Monday, January 23, 2012

My Winter Wipeout Experience - Part 2

Note: This is part 2 of 6. I'm posting one part a day. The total word count exceeds 31,000 words so it's going to be a long read. If you missed part 1 you can read it by clicking here!

So here I was! My audition about to start! 45 seconds that could change my life!

The first 30 seconds were absolutely crap. I said nothing inspirational, nothing interesting, and nothing that made me stand out. What did I say? I basically said that I’d never been abroad and never had the opportunity to do anything wild and crazy like this and I feel that’s why I should have a chance. I gibbered on about my age, my job and my interests – nothing. About 30 seconds into the audition the researcher dressed up as an Egyptian (who Maisie revealed to me was her! Maisie was pretty much given the reins for my episode of Winter Wipeout behind Andy the producer) and she asked “so who do you represent?”

And then I said it. “I’m representing all men with beards, there are not enough bearded men out there and I’m going to represent them.”

I saw a little smile come from the researcher and she extended to a pile of little blue cards. On the table were two sets of cards, red and blue. If you got a red, you were told to go through one door and blue lead to the other. It was proper Matrix stuff but with paper instead of pills. She gave me a little blue card, thanked me and pointed to the door. I slowly walked in that direction, and saw the other three random people at the audition. I went to the door, and one other person, a girl, followed me. The other two audition people went through the other door with a red card. So it was 50/50, two of us failed and two of us succeeded.

I honestly, genuinely felt crap. I felt I blew my chance. I didn’t think I auditioned well and I didn’t say anything interesting until the end, and I felt it was too late by then. I went through the door with the other girl who also had a blue card. On the other side of the door was a bouncer. She was a large lady with brown hair and looked like she was in her forties. She was quite intimidating to look at but I saw her earlier when I walked in and she seemed nice. She took our blue cards and said:

“Thank you for coming but unfortunately you MADE IT THROUGH YOUR AUDITION!”

My heart dropped and me and this girl looked at each other as if to say “are you serious?!” We were then told to go up the stairs where we would find out what happens next. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I had all my eggs in the pessimistic basket and was going to take my coat and go home. But if it wasn’t for my, arguably, unexpected response to who I was representing, I’m convinced I wouldn’t have had the adventure of a lifetime. If Maisie the Egyptian never asked me that question, I never would have mentioned my beard. But then that was it. I knew I was onto something. I knew what I had to do.

The Winter Wipeout beard. The reason I got on TV!
I’m not an athlete. I’m an aspiring journalist who’s overweight. I’m a little unconventional, especially my sense of humour. I’ve always had a beard, since the age of 12 or 13. I had a decent sized beard on my person then, and it got me to the next stage of my audition. I’m not saying I’m boring, but if they wanted someone that stood out, then I knew that my general odd self would be enough of a personality to carry me far, and that my ‘beard’ would have to be my gimmick. The person at that audition and the person you saw on television is me, but with the volume turned to 11 and who talks of beards a lot. I knew I was onto something and I needed to emphasise on this aspect of myself if I wanted to progress.

The second part of the audition took forever. At that point there were about 90 of us, less than a third of the people who started. We had to fill in details similar to that was found in our actual application form. Also included on the form were all the dates of the filming. They were filming from early October until the middle of November. They wanted to know what selection of 8 shows we could take part in, from those dates above. I chose anything but the first two shows as they both clashed with my daughter’s birthday, the 11th October. The other six shows were fine, as well as the final (the champion of champions show). The 90 or so people were then split into three groups, who then took part in the second part of the audition. My group, once again, was the last group, a recurring theme in my adventures with Winter Wipeout. The second part of the audition took forever to happen for this reason. I was probably cooped upstairs for around two hours, waiting for nothing to happen.

My wife called me not long into these two hours and asked for my progress. When I told her I got through she screamed down the phone in excitement. I told her to calm down as I was still a long way from even thinking of getting on that show. I kept my feet on the ground the whole time. Secretly though I was gaining confidence, as I started to realise that what I was doing was working and I was exactly the oddball the researchers were looking for.

