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The One Thing Fear Factor Contestants Were Obligated To Do By Themselves

Fear Factor was known for putting its contestants through the wringer. The infamous game show was about facing one's fears through performing stunts, whether dangerous ones like getting tear-gassed or disgusting ones like eating live African cave-dwelling spiders, which look like they crawled straight out of Hell.

The show went through three incarnations. The first and most successful version aired on NBC from 2001 to 2006 and was hosted by Joe Rogan back when he was just a comedian and not the most successful podcaster in the world. NBC then revived the show with Rogan for one season in 2011. (This season included the never-aired episode that Joe Rogan said ended the show in which future Bachelor contestant Kendall Long and her twin sister Kylie drank donkey semen.) Then MTV brought it back for two more seasons between 2017 and 2018 with Ludacris as host.

If a contestant (or pair of contestants on the MTV version) successfully braved the horrors the show threw at them, they would be awarded $50,000. If they lived outside of Los Angeles, then they would be $50,000 minus travel costs. That's right, on the MTV version of the show, contestants had to pay their own way if they wanted to be on the show. You really expected that MTV would pay for your hotel while you were in town to swim around in a tank of cow's blood for them? So naive.

If you want to be on Fear Factor, you're on your own

The casting site for the Fear Factor revival is still live, and "If FEAR is not a FACTOR for you, and you're in the Greater Los Angeles area (or can get here)," you're invited to apply for the show. In other words, MTV is saying "we ain't paying for your plane ticket." The budget was pretty tight on the revival in general; since contestants were on teams of two, they had to split the $50,000 prize.

That's not the only weird part of the application. The fine print stipulates that if you are selected for the show, "You must not be a candidate for public office and must agree not to become one" until a year after your episode airs. It's a very funny requirement that almost feels like it was included as a joke. It's entertaining to imagine the one person with political ambitions who would also go on Fear Factor. "Should I run for state senate, or should I go on the show about eating bugs? If I win, I'll get $25,000. If I lose, I'm out the cost of a round-trip Southwest ticket and a couple of nights at the Comfort Inn."

Fear Factor is off the air, but since the site casting site is still live, you could apply now, so you're in the system when the show inevitably gets revived again.