Been deployed? Eat bugs? NBC wants you
Say these words into a mirror and watch yourself closely.
“I am willing to throw myself from a 14-story crane into an eel-infested cesspool to win the chance to eat live cockroaches swimming in a bowl of blended fish heads.”
If you didn’t flinch, good: You’re ready for “Military Fear Factor.”
Television’s home of the toad coffin, the electric maze and live-leech sausage is looking for active-duty servicemembers who have been to Iraq to star in a special episode of the weekly gut check.
In a casting call posted on the show’s Web site, NBC says it is specifically searching for guy-girl couples for the first-of-its-kind episode. It is not looking for just spouses — siblings, best friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, and other duos are also eligible. At least one member should be active duty and have downrange experience, but preferably both, said “Fear Factor” executive producer Matt Kunitz.
Scheduled to be shot over three weeks in November, the show will be taped at a location germane to the theme, Kunitz said.
“We’re going to do the entire episode on an aircraft carrier in Oakland,” he said.
Each week, the popular reality/double-dare-you show pits pairs of contestants against one another in a trio of stomach-imploding challenges — from high-wire balancing acts to all-you-can-eat insect buffets. After each stunt, the poorest-performing contestants are eliminated, and winners at the end of the show take home $50,000 and often an extra, surprise reward.
While Kunitz wouldn’t give away details of what the military challenges will be, he promised they would include some of the most nerve-burning stunts the show has ever produced.
“We have a new stunt department this year and all of our stunts are bigger and badder than we’ve done before,” he said.
Kunitz said he is looking for diversity in casting the show, trying to represent the broadest spectrum of the armed forces he can find between now and November. Servicemembers from all branches are eligible, and candidates stationed at overseas bases can apply, he said.
But in his advice for those thinking of applying, Kunitz said that crazy, ’roid-fit-prone kamikaze artists often aren’t the ones who will make it to the taping.
Those who are a little timid about falling to their death, perhaps a tad squeamish about biting into a partially developed duck embryo or having tarantulas crawl on their face are more likely to make for good drama — and more likely to get a shot at the 50 grand, he said.
In the end, the forthcoming military edition is a fun way for the show to tip its hat to servicemembers, Kunitz said, and give them a special shot at a big payday.
Umpteen thousands of people apply to be on “Fear Factor” each year, but only a couple of hundred get to test their mettle on the show, so servicemembers will have better odds by applying for the special episode.
“If you’re in the military, this is an awesome chance,” Kunitz said.
To apply, candidates should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information for each applicant: Name, age, height, weight, home city, recent photo, brief description of the team and phone and e-mail contact information.
Further details can be found at www.nbc.com/Fear_Factor/apply_military.shtml.