Wipeout for Wipeout


Photo taken by Mike Weaver of a contestant performing a jump on Wipeout, 2011

Wipeout was and is undoubtedly one of the most popular game shows of our modern times. This classic game show, which ran from 2008 to 2014, has recently had some new controversy. The show with big red balls had been rebooted on TBS and they are currently filming for their newest season. At the end of November, TBS reported in a press release that a man in his mid-thirties had died while in competition. This news was tragic and raised many questions about the safety of Wipeout. If you have ever seen an episode, it is full of hard slams and agonizing whiplash. Many in Bothell have had very fond reactions saying, “I love the show. I’m an active person and watching others challenging themselves doing an obstacle course is very amusing” said Nazrawi Haile (‘22). Olivia Lassiter (’22) also said, “I think if I have the time to sit down and watch it I will because I always used to when I was younger and it’s just nostalgic for me.” Then, when I told them the news, they had very interesting ideas on the topic. Haile said, “Oh no that’s terrible. But in my opinion it just shows how real it is.” And Lassiter said, “I think it makes thinking about the show and all the risks a little scarier to think about. I think it ultimately just affects my overall thought of the show and I may still watch it but it will be a little weirder to watch.”

This news creates some fascinating questions on the nature of people putting themselves in harm’s way for entertainment. The recently deceased Micheal Paredes had just recently gotten home from his honeymoon, which makes this even more saddening. A law officer reported that Paredes “got a cardiac arrest call just before noon Wednesday, and medics on set had already started using a defibrillator on the contestant, who was experiencing chest pains after completing the course” (TMZ report). This specific new season of Wipeout was promising “decision points designed to further challenge, and wear out, the stamina of the competitors” (TBS). Wipeout continued to film its third season soon after Thanksgiving. Many questions are left unanswered in this story. Will Wipeout face any financial difficulties or will this case be unaffected in changing the show?  Will the future of Wipeout be a splash hit or will it be an epic fail?

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