|Diarmid Heidenreich (1997–1998)|
Adrian DeVito & Zoe Sheridan (1998)
Challenger was a short-lived Australian children's game show that aired on the Nine Network in 1997 and 1998. The first host was Diarmid Heidenreich famous for playing Dougie the pizza delivery guy in the Pizza Hut commercials from 1993-1996. After he left the show in early 1998 he was replaced by new hosts Adrian DeVito and Zoe Sheridan. Adrian DeVito and Zoe Sheridan continued to film 265 episodes before the show was superseeded with a new version of Now You See It.
The format of the show had two teams (Alpha & Omega) with three children per team. The teams consisted of a captain and two other members.
The highest scoring team dictating which team would undertake the challenges first. During Diarmid's run, the questions were divided into six different categories, spanning a range of different genres and the first round did not have a name. With Adrian and Zoe's run, the questions were grouped into three categories and the segment was named Mind Zone. At the end of each round, the winning team were allowed to decide who would undertake the physical challenges first.
The categories for Diarmid's run were: Cosmix (random), Geography, Entertainment, Language, Nature and Sport. The categories were randomly selected for each contestant, however 20 bonus points were awarded if the categories were the same for each contestant. There were three questions per team.
The categories for Adrian/Zoe's run were: It's a What?, Position Yourself and Pick Your Face. These all consisted of "who/what/where am I" questions and there was only one question per round.
The second part of the show involved each team member attempting a separate challenge to earn points. In the original run, some of the challenges involved getting a certain number of a particular object, or reaching a certain goal to earn points through questions. When Adrian and Zoe took over, some of the challenges remained, but the focus was now on getting discs in order to get the questions and the discs were random questions rather than specific categories. (For the challenges, see List Of Challenges.) For each correct answer, the team scored 10 points. If they had all 6 discs/pieces, they received 20 bonus points if they got them all right. Throughout the entire show's run, the teams (or contestants) had 40 seconds per challenge. This was repeated with an another team.
The final round found the team leaders in glass containers below a slime showerhead. One of the team-mates would be blindfolded, while the other would have their hands tied. The four teammates would look through a blue vat of slime for a disc with a question in it. Whichever team got the disc had the choice to either answer the question themselves, or have the other team answering the question. The team that got the question right would get 50 points and the losing team's captain would be slimed. Occasionally, both captains were slimed.
During Diarmid's run, the lever to operate the "slime" (a mud-coloured liquid) was pulled by someone unseen. During Adrian and Zoe's run, the lever was pulled by Adrian, who would often make faces at the camera (the slime went between a green-yellow colour and a blue colour, which would vary in episodes). When Adrian and Zoe hosted, the segment (and the tank) were renamed "Hyperflush."
List of ChallengesEdit
The challenges in this show all had a physical element to them. Most involved collecting discs (or in the case of Go Ballistic, balls) to gain points by answering questions, while some involved merely connecting up pieces in order to earn points. During Diarmid's run, an explanation of each of the challenges was shown prior to the first team attempting each challenge. During Adrian and Zoe's run, the explanation was done after the Mind Zone round.
- Oblivion – Players went through mazes with revolving door mirrors on them. One contestant (who is not in the maze) would have to communicate with the contestant who was in the maze for directions. During Diarmid's run, the challenge was called "Get Lost" and the revolving doors were solid colours.
- Pro-Pole-sion – Contestants would swing on different coloured poles trying to grab discs that were stuck to the poles. These poles were suspended in the air and had a metal foothold on the bottom, making it difficult (but not impossible) for contestants to use both feet.
- The Sphere – The contestant was spun in an orb. Upon being released they had to pop red balloons to find discs. Some of the balloons also contained other substances (such as flour). During Diarmid's run, this challenge was called "Cape Sphere".
- Vertically Challenged – Contestants would climb up a wall while trying to retrieve four discs on the way. At the top of the wall, they could search a UFO for a further two discs. Keeping in with the theme of the show, the wall had a volcano effect painted over it. While some of the holes contained discs, others would contain shaving cream or flour. After the challenge was completed, the contestant would either go down by either the fireman's pole, or a ladder.
- Go Ballistic – One contestant would stand in a rocket with smoke while plastic balls rained on them from above. Their teammates had six buckets of balls into a conveyor belt. Each bucket had one red ball. The contestant had to catch and place six red balls in a chute to complete the challenge.
- Big Squeeze – One contestant would wear a fat suit and run through an obstacle course to collect discs.
- Schwing It – This game consisted of an obstacle course involving the following elements: flying fox (over a smoke-filled pit), chain link bridge (over a yellow mat), monkey rings and a smoke filled pit. (some of the discs were hung ON the rings, requiring the contestant to hang one-handed while retrieving the disc) After the contestant completed the course, he/she was able to search the smoke pit (if there was time). During Diarmid's run, the challenge was called "Hang Loose" and one pit consisted of feathers, and the other bubbles.
- The Pipe Line – One contestant would be on top of a ladder and undo pipe pieces from the roof and the two remaining would try to attach the pipes to the holes in a series of vertically hanging pipes. After ten seconds, smoke would start pouring from the far-left, obstructing the contestant's view. No team ever completed the pipeline as the best was done with four pipes attached.
- Rampage – One contestant was attached to a bungee line and they required to run forward up a half pipe to grab discs. Four of them were found on the ramp and two on the side wall.
- Blockage – All three contestants had to assemble a puzzle made of blocks. A completed puzzle was shown to the contestants to help with the assembly of the puzzle. Contestants earned a question for every completed part of puzzle. This challenge was only performed during Diarmid's run because the categories were part of the puzzle. No team ever completed the puzzle fully.
During a challenge, the audience would cheer by yelling the contestant's name, followed by three claps for the first thirty seconds (e.g. "Lucy *clap* *clap* *clap* Lucy *clap* *clap* *clap*"). In the last ten seconds, the audience would countdown from ten to one.
Only in two occasions had a team ever gotten a three-of-a-kind: one for the sports category and the other for the entertainment category.
Pipeline and Blockage were the only challenges that were never completed. This is due to the fact that the tasks required more than 40 seconds to complete.
The show was repeated in 1999-2002 on the Nine Network.
During the final round when the four teammates ran and the blindfolded teammates got the disc hidden in a big vat of blue slime, the audience would cheer by yelling the team's name (e.g. "Alpha, Omega, Alpha, Omega…") until the blindfolded contestant found the disc. This only occurred when Adrian and Zoe hosted the show.
When the slime was dumped on a losing team's captain, the audience would start laughing; and when the slime ran out the audience would stop laughing.
Sylvia Jeffreys, a journalist and a newsreader for the Nine Network, appeared on this show. She was in Team Omega. This happened during Adrian and Zoe's run.
- Rick, Kyle & Gemma vs. Brett, Justin & Amy
- Theresa, Andrew & Susan vs. Matthew, Jessica & Cara
- Hayley, Rebecca & Gemma vs. Amy, Richard & Matthew
- Nik, Ashlee & Andrew vs. Rebecca, Alexander & Nicholas