Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Winter Wipeout Experience - Part 4

Note: This is part 4 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, part 2 here and part 3 here!

So I had posed on the rotator table and posed next to the house. Lastly, was the interview with Amanda Byram! Now, it’s amazing how many people who knew I was appearing on Winter Wipeout have asked about meeting Amanda. Amanda was just lovely; she was as genuine off camera as she was on camera. She thoroughly enjoys her job of meeting wacky Brits and being wacky with them, before laughing at them fail on a difficult obstacle course, falling into water and mud. But she’s also really supportive when we do things right and feels sorry for you if you fail badly, as I’d find out. In terms of Amanda Byram’s looks, well, I didn’t think as much of her as a lot of people do, sure she’s a good looking lady but a lot of people fancy the pants off her, while I never did. That being said, she’s a lot prettier in person than she is on the TV. She’s very good looking actually in person. But in honesty, that’s not the thing that stands out the most to me about Amanda. What’s awesome about Amanda is that she doesn’t see herself as a celebrity, nor does she separate herself from the rest of the crew. She hangs out with them, she is one of them. Sure she’s on the TV while the rest of the crew aren’t, but she sees no reason to have special attention when she’s off camera. When we ate our dinner later on, she was sitting with the rest of the crew, her hair tied up, wearing a Total Wipeout hoodie (all the crew have them on). That speaks levels I say, in a world where celebrities see themselves as a superior race to those who film them. Amanda isn’t a celebrity in her eyes, she’s a presenter doing a job that she loves, and is nice to everyone and anyone she sees.

Anyway, onto the interview. Naturally, out of the five in our group, I was once again last. Nick came up to us and told us an outline of what would happen in the interview. She was to ask me these questions, and told me to think about answers to them. The questions she asked me basically are my chances of winning, how long I grew the beard for, if I have any inspirational beardy people, and about my nutrition. I rolled my eyes at the last one; I had no idea that they were going to bring that up! Damn my lack of interest in veggies and fruit! Everyone had their interviews with Amanda, and in honesty, I couldn’t hear what everyone else’s interviews consisted of. They were a little too far away from the sitting area that we were at. At the sitting area were some fruit, so I had a banana. See I do like fruit… some anyway! When it was my turn to have my interview I have to be honest and say, I wasn’t nervous. Have I met celebrities before? Not really, I’ve been to some gigs and met the lead singer from one of my favourite obscure bands (Guy McKnight of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster), but other than that, I haven’t been in contact with any TV stars or anything. But the whole experience was so surreal that it didn’t really bother me that I was about to meet Amanda Byram. I was quite cool about it. So I walked up to her and she says quite enthusiastically, “Hello John!”, and we hugged and kissed each other on the cheek. Yes, I kissed Amanda Byram on the cheek. Jealous? It’s not that big a deal! Anyway, they had to prepare the cameras so while they did, Amanda and I had a little chat. It was the only chat I personally had with her, but that doesn’t matter, it was pretty cool. We were whispering and she asked me how I felt, I just told her how surreal the whole thing is. She told me not to worry and to enjoy myself. That was basically all we said, but it was nice to see her reassuring me. Not much time went before everyone was ready and we started filming.

Amanda was lovely in person. She saw herself as a crew member of Endemol, not above anyone because of her celebrity status.
I answered Amanda’s questions; I said who knows if I can win, I’ll be considered an underdog that’s for sure, that I grew my beard for five months at that point. She was surprised at that, she thought I had grown it for a much longer period. In response to beardy inspirations naturally I went for the Henry VIII comparison, one that many people have mentioned. I look like the old king of England and in honesty I’m not ashamed of that. I didn’t have a clue that this reply would have been the outline of my segment of the show! Lastly we talked about my nutrition, I basically explained that I didn’t used to eat veg or much fruit, but for over a year I’ve had to readjust my diet. That was basically it. The interview was quite plain in comparison to what you see on the usual episode of Wipeout, but I answered my questions with confidence. The one thing I liked was that Amanda called me an aspiring journalist rather than an administration assistant in the NHS. Without trying to disrespect my job, the NHS or my service, I’d rather be remembered as the freelance journalist. It’s what I want to do in the future and it’s why you’re on this site at the moment. It’s my aspiration, so it was nice. I gave them the option in honesty; they never really asked me what I would prefer to be called. I put both titles on my application forms and to the end; it was their decision to call me an aspiring journalist. I’m very happy they did.

