The Contestants of Wipeout

What It Took to Be on the Hit ABC Show

Young woman using assualt course equipment
Image Source / Getty Images

The hit ABC reality competition show "Wipeout" featured brave individuals who were put through demanding physical challenges in the form of various obstacles, designed to trip them up. "Wipeout" was billed as the world's biggest obstacle course and contestants were mercilessly mocked on the show, much to the delight of viewers.

Despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, many folks seemed to have wanted to be a part of the show, but the program, unfortunately, stopped airing in 2014, but the archived episodes at and some other subscription services offer hours of hilarious fun, featuring many contestants who had what it took to make it through the application process.

How Contestants Got on the Show

Contestants were selected to compete in the show based on an application process, either online or via mail. Standard entry included name, address, occupation, phone numbers, e-mails, recent photographs of the hopeful contestant, and a brief description of why they'd make a great contestant.

As a Mystic Art Pictures production, members of the company's website could also submit applications through the "Casting" section. Mystic Art was responsible for casting for a variety of game and reality shows, so this was the preferred method for contestants to apply.

One thing that contestants especially had to be wary of was that the show often had themed episodes. So, if they were part of a group who wanted to play or had a unique spin on their personality, job, or hobbies, the themed episodes served as the perfect opportunity to apply.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for "Wipeout" hopeful participants were pretty standard but still presented the show with some of its greatest contestants, with a minimum age set at 18 years old. Oddly enough, the show was also limited to California residents, so proof of residency also applied — most likely for health and safety regulations that govern televised activities of this nature. 

There were even eligibility requirements that dictated what type of contestant the producers of the show were looking for including "fun, strong-willed, outgoing," and with "a great sense of humor." Applicants were encouraged to read the fine print on the website's form to also ensure they had proof of United States citizenship and were willing to appear on national television.

A standard contract was issued to each contestant that did appear on the show authorizing the use of their image for promotional materials as well as a waiver of liability in case of contestant injury. This is common practice among game shows, especially those that involve physical challenges like "Survivor" or "Fear Factor." 

Special Shows and Programs

While "Wipeout" was mainly a summertime show with casting calls most prominent in the spring and early summer, there were occasions when special episodes were recorded as event programming. For example, there was a special "Wipeout Bowl" held during the 2009 "Super Bowl," which featured a football theme.

According to the Internet Movie Database, the top-rated episodes of the show were all specials that took on a certain theme. Among them were also the Season 7 episode "All-American Wipeout" that featured a theme of America's rich history including a "Space Race" to start off the show and the Season 6 episode titled 'The Ex Games" where ex-boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses competed with one another to try to make it through the obstacle course. 

Contestants on each of these special episodes often dressed in matching team attire, fantastic costumes, and even face and body paint. In the audition process, producers were known for choosing the most eccentric applicants.