Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 2 News List

TLC to film new reality game show in Taiwan

FUNNY BUSINESS:Popular TV personality Janet Hsieh said she would put 15 contestants to the test as they compete to win the million-dollar prize money

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Members of the Discovery Travel and Living Channel pose during a press conference in Taipei yesterday for the channel’s new Fun Taiwan Challenge reality show. The show, developed with the Tourism Bureau, offers a cash prize of NT$1 million.

Photo: CNA

Fifteen contestants from around the world will compete for a top prize of NT$1 million (US$34,700) on Fun Taiwan Challenge (瘋台灣大挑戰), co-sponsored by the Tourism Bureau and the Discovery Networks’ Travel and Living Channel (TLC).

The program will start shooting on Monday and is scheduled to debut in Taiwan in October. It will subsequently be broadcast in more than 34 countries in Asia, with an estimated audience of more than 134 million.

Tourism Bureau Director--General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said this was the third time that the bureau has worked with the Discovery Networks. She said that Fun Taiwan Challenge drew more than 3,000 participants from 30 countries around the world, but only 15 were chosen for the competition.

“We hope that the program shows the charm of Taiwan through interactive games and generates new discussion about travel in Taiwan,” she said.

Discovery Networks Asia--Pacific general manager Tommy Lin (林東民) said that the production costs for Fun Taiwan -Challenge would be three times more than the network’s other travel programs, adding that it is the network’s first reality game show in Asia.

The program will allow an international audience to experience the unique energy of Taiwan, Lin added.

Taiwanese-American Janet Hsieh (謝怡芬) hosted the network’s two Fun Taiwan series and will be in charge of dishing out various challenges to the contestants in the new program.

“In the Fun Taiwan series, I traveled by myself or with a foreigner,” Hsieh said. “The new program will also have a little bit of intensity to it.”

Hsieh said she would make sure that the contestants cannot easily win the reward, adding that one of the contestants would be sent home on the first week of shooting.

As teasers, Hsieh asked eight contestants at a press conference yesterday to try a taste of congealed pig-blood cake and duck tongue, two famous Taiwanese delicacies. Some of the contestants were clearly disgusted just by the names of the food they were being asked to eat.

Others were asked by Lai to write the Chinese name of the program in Chinese calligraphy.

“The congealed pig-blood cakes are actually delicious, although I hope I can drink some water [while eating it],” said 24-year-old Tully Smith from the US.

Those interested in submitting challenges to contestants can go to the TLC Web site at www.tlc-funtaiwan.com.

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