The group of five returned back to the tent and we all relaxed for a little bit. A few people were there, but we were basically waiting for everyone to finish wrapping up the pre-course aspect of the show. Eventually everyone did, and then we were told to go to the section where they do the intro of the episode. The intro, if you can’t remember or haven’t seen Wipeout, is on a large circular platform, and has all twenty contestants jumping up and down on the spot while the camera hovers above them. It shows some individual face shots of some contestants. They merge this section with clips of the show of people falling off things, while Richard Hammond introduces us to the new episode. So we all got ready on this platform to jump up and down. This was the first time we really got instructed by Andy, the producer, rather than Maisie. We were encouraged to jump up and down and scream and shout as loud as possible. That’s all fine and dandy, but we had to do this for around 3 minutes solid. Then we weren’t loud enough so we had to do it again! So here we all were, shouting “WOO! YEAH!” and other variations for what felt like forever, while my feet were starting to hurt from jumping up and down on the same spot for so long. Eventually, the camera man started zooming in on our faces individually and we all did random poses in front of it. What did I do? I stroked the beard of course! Not only that but the cameraman seemed to like me a lot and zoomed RIGHT IN to my beard. I didn’t know what to do so I just shook my chin at him. I have no idea why, but I did!

The intro to Winter Wipeout. 20 loonies jumping up and down on the spot and shouting for what feels like eternity.
After that was finished, it was time for Andy to talk us through the qualifier. He took us from the start to the finish and talked about techniques and advice. First was the snowmen. The snowmen are basically platforms for you to jump on. Some are held together while others are unstable and if you put your feet in the wrong places you go straight into the water. The second part was Granny’s House. If you didn’t know by now, Granny’s House is a narrow walkway that has two big blue doors that smack you in the face. The first blue door has a little rotating arm that knocks you over if you hesitate. Between the two blue doors is a dog that knocks you over if you don’t jump over it. This time however you don’t fall into water, you fall into a big pit of mud. The third part of the course was the infamous big red balls. The big red balls are the most iconic part of the show. Basically you had to travel down an escalator and jump from one big red ball to the next. The big red balls are high above water, and it’s a long fall if you don’t clear them. Not many people actually beat the big red balls so it’s usually considered a huge achievement if you clear them. Lastly is the log jam. Log jam is two large platforms that move from side to side and try to get you into the water. The first log has a red bar that you have to jump over before you jump onto the second log. After the second log is the finish platform, a decent length away, and you’d have to get a nice clean jump to get on the finishing platform in one go. The course for Winter Wipeout, and I promise I’m not just saying this because I did so badly on it, is much harder than the Total Wipeout courses. Everything feels like its entire purpose to knock you into the water, where as some sections of the older courses had nice parts. Proof in this is also that the times were often a lot slower for the Winter edition than the normal edition.

We were then told the order in which we were to do the course! Andy announced there and then the order. I kept waiting for my name to come up. What was the common theme in my Winter Wipeout experience? You heard me, I was last! Again! I kept waiting and waiting for my name to come out, but it never did until they announced who would be doing the course last. Now, a lot of people thought I’d be disappointed with this, and in a small way I was. After doing the intro section, jumping up and down over and over again for ages, and looking at the actual course close up, my blood was pumping. But I’d rather be last than, say, sixth, because then I’d have to calm myself down before building myself up again in a short amount of time. Being last meant I could wind down for a bit, get focused, and then just go for it. Andy announced that the first ten had to get ready, while the second ten had to go and get some lunch. So me and the other nine people who were going between 11th and 19th, all went to lunch in a much larger tent.

Lunch was quite nice actually. It was a basic pasta dish with meatballs. We all just relaxed, while the first ten contestants were getting their arses handed to them by the Winter Wipeout course. After we finished lunch we went back to the tent and just waited. Some of the contestants were there waiting already. The idea was that there were two tents, one that had the contestants that already did the course, and one yet to do it. That way it was fair; no one was allowed to see each other do the course and then the people who have done the course have to separate themselves from the people who didn’t. It was quite well done to be fair. So after lunch we had to wait, and wait and wait. Slowly the numbers started to go, people went in threes or fours to do the course and because I was last, I had to wait a long time. I’d estimate times between people doing the course took around 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how bad or well they did, and how much of the course they needed reset. It was getting quite late when I did it, probably around 5pm.

In the end there were four of us left. The last four? It was me, Natalie, Sam and Ben. When it was our turn to come up, my nerves started to go. I was about to do something that I’d always wanted to do. Something that would appear on television in front of around 4 million people. Something that I would take with me to the grave. Something so hard in task, I knew all a long I’d struggle. But there was no turning back now. I was in Argentina, doing the Wipeout course. Did I think about turning back? A little, but I knew I couldn’t. I knew I had no choice. But most of me didn’t want to turn back, most of me wanted to embrace this opportunity, something that only just over 1000 other Brits have done.

The final four to take the course! They change the lineup round on the actual show. I was last! Ben, Natalie, myself and Sam. Thanks to Ben for this picture!
We had to take the back entrance to the Wipeout course, to avoid spotting anyone doing the course there and then. We were lead by Millie I think, to a hill. This hill looked familiar. It was the hill at the start of the Total Wipeout course. In the first few series of Total Wipeout they used to show characters at the top of the hill. It used to be there that Amanda did the interviews. So I recognised it instantly. It gave me another set of butterflies, knowing I too, would walk up that hill soon. We were taken behind the hill, to a section where there were some Endemol Argentina crew members. They were to put the blue protection gear on us, the ones you see all the contestants wear. This gear was to help you protect against large body shots, but more importantly, to keep you afloat in the water. You simply couldn’t drown on the Winter Wipeout course, unless you kept your head under water in a stupid way anyway!

So the last four, Ben, Sam, Natalie and myself, were behind this hill where we were sized up for our protection gear. Naturally, I was last again. On a stump was a piece of paper with everyone’s names, and the size gear they had. Most people naturally, were wearing Medium or Large protection gear, with the exception of poor Jody, who was so small she had to have an Extra Small. Myself however, I was the only one who was too big to fit in Large. They tried but weren’t able to fit me in the outfit. It was a little embarrassing; despite losing up to two stone I still was too big. They put me in the Extra Small, so Jody and I were on polar opposites for protection gear!

So we all started to get the adrenaline running by jumping up and down on the spot, did a bit of stretching, just to get the blood flowing. One by one, our numbers went. As I said, we were behind the hill but if you looked up, you could see the starting platform, where people did their shoutouts. I think the order was Sam, then Ben, then Natalie then me. So Sam went, and then the nerves really started to kick in. Then Ben went, and I was trying my best to keep myself as calm as possible. Then it was just me and Natalie. We just looked at each other in an “oh my god” type of way. We just couldn’t believe what was about to happen. Then, Natalie went, and I was on my own. Can I just say, we could hear certain things from behind that hill, which was happening on the course. We couldn’t tell you what happened really, but we sometimes heard certain machinery or falls into water, that type of thing. It gave us a small indication on how bad or well people did, and what the machinery sounded like. So, there I was, the last to go, standing behind the hill waiting for my cue. As I said there were probably 20 or 30 minutes or so between each person, so I was waiting a while. At the top of the hill was Maisie, as I said it was in theory ‘her’ show so she was the person who gave us our last words before the qualifier. After Natalie did her thing, Maisie eventually called me up. I took a deep breath and walked down the side of the hill, and then took the long walk up the hill.

