Usually in Las Vegas if one hears the number 15,000 one would think of dollars, but for Fear Factor contestant Josh Schwadron it refers to Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Covered from head to toe he had to free himself from shackles and open the coffin that he shared with Fear Factor's favorite roach.
FEAR FACTOR: What was going through your mind as you started the stunt?
JOSH SCHWADRON: When I laid in the coffin, it was much smaller and tighter than I had imagined it to be. And when they poured the cockroaches on me, they must have weighed 75 pounds, all 15,000 of them, and they started crawling everywhere. I was expecting them to stay clear of my face, but as they were pouring them in a bunch of them got in my mouth, I had to spit them out immediately. As the stunt went on, they were crawling in my ears, into my mouth, into my nose, into my eyes. Luckily I had goggles on, because those things were deadly. They were brutal. They were really, really, really bad. And they were biting me. They were biting me nonstop. I had a huge rash all over my back. It was like a pink rash, and there were bumps all over it. It was not pretty. But when I was in there, I was really focusing mostly on just trying to unlock the keys. I was trying to have the cockroaches stay away from my hands and from my face. This way I can concentrate as best as possible. I knew I should take my time. I knew I had to remember which keys I used and which keys I didn't use.
FEAR FACTOR: Was it distracting to try to complete your task with the cockroaches all over your body?
JOSH SCHWADRON: The cockroaches really hindered my time a lot. I think I could've obviously gone much faster without them. Just the fact that you could feel them biting and you can smell their gross smell everywhere. The cockroaches were all over my hands, making it difficult not only to turn the keys, but to see which keys I've used and which I've haven't. And the cockroaches were crawling on my head and itching me. They were very distracting.
FEAR FACTOR: What did it feel like to have the cockroaches bite you?
JOSH SCHWADRON: The cockroaches biting was not pleasant at all. You know there were 15,000 of them, and individually, their bites hurt a little, but collectively the bites really started getting annoying and started hurting. I had a very, very bad rash all over my body.
FEAR FACTOR: What did the cockroaches smell like?
JOSH SCHWADRON: The cockroaches smelled terrible. I can't even describe it. It was like a bad dream, almost. It was brutal. Brutal, brutal, brutal! The cockroaches, they smelled terrible. It was kind'a like the smell of throw-up but in a different sort of way. It was kind'a like throw-up mixed with a bunch 'a dead bugs, except these things were far from dead. They were crawling everywhere, all over my face, all over my body, all over my hands. It was not a pretty sight.