They came up with plans to prevent suicide and tackle climate change. Then on Day 4 of the reality TV challenge came a final twist that shocked even them.
It was the moment they all imagined for months, and in the back of their minds, they already knew the answer: they knew they needed to win.
“You can actually come up with a plan to avoid suicide, and if you don’t do something now, things will go a lot worse,” said one participant, who took a life threat assessment with a professional organization (although they are not part of a reality TV program, they were the first to volunteer to assess a suicide risk on a representative of the show). She said the feedback about their plan was positive.
“It is a lot of things to live for. You have to sacrifice things. You can’t just live for yourself, you have to live for this cause,” she said.
The show, “Fear Factor: The Most Terrifying Challenge on Television,” has gained notoriety since it was first broadcast in early August, when it featured participants who won money to spend on an array of consumer products: a brand-new car, a brand-new home or even an apartment of their own.
The show is so effective — it has a total cumulative audience of more than 3.5 million viewers per episode — that the producers say they are considering revamping the show to make it more relatable to young people. Reality TV and extreme sports have long been popular for people of all ages to participate in, and in the last few months the stars have become even more famous: LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Paris Hilton and John Malkovich have all seen their ratings soar as viewers have tuned in to watch them try to overcome extreme challenges in the name of fame and fortune.
The challenge, which has a global audience, has been so compelling and compelling that it has become a fixture on reality TV programs around the world. The producers said the series reached 8 million people around the world, with more than 90 percent of those viewers tuning in through mobile devices.
“It’s definitely an interesting show,” said one of