Pack­ing a punch

Kelly Landry ex­plains the se­crets be­hind Wipe­out Aus­tralia to Colin Vick­ery and Alice Wasley

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

KELLY Landry has a con­fes­sion to make. She has only met her Wipe­out Aus­tralia co-hosts James Brayshaw and Josh Law­son once— at a photo shoot.

That is be­cause the Gee­long model and for­mer Mil­lion Dol­lar Wheel of For­tune co-host spent two months in South Amer­ica for Wipe­out Aus­tralia while Brayshaw and Law­son spent all their time in front of a green screen back here in Aus­tralia.

The pro­duc­tion meth­ods of Wipe­out Aus­tralia are very dif­fer­ent to Aussie ver­sions of other over­seas TV for­mats. Un­like Aus­tralian Sur­vivor or lo­cal ver­sions of Idol or So You Think You Can Dance, Wipe­out Aus­tralia wasn’t ac­tu­ally filmed here.

In­stead Landry, 160 con­tes­tants and an Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion team flew to Ar­gentina to film on a world Wipe­out set that is 40 min­utes out of Buenos Aires. When the Aussie ver­sion was fin­ished film­ing, an­other coun­try flew in and started film­ing their ver­sion.

It was an enor­mous lo­gis­ti­cal op­er­a­tion to get all the Aus­tralians over­seas, but one that ul­ti­mately saves money be­cause it means the huge Wipe­out set doesn’t have to be built in Aus­tralia.

‘‘Peo­ple bonded with each other— we all be­came this tight-knit fam­ily,’’ Landry says of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘The con­tes­tants had a 15-hour flight to­gether, they were all stay­ing in the same ho­tel and were go­ing on the same tours on their days off.

‘‘We were say­ing ‘we want more com­pe­ti­tion be­tween you guys’ and they were all loving each other!’’

As with the US orig­i­nal, each episode of Wipe­out Aus­tralia starts with 20 con­tes­tants who run qual­i­fiers with the 12 fastest through to the next round. A fi­nal four end up in the wipe­out zone with the chance to win $20,000.

Ob­sta­cles in­clude The Sweeper (con­tes­tants jump over a gi­ant ro­tat­ing arm), Sucker Punch (con­tes­tants run along a wall where fists come out and punch them) and Dizzy Dummy (six peo­ple are strapped into a spinner and then forced to run a short course).

‘‘We tried to get an even spread of peo­ple in terms of ath­letic, not so ath­letic and colour­ful char­ac­ters,’’ Landry says.

‘‘There were a lot of over­con­fi­dent peo­ple who, in their ini­tial in­ter­view, said ‘I’m go­ing to win’ and ‘I’m go­ing to nail it’ and then they’d run the qual­i­fier and be ex­hausted go­ing ‘that’s the most dif­fi­cult thing I’ve ever done’.

‘‘It was pretty funny to watch it all un­fold and see some peo­ple un­ravel com­pletely.

‘‘It (suc­cess in Wipe­out Aus­tralia) cer­tainly re­quires phys­i­cal stamina and en­durance. A lot of peo­ple re­ally wanted to win the money as well, so determination ob­vi­ously plays a big role.

‘‘It’s like run­ning a marathon. In the end, it’s the mind that can get you over the line — and maybe a lit­tle crazi­ness. There’s luck as well. Some of the con­tes­tants had un­for­tu­nate mo­ments. Their tim­ing might have been slightly out and there’s your game done.’’

Landry says there was just as much fun away from the cam­eras as there was in front of them.

‘‘When you let 160 Aus­tralians loose in Buenos Aires, which is like the Paris of South Amer­ica, and many had never been over­seas be­fore, it can be very amus­ing.’’

Be­ing in Ar­gentina for two months didn’t make Landry home­sick. She has trav­elled ex­ten­sively dur­ing her mod­el­ling ca­reer.

‘‘Trav­el­ling is never an is­sue for me. There’s a gene miss­ing in me, I think, be­cause I never get home­sick that much. If I spend more than a few months in one place I get itchy feet.’’

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