Considering that Fear Factor is basically everything you never wanted to see happen coming to life right from the comfort of your living room couch, it might be a shock to you that there are some things that the showrunners don’t want you to know. This is, after all, the show where smoothies were made from dead rats, not to mention all of the living creepy crawlies that the contestants were compelled to eat as well.
But there are certainly some things that the creators of the show would love everyone to never know. Yes, some of that has to do with the disgusting episode that was banned from networks in America. Some of that also has to do with what the stunt coordinators thought about the show. And then, of course, there are the instances where things may have got a little too close for comfort (in more ways than one).
And that’s all before ever mentioning all of the stupid things people started doing all across the world because of all the stupid things they watched on the show. Yes, there are plenty of reasons why the creators of Fear Factor have contestants and crew sign releases and tell them to shut up about certain events.
15. They Didn’t Pay Anyone In One Episode!
The whole point of Fear Factor is to endure a bunch of gross things for a little while in order to make $50,000. But there was an episode of the show where no contestant walked away with any money. Two people apparently did manage to win a couple of Mazda cars at the start of the show…but that hardly matters when they didn’t win any money to pay for keeping them. At least they could sell them to make some money. According to Grunge “one partner had a car with a ramp attached. That person would position the ramp behind a zooming flatbed truck while the other partner attempted to run their car up the ramp and onto the flatbed. If they could make it up there without toppling over, they’d win the money.” No one could, and everyone lost.
14. The Rat Smoothie Affair
Some people really have too much time on their hands. First off, anyone who really enjoyed watching this show and made time for it every week…they had too much time on their hands. But even worse than that is the man who took the creators of Fear Factor to court over the rat smoothie episode. That’s right. There was an episode where contestants had to take dead rats, stick them in a blender, make a smoothie out of the poor critters, and then have a good long drink. There’s no denying that it’s disgusting. But the guy who tried to sue the creators tried to score $2.5 million because he apparently suffered from sudden, high blood pressure, a fainting spell, and then he threw up…just from watching the show. Now, anyone who watches the show knows it’s gross. So, ultimately, he was laughed out of court.
13. Constant Cancellations
“It appears the television gods really, really hate shows that start with F — Firefly, Futurama, Family Guy, and Fear Factor. Steve Harvey and Family Feud probably made a deal with Satan, is all” according to Grunge. And they’re not entirely wrong here. Fear Factor has been canceled twice! Though they do have a third run of the show with Ludacris as a host…which makes perfect sense if you think about that for two seconds. The first time it was canceled was because of low ratings, which is kind of uplifting. That means that people were tired of sitting and watching people do gross things for 40 minutes. The second time was because of a rather lewd reason that had to do with two, hot, brunette twins.
12. Disgusting But Not Dangerous
I’m not sure if they would want you to know this or not. I guess it would depend on whether or not you’re one of those people who complain about the safety of the stunts in the show. There is a ton of research that goes into the show. All of the things that the contestants eat are completely safe, so far as general harm to a human body goes. And all of the stunts that they do are run many times before the contestants actually get around to doing it themselves. Knowing that might take some of the excitement out of the show. But that’s ok because it’s easy to point out that people have allergic reactions and stunt safety goes wrong all the time! So, never fear, there’s always some suspense going into the show. Whether it’s healthy or not.
11. Deaths On Set
To be fair to the original creators of the American version of the show, there has never been a death on set. There have been some injuries and some pretty close calls, but not deaths. But that doesn’t mean there have never been Fear Factor deaths before. After all, the United States isn’t the only country where there is a Fear Factor show. Both in Thailand and in South Africa there have been deaths and severe injuries during the course of a specific Fear Factor event. The worst of these events is the death of a pop star in Bangkok. After doing a classic rope stunt with a barrel on one end and a person on the other, the person let the rope go…and as funny as this might be in a cartoon…the barrel landed on the head of the pop star and killed him.
10. The Banned Episode
Some of you may not know this, but there was a banned episode from Fear Factor. Well, it was banned in the United States anyway. It’s not like anyone died on the show or anything like that. No, it had to do with what contestants were being challenged to drink. Considering all of the things that contestants have had to eat or drink over the years you’d think it would have to be a pretty nasty thing for the show to be canceled over it. Well, it was. The episode was entitled ‘Hee Haw! Hee Haw!’ Can you guess why? It’s because contestants were challenged to drink donkey juice. That’s right. The show was canceled very shortly after an episode where two hot, brunette twins were challenged to chug a certain donkey fluid. That must have pissed the girls off too. I mean, on the one hand, much of the public never got to see them do it…but on the other hand, they did it and it never made network tv.
9. Ludicrous Is Actually A Wuss
He might not like to admit it much, and he thinks that being willing to do the dangerous stunts make up for it, but the new host of the new version of Fear Factor is a complete wuss. “I am 100 percent the type of person that would do a lot of this stuff,” Ludacris says. “The only thing I don’t like is eating and drinking the disgusting, nasty, weird things. Everything else, I would be down with.” So, basically what he’s saying is that he would totally be the person to do any of the show stunts except for the ones that everyone watches the show for. People can watch better car stunts on Top Gear reruns. People can see better crashes in Viva La Bam reruns. But it’s much harder to see that nasty, creepy crawly stuff anywhere else.