A lot of the people at the audition started making friends with each other. I didn’t really do this, not because I’m antisocial or anything, but purely because I didn’t know what to say, and not many people spoke to me. It’s disappointing as the other nineteen people on my show talk of seeing people they recognise on the other episodes of Winter Wipeout this season. I can only say I vaguely recognise one person, although I’m not entirely sure if it was the same person or not. But still, I was concentrating on what was to come. I still didn’t know what was going to happen. In the email we were told to bring appropriate clothing for doing exercise so I brought some shorts and trainers in a bag.

Finally after around two hours our group were told to go downstairs. Downstairs we gathered in the waiting room that we previously walked through to get to the corridor leading to the gymnasium. Two researchers gathered us there; one of them was Nick, one of the main researchers who I then got to know in Argentina. Nick is a tall, slender man, a very attractive dude to the masses I’m sure, and he’s probably in his mid to late twenties. I can’t remember seeing the other researcher, another guy, again. But Nick was there and talked to us.

Nick basically congratulated us on getting this far and explained a few things. He talked of the health and safety aspect of things again, and some basic details on the trip to Argentina. He explained that this was Winter Wipeout, the spin-off with a wintery theme but that the big red balls were still going to be on the show (which lead to a cheer from everyone). He gave details on what would happen next. What happened next was the physical part of the audition, followed by a final interview with two researchers in front of a camera. Nick told us that if we heard from the team after the audition, we were one step away from going to Argentina. As I said, there was a long way to go; there were 90 people left in this audition, and there were other auditions across the country. I still had work to do.

I got changed into my shorts and trainers before we went into the gymnasium. The curtain was now moved back and the gym was used in its entirety. Towards the left of the gym was what looked like some gym equipment set up to do a course. Before we got to that though someone in the gymnasium put us through a warm up process. This warm up process was quite basic, but as someone who doesn’t do regular exercise, it took a lot out of me! It felt like ten minutes of running around the gymnasium, side stepping, jumping, doing kick-ups and touching the floor with either the left or right hand. As I said it was basic but after a while, man, I was tired. I tried not to show it as much as possible to increase my chances as there was someone filming the whole thing. It really dawned on me how close I could be to appearing in Argentina; the fact that they were filming us doing exercise showed that. After the warm up process finished, we all gathered to the left of the gymnasium, not far from the course that was set up. A small blonde researcher talked to us as a group and explained what was going to happen. Basically we had to do a small interview in front of the camera about why we applied to appear on Total Wipeout, anything interesting about ourselves and at the end, a shout-out. If you’ve not watched Total Wipeout before, a shout-out is basically something that you say at the top of the Wipeout course before you take it on. Mostly shout-outs are cocky, odd or funny, and usually rhyme. I hadn’t thought of a shout-out yet! After the little interview we would do this mini course that was set up.

This course was as basic as can be. The course was so much easier than that warm up, which was odd! The course was basically a walk on a balancing beam to the top of a vault box, you can jump off the vault box in any way you wanted that wasn’t too dangerous (like a somersault or something) onto a soft gym mat, followed by a run through some cones to a flat gym mat where you had to do five press ups. From that mat you had to jump over a pole held by two standards (like a pole vault). The pole was at a very low height and over the pole was another soft mat. That was it. There was no pass or fail for this physical audition; they just wanted to make sure you could run a basic gymnasium course. In the end if you can’t do a basic course like this you had no chance of doing a Wipeout course, even gold medal athletes struggle with the Wipeout courses because they’re so random and have obstacles you must face. So this was a basic fitness test.

I didn’t have much time to mentally digest the course however because the first person they named was me!

