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Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge Guest Judge Terry Crews Has All the Car (and Toy) Credentials
The Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor and America's Got Talent host lists his car and toy car experience.
NBC’s new reality-competition series Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge pits two contestants against each other each week as they transform a normal car into a totally new vehicle inspired by the iconic toy line. The judges, Top Gear’s Rutledge Wood, Ford Motor Company designer Dalal Elsheikh, and car culture influencer Hertrech “Hert” Eugene Jr., know their way around an automobile. But, what of the guest judges? Obviously, Jay Leno, who appears later in the season, is a car buff. The series premiere, which debuts on Tuesday, May 30 at 10 PM, features actor Terry Crews as a guest judge. But what qualifies him to be a judge of cars or of Hot Wheels?
“My bonafides are that I’ve bought many, many cars, for one,” Crews joked at a Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge press event ahead of the premiere. "I’m from Flint, Michigan, which is what they would call Buick City, where car culture was above any other culture, period.”
OK, so that’s cars covered. What about Hot Wheels?
“I play with toys even today. I love LEGOs, I have five kids — four daughters and a son — and I’ve bought every toy you can imagine,” he explained. “I think I qualify as a parent, I qualify as a player, I qualify as a grown-up kid.”
Crews said that even just seeing the Hot Wheels logo was enough to bring him down from 55 years old back to when he was 5.
“It was kind of like walking the hallways of your elementary school. All the memories come back to you,” he said. “I went on road trips, and we would get four Hot Wheels and we’d play in that back seat for 24 hours!”
Those memories of playing with Hot Wheels may have helped Crews earn a space at the judges’ table, but the toy line, which has been around for more than half a century, inspired just about everybody else involved in the show, including the contestants and the other judges.
“Hot Wheels paved the way for a lot of people in this industry,” added Eugene, one of the show’s three permanent judges. “I grew up with Hot Wheels, taking them apart and putting them back together, as a kid. And here I am in real life, taking cars apart and putting them back together, as an adult.”
Tune into Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT.