Wipeout! U.S. vs. Canada

Posted: February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

Wipeout_Game_Logo1There are numerous amounts of television programs in America that have been influenced by or have influenced other programs from and in different countries and cultures.  One of the more popular genres of these programs is game shows.  These shows consist of a contestant or contestants that take place in some type of game or challenge.  They compete to win first place and the prize at hand.  An example of a game show that is seen both the U.S. and in foreign countries is Wipeout.  Wipeout currently has thirty different versions being made but the original was filmed in California.  In the United States, Wipeout premiered on ABC on June 24th, 2008 but has now changed stations to TruTV.  In this show, twenty-four players are challenged to complete several different challenging obstacle courses divided into four rounds; The Qualifier, Round two, Round three, and the final Wipeout Zone.  Within these rounds, several different challenges/obstacles must be completed and if a player fails to do so, they must start over from the beginning or from a checkpoint.  Each attempt is timed with the players with the fastest time advancing.  Round two is made up of twelve contestants who compete in a slightly more physically challenging course testing which six players are most suitable to move on to round three.  These six people show signs of being more competitive and seem to have their eyes on the prize.  The top three contenders eventually reach the final Wipeout Zone, which has been said to be less challenging than the previous rounds, where the winner, or “Champion”, takes home  $50,000.  Many of the challenges and obstacles are similar of those used on more physical Japanese game shows, which have highly influenced the American Wipeout. This particular show originated in the United States but has made its was to several different countries in many variations.


One country that has taken the platform of the American version of Wipeout is Canada.  This version first aired on April 3, 2011, and was filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is where all foreign versions of the show are filmed.  The format is almost the same, with twenty people competing in four rounds to win the $50,000 grand prize.  Contestants are now Canadian citizens and are encouraged to wear outfits or costumes that show off their personality.  Along with the format, many aspects of the courses are borrowed too.



A few obstacles that can be seen in both the American and Canadian version include, The Big Balls, Dizzy Dummy, Sucker Punch, The Sweeper, and Barrel Run.  Each episode brings different obstacles but The Big Balls are always used in the qualifier round.  By showing the details of this Canadian version of the American show Wipeout, one can see how the media can influence different countries.  Since this show was a success here, other countries decided to make their own versions to bring themselves profit and success in their own countries.  This is the case with many different game shows and you will be able to see examples of it throughout this blog.


1. Grosvenor, C. (n.d.). ‘wipeout!’ explained. Retrieved from http://gameshows.about.com/od/showprofiles/p/wipeout_profile.htm


2. Grosvenor, C. (n.d.). ‘wipeout canada’. Retrieved from http://gameshows.about.com/od/wipeout/a/Wipeout-Canada.htm



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