You get the occasional phone call that you’re not quite ready for. Maybe at that moment you are thinking about something else, or maybe you are trying NOT to think. I can’t remember that day which it was, but the person on the other end was saying something about a TV show.

Her friend said that “it would be a good show for you.” She seemed to be a producer, talking on. “Oh I see,” you say, “I know that kind of show. And if you fall down, you land in the water…” “Right!” she said.

The next thing you know, you have agreed to go onto what you later learn is a wildly popular TV obstacle course adventure game show called 快乐向前冲 (Happy GoGoGo!).

“You like to climb mountains,” she said, “You’ll do fine.”

But you clarify again the splash-in-the-water part.

This show is an absolutely beautiful treasure. It is Shandong to the core. Every day, people come to the show to both compete and perform. From all over the province, different singers and dancers and martial artists come to the show to well, make a show. Everyone is interviewed, then they give a performance, then they jump onto the course.

The spirit of the show is simply joyous. The producers (including that one who called me that day) run the show with a beaming happiness that simply makes everyone feel good. Backstage, you meet people from all of these different parts of Shandong, and simply enough, everyone is there to have a good time. It’s a great communal feeling.

The big challenge about the show is actually not what you’d expect.

Sure, you need to be at your best to finish the obstacle course, but they throw quite a challenge your way.

You might expect to start such a competitive endeavor with some moments of reflective concentration building. But instead, the participant first does the TV interview and performance.

So you are running through the TV interview, with 4 TV cameras and cameramen watching your moves, with 2 TV hosts chuckling it up, and then you play guitar and sing some songs and then just as you are all revved up, they inform you to go to the start.

Your mind is sorta racing still and the audience is watching you make your way over to the starting ramp and you’re still buzzing from the excitement of the interview, and ready or not the robot announcer announces: “Three….. Two……. One…….. ACTION!” and you’re off and running…………….

Relevant Links:
Shot in Qingdao: Qingdao Laowai on TV

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