I could see the course from the side of the hill. Now that I was about to do it, the nerves and butterflies were at an all time high. I could see the top of the hill, where the starting platform was. I walked towards Maisie who told me not to worry as there’s been some amazing times today and that it’s been an amazing show from everyone. These words were supposed to reassure me but they did the opposite. I don’t blame Maisie for that, by the way. She was trying to get me hyped up and confident, but it’s my own insecurities and lack of confidence that made the reassurance work the wrong way. In my eyes, everyone doing really well was bad for me, in a competitive way. If everyone was good, the chances of me getting through to the second round were slim. She told me that I had to stand in the middle of the platform, and either do some posing or warm up. Then on cue with the main camera, I was to do my shoutout as loud as I can. Then, after a certain amount of time, the horn would go and I would do the qualifier.

So, here I was. At the start of the Winter Wipeout qualifier. My mind kept racing about what I was about to do. I looked in front of me and saw the beginning of the course – the snowmen. Round the side I could see the beginning of Granny’s House. I knew further along were the Big Red Balls and then the Log Jam.

I want to tell you here and now, this moment was the most terrifying of all in this entire experience. Seeing the course with my own two eyes, not on a camera looking down at the course, not from the side of the course, the course right there and in front of you, was horrible. I bricked it terribly. It really dawned on me what I was about to do and it wasn’t going to be nice.

So I jogged on the spot, did some stretches for a bit, eventually the cue came on for me to look at the camera and do my shoutout. I looked at the camera and said “This is for all the bearded men out there, I’m going to show you the way!”, but it wasn’t loud enough. I jogged on the spot a bit more and waited for my second take. This time I said it better. And that was it.

Everything I had done so far amounted to this moment right here and now. Watching “101 Ways to Leave a Gameshow” and seeing “The Human Fling”. Finding out there was no new series and instead opting to apply for Total Wipeout. Getting to the audition in August. Reaching the shortlist two days later. Getting my vaccinations. Going to Argentina, meeting the other contestants and Amanda. It all came down to this. I was so nervous, but I was as ready as I was going to be. I was just waiting for that horn to go off. It felt like a million years. But this was it! I was about to do the qualifier! Me vs the Winter Wipeout course! A place in the next round at stake and an opportunity to win £10,000! The horn went and it all began!

Nothing can prepare you for being on that podium, looking down at the course. No training, no preparation. Nothing.
So the horn went off and I ran towards the snow men. If you haven’t seen the show there are two sets of snowmen to choose, some on your left and on your right. I instinctively went to my right. I jumped for the first snowman no problems. I then jumped to the second snowman and it went forwards. I divided for the next platform and had hold of it with my hands. I tried my hardest to hold on, to try and pick myself up and pull upwards but I just didn’t have the strength, and fell into the water.

So close yet so far away. Who knows how well I would have done if I cleared the snowmen? Nah, it wouldn't have made much difference.
It was my first taste of the Wipeout water and it was then I really realised what mountain a task I was up against. The water was so deep, incredibly deep. And the protection gear was helping me to keep afloat. I recovered as quickly as I can and coughed a little, I had a mouth full of water. I knew I had to react quickly if I had any chance of beating the qualifier. The protection gear I was in however, made it incredibly difficult to swim, its purpose was to keep you afloat and it kept pushing me upwards when I kept attempting to do the front crawl but struggled for two reasons; the protective gear and the deep deep water. I’m not a bad swimmer, I’m not great either but I can swim in the deep end of a standard pool but this was much deeper than that. It felt like I was completely engulfed by the water and the protection gear really made things harder. It’s no excuse for my performance; I got 19th because I wasn’t good enough, not because of the protection gear or the water. But I really struggled.

