Being a contestant on a popular game show seems like the most incredible thing ever! You have fun, win lots of rpizes, and be seen on TV. Sometimes we all wanna hear the parts of how a contestant ever got to be on the show. One person who was kind enough to share his story was Phil Roos, who back in 2000 him & his now ex-wife, and two kids got to be on Double Dare 2000. Please read on what he had to say about Nick Studios and all the awesomeness of the show.
1. How did you & your family get picked to be contestants on Double Dare 2000? My older son, Blake, had heard through his scout troop that there was a nationwide audition tour going on for the show. It was their favorite. The audition was on a Saturday in Providence, Rhode Island but we had plans to buy an RV that day, so we decided that, if we had time, we would head to the mall to participate. We bought the RV and when we got to the mall (late) we ended up in a line of about 140 families. The audition occurred in two stages: first, was what I like to call a congeniality cut. The family is interviewed and asked to participate in a little challenge. I’m assuming they wanted to see a bit more about the personality of the family and how well they worked together. It was hilarious! The family in front of us was being instructed by the mom on what to say, how to say it, how to look, and how to do the challenge. We just went in blind with the perspective that we would have fun no matter what. They asked me what I did and I told them that I was a naval officer. They asked my wife what she did and she said she was a housewife. They asked my oldest son what he did and he just said “I’m what you call an indoor kid!” My youngest son, Brenden, was too embarrassed to answer! That answer from my oldest son brought the house down! Of all of the families, they chose eight and we were one of those. We eight families participated in a single elimination contest in the mall with Jason Harris and news crews, etc to see who would win. We won hands-down and it was so much fun. The prize was an all expense paid trip to Orlando, Florida and Nickelodeon Studios to participate in the game show. Over the course of that elimination round we also won caps and jackets and other Nickelodeon Studios paraphernalia.
2. What was your first impression of the Nickelodeon Studios when you got there? Nickelodeon put us up in a hotel near Universal Studios and on the day of the taping we drove to the back lot and actually, from the outside, it was pretty nondescript. In fact, as we wandered around the lot, we came across the nose picker challenge from the game show on roller wheels outside. You probably saw us posing next to that. I don’t actually recall how we got into the studio but I do remember that the crew was very friendly and we were very well taken care of as we were escorted to the changing rooms and Green room to await our taping session.
3, What was a typical day like being there? Apparently, the show tapes about four episodes in the morning and then for slobstacle course finales in the afternoon. The reason for this was obviously to economize the use of the soundstage. In the afternoon for the slobstacle course, the crew would merely clean up and rearrange the challenges between takes. In fact, just before our taping, one of my family members overheard Jason Harris criticizing the crew’s arrangement of obstacle courses and the resulting difficulty for us to have any real shot at completing. (we never really criticized that or felt the need to challenge that because in our view, that’s just the luck of the draw!)
4. Were you a fan of the original Double Dare series prior to being on the new show? My kids loved the show and watched it every single day! The reason I know this is because I was attending the US Naval War College and was working on a 75 page thesis at home that year. The TV was to my back but effectively, I heard every show and occasionally watched it too. It was admittedly pretty addicting!
5. What was host Jason Harris like off camera? Jason Harris was great! He paid a visit to us in the green room and after the show we had a chance to say hi. We got a picture with him on his way out while he was eating a sandwich! Ha ha
6. Were there any specific areas or rooms at the studios that was cool to see? Nothing specific other than outside where they staged some of the obstacles. I will say though that the soundstage was neat and that the audience for the show was actually very, very small. I would argue most of the audience comprised family members for the contestants.
7. Describe the feeling of getting slimed. Slime looks really bad on TV but as we were told, it’s actually made of edible food stuff including applesauce and flour and other stuff. It was a ton of fun to get slimed, didn’t taste bad, was fun to dive through the gak vat, and basically, be a kid!
8. Did you ever get to go on any of the rides at Universal Studios Florida and if so what was your favorite? As I recall we didn’t get a sizable discount to go into the park after the show, but we still headed in! There were two notable rides that we loved: first, dualing dragons and second, the incredible hulk. My young daughter was super bummed that she couldn’t ride on the roller coasters and after a few years, we had to go back so she could have a shot. What a great park!
