Fear Factor premiered ten years ago, and is back for the first time in 5 years. On December 12th, we saw contestants compete to win $50,000 as they “stared fear in the eye”.
The first episode consisted of 4 teams, each comprised of family members. There was a mother, Monica, and son, Matias, team that made it to the last round. Along with a brother, Alex, and sister, Amanda, team that made it to the last round and won the $50,000. There was a father, Anthony Sr., and son, Anthony Jr., team that made it to the second round. And there was a team of sisters, Natalie and Olivia, who did not make it past the first round.
The first stunt of the episode is designed to test each contestant physically; whereas the second is meant to test contestants mentally. There are three different kinds of stunts in the second round are eating stunts, animal stunts, and retrieval/transfer stunts. The third stunt is also physical but it involves more action because it is the last stunt to determine the winner.
Fear Factor received a lot of criticism in the past for the second stunt. The American Human Association says that by showing insects and animals being eaten alive, they are promoting animal cruelty. “As we work diligently to expand voluntary compliance with animal safety guidelines, organizations like Endemol who blatantly demonstrate complete disregard for animal welfare, or even that of their human contestants — are producing unacceptable programming.” Karen Rosa, the communications manager of American Humane Association said about Fear Factor and other shows similar to it.
The first two episodes of the new seasons have much more action in them than the earlier seasons. The stunts chosen seem to force people to do more physical tasks then tasks that need skill. So even though it is fun to see people push themselves to the limit, it’s only physically when they need to incorporate tasks that need quick thinking.
Even though the one-per-episode explosions aren’t as good as they hoped and the stunts aren’t skill oriented, it is a good show. It takes me back to the Fear Factor that I would watch when I was younger. It is not a show that you need to ignore homework to see but if you’re done and you have the time, watch it because you will be entertained for an hour.