8. Contestants Told To Shut Up
The twins who were a part of the banned episode that got the show canceled were never supposed to speak out about the incident. I don’t know why they would want to anyway considering they had the choice between donkey urine or ejaculate (and chose the latter of the two). But I guess they decided that it was too much that the company had them sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent them from saying why the episode was banned. I guess they wanted everyone to know about their hard, disgusting work. In a way, I can’t blame them for breaking the silence. But on the other hand, I would never want the world to know if I ever did something like that. In spite of spilling the…beans, the twins said that they would love to do the show again because winning the $50,000 would be totally worth it. Some people really have issues.
7. Too Close For Comfort
Everyone is understandably grossed out by Cersei and Jaime and Jon Snow and Dany Targaryen in Game of Thrones. And they have every right to be. But you need to know that Game of Thrones isn’t the first show to display some creepy family stuff like that. There was a mother/son team on Fear Factor that got a little too close for comfort a little too often. I mean, the mom did look the same age as the son so I would find it hard to believe that that’s actually their relationship, but when even Joe Rogan starts to get a little grossed out about what’s going on in the show…it’s too much. The mother filed a public complaint about the show and the way they portrayed the mother/son team. Apparently, the creators took it way out of context. But again, if Joe Rogan is finding it disgusting…there’s got to be more to it.
6. Fear Factor: The Video Game
Yup, that’s right. There’s a Fear Factor video game. I truly don’t understand how this is a thing, but it is. It was made for the Game Boy Advance. And I’m pretty sure that’s the only system it ever made it onto. It’s one thing to watch real people do disgusting and dangerous things on tv, but it’s quite another to pretend playing those people in a pixilated video game. This game might even be worse than the infamous banned episode that caused the show to get canceled. There are only 12 stunts in the game. Nothing disgusting, nothing extra dangerous, and nothing at all exciting. You’d think that if they were going to make a video game of such a ridiculous show, they would just heighten the insanity of it. It’s a video game…they could be challenged to do anything! Like to get a life!
5. The Electric Company’s Warning
“We and others in our industry are concerned that copycats may attempt similar stunts near electrical lines or equipment, resulting in serious or fatal injuries. People should not be tempted to play around electricity.” This is a direct quote from ComED, an electric company that feared what the power of Fear Factor could do to make the general public believe it was totally safe to play with electricity. Basically, there was a maze full of live wires. The contestants had to then crawl through the thing. Just in the workforce alone, there are 300 deaths and 4,000 injuries because of electrocution every year in the United States! So, it’s no shock (pun intended) that some companies might be wary of Fear Factor promoting running through a maze of live wires.
4. The Live Show
I’m sure the creators of Fear Factor have got to be happy that they’re making royalties on the Universal Studios’ Fear Factor live show, but can they really be proud of it in any way? Just like the original tv show, those people from the crowd who are chosen to compete must sign away their lives. So if they end up falling from a great height to their death…family can’t sue. If they have an allergic reaction to some nasty foodstuff…can’t sue. I’m surprised that Universal would add that much of an insurance liability to their park. Especially since the park is meant to be family friendly. Sure, the Jaws could scare people. So could the Twister “ride” they had. But it’s not quite the same as dangling family members from several stories, or forcing them to eat piles of creepy crawlies for a shot at getting a free park pass for the year.
3. The Stunts Aren’t Random
You might want to think that the Fear Factor creators simply come up with some creepy or scary ideas and turn those into games and challenges. But that’s not the case. When contestants apply to be a part of the show, they have to do a whole write-up about the things that creep them out; the things that scare them. Each event is honed specifically to test certain contestants against their biggest fears. Hence the name of the show. So, if you ever thought that the challenges were already written into the show before the had their contestants, think again. The creators aren’t all that creative. Sure, I mean Ludacris is now apparently honing fears to do with modern technology. He even had an event written where people have to scale 100ft in order to rescue their own personal cell phones. Oh, the horror!
2. NBC Fighting CBS For Ratings
There is only one reason why Fear Factor was ever made in the first place. And it only has to do with ratings. CBS was taking the cake when it came to ratings in 2001 because its show Survivor was destroying any and all competition. There were some gross things in the show, but most of it relied on teamwork and team dynamics. NBC came out with Fear Factor to overdo the gross factor on reality tv. And for a while, they were winning out. But people got tired of being grossed out. They eventually lost the taste for cockroaches and preferred the awful sounds of people pretending they could sing on Fox’s American Idol. To think that these were basically the big forerunners for American reality television. It’s amazing that the human species has lasted this long.
1. Preventing Disease And Death
The medical staff on Fear Factor put the prospective contestants through a ton of testing in order to clear them for the show. They apparently do allergy testing (which obviously doesn’t always work since someone almost died of a seafood allergy once), as well as blood sugar testing, heart monitoring and more. According to medical consultant Jason Toth they’ve “identified someone who didn’t know they had borderline diabetes” and “actually found nearly half dozen young men who had no idea they had heart problems.” None of the people with heart problems could do the show. And I bet more than a few contestants developed heart problems after the show, but it’s nice to know that the doctors do really try to avoid any issues when it comes to the health of the contestants…at least until they are put into a pit of scorpions, driven into a van, or are forced to eat dead rats.
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