I have a basic level of fitness. But doing the Winter Wipeout course is not basic.
I was so shocked that they announced “John Harper!” that I didn’t move. I genuinely thought, and I’m not kidding, that there might have been a second John Harper in the room and they alluded to him. After shaking off the initial shock, I knew I had to do something, to make an impact. So I ran, full pelt, at the person who called my name. She was taken aback by that and retreated slightly. She was a small blond girl, another researcher I think, not that I saw her again after the audition, or in Argentina. She interviewed me. She asked me why I was there and I did an altered phrasing of what I said in the 45 second audition earlier, emphasising that I’m representing all the overweight bearded men out there. It got a few giggles so it was obvious that it was working. She asked me why, and I said there are not enough men out there. I’d like to say that this was in a room with a good 40 people in, and cameras everywhere. She asked me what’s so good about beards, and I said that beards are just awesome, they look good and having one means you’re a man. I just came out with the oddest stuff in honesty, I was on the spot, I knew I had to mention beards and I wanted to stand out, so I came out with these odd answers. But it worked, people liked it! The other potential contestants liked me! After a few more questions she asked me to say my shout out in front of the camera. As I said, I never rehearsed one. So then I said:

“This is for all the overweight bearded men out there – I’m going to show you the way!”

It got a nice cheer from everyone, and then I had to do the mini course. I did the course with no issues. As I said, it was basic, and my basic fitness while isn’t great, the course was perfect for me to show people that I can at least move a little. I walked the balancing beam with no issues, did a star jump off the vault box (I have the moves!), then ran through the cones as fast as I could. Did five press-ups with decent ability (while the other potential contestants counted as I did them) and then jumped over the pole by twisting my body 180 degrees horizontally. I was then finished! I got a decent cheer and got told to wait on the other side of the room. On my own. Then everyone else, one by one, did the course.

I sat there on my own for a few minutes while the second person did their course and interview. I had a good think about what I had done. In all honesty, I was very happy with that performance. It was much stronger than my 45 second audition. I slowly felt more and more confident. Having the other people cheering me on and reacting to my odd interview and decent looking course attempt, it made me feel like I had a chance. I didn’t dare think I could get on Total Wipeout, but I felt at least, that I gave it my all, and I did what I could to get through. Very little else I could have done would have made a difference so, if I didn’t get to appear in front of 4 million people in the UK, it was okay, as I wasn’t right to appear.

A few other potential contestants started to gather around me after a few minutes. I was discretely happy, as some people struggled with their interviews or the course. One girl was really shy and wasn’t speaking very loudly. One guy, who was around a similar size to me from Asian descent, really struggled with the course. I felt good. I had a little concern however, as people’s names were being called to leave the room for the final part of the full audition. My name wasn’t called out first, despite being the first to do the course and interview. I was around fifth or sixth, so it made me think that either they were really considering me, hence the long time to get to me this time round, or, they were REALLY considering the other people before me, and I wasn’t considered. Naturally I found out the answer later, but that was my thought at that time.

We were lead back to the hallway that we queued up earlier, for the initial 60/45 second audition. It was me and a few other people before me, waiting by two interview rooms. We were to get interviewed one more time, but more in depth, and closer to a camera than before. It was a more personal interview, with only one or two researchers. We were once again told to think about what we would say in this interview, before going in the room.

I spoke to some of the other people there, and the female bouncer from earlier was with us, looking after us. We all spoke about how surreal this whole process was and if we would actually make it through. There was a smaller Asian lady, the wife of the Asian male I told you about earlier, who looked decent in both interview and course. The bouncer told her that she hasn’t got anything to worry about, as they were paying a lot of attention to her. She never said anything to me. I don’t know if that Asian lady, or anyone else from my audition for that matter, made it through. In the six episodes (including mine) that I’ve seen, I’ve not seen anyone that I directly recognise.

Slowly we all got our final interview. I went in the room, and I saw Siobhan, one of the main researchers, and Millie, a researcher that I actually got along with well in Argentina afterwards. It was the first time I would speak to Siobhan, little did I know that I’d be emailing her to and forth over the next two months, and then having an hour interview on the phone to her a week before I went to take on the most amazing obstacle course in the world! So the first question that was asked of me was great. Why? Because they asked about my t-shirt! The t-shirt I told you about that would play a discrete role in my going to Argentina! They asked what was on the t-shirt, and I explained that it’s Vivi from Final Fantasy IX, a little black magician that I named my daughter after. They looked odd at me, while I then lifted up my sleeve to show them a tattoo I have of Vivi (the mage) in homage to both the character and my daughter. I explained that I liked the name, and that I thought it would be lovely for a little girl. They gave me looks as if to say “ah, strange but interesting”. A bit like me really.

The rest of that particular interview is a blur. I remember telling them about my journalism and my website being an important part of me, and that I talk about my four main interests on here (as you can see as you’re on it now, games, music, wrestling and football). They liked the idea of wrestling and asked me about it. I explained that I love wrestling, the idea of the show, the acting and the fact that they put their bodies on the line for our entertainment. As I said I can’t remember much of that interview, I just remember the camera being right in my face, and that I was not to look at it but at Millie, who was filming. It was a nice, warm interview, and I felt at ease. They thanked me for coming and lead me out. That was it. I survived the 60/45 second audition by the skin of my teeth, but made a pretty damn good comeback and ended the full audition off very well. I was very very happy. I honestly looked back on that audition with hope, but most satisfyingly, in the know that I did what I can. If it wasn’t enough and it wasn’t to be, I wouldn’t be that gutted. As I said, there were 90 people left in the end, and that was one audition of many that went around the country, and many that were in London in particular. I really didn’t think my dream of going to Argentina and doing a Total Wipeout course would happen. My wife called me as I headed for the London Underground and I reiterated these sentiments.

I went to work the next day and told my work colleagues about my adventure in London. They like me, were hopeful of my inclusion but told me to keep my feet on the ground. They didn’t need to say that to me but I appreciated the advice, because I did. These types of things never go in my favour anyway so I wasn’t expecting. That is, expecting an email to arrive in my mailbox only two or three days later!

The email congratulated me on my audition, and announced that I had made the shortlist! I was in absolute shock. Not only to get shortlisted, but to have gotten the email so quickly. It was then, and only then, that I really started to think how possible this whole thing could be. In the audition, they emphasised on the shortlisting being “one step forward to appearing on Winter Wipeout”. I took their words to mean, “we need to make our 160 person final list, and then sift in any drop outs or contestants that can’t do it”. I don’t know if I was right to take that attitude, but I don’t know how many people they shortlisted. My guess was that if they need 160 people, their shortlisting surely, couldn’t have been more than 250 people right? And that’s a strong chance of appearing on the show if my estimates were close. That was my logic, and that was the logic I went with going forward.

In the email they told me that I needed a medical note from my doctor to clear that I can take part in a course that consisted of running, swimming, being knocked about my large doors, snowpies and bouncing on big red balls. That’s not what it said but that was the gist of it. I also was allowed to get my money back from Endemol for the paying of said certificate. I also had to get Hepatitis A and Tetanus jabs. I had to take my passport, a photocopy of my passport and two outfits. The outfits were the most difficult part. Why? Because I wasn’t allowed to take my Vivi top with me.

They said in the email package that they do not want black and while t-shirts because they want our contestants to stand out in front of the camera. If I wanted to bring a black or white top they’d have to know about it, and make an exception. I emailed Siobhan about my top, and asked her if I could take it. She said that unfortunately I couldn’t, not because of the colour scheme as it was a top that stood out really well, but because of the image of Vivi. Vivi is the property of Square-Enix, who makes the Final Fantasy games, so the BBC would potentially have a copyright issue. That did annoy me slightly. The top had got me so far, and I intended on wearing it in homage to Final Fantasy nerds and my daughter, Vivi. More annoyingly, the top I have wasn’t made by Square-Enix, as it was custom made independently, and purchased online. But, I didn’t want to cause a fuss; I understood their logic and didn’t want to challenge it as I appreciated getting as far as I did in the first place, and didn’t want to hinder that progress.

