Tess and Morgan, a spunky mother-daughter team, won the first ever Family Fear Factor competition. Mom Tess spoke to us about the experience, and how it has affected her eleven-year-old daughter Morgan and their entire family.
Why did you want to be on Family Fear Factor?
First of all I would like to thank NBC and all the Fear Factor Family for making this experience even better than I could have imagined! Everyone treated my daughter and I like part of a family and not just contestants. Thank You!!
For three years my family and I have watched Fear Factor and as they all sat there and gagged at the mere thought of eating anything that is put in front of them, I have said that I could do it or would at least try for $50,000. I don't think any of them believed me so the challenge alone led me to apply and the rest is history.
Before you saw the stunts, was there anything you would've been totally terrified of doing? Or completely grossed out by?
Considering everything that this show puts on a plate is absolutely disgusting, it almost makes it impossible to pin point one particular thing. But I think if I had to actually DRINK anything that is put in a pint-size glass I might have found myself in a much different place than I am now. By far drinking has to be worse than the actual eating...in my opinion! Now Morgan, however, would disagree, she thinks the bull testicles and the moldy cheese is unconstitutional.
Did any of the stunts freak you out? Tess -- you had trouble with those worms!
For obvious reasons the worms were difficult... If you could have only smelled them you would understand my pain, not to mention the taste that stuck to the back of my throat every time I had to suck up a mouthful. Definitely not something I would snack on regularly.
What was the hardest stunt (mentally or physically) and why?
The hardest stunt mentally for me was the last stunt. After watching Kevan and Dakota complete it with such a remarkable time really put a damper on Morgan's emotions. I had a hard time watching her beat herself up. It was draining trying to raise her spirits when we both were thinking we were going home losers. Just knowing that we had to complete that stunt without error and to do it so much faster than they did seemed almost impossible. I have to say, how we got up there with already feeling beat and doing what we did still amazes me!!!! My daughter is the true CHAMP!
On the first day, which family seemed the "ones to beat"?
Without a doubt Kevan and Dakota were our competition. I think Morgan and I were the underdogs from day one because we were the only "Girl Team" there....Girl Power should never be underestimated!!
Did you learn anything from the other teams by watching them do certain stunts?
Going last on the third stunt (the worm transfer) gave Morgan and I a huge advantage. After watching Mike and Lauren, then watching how much better Kevan and Dakota did made the end result for us that much better. We knew not to do what the first team did and to do exactly what the second team did. That was our advantage and the strategy that got us to the finals.
How long did it take to get the pig lard smell out of your hair?
The pig lard, what a slimy mess!!!! I don't think we'll need to use conditioner this year, thanks Fear Factor!
What was the scariest part of the last stunt?
The scariest part of the last stunt for me was definitely getting from one tube to another. I wasn't quite sure if I had enough upper body strength to get across the monkey bars not to mention they were 5 times the size of what you would normally cross at a park. Morgan's biggest challenge was jumping into the water and swimming to the raft. I have to say both Morgan and I have a slight fear of water so beating that fear and walking away champs was a huge accomplishment.
What surprised you the most about being on Fear Factor?
The most shocking thing about being on the show was how real everything actually was. We were actually blind folded through a good portion of the show. It's nice to know that nothing about Fear Factor is staged or planned. What you see is what you get. They give a true meaning to "REALITY TV."
Was it tough keeping your winning secret from the rest of the family?
Keeping such a huge secret for so many months has been painful!!!!! You kind of have to put it out of your mind or it will drive you absolutely crazy.
Of course I think Morgan had it a lot worse than I did, going back to school and not talking about it was very challenging but she was a trooper and kept it to herself!
What will your family do with the $50,000?
Our family will be going on a Disney Cruise this summer, compliments of Fear Factor. We are also remodeling our house and investing a good portion of our money in college funds for all three of my daughters. And of course we will all have our own little toys...computers, TV, new furniture, implants, and a few other odds and ends to celebrate our success!