Saturday, November 16, 2002

Fear Factor Shoots CMU Undergrad Episode

The NBC hit reality drama Fear Factor visited the campus of Carnegie Mellon University last week to shoot a special episode using CMU undergraduate students. Traditionally the show uses snakes, scorpions, and heights to put fear into its contestants. However, the show broke from format at CMU to appeal to their unique fears.

“We really wanted to get at the trepidations of CMU students. We knew our usual tricks wouldn’t work so we had to pull out all the stops. I think we dreamed up some great scenarios, which really translates on the face of the students,” Fear Factor host Joe Rogan explained.

NBC insiders said some of the challenges being explored were leaving the CMU males alone in a room full of girls, replacing the computer labs Windows XP operating system with antiquated Windows 3.1, and closing the library two hours earlier than the posted time.

“You should have seen the face of this one contestant when he was trying to load up his JavaScript on the Windows 3.1. I thought he was going to pick up his computer and toss it out the window,” Rogan remembered. “And the line of students huddled outside the library at 3:00 in the morning not knowing where else to go, that was priceless.”

Judging from the ratings on this CMU episode, Fear Factor is planning a University of Pittsburgh episode. Tentative ideas include shutting down Mellinger's for an entire weekend, increasing the price of an Antoon’s pizza, and bringing back Ralph Willard to coach the Panther's basketball team.

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