New Experience #20: Watch Real-Life Friends On a Reality TV Show

Do you watch a lot of reality tv?

I’m not an addict, but there have been a few series I have followed avidly over the years:

  • the very first season of Survivor
  • a few versions of Top Chef
  • one year of Canada’s Next Top Model
  • Season One of Real Housewives of New York
  • one round of The Amazing Race
  • every episode of Jersey Shore [my absolute fave!]

[Sidenote: I have never seen even one episode of American Idol; I keep meaning to catch any of the dance contest-type series; I categorically refuse to watch The Biggest Loser].

Back in April, I introduced you to my friends Lee and Jeannie from the store.

lee at the store on sunday, during run club; jeannie wasn't out this week

They are quite the adventuresome couple – last fall, they had the opportunity to participate on a Canadian reality TV show: Wipeout Canada. The show filmed in Argentina. At the time, Jeannie was traveling in South America anyway, and Lee was able to join her for a few weeks.

Since filming their action sequences segment, Lee and Jeannie have not breathed a word about how they fared, so I was excited to see what would happen on the show! Given the title of the show, I had a feeling that my overriding impression would be better them than me.

Sunday evening on TVTropolis, their episode finally aired.

This was a New Experience for me – I’ve never personally known anyone on any of the reality TV shows I’ve watched – or on any reality TV show in existence, period!

Sunday evening, then, I excitedly plopped myself in front of the TV, ready to watch. The show aired from 8-9 p.m. Yes, that is late for me. But it’s not like I haven’t stayed up late before just for the sake of the blog!

I knew absolutely nothing about Wipeout Canada before Sunday eve. I suppose I could have done some research, but I decided to just go in blind. Here are the notes and photos I took while watching (real-time blogging, the method I used when I watched Oprah Goes Vegan).

~This week it’s Wipeout Canada: Family Smackdown Edition. The contestants are parent/child, sibling or spouse partnerships.

~ Lee and Jeannie’s team tshirt colour is orange! That’s Lee’s favourite colour (and mine!) – that’s a good sign!


~ Qualifier round: each challenger attempts to complete an obstacle course:

make it past the punching gloves!

go, lee, go!

~ More teams participate…then Lee and Jeannie are back! They replay my friends hamming it up: swats on the bum…

hippy shake!

…and Jeannie yelling “I love you!” at Lee as he attempts to cross the big bouncy balls.

jeannie cheering on lee as he leaps across those giant bouncy balls - mud underneath, if you slip!

~ Wipeout Canada is sophomoric in terms of humour: example – Lee and Jeannie are placed in the category of “domineering wives…” – that’s not how I see Jeannie!

"the setup"

~ I would liken the way Lee and Jeannie are depicted to a caricature drawing: one feature is exaggerated and played up. The producers chose to turn Jeannie’s zest and enthusiasm for life into bossiness.

~ Jeannie moves on from the qualifying round! Yea, Jeannie!

ready for action!

~ The second round is the Sweeper Round – contestants are standing on an elevated pole, and have to hop over a giant rubber toothbrush as it swings around. This looks hard! Jump up, jump over the sweeper, and land on your pole? Eesh!

pole + sweeper

~ “Nagging Wife Jeannie” makes one successful hop, then falls on her next attempt:


Jeannie, you’re awesome for completing one hop!

~ Next is this spinny thing:

i guess you could practise at canada's wonderland!

Great close-up of Jeannie as she begs the spinny thing to stop!

hope the spinning didn't last too long!

~ “Meannie Jeannie” charges off of the spinny thing!

go get 'em, jeannie!

~ There are several shots of Lee as he watches on the sidelines with other family members and the host(ess):

lee = orange tshirt

~ “Meannie Jeannie takes her time…she’s used to having her husband do everything for her.” Ouch! [The scripted comments about all the competitors – esp 17 year old John Jr – are pretty merciless, and keep getting worse – they’re trying to be funny but make me wince].

~ Eventually, Jeannie is knocked out of the competition.

~ The Final Round sees the remaining four challengers competing to win the $50 000 prize. Wow! That’s sizable prize $ up for grabs!

It was really fun to watch Lee and Jeannie on this show! Jeannie made it further along than I had thought (sorry, Jeannie, but it’s true!) so I liked the surprise factor, and I liked scouring the TV screen for shots of my friends.

Lee and Jeannie were kind enough to give me some feedback:

Jeannie: “Lee and I had to summon up all our courage to click the play button on the website to watch us make fools of ourselves. But I have to say that it was quite entertaining. You know that I am a way worse nagging wife than what was portrayed on the show, right? =)Yes, we’re very proud of being a prized part of the Carstar “Make it Unhappen” moment. That was seriously excellent comedic timing.”

Lee: ” Jeannie and I both watch the episode today together. We enjoyed it, and thought it was pretty funny. It was nice for us to see all the other people on the episodes wipe-outs and interviews because we were not allowed to see it when it was taped. As for our comments…
We both are glad we did it, and would do it again if asked, but the episode could have looked a lot different if the editing was changed. In the end, I think we find it so funny because the way we are portrayed is so different from who we are, so it just looks like some characters on TV to us. But I guess in the end that’s what they we’re looking for, you know … ‘for good TV’.”

Way to be good sports, Lee and Jeannie! I’m proud of you!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

If you could be a contestant on any reality tv show, which one would you pick? I would choose Dancing With the Stars. I’ve always harboured a desire to be a professional dancer. In my next life!

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  • Johanna  On June 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    You know someone else, Cath! Wanda was on Fear Factor in Taiwan. Suffice it to say that you don’t want her to tell you what she had to eat – eep. I’m embarrassed to say that I can’t recall how she placed but do know that it was respectable. She made Canadians proud.

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      ack! no way! that is too cool. i can TOTALLY see wanda rockin’ the fear factor challenges. what a girl! can i find the episode online, at all? thanks for letting me know!

  • Johanna B  On June 28, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I’ve watched a few episodes of Survivor and the one I think is called the Greatest Race but I’m not a fan of reality shows in general. If I had to be on one it would have to be a cooking show of some kind. It would be neat to see someone you know on one though.

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