"Fear is not a factor’
BRECKENRIDGE – “Fear Factor” fans could see a couple of familiar faces on the NBC show this fall if all goes well for Amy Molitor and Trask Bradbury.
The Breckenridge couple was among about 200 people who braved cold temperatures outside the Riverwalk Center Sunday, waiting their turn to try out for “Fear Factor.” The popular show challenges contestants to put mind over matter and participate in activities that most people would be too afraid to attempt.
Past episodes have required people to pull electric eels from one tank and place them in another, walk across broken glass, eat giant cockroaches and moldy duck eggs, hang on to a barrel beneath a rocking helicopter, get out of a car sinking in water and shimmy along I-beams hundreds of feet in the air. Six people start play in each episode; the winner walks away with $50,000.
Breckenridge was the second stop on the 22-city tour. The casting bus left Brighton, Utah, Saturday afternoon, interviewed contestant hopefuls in Breckenridge Sunday and headed to Boulder Sunday evening.
Producer Mikey “Chimp” Glazer said Molitor and Bradbury were the best candidates he has seen on the tour so far.
“These two looked like they just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog,” Glazer said after the 20-minute interview. “They’re cute, they’re athletic, they’re like a team. Those too are an all-out team. I think they’d have a really good time on “Fear Factor.’ They’re down-to-Earth, they don’t have a big attitude – what you see is what you get.”
Contestant hopefuls filled out a one-page application before participating in a group interview with nine other people. Those who caught the eye of casting officials then completed a 20-page application and participated in an on-camera interview. They also must make a home video and submit it to the program directors before the final cut is announced in about a month.
People talked about their strengths and fears while waiting in line. They also discussed what they thought the show’s producers would be looking for.
Some women – and most waiting in line were there for moral support – said they thought they wouldn’t qualify because of small busts. Some men said they didn’t think they’d make it because they are skinny or lack six-pack abs.
Producers said they were looking for outgoing, enthusiastic people who believe being on the show would be fun. Contestants were asked to outline the most embarrassing and outrageous things they’d ever done, how athletic they are, what their next milestones in life and their most interesting job.
Many hopefuls admitted they were in it for the money.
“I’m doing it for the 50 grand,” said Jeff Gore, who drove all night from Saguache. “I want to show them that nothing’s that scary. Fear is not a factor. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
“I see so much fear in my practice every day, I wanted to come out and experience it for myself,” said Jason Luchtefeld, a dentist from Dillon. “An all-dentist “Fear Factor’ could be ironic.”
Amy Thompson drove from Denver to fulfill one of her New Year’s resolutions.
“I’m going to do it,” she said. “I can do anything. I’m tough; I’m mean.”
“I’m up for the money,” said Lisa Cleber of Alma. “But I’m up for the challenge. Bring me some fear. See what you can get from me.”
Cleber did, however, admit to being afraid of creepy, crawly things – things like scorpions and grasshoppers – that usually make up one segment of every “Fear Factor” episode.
Thompson said she’s afraid of fire. Bart Copeland of Denver said he’s afraid of going to the hospital. Others said they were afraid of clowns, water or heights. Others bragged about past endeavors.
“I spent nine years in the Marine Corps,” said Ron Soffel of Westminster, who sported a jacket, tennis shoes and shorts. “The scariest thing I’ve ever had to do is jump out of an airplane with an oxygen mask on, take it off, put it back on, land in the ocean and swim to shore. There is no fear. There is only respect.”
“I was in the front row of a Creed concert,” said Chris Shane of Provo, Utah. He and his friend Jess Brerton missed the Brighton tryouts Saturday when a storm blew through, closing the road to the ski area.
About 1 percent make the first cut and go on to the 20-page application and interview. About 1 percent make the final cut.
Molitor and Bradbury might be among them. Molitor is a clinic coordinator at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Breckenridge; Bradbury is on the search and rescue team. She’s slender and blond; he’s tan and buff.
If he wins, Bradbury said he’d get his helicopter license and fly for Flight for Life. Molitor said she’d start a custom-card company.
“These are the kind of people we expected to see out of Colorado,” Glazer said. “People will look at them and see Colorado right away.”
Filming begins in late summer for a September airing.
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