drags home from the bar, and if he neglected to use a condom even one time, there’s no telling what kinds of antibiotics-required treats are lurking below the belt of his skinny jeans. But besides that, a contestant would also run the danger of: Being crushed by his giant ego; Possibly being kicked out of bed if a more attractive skank showed up on the scene; and humiliated that their lapse in judgment was caught on camera, an event any future children are sure to throw back in their faces someday.
This challenge could be the “gift” that keeps giving, in more ways than one.
2. Drunk dial two exes you’re still hot for — while your current squeeze listens in.
This is a great terror-inducing challenge for a couples Fear Factor episode for a few reasons. One, nobody really wants to burn a bridge with an ex they still dig, so treading lightly on a phone call like this would be essential. Then again, one doesn’t want to seem too friendly with the old boo and anger the partner they’re with RIGHT NOW, whose cooperation they need to win a pile of cash. Throw a bottle of Patron into that mix, and it’s a TV viewer’s dream. And clearly, fear *would* be a factor for anyone who chose to do it.
3. Eat something from the floor of a Hoarders clean-up.
We’ve seen FF contestants eat everything from animal innards and penises, to stink bugs and live scorpions, to everything in between. But all those feasts seem doable compared to the things we’ve seen get unearthed during a Hoarders clean-up. What would *really* be scary to eat? Some skeletal cat remains; a five-week-old, maggot filled steak; or a shovel full of garbage that’s been rotting for about 20 years or so. Paramedics and a stomach pump should be on hand for this one.
4. Go on a vacation with The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
It’s not that you’ll end up in the ICU if you take such an excursion (although NeNe Leakes may threaten to strangle you). It’s more that your psyche, along with your eardrums and patience could be irreparably damaged after a week or so trapped with Bravo’s ladies of Atlanta. One the one hand, they do know how to have fun and party like rock stars. But trust us, when the fur starts flying, most normal people wouldn’t want to be trapped on a plane, train or automobile with the unpredictable razor-tongue Leakes; fitness guru/badass Sheree Whitfield; or newcomer and frequent jailbird Marlo Hampton. It would be a challenge of endurance, and we suspect few regular people could hack it.
5. Be the fastest person to get three toddlers ready for a day of sledding.
Until about a week ago, this challenge would not have even occurred to us. But after getting one 2.5 year old ready to go outside to play in the snow, we are not only still traumatized, but considering moving to Hawaii so that we never have to do it again. The Fear Factor challenge: Have childless contestants dress THREE two-year-olds in snow bibs, mittens, winter coats, scarves hats and boots. See who can get it done fastest without A) having the completed kid(s) strip off items while the others get ready; B) having one or more of the children tell you they have to go potty right as you’re walking out the door; or C) sneaking a nip of vodka to get through the process without having a breakdown.
Bonus: This could be a great make-it-or-break-it moment for someone who is on the fence about having kids.
Fear Factor airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on NBC.
Categories: TVTags: Fear factor, Hoarders, Jersey shore, Joe rogan, Mike "the situation" sorrentino, Nbc, Nene leakes, Real housewives of atlanta