9. Of course the set of the show was huge and the obstacle course is iconic. Any type of prop you would’ve loved to own from the set? Nose-picker – hands down. With that little experience we had in the back lot seeing it all by itself yet knowing that it was so famous, that’s the one I would want. Besides, I have a picture with my family (especially my kids) next to it!
10. Did you ever get to hang out around Orlando and do some fun stuff or was it a short vacation? What we did, was arrange to have Nickelodeon fly us to Orlando from LA. So, we drove from Rhode Island to LA visiting family. We then were flown to Orlando and spent about five days with other family that came with us and it was wonderful. We didn’t spend too much time doing other events other than soaking up the game show experience. We then flew back to LA, picked up our car, and with our winnings, took an extended trip all the way back to Rhode Island, blowing every penny along the way!
11. When you first saw yourself on TV how did you react and looking back how was the experience? It was somewhat surreal seeing ourselves on TV, how the camera crews captured our reactions, and how we interacted. What was neat was that the family that we competed against in the showing was also the family that we went to the finals with at the mall in Rhode Island. We almost felt bad that we beat them twice! After the show, the dad told us that he inquired about auditioning for the show in Orlando even though it was not all expense paid. So, Jason Harris called it the battle of the Northeast during the show!
12. Do you still have some of the prizes your family won? I’m not sure if we have any of the prizes anymore. My wife at the time and I divorced unfortunately in 2008 and at that time we still had the air hockey table. We had a year’s supply of movie tickets – all used! We won a small see thru green Zenith television – well used but not sure where that went! We also won a Nintendo 64 game console that has probably since been sold or sent to Goodwill. Although we probably don’t have anymore of those prizes, they gave us immense satisfaction and joy for those years after our experience. Actually, I still have my Nickelodeon Studios double dare 2000 jacket in my closet here. Nice!
13. The live studio audience was a great factor and guests taking a tour could see you all filming. From your perspective what were the audience like? As I mentioned above, I believe the majority of the audience were family of the days’ contestants. If I recall correctly, some audience members were Universal Studios theme park guests. They were pretty well coached on clapping and yelling and having fun, but they were fun in their own right. One person that was truly amazing was Tiffany, the girl who was Jason Harris’ announcer. Do you remember her? She was so wonderful to my family and absolutely adored my daughter! At least I think her name was Tiffany… Something with the “T” at least! 🙂
14. What do you think made Nick Studios so great and special? I loved the fact that Nickelodeon Studios revolved around slime and fun and wholesome family entertainment! The game show relied upon equal participation from the kids and the parents and that is what made the show so special. Nick studios truly represented family fun during those days and the memories are vivid and warm!
15. Would you like to see it be reopened? I would love to see a new Double Dare show on Nick!
16. We see it on TV and think “oh i can do that in no problem”. You must’ve felt that way too when watching but until you physically complete the obstacle course is it much harder than it looks from TV? I would say that the obstacles are definitely harder than they seem on TV. Before the show, I did plenty of research to try to figure out how to maximize the win! For example, I learned that the true way to succeed with the gak vat challenge was to launch your self as far over the balls as possible and past the slime stream to keep from getting slowed down. With some obstacles of course, there are obviously no secrets or tricks, you just have to push through them. With others however, there is definitely technique involved. The hamster wheel went faster in real life than I thought it would watching the show. Oh, and after finding out that we were going to be on the TV show, I watched every single episode I could! 🙂
Thanks Bilaal for the opportunity to relive that great time. Both of those small boys are now Petty Officers 2nd Class in the US Navy. I’m a Captain. My youngest, my girl in some of those pictures, is a Sophomore at GCU in Phoenix. Time goes fast and experiences such as this are so fleeting. I was so blessed to have this experience. Just this past Christmas, my kids, my wife and I rendezvoused in Orlando for the first time since that great summer in 2000. Magical and so much fun.