Once again, contestants are falling and mud is splashing: “Wipeout” is back.
Many people have traditional markers of summer … and for co-host Jill Wagner, a big one is the return of the comical ABC competition that starts its seventh season Sunday (June 22) with a two-hour premiere that pits families against each other.
Wagner continues as the co-host who interviews and encourages the obstacle-course hopefuls who vie for each episode’s $50,000 grand prize, while hosts John Anderson and John Henson offer wisecracks from a safe distance.
“I knew one new thing that was coming,” the friendly Wagner tells Zap2it, “because (executive producer) Matt Kunitz had this idea for an episode that was based on winning a date with me. Obviously, he needed to get my approval, and I thought it was really fun and different.”
Otherwise, Wagner admits, she usually learns what happens only on “the day of” a taping.
“I don’t really know a lot about the set-up of the course, so it’s kind of all new to me as well. Something else we’re doing this season that’s really cool, though, is the Tournament of Champions. Winners from past episodes compete, and because it’s the best of the best, it’s a little more athletic.”
Even after six rounds of “Wipeout” (Vanessa Lachey was the co-host of Season 5), Wagner still has no desire to try navigating the course herself.
“They have not offered me any money to do it,” she reports with a laugh. “If Henson would do it and he challenged me, then I would, but I think I’m pretty safe in getting away with never doing it. I don’t think he ever will.”
Wagner left “Wipeout” to focus on an acting career, but she’s glad to be back in both worlds. She also returns to MTV’s horror drama “Teen Wolf” for its fourth season starting Monday (June 23), and she’s the host of its conversational after-show, “Wolf Watch.”
The new Sunday scheduling of “Wipeout” suits Wagner well. “That’s when families are sitting around the TV,” she reasons, “so hopefully, it will be to our advantage. We did pretty well in the slot we were in, but I think I can speak for everyone that if we could have had our pick, it would be Sunday. We’ll see what happens.”