SyFy’s Total Blackout aims to be the next Fear Factor only with the lights out. During the Total Blackout premiere, ‘Entering the Darkness/2 Heads are Blinder than 1’ (Season 1, Episode 1) on April 25, contestants identify objects in glass tanks or go through an obstacle course in complete darkness.
Jaleel White, the host of Total Blackout, tells the contestants with malicious glee what terrors await them in their next challenge. The winner of each challenge will advance to the next round while the loser jumps into a black hole in the floor. The final winner will receive $5,000.
Total Blackout starts with five contestants having to identify objects in glass tanks. Some of the objects are mundane enough, such as a pineapple or a bra. Some of the objects, however, are meant to be creepy crawly or slimy like the cockroaches or octopus. The challenges grow harder with each round, including having to eat fish eggs or bleu cheese from a hairy man’s bellybutton.
The main fun in Total Blackout is watching the contestants lose it. Awet is too afraid to touch most of the objects while the couple, Sylvia and Jonathan, provide endless entertainment with their bickering. While amusing, Total Blackout seems to have a sadistic heart as contestants are told one thing, but the reality is quite different.
In the second half of the show, contestants are hoisted on to a platform and led to believe they are high off the ground when in reality the platform is only inches from the floor. After Sylvia stumbles and falls, Sylvia swears and screams at her boyfriend for being tricked. In the final round, the contestants are told they are carrying a spider on top of their hats when in reality the hats hold a rubber duckie.
White’s continual urging and goading of the contestants during the show gets repetitive and annoying near the one-hour mark. Total Blackout also eliminates its contestants so quickly it doesn’t give viewers a chance to root for or get attached to anyone before they take a literal dive into the black pit of elimination. Total Blackout could quickly grow repetitive, but the height and obstacle course challenge promises the show will put its contestants through more inventive if sadistic scenarios.
Other SyFy shows:
Ghost Hunters International