June 24, 2008 10:47 PM by Lisa Stauber
I Survived a Japanese Game Show premiered on ABC tonight, with ten contestants traveling to Japan. They’ll go where no reality show has gone before, competing in a foreign land on the wacky game shows from the Land of the Rising Sun. In the end, one will get $250,000 and the prestige of being a Japanese Game Show veteran.
Cathy, 21, is from Staten Island. Justin, 24, is from Alabama, and Ben is the oldest at age 44. Darcy, 31, is a single mom from Idaho. Bilenda is a veterinarian, and plans to win. Olga, Andrew, and Meaghan are young and fit, but will that give them an edge? Donnell is playing for his wife and baby. Mary’s the fiery red head. They have no idea what kind of reality show they’ve signed up for, but they’re excited to go to Japan.
Tony Soto will be their guide as they fly into, and out of, Los Angeles for the adventure of a lifetime. The contestants arrive in Tokyo, and learn that the winner will get a quarter of a million dollars. They’ll be living in a suburb, and have a little culture shock when they find Japanese snacks. They guys have fun playing with the toilet, which is controlled with a remote.
Mama-san is the house mother, a traditional Japanese helper who rules the roost. “I’m not your Mama!” she yells, and makes sure they will never wear their shoes in the house again. She sends them off to bed and they rush to obey.
The First Game
The contestants are taking a tour of a famous Toho film studios. They’re sent into a studio, warned that a show is taping right then and there. The lights come up and they’re live in front of a studio audience! The name of the show is “You’ve Got to Be Crazy”, and the contestants have no idea what is going on. They’re divided into teams and given business suits, bibs, and helmets. They’ll be playing Conveyor Restaurant, and must run on a treadmill while a teammate eats mochi balls off their head. Judge Bob is on hand to make sure there is no hanky panky or cheating.
Mary runs first and she keeps up a good pace. Donnell is having trouble swallowing the food, but finally gets it down. Judge Bob inspects his teeth to make sure every scrap has been swallowed, and he’s tough! Olga falls down right away and so does Ben. The contestants keep trying, though, and the Green Monkeys end up with 10 points. The Yellow Penguins are up next, and they’re ready to go. Justin is first on the tread mill, while Andrew is the designated eater. The Yellows keep falling and dropping the mochi balls, and almost none of the contestants can keep their balance. They make a comeback, but Andrew doesn’t chew fast enough and the Green Monkeys win.
The winners get a tour of Tokyo, and the losers are forced to give tours, working as rickshaw cabbies. The losers must also pick two team members who will play a game tomorrow, and the loser will be sent home. They have to pick someone to be eliminated.
First the Yellow Penguins must put on rickshaw outfits, complete with Japanese shorts and little coats. “I feel like a fat man in a little suit,” Andrew says. Cathy, takes her time getting ready, and Mama-san has to nag her out of the bathroom. “I think Cathy is just rude,” Darcy says.The Green Monkeys get the red carpet treatment and a private helicopter tour of the city.
The Elimination Game
The contestants head back to Studio 10, and Darcy admits that she should be put up for elimination. Bilenda mentions that Cathy is late and holds people up, and the guys agree. Ultimately, though, they decide to put Bilenda up against Darcy. “I can’t believe someone is getting eliminated,” Meaghan says, and I can’t believe she doesn’t know how reality shows work!
Bilenda and Darcy are given fly outfits to change into. They’ll be playing “Bugs Splat on the Windshield”, and will have to jump onto a wall leaving a marker. Bilenda’s up to splatter first, and she gets two points right away. Darcy gets three on her first jump, disappointing the other Yellow penguins who want Darcy off the team.
After a close race, the ladies are tied, and the host promises a big solution to their big problem! They go into overtime, Darcy misses her jump, and Bilenda gets to stay. The Yellow Penguins give her a standing ovation, while a mob of suited Japanese bouncers carry off the loser.
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Photos courtesy ABC.