But it did cause me a problem – what was I going to wear now? We actually, soon sorted that problem out. We decided that if I got officially confirmed to appear on Winter Wipeout, that I’d get a custom made shirt. Now, most custom messages printed on shirts are rubbish and I usually disapprove of them. However, I was exceptionally happy with the end product of my top. The idea and quote on my top came from a discussion I had with my wife, I think I asked her the question spontaneously, “what’s more manly than a beard?”, and she replied with “nothing!”, and we both laughed. I didn’t at the time think that it was anything more than a funny quote as I intended on wearing that Vivi top. But when we remembered the quote a few days later, we decided that it would be awesome if it was printed on a top. We initially wanted to have “What’s more manly than a beard?” on the front and then in big letters on the back, “NOTHING”, but it cost more money to get a top with both sides printed, and as I’ve pointed out earlier in this article. So, when we got thumbs up that I was appearing on the show, we got two red shirts, and when we told the person in the print shop why I was getting these ‘odd’ t-shirts, he gave us a small discount. So the shirt, if you’ve not seen it properly, had this message:



I was very pleased with the t-shirts. As for the rest of the outfit, well, being someone that doesn’t do much exercise and wears a lot of jeans, I don’t have many pairs of shorts. In fact, I only have one pair of shorts and they were plain black. I had a red t-shirt and I didn’t think the outfit would look that good. Besides, plain black shorts and lots of potential falling into water and mud, I didn’t think it was a good idea. But I did have a pair of swimming shorts! And they were red! I hated my red swimming shorts. They’re typical surfer shorts and I really think I look silly in them. But, combined with my red top and my, erm, red beard, the look was perfect for a silly show like Winter Wipeout. My wife also got me some leg warmers, not because it was cold (it was very hot actually, Argentina in the spring, but the set was made to look cold), but because they were red and looked like large footballer socks, and to cover more of my pasty legs. Because they are pasty. Horrible. Well, you can see how pale I am on the show!

The message on my shirt. It's true.
So that was the outfit sorted, and I got my jabs. I remember the day I got my official confirmation of being on Winter Wipeout. It was the 28th September. I had to attend a staff meeting at 3pm and turned my mobile phone off, like I always do when I go to meetings. The meeting was just over an hour and I finish at 4:30pm, so I turned my phone on and saw a missed call from an anonymous caller. Sometimes my wife calls me at work and sometimes it comes up anonymous, despite her calling from our landline. I called her and asked her if she called. She said she didn’t, but she had three calls to our house from someone from Winter Wipeout. I didn’t think much of it, I was expecting a call soon as it was said in our email that the team might be in touch to arrange an interview soon. She said for them to call back at 5pm. The chap gave her a number for me to call in the event that he doesn’t call me and I’m ready to chat. My wife kept asking him, are you sure you can’t leave a message with me? What are you calling him about? He refused to answer; he wasn’t rude, but naturally, knowing now what he was going to tell me, he couldn’t tell the news to anyone but the contestant himself. So, I called back at 5pm when I got in, as I was anxious to find out about what he was calling about. It went to answer machine. I left a message telling him I was returning his call. I called again at 5:15pm and it went again to answer machine.

Then at around 5:30pm, he called us. I picked up the phone and it didn’t take long until he said.

“I’ve got some questions for you that I need to ask. First I need to ask, would you like to go to Argentina?”

