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From Fear Factor to American Ninja Warrior, shows where contestants’ resilience is put to the test

Shilpa S

Shilpa S
Jul 18, 2021

Reality shows which push contestants to their breaking points are a celebrated genre in reality TV. These shows have players jumping through hoops, sometimes literally, to bring forth an enjoyable spectacle to people watching at home.

Here are a few shows that deliver when it comes to putting people’s spirits to the test.

Fear Factor
5.8OTTplay Rating
“Imagine a world where your greatest fears become reality” This sentence alone from the host introduction of Fear Factor is enough, to sum up, the show’s premise. This is also followed by a disclaimer warning viewers to never attempt the stunts the series features. In three rounds, contestants must complete tasks that are mentally and physically demanding. Eating live animals, walking barefoot on glass shards, and even shaving one’s head are some of the gruelling tasks that have been featured on the show.
7.4OTTplay Rating
Following a ‘survival of the fittest’ format, Survivor is a reality show where contestants are placed in an isolated location in the wilderness where they have to survive with whatever means their surroundings offer them. They are also made to participate in several challenges, winning which they will get rewards and will be safe from elimination rounds. People are voted out amongst themselves and the last one standing is awarded the grand prize of a million dollars.
American Ninja Warrior
Based on a Japanese series, American Ninja Warrior features contestants who have to go through an obstacle course designed to push their physical capabilities and stamina to the limits. To date, only three people have been able to complete the harrowing course in full.
101 Ways to Leave a Game Show
This American gameshow is distinctive in the wacky way it chooses to eliminate contestants. Contestants have to answer a question from several possibilities given to them, of which one will be incorrect. The person choosing the incorrect answer is made to leave the show ridiculously. The several creative ways in which losers leave include on a bi-plane, being crushed under a monster truck, having their boat sunk by a cannonball, airlifted and many more. The final winning prize is $50,000.
Floor is Lava
5.3OTTplay Rating
The popular children’s game of the same name led to the conception of this American game show. The obstacle course resembles rooms found in every home, but with a twist. The entire floors of the rooms are covered with fake lava, falling into which the contestants lose. The players have to make their way across the rooms without touching the lava floor. Films such as Night at the Museum and several video games were mentioned as inspirations for the show as well. The show was picked up for a second season.
Wipeout features an enormous obstacle course that contestants have to go through to win a cash prize. The show also features hilarious commentary on the contestants and their performances by two commentators inside the studio, and one on the course with the players. The show ran for seven seasons and spawned a 2021 reboot.
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