I started to swim towards Granny’s House before realising that I was going the wrong way – I had two more snowmen to cross. I started to backtrack towards the second ladder and it was here and then, that I confess, that I felt like forfeiting.

I really struggled in that water and by going the wrong way, my time felt like it was at least 3 minutes. Obviously I had no idea what my time was, but that’s what I had estimated in my head. Most people who go through the next round do it in less than 4 minutes, and I was not even at the halfway point, so what was the point in continuing? I really wanted to quit, but I then thought to myself – no! Don’t quit! You beat tens or hundreds of thousands of people just to get here! You beat thousands in the auditions for this opportunity! Only around 1000 people from Britain have done it before you! Don’t you even DARE quit! So I swam towards the ladder and started to climb.

I went the wrong way. So embarassing.
If you saw Episode 5 of this series of Winter Wipeout and saw the final, you saw someone struggle terribly on the ladder. I’m telling you, I knew his pain. These ladders are horrible. The legs of the ladders are tiny, it’s hard to get your feet in each step. Then the worst part is the tops of the ladders. Now, some of the ladders have a tiny bit of rope for you to use to pull yourself up, but most of them don’t. So all you have are two stumps at the sides of the top of the ladders, to try and pull against, to get you up. The guy on Episode 5 did the finale in around 10 minutes because of this. I felt his pain because I too struggled with these ladders, although thankfully not as much.

I eventually pulled myself up the ladder and saw the second set of snowmen. I was so tired at that point, and as I said, I wasn’t even through the first section. So jumped onto the first of the second set of snowmen and it was fine. The second snowman, I knew was going to fall. But, how could I do anything about it? I hadn’t the energy to jump far enough quick enough to make the next platform. It felt like suicide. I knew what was going to happen. So I jumped, and stuck my leg out to try and land on the next platform but the second snowman once again tipped forwards and my leg wasn’t far enough to get to the platform, and it was a second trip in the drink.

I knew I was going to fall again but what could I do? It felt like committing suicide, knowing what was coming.
I swam as fast as I could to Granny’s House. My front crawl, my strongest swim, wasn’t working. So I thought I’d try swimming on my back; I can kick quite well with my legs so I tried this method. It also sucked, possibly more so than the front crawl. I eventually made my way up the smaller ladder towards Granny’s House. They didn't show me doing Granny's House on TV which was a shame. So there I was, at the first door at Granny’s House, which was absolutely terrifying.

You see, when you watch Winter Wipeout or Total Wipeout all you hear is Richard Hammond’s commentary and some music, with panned in sounds of people getting hurt and dramatic screams that are also edited in. But when you’re doing that course, you hear nothing. Absolutely nothing, but machinery. You need to remember that these are large leavers that are operated, to try and knock you off or knock you down. That’s their sole intent is to get you in that water or in that mud. And they’re machines! They don’t have human feelings! I don’t know if they’re controlled by the crew, so I can’t comment if they are automatic or operated. So just remember that when you watch the show, and think about how easy this course may be.

So I got to the first door, which was opening and closing at me. It felt like it was teasing me. I hadn’t the energy or more importantly, the balls, to go for it. I actually bottled it I’m embarrassed to say. I could have dived downwards towards the platform but I didn’t want to get hurt. I tried to time myself so it wouldn’t hit me and somehow, I managed it! It was a first success for me! Then I ran towards the dog, Tevez as Richard Hammond hilariously calls it, and I didn’t raise my legs high enough and it knocked me into the mud.

The mud, unlike the water, was filthy. I felt stones, or at least hard bits of mud, all over the place. I got it everywhere, including my shoes. But the good news is that it was nowhere near as deep as that water, so I didn’t struggle too much with it. I climbed up the next ladder and looked towards the next section. I timed my run badly, and felt at this point I’d actually hit at least 6 minutes, very very slow basically.