I paused for a second, not sure if he was announcing that I was an official contestant, or just simply asking if I’d like to go. I asked, “Are you asking me if I want to go to Argentina to appear on Winter Wipeout?” He replied in a way that was a lot more obvious in intention. I looked at my wife and said “I would love to go to Argentina!”, in which he replied “Congratulations John, you’re going to appear on Winter Wipeout!” I thanked him and told him how much I appreciated this amazing opportunity. I’m pretty sure I thanked him more than once, but I was very calm on the phone. I didn’t squeal like a little girl, thankfully that was saved until my actual appearance on the show! He needed my passport number, and I had to get my passport to find it. As I walked to my kitchen, my wife looked at me very excitedly; I just gave her a look that said, “this is so surreal”. That was my actual thoughts at that time. I couldn’t believe, I was actually about to go to do something that in a million years, would ever happen to me. I was about to go to Argentina, a country I’d wanted to visit since I was a young lad. I was about to take part in the Winter Wipeout course, a variation of the Total Wipeout course, one of the hardest looking obstacle courses I’d ever seen. I was to appear on television, on Winter Wipeout, a show that the contestants are made to look absolutely barmy while wearing silly outfits and saying silly things. I’d get to meet Amanda Byram, and see how things are done first hand on the show. I’d get an opportunity to win £10,000. I’d get mocked by Richard Hammond, an awesome presenter on Top Gear, and a silly presenter on Total Wipeout. It was so crazy, so unreal, and I was about to do it all!

I gave the man all my details and he told me that I’d get called for an interview in a few weeks, which will be about an hour long, about my interests, my shoutout, my involvement in the show and the opportunity to ask questions. I got my email officially congratulating me a few days later. It explained that I would be on Episode 6, which was to be prepared from the 29th October to the 3rd November. The whole thing would be six days long. I’ll explain how the whole thing took a total of six days later in this article.

First however, I had to get leave from work. I’d like to say, in this entire experience and anything involved in this experience, this was the hardest, the most frustrating and most upsetting thing. You see, my wife and I got married in June, and we took two weeks off. I didn’t even get called for audition at that period, never mind get official confirmation of being on the show. I took two weeks off, which was roughly half my annual leave. I also took another holiday in September, which we had planned the year prior, which took a week out of my annual leave. By the time it was official I was to appear on the show, I had four days of annual leave remaining. Four days were required to take part in the show, because thankfully, it fell on a weekend so it was covered that way. But there was something else; I wanted to go home to North Wales to see my family for Christmas. I hadn’t spent Christmas in Wales for four years, and my daughter Vivi had never spent Christmas there in her life, and she was three now. I didn’t bank on going to appear on a TV show, or go to Argentina. So I wanted to do both, but with four days of leave left I didn’t know what to do.

I asked my manager to consider me taking annual leave for Winter Wipeout, and for me to take four days leave unpaid. I think that was a reasonable request. Apparently not, as I wasn’t considering my fellow colleagues and their leave that they were yet to take. I wasn’t trying to be difficult, and I had previously asked my colleagues if they were planning on taking leave for Christmas, no one had any definite plans to do so. So I was in a bit of a rut, because I wasn’t granted unpaid leave for Christmas. It did however sort itself out as well as possible for everyone involved. I took my last four days leave for this Winter Wipeout course, and I went to Wales with no leave. Thankfully Christmas last year fell on a weekend and that meant I had both Monday and Tuesday off. So I went to North Wales on Christmas Eve, and returned on the Tuesday. It was a very short break, I didn’t do anywhere near as much as I wanted, but it was enough for me to see my family, and more importantly, for Vivi to spend her first Christmas with the Harper’s.

Back to Wipeout, I had to a few more things to wrap everything up. I had to sign a contract that basically said, you’re doing this course, if you hurt yourself we’re not liable, and if you hurt yourself considerably, you’ll get compensation for leave off work, or something like that. I signed it, and returned the copy to them. A few weeks before we left, I had my travel arrangements. I was to leave Portsmouth by train to Heathrow, and then a plane from Heathrow to Madrid, and then another plane from Madrid to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The return journey was the same but in reverse naturally. I got an email later on to tell me to collect my prepaid tickets from my train station. I went to collect them and noticed they were around £80. It still shook me a little, yes it’s only £80, but that’s a lot of money to me and it dawned on me there and then how much money that was involved in this whole thing. The plane tickets were probably over £1000. They were to give us 300 pesos when we were there. And that is multiplied by 20, for each contestant, and then by 9, for the eight sets of contestants and the champions of champions edition. The winners all get £10,000, and there are eight winners, and the champion of champion gets another £10,000. It’s a lot of money, these figures, at least to me it is. Obviously they probably make a lovely juicy profit off the show so it’s peanuts to them. But to me, well, it just blew my mind.

Our financial situation didn’t help in preparation for Argentina either. We had to pay a deposit on the hotel. But you had to pay by credit card, or with $100 American. Not only did we not have that sort of money, but I don’t have a credit card, nor could I get one because of our debt. It was a frustrating snag, one that would have been a problem if it wasn’t for my roommate, another fellow contestant, who trusted me enough and paid for both of us with his credit card. Obviously I didn’t trash the hotel room, so he got the full deposit back. But it was nice of him to trust me so early on, he didn’t have to do that and it was his money on the line in the end. My plan would have been to use a debit card, and that being used abroad would have been a potential problem, but it was the only method I could do. I didn’t want to get $100 American as I didn’t have any use of it afterwards.

I’d like to emphasise that while my performance was atrocious (in my opinion), I did lose a lot of weight. I don’t know how much I lose but it could have been two stone. I did a lot of cycling, over four hours a week, and I tweaked my foods for healthier and less fattening options. I eat a lot – I love my food, and while my diet wasn’t the best, it was a significant difference for when I was losing weight. I cycled to work to save money, not to prepare for Winter Wipeout, but when I passed the audition stage I did change my diet in the potential preparation for the event. I was very happy with my weight loss. I haven’t kept it up since I finished Winter Wipeout though, while I’m terribly overweight I’m not that bothered long term about losing weight. Keeping fit is something different though, and it’s something long term I’d like to think about doing.

Around a week before leaving for Argentina I had my interview. I can’t remember who I was supposed to have my interview with, but it ended up being with Siobhan. Personally I was really happy about this because I’d been emailing her back and forth for weeks and she seemed really nice. I upset her not long into the interview when I asked her if she was at her audition and I struggled to remember her being there! After delving into the back of my brain I remembered her being the cheerleader, who was asking me questions on camera at the end of the audition with Millie.

We spoke on the phone for an hour. It was a really nice discussion. We spoke about Argentina, Winter Wipout, and a lot about me and my life. I was very honest and open about my life. I spoke about us as a family leaving my dad because of the abuse he gave us our entire lives up to that point, I spoke about my website, and my interests in music, football, video games and wrestling. She was interested in my hobby of wrestling, presumably because it’s one that’s a bit odd and flamboyant, as well as a physical activity that’s not overdone on television like football. She wanted to know if I could do some actual wrestling in which I told her I couldn’t, but I could do random wrestling poses, like Hulk Hogan, The Rock and Randy Savage style. We then spoke about my weight loss, which went into a discussion into my tastes in food. If you know me personally, you’ll know that my diet is absolutely dreadful. I told her that it was only January 2010 that I reluctantly eat vegetables and fruit, and therefore my nutrition is tremendously poor. She absolutely loved that, as it’s an oddity I suppose, I love my meat and my potatoes, but hate my veg. The conversation ended after around an hour and it was the last time I was to speak to Siobhan, which was a shame as she was really awesome, I’d have loved to have met her in Argentina, but we had someone else. That being said, the three finalists of our show got Siobhan on the champion of champions edition you’ll see at the end of the series.

And that was pretty much it! Everything was set for me to go to Argentina!

Want to know what the flight was? And my thoughts on meeting the other contestants for the first time? Come back here tomorrow to find out in Part 3 of 6 of My Winter Wipeout Experience!

If you haven't seen it yet you can see my performance, which was edited by Episode 5 contestant Gemma Murdock below!

You can read part 3 here, part 4 here and part 5 here and part 6 here!

For the latest updates on my work, 'like' me on Facebook here!

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