BODY HACK’S TODD SAMPSON ON WHY CONFRONTING MOMENTS SHOULDN’T BE CENSORED
The TV personality pushes himself to greater extremes in Body Hack 2.0, including a scrape with death after sampling poison from a frog
Todd Sampson’s synopsis for Body Hack 2.0 claims he is an “adventurer and human guinea pig”, but the human part is yet to be proven.
The things this mere mortal’s body withstands seem downright impossible.
This season he explores a tribe of Indian holy men who torture themselves to find enlightenment, joins the Iraqi Special Forces in the middle of the war against ISIS, trains as a Kung Fu master, fights fires with Washington firefighters, acclimatises with the Kazakhs of Mongolia and ingests scary substances with an Amazonian tribe, where he nearly dies.
“There’s something funny about the fact that it wasn’t the Iraqi war that nearly killed me, it was Kermit the frog – frog poisoning,” he says.
“Basically they capture this unique, brightly coloured female frog and that frog sweat is like a miracle drug.
“We pulled its toes gently and it started to sweat. They scoop the sweat off, put it in a mason jar and the chief spits in the jar and mixes it up.
“They pulled a stick out of the fire, burnt three holes in my arm and put the poison in the holes.
“I was kind of in and out of consciousness and for a moment I thought ‘uh oh we’ve gone too far, it’s too late’.”
While the experience typically involves purging and sickness, Todd reacted in a way that nobody had seen before, meaning nobody knew how to help him.
“Right before I did it a little tiny boy did it, and he’s vomiting, vomiting, vomiting as I was getting ready,” he says.
“I didn’t vomit but I had really unbelievable hot flushing, dizziness, irregular heartbeat.
“I don’t travel with paramedics so there’s no medical people other than our own knowledge. In this case we had a local doctor with us, he had never seen this before.
“He panicked and wanted to stick adrenaline in my leg.
“I’m not going to say much but I sleep for a little bit but then I go hunting in the blackness of the Amazon.
“Unfortunately it’s me that spots what we kill.
“I felt so bad, but I was so heightened from the drug. I could hear everything, smell things.”
But it’s not just physical experiences that challenge Todd and spur his grapple with humanity.
Sometimes he encounters things that wreak havoc on the mind, that are too real to show.
“On the way to Mosul in Iraq we stopped at a transition camp, almost like a transition camp,” he begins.
“I met a young girl who wanted to talk to me, so I interviewed her with a translator and we rolled the camera. She told me that her father’s head had been chopped off by ISIS and her mother was stoned to death.
“I’m choking back tears because I have a young daughter, I could see hate and hurt in her face. “The reality of war. “I didn’t put it in the show because I wanted to be respectful of her and because I felt it was a private moment. “She’s still in my mind.” It’s moments like those, and most of the others on Body Hack 2.0 that the average Joe won’t encounter, but that’s why it’s so important that Todd does.
His work conveys parts of the world that are beautiful and parts that are tragic, but they are real, and he believes, shouldn’t be censored.
“The show has something for everyone,” Todd says.
“Science, drama, comedy, shocking moments, thoughtful moments I would say to parents, my children 11 and 8 watch all my shows, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to be challenged.
“It is a useful and worthwhile conversation to have. This really is nonmainstream TV on a mainstream network. I’m very proud of Channel 10 for airing this show.”
Todd Sampson’s Body Hack 2.0 premieres tonight at 8.30pm on Channel 10 and Win
Acclimatising with the Kazakhs of Mongolia is just one of the adventures Todd Sampson embarks upon in Body Hack 2.0.