What was next? It was the Big Red Balls of course! Now, everyone looks forward to the Big Red Balls. It’s the best part of the show. But me, at that point I really didn’t want that to be the next part. I wished it was earlier in the qualifier, that way I’d be more prepared. So I dreaded this section and walking up that walkway towards the escalator was horrible. And of course, once you’re on the escalator that’s it, there’s only one way to go and that’s forward. So I was reluctant to go on at first before I just gave up and stood on it. The escalator was horrible, it was quite bumpy and the bars underneath pokes at my feet. It felt like suicide again, I knew I wasn’t going to beat the Red Balls and was going to fall into the water, and there was nothing I could do about it. I saw the Big Red Balls more and more as I was going further and further on the escalator. I didn’t actually run on it at all, I just stood there, I was so tired at that point running for the Big Red Balls felt like it was going to be a mistake. So I saw the balls, before I realised, there was only three there! There was one more that was hidden from my view, growing in size below me! I was aiming for the second ball when I thought it was the first! There was virtually no time to react or adjust, and I ended up falling pretty much vertically, downwards as I barely jumped to hit the Red Ball. I front of the first Big Red Ball, and fell to the water.

I was so tired by the time I got to the escalator I just stood there. Embarrassing.

I’d like to say, well, the whole qualifier was embarrassing for me but nothing compared to this. This was the climatic part of the show, and I didn’t even hit a Big Red Ball properly. I’m really upset about this, because even though I had an amazing experience from start to finish, doing the Big Red Balls is a dream, and I barely got to experience it. I at least wanted to hit one Big Red Ball and was going to go for the cautious tactic, but it fell completely flat when I didn’t realise the first Red Ball was as close to the escalator as it was. So, that’s why I’m upset and disappointed in myself about that.

The worst thing about falling into the water before the first Red Ball was that I had to swim the length of the four balls. That felt like it took forever. As I said, I had given up on qualifying for the next round at the first part of the course, never mind the Big Red Balls. I estimated it was at least 10 minutes by this point. I felt that I had joined the 10 minute club, an embarrassing club of people who have done the course in more than 10 minutes. Swimming passed each Red Ball was horrible, because it just took so long, and I was struggling to swim in this water anyway, because as I said, it was so deep and the protective gear felt like a hindrance as it just felt like it was pushing my body upwards when I wanted to go on my side.

Falling backwards to the front of the first ball meant I had to swim the full length of the four balls. For the second time, I was so close to quitting.
That was the second time I was close to giving up. I knew for a fact that I hadn’t qualified. I was embarrassed. Everyone else had reportedly done really well and I just wanted to get off the course, go back to the hotel and go home. I felt awful. I was struggling to do the course really badly and was so tired. But then my mind once again started thinking about how DARE I quit! I’ve come so far it’s too late to turn back! So I fought on, I didn’t want to quit. I’m not really a quitter. I’m a struggler, but I’m not a quitter! So I continued to swim on, and eventually swam across the course of the four balls and back up to a ladder. This ladder I really struggled with, as there was no bit of rope to help you pull up, so I only had the two sides of the ladder.

Next up was the final part of the course, the log jam. I thought the log jam would be the easiest part of the course, and in a certain way, it is. It’s still horrible though. I jumped to the first log, and it started moving forwards and backwards, trying to knock me off. I managed to hold on, the red bar actually helped me in this case, I just clung on to it as much as I could to avoid falling, but also to help me get on my feet. I was absolutely knackered at that point and I held on with sheer will more than anything. I clung on and slowly, gingerly, got up on the log. It stopped moving so aggressively, and I saw the second log. I jumped to the second log, and I made it! Another success story in this terrible terrible display! Woo! Now there was one more jump to attempt before I got to the end of the course. I wanted to end this performance on a high note. I landed on the second log and once again, it kept moving forwards and backwards to try and knock me to the water. I held on, and once again, tentatively got to my feet. I saw the finishing podium. I was about to make my jump and then the log quickly gave way underneath me. I was so tired and out of it by that point that I didn’t even make an attempt to hold on. I fell onto my back, and slid into the water for the final time in the qualifier. What I didn’t remember doing was falling on my back. Looking back at the clips, I really hit my back hard on the log, but I don’t remember any of that at all, it happened so quickly. I made my last swim, this time to the finishing podium and crawled up the stairs, and onto the target. I stood up, put my hands in the air to resemble some kind of pose and then looked at everyone.

