Movies & TV

“Wipeout” Comes To Canada: A Chat With Host Jessica Phillips

 45,000 Canadians applied online for “Wipeout Canada”. 260 made it onto the show, running obstacle courses in Argentina for the chance to win $50,000.

Here’s my question: why wasn’t I told about this show before?!?!

Wipeout Canada

wipeout canada

For those of you still in the dark about this game show, Wipeout started in the U.S. in 2008, giving contestants the opportunity to compete in the world’s largest obstacle course. There are four rounds–The Qualifier, Round Two and Three (a different title each season) and, finally, The Wipeout Zone–that will ultimately determine a winner of the grand prize (money AND bragging rights).

With commentary and–of course–tons of replays to accompany the hilarious efforts of each determined contestant, Wipeout keeps you laughing for a whole hour. And now it’s coming to Canada!

Airing on TVtropolis, Wipeout Canada was filmed in Argentina (better weather for face plants in the mud!) and will feature Canadian hosts Enis Esmer (left; The Listener), Jessica Phillips (middle; Deal or No Deal, Being Erica) and Jonathan Torrens (right; Street Cents anyone? No? Okay, how ’bout Degrassi).

We met up with host Jessica Phillips to get her take on getting this hilariously-fun show north of the border.


FAZE: So, a lot people may have already seen the American version of the show–what makes the Canadian one different?

JP: Our course is the same as the American one had in their first season. So the course itself is identical, but I think Johnathan, Enis and my personalities really change it from the American one. And then also, the 260 Canadian contestants from across Canada were just–they were so much fun to be around. Honestly, my cheeks would hurt at the end of the day, just from laughing so much.

FAZE: What characteristics does the show look for in their contestants?

JP: They have to love adrenaline…and have no shame [laughs]. In the American show, you always watch people giving up like nothing. The Canadians, they wanted to go through it, no matter what. We had one lady stuck in the mud for, it must have been, easy, half an hour. But she was still persistant. She was like, “I’m gonna get out!”

FAZE: Do the contestants get a practise run before filming?

JP: How it works is, we start off with the interviews. And then all 20 contestants stand at The Qualifier and our contestant producer walks through The Qualifier–not actually doing it, but explaining what the rules are for each part. And then if they have any questions, we answer them. Then each one of them runs The Qualifier and they don’t get to watch each other do it.

FAZE: So, they don’t get any tips from seeing someone run the course?

JP: No, nothing! And the ones who have already run the qualifier are put in a separate room, so they can’t give any pointers to the others that haven’t done it yet. So, we try and make it as fair as possible.

FAZE: And as tough as possible!

JP: Yep!

FAZE: What is the best advice for someone about to enter the obstacle course?

JP: Just have fun with it!

FYI: Jessica ran one of the courses herself–wouldn’t you, if they gave you the chance?!?!–and it will be aired at least once in the season.


Wipeout Canada premieres April 3rd, 2011 at 8pm EST on TVtropolis. Can’t wait? Check out some of the contestant auditions!!!

Not sure what to make of all this hype? Check out a clip for the American version below!


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