NY vs LA Fear Factor (5/9/05)
by Fearless Frankie
It was the ultimate Fear Factor showdown. The battle that divided a nation.
The fight ending a debate as old as our country itself. New York versus Los Angeles! In this corner, with laidback attitudes and sunny dispositions, Los Angeleans Janis, Anika, Kristina and Ian. And in this corner, wearing gold jewelry and tough demeanors, New Yorkers Michael, Emmy, Dana and Joseph. Despite the rainy conditions, both teams were pumped to see their first stunt. Nothing signals fear like a helicopter stunt in the rain! Players would start at the top of ropes on either side of the helicopter. Using a hand brake, players would make their way down the slippery cables collecting flags along the way. Once they dropped into the totally uninviting cold water with their flags, the clock would stop. The head-to-head competition would quickly pare down the teams.
L.A. girls Anika and Kristina were up first. The blonde (Anika) and brunette (Kristina) duo stripped down to their bathing suits and took their positions. Back on wet land, the others pegged Anika as the “weak link”; however, she took the initial lead on descending the cable. The L.A. bombshell kept her lead, while Kristina struggled to maneuver the hand brake and grab the flags. Anika dropped into the drink in 1:50.3, earning her the only female LA spot on day two. Next up were Ian and Janis (pronouncing Yawn-ee, seriously). Ian, an LA firefighter, knew he had to outdo the NY firefighter (Joseph), so he was determined to beat Janis to keep representing Los Angeles in the competition. Janis, a punk rock music promoter who looked about as punk rock as Ryan Seacrest, thought he had a good shot at victory. The wind and rain definitely added a new degree of difficulty to the helicopter challenge. Ian took the lead quickly, but Janis kept up his pace making it a very close competition. Ultimately, it was Ian who hit the water first – in only 43 seconds! Janis soon followed, but he knew he was out. In true L.A. fashion, Janis said he was “super bummed.”
The ladies of New Yawk were up next. Emmy, a teacher from Queens, was up against Dana, a Brooklyn paralegal. Next year, maybe we’ll see a New York Boroughs Fear Factor! Emmy and Dana were evenly matched from the get go. However, Emmy soon pulled ahead working that handbrake like a pro. After releasing her final flag, Emmy dropped for a final time of 57.2 seconds. Joseph, a New York firefighter, was the odds on favorite versus Michael. However, Joe got a little caught up on his second flag giving Mike a chance to catch up. They were neck and neck going into the final flag release. Joe dropped with literally seconds to spare for a final time of 46.2 seconds. Since the New Yorkers combined time was shorter than Los Angeles they earned the right of choosing the next day’s order.
Day two can be summed up in one word: LARD. The good news was that it was not an elimination day. The winner would work with Metropolitan Choppers to custom design their own motorcycle (a $65,000 value). Okay, that’s a really cool price, but I’m guessing Anika isn’t a chopper kind of girl, so I wasn’t sure how motivated she’d be to complete the stunt. Players would be partnered up by city and bound by duct tape in a meat locker. Once they chewed their way free, they would each make their way to their very own bucket of lard. Lard, in case you’re wondering, looks like foamy peanut butter but is actually pig fat. Fat in a vat, in this case. Players had to dunk themselves head first into the vat to retrieve a wrench. Then it was off to the ice tunnel where, using the wrench, players would chip a key out from the ice. The key opened the lock to the meat locker. The team that opened the meat locker the fastest would win the challenge. So to recap: meat locker, vat of fat, ice tunnel, meat locker. Got it? Not surprisingly the New Yorkers chose the LA team of Anika and Ian to go first.
Anika actually looked cute in her bathing suit with her blonde hair pulled up and her arms and legs hog-tied with duct tape. I only wish there was a thought bubble letting us in on her inner thoughts as she lay face down on the disgusting meat locker floor surrounded by squirming maggots. “What am I doing?” “I don’t even ride motorcycles.” “Is this really worth $50,000?” “Do I look fat on camera?” One can only imagine. On “go”, Ian crawled over to chew through the tape on Anika’s hands. Once she was free she was able to undo her legs, then help Ian get free. Then it was off to the tubs of lard. Ian dove right in, but Anika hesitated, surely weighing lard in her hair for a chopper versus staying clean and looking like an LA wimp. Luckily for Los Angeleans everywhere, she finally dunked her pretty head and stayed submerged for quite awhile. Ian got his wrench and made it the ice tunnel while Anika dunked a second time. Ian & Anika had to work together to chip out two keys, one for each lock on the door. Anika’s hands were freezing, so she kept stopping. Ian got his key, undid his lock and returned to get the second key. Final time for LA: 7:50. The New York team, who had been sequestered while LA did the stunt, felt confident that they could easily beat that time.
The New York strategy had Emmy chewing through Joe’s tape, which she did very, very quickly. Then Joe undid Emmy’s hands and they both undid their own ankles. Both players dove right into the vat of lard with no hesitation. However, Emmy had a hard time getting the wrench, so Joe took over and quickly found it. They double-teamed the ice tunnel and were soon covered in ice chips while they dug for the keys. Joe got his first, handed it off to Emmy, then dove back in to get her key. Emmy had the first lock done quickly and soon Joe had the second key. They seemed way ahead of the L.A. team at this point. Finally, Joe opened the second lock for a final time of 6:22. Score one for New York. Needless to say, Emmy and Joe were ecstatic about customizing their Metropolitan Choppers (I'm guessing Joe's will have a firefighting theme...).
The final stunt involved a 75-foot trough filled with raw sewage. Players would be dragged through the sludge having to grab as many flags as possible before launching out the end of the trough and off the edge of a very high parking structure. L.A. firefighter Ian was up first and was positioned so that he started at the end of trough. Little flags lined either side of the trough, but once Ian got going he couldn’t get a grip on them. He burst out the end of the tunnel with only one flag! N.Y. firefighter Joe was up next. He started by thanking Los Angeles for his new bike and for the $50,000 he was about to win. It’s easy to be cocky BEFORE you get into raw sewage. Joe, however, managed to grab four flags. In the battle of the firefighters, New York had won. Could Anika restore hope to Los Angeles? She only got 3 flags. So, New York would definitely win the battle of the coasts. The only question remaining was would it be Emmy or Joe? Emmy was a sewer queen from Queens! She managed to grab 7 flags. Take that L.A.! New Yorker Emmy was the NY vs. LA Fear Factor champ!