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When I auditioned for legends there was a small advertisement in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper for auditions for a new action/adventure game show from nickelodeon. Once again, I was on the first season and had no idea what I was getting into. The audition was held in one of the nickelodeon sound stages on the universal backlot and consisted of a timed obstacle course, then they counted how many push-ups you could do and you took a written test (which had general knowledge and pop culture questions) they took your picture and you went on your way. I think it was quite a while before I heard from them.
I arrived to film my episode on August 10th 1993, I only remember the date because it was six days before my 13th birthday so I wanted to say I was 13 in the interview since when the episode aired I would be 13. They filmed either 5 or 6 episodes the day I was there (It was a long time ago) I didn't realize how long of a day it would be. They don't film the shows all at once the film them one segment at a time. (moat, stairs, games, temple) When you watch the show it looks like after you finish the moat you turn around to the steps when actually it was at least a couple hours later. (notice everyone is dry)
The first thing in the morning they told all the parents they would have to spend the day in a separate green room that had a video feed. There were no parents in the audience. They took us to a trailer and gave us a quick breakdown on how the game worked, as far as being an elimination. They then called out the names of the partners. Nobody knew each other prior to that day. We got our wardrobe, and no they weren't Reebok sneakers they were k-mart crap and I was upset that there were no high tops left in my size. It didn't matter anyways we didn't keep anything except for our shirts. (Which I still have!)
We got to walk through the set for the first time. We then went in the back and had our mouthpieces fit. The moat was a breeze, however I do feel sorry for those who lose on it. It makes for a very sad experience. My whole goal for the day was to make it to the temple games so I would get to be interviewed. Anyways, a couple hours after we finished the moat we went in to go film the steps of knowledge, we were all wondering why they made us keep our helmets on, but as I said earlier it was for the illusion of continuity.
Right before entering the sound stage for the steps, we got to meet Dee Baker the voice of Olmec. He was really funny and talented, he did several voices for us and explained that he pulled a wire to control Olmec's mouth. Once we started filming the steps it was the first time I actually saw Kirk Fogg, up until then I could only hear him. They did a very flatering job editing the steps, since the made it look like I breezed through all the questions when in actuality I rang in on a whole bunch more but they were wrong and no one else would ring in. I think that's why the questions were starting to get real easy, they were probably running out. Those of us who made it passed the steps were lucky enough to get lunch. It was the Pizza Hut Bigfoot pizza which really never did settle very well.
When we were finally ready to film the temple games we got to meet Kirk Fogg. He went over what we were going to talk about in our interviews. I noticed in the later seasons they took this portion out all together. They showed us our temple games and we got to decide who wanted to do what. Of course we both wanted to slide around in the mr. bubbles trying to crown the mannequin heads. However we made the agreement that if I got to do the messy, more fun temple game then if we made it to the temple she could go first. (I never thought we would make it to the temple).
My temple game ended up in a tie (I couldn't even beat a girl) however when it was all done I knocked Kirk Fogg down while he was helping me up. He laughed it off on camera, but when they weren't filming you could tell he was upset that his shorts were all wet. My partner got beat in the bamboo forest by Jordan from the blue barracudas. (he was really cocky and made us winning that much more sweet) We somehow pulled off the final temple game and were on our way to the temple. We actually knew we won before Kirk said it, because the spotters were holding up the numbers of how many felt pieces we had on their hands. The shot of the spotters holding the pieces of felt that aired in the episode must have been filmed later.
They took all of us who made it to the temple for a tour of it. This was EXTREMELY overwhelming! Every room had a different way of opening the doors and we were just trying to figure out the object of the temple. Even when I went in I still wasn't sure if the seal would be hidden in the room or not. I guess I had watched too much finders keepers. I also wasn't exactly sure what a seal looked like.
After the tour while we were in the green room they gave us a marker and a piece of paper with a map of the temple and its rooms. They encouraged us to map out a path. Both my partner and I agreed it was worthless considering that if one door didn't open the whole path would be worthless. We did however make our fatal mistake. We decided to enter in the cave of size. If you've seen my episode you can realize that there was no way for us to win once we made that choice.
Right before entering the temple we got to see what we've been waiting for, the prizes we were playing for. I'll tell you right now that if there was a camera on my face when the said our grand prize was a trip to Busch Gardens (60 miles away) it would have been priceless. Considering the show that filmed before us just won a trip to Jamaica!
Prizes aside, Shay went first and did an o.k. job, the when I heard Kirk tell me to go I was in a dream. It was bizarre as if I was sitting back watching myself do this, the whole surrealness of being the center of attention on a nickelodeon game show. Every room I entered all I remember thinking is "please no temple guard". My first embarrassment came when I couldn't find the silver monkey. I actually looked in the cabinets. My final embarrassment came at the end of my run when I was startled so badly by the temple guards that I jumped completely out of the temple. To this day I can't live that down.
There is life after "Legends" though! I did have dreams for a month or two afterwards about going back on and actually winning. I do still think it was one of the best experiences of my life. Every part of it was a blast. I've come a long way from the nerdy 12 year old on the episode, but it's still cool to meet new friends who used to love legends and get a kick out of showing them my episode. I still am guarded about who I'll actually show it too, after all I think anyone would agree it's not something I'd show anyone to impress them, but more to poke fun at myself and how young I was. My fiance always cracks up at my comment about the bungee cord being too short after my temple game.
Anyways now that I have major typing cramp. If you happen to have any questions about anything I said or might have left out, please e-mail me. I think your sites are great and look forward to showing them to my friends.
- When this former contestant was interviewed, he was credited as "Anonymous".