Is Wipeout Scripted or Real?

As a comedy-competitive game show wherein participants navigate an extreme obstacle course designed specially to provoke an unprecedented number of fails, ‘Wipeout‘ is truly unlike any other. After all, despite the fact there’s a massive cash prize at the end — whether in the classic ABC original or its recent TBS reboot — it does appear as if every player usually shows up more for fun. So now that this old yet new program is back to our attention with its outlandish overall notion as well as innumerable slips, let’s find out precisely how much of it is actually real, shall we?

Is Wipeout Scripted?

‘Wipeout’ has honestly been billed as a natural, reality, unscripted production ever since it was first announced to the world near the late 2000s, and its reboot iteration is absolutely no different. This means that despite some meticulous planning regarding cast selection, episodic challenges, and set designs, nothing of how things pan out is directed or influenced in any way, shape, or form. In other words, producers do likely push a few narratives through interviews or commentary in each installment to keep the audience’s interest alive, yet they have no hand in who wins and how.

In fact, during an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit a few years ago, a winner by the name of Ari “Dorky Kong” Grant from the ABC series’ season 5 said, “I don’t think they ever gave me a script at all. I dressed how I wanted, interviewed how I wanted, played the courses how I wanted, and even talked during the courses how I wanted. After the final round they told me that was one of the goofiest things they had ever seen. I would say the show was not scripted at all.”

However, fellow contestant and Reddit user Chicki5150 from ABC’s ‘Spring Episode 3: John Henson, Zombie Hunter’ asserted they are given prompts “unless you are a naturally weird person (like me), but even I was scripted. [The producers] had me do a few takes before the whistle blew yelling random weird shit about chickens, and eating meat.” Then there’s the fact even former host John Henson once clarified, “I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but if you watch the show, you’ll realize that almost non-stop punchlines for 60 minutes…”

The then-host continued that “the action moves so fast we don’t even really have time for a set up. It’s kind of just punchline, punchline, punchline, and that didn’t happen by accident. But the Writer’s Guild maintains that, uh, that reality shows don’t have writers, we have producers. I’ll let you guys do the math on that and just say, ‘Maybe John Anderson and I just magically improvise seamless wall-to-wall comedy for 60 minutes each week.'” Therefore, considering the way TBS’ ‘Wipeout’ is almost exactly the same as the ABC original, we believe it follows a similar pattern.

Though we should mention there is the post-production editing process as well that can affect how each episode pans out, but it’s highly unlikely producers use this facet to alter narratives. That’s because no matter what, changing cast reactions to modify the outcome would be difficult; plus, this is their sole means of bringing together an effective flow within the entire show to maintain the audience’s unwavering attention, so they wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize authenticity.

In simpler words, despite the detailed planning of each stage and the post-production editing process affecting what ultimately comes across our screens, ‘Wipeout’ is as accurate, honest, and genuine as possible. Regardless, even with the essence of this show making it seem unscripted, we should mention that you should always take such productions with a grain of salt as you never really know the full extent of producer interference.

Read More: How to Join Wipeout Cast? What is the Application Process?