Success! I jump from one log to the other! One of the few success stories in my performance. I had no chance with the second though, the way it was moving.
I felt awful. I felt like I was the worst contestant they’d ever had. I had to have hit 15 minutes, surely, that’s what I felt. I didn’t know my actual time until a bit later on. I looked at Amanda, who was looking at me with her microphone, ready for the post qualifier interview. I said, “I’m sorry.” Amanda replied, “Don’t be! What are you sorry for?”, in which I replied, “I felt like I’ve let everyone down.” You know what made things worse? As I was on the last log, I saw from a distance, everyone coming out. All the contestants. I was last and because I took one of the longest they obviously brought everyone out early. I didn’t know that at the time and thought they’d all seen my horror show.

My time was 6:25, but it felt like 15 minutes when I was doing it. I felt like the worst contestant they ever had.
I had agreed beforehand that I’d do some form of Randy Savage elbow drop into the water when I finished the course, paying homage to my love of the wrestling business. I didn’t want to do it as I was so embarrassed and tired. I just asked, “Can I go down the stairs?” in which Amanda agreed, softly, as she knew that I was so upset. I still had to go through the water though, so I got to the bottom step and dived into the water, and swam to the exit. I got to the exit and one of the Endemol Argentina crew came up to me and said in broken English “my brudda!” and gave me hug. He wanted a picture with me; he too had a beard and obviously understood my message to support bearded people. He was awesome; it was a really nice moment actually, seeing this guy want a picture with me because of the bearded connection despite me sucking badly on the Winter Wipeout course. After that I had to have my interview with Amanda.

I don’t remember much of the interview to be honest. I know I was incredibly negative about my performance, and I don’t think they liked that much, which is understandable. But the simple truth was I was. I was so embarrassed, so upset, so angry with myself for performing so badly that I couldn’t help be negative. Amanda was saying stuff like the weight of the beard holding me down, and jokes like that but I just wasn’t really up for jokes, although Amanda was just doing her job. I remember Amanda saying “it wasn’t easy was it?”, with me replying that I didn’t expect it to be easy but I wanted to do it. The quote they used on TV was "I wasn't prepared for that at all", which was portrayed funnily on the show but in seriousness, it wasn't. That's how I genuinely felt, and it was said in a negative way not in a sarcastic way. I remember saying that it wasn’t a good performance to represent bearded people well but that it was a performance that was a good performance to represent not giving up, and that I twice thought of giving up on the course but powered on.  After the interview I had a towel to dry myself down with and a blue Powerade drink for energy. I wasn’t finished yet though as I had to have another interview off the course with a researcher. It was Millie and I had to answer her questions, but in a way that said the question in my answer, for instance, Millie asked me how it felt to do the course and I had to reply “I felt the course was really difficult”. I basically said that I found the course to be really difficult, and that I almost gave up twice but ploughed through it. It was a similar interview and it was also negative, but in honesty, I just wanted to get out of there and fast. I was so exhausted, so upset and angry and embarrassed and wanted to get off the course and far away.

My interview with Amanda was really negative. I'm sure it's the main reason why they didn't show much of it.
What happened after I finished the course? And what of are my thoughts of seeing the rest of the show in person? Come back here tomorrow to find out in Part 5 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 5 here and part 6 here!

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

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