Sunday, October 26th

Sunday, October 26th at 7:30pm

Oh, the humiliation! Kiwi hopeful, Phil Somerville is one of 24 contestants competing on an extreme obstacle course for the ultimate prize of $50,000 in this week’s season finale of the hit series Wipeout, screening Sunday, October 26th at 7:30pm on 3.

Hosted by John Henson (E! Entertainment’s ‘Talk Soup’) and John Anderson (ESPN’s SportsCenter), each week Wipeout has seen 24 daring contestants of all ages, shapes and sizes go head to head through four rounds of gruelling and physically demanding but wildly hilarious obstacle courses to win the title of “Wipeout Champion” and the grand prize of $50,000.

“The time-honoured tradition of watching people falling down is always funny,” says Henson of the show’s concept. “And it’s certainly that tradition that this show is following.”

But it seems placing people in harm’s way for laughs is also a time-honoured ratings-getter on Japanese television, one that has been gaining momentum in the western world over the last couple of years. However Wipeout executive producer Matt Kunitz likens Wipeout more to Fear Factor then any other show.

“It’s America’s Funniest Home Videos meets Fear Factor. We create the moments rather than waiting for someone to slip and fall,” Kunitz says.

And unlike Fear Factor, sensitive viewers don’t have to worry about people eating spiders or sitting in a glass box full of snakes. “There’s no grossness, no violence, drugs or sex,” Kunitz says. “Just good, clean fun – except for the mud.”

The show has an array of 60 stunts to throw at challengers, different ones on each episode. Some, such as “Dizzy Dummy” the “The Dreadmill” and the viewer favourite “Dirty Balls”, in which contestants try to run across a row of giant, bouncy red balls without falling off, prove to be so entertaining that they became show fixtures.

“Everyone flips out over the Big Balls, but for me, that Sweeper is absolutely too good to be true,” says Henson of his own favourite Wipeout challenge.

And he’s certainly not wrong, with “The Sweeper” being responsible for some of the more amusing wipeouts over the season.

But how will Kiwi contestant, Phil Somerville face up in the challenge? Find out when Wipeout finals on Sunday, October 26th at 7:30pm on 3.

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