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The Challenge - Part 4.

April 24, 2016

 

WE'RE HERE TO FUCK SHIT UP


The passenger van made its way through the winding narrow streets and down towards the water. I could tell already that riding anywhere here in a car was going to be nauseating. Today was day one of filming. With every kilometer that passed, the anxiety grew; my hands began to sweat. The Bodrum harbor came in to view and we caught a glimpse of a crane on the docks with some sort of aluminum truss structure dangling from its boom. 

Abram: "AH HA! What'd I tell you?! heights over water!"
Mike: "Well well, guess you were right."

 

The van pulled down by the docks where a camera crew was waiting. We came to a stop, the door flung open and in stepped a camera man whom promptly pushed the camera right up to my face. In that moment I went a little numb and my heart started pounding.The producer of the show climbed inside and sat down facing across from us. Since I cant use his real name, I'll just call him Producer.
Producer: "Dude! Abram, it's been a while. Welcome back."
Abram: "Hey, good to see you man. Yeah it's been what, four years now? Where the hell have I been?.. Hey, this my brother Mike."
He held out his hand for a handshake and I promptly accepted. 
Producer: "Nice to meet you Mike, welcome to The Challenge. How does it feel to actually be here with your brother?"
Mike: "A little surreal, and a little nerve racking. I'm not used to being on this end of the camera," I said jokingly. 
Producer: "Well, don't worry, you'll get used to it pretty quick."
Mike: "We'll certainly find out."
He turned back to Abram.
Producer: "Well, just wanted to say hi before we send you out there. Glad to have you back and good luck out there guys."
He exited the van and a sound man quickly came in to take his place. He sat down and pulled two lavier microphone  transmitters from his bag. 
Sound Guy: "Here, clip these to your belts, then run the cord up underneath your shirt."
We followed suit, then he clipped the microphone to the inside of our collars, just out of sight so as not to show up on camera. 
Sound Guy: "Good? Alright." 
He checked his levels, then exited the van. We sat idling for some time as they prepared the set for shooting. Out the passenger side window you could see the set, with six foot tall block letters as the backdrop that read CHALLENGE, and suspended in the air was a giant square with inner tubes hanging from it. 
Abram: "You ready for this?"
Mike: "Ready as I'll ever be."
Abram: "We should do something cool when we go out there. Like that scene in Step Brothers where they're lined up behind each other, and the first one says 'We'll be applying as a team' and the other says 'We're here to fuck shit up.' Heh? What do you think?
Mike: "I dunno, I don't think it would go as well as it sounds in our heads. Oh, how bout I jump on your back and ride out hollering." 
Abram: "Yeah... but the fuck shit up thing. Can't we do that?"
Mike: "We can do that but the way that everything is set up, I think we'd look really awkward trying to pull that off."
Abram: "Alright, fuck it, let's ride out there."

We waited for about an hour total before anything happened. Camera crew had to set up, techs were double checking the rig, producers doing whatever the hell they do, etc. (I came to find out very quickly that we would always be waiting.)
Finally we say the cast emerge and make their way out on to the set and up on the the stands as the host TJ, awaited to greet them. Then we heard him.
TJ: "Alright guys, come on out."
A crew member standing next to us whispered to us hurriedly: "Ok, go, go, go!"
Mike: "Alright, you ready? I'm jumping on your back."
I hopped on and Abram went tearing out of the gates like a bull at a rodeo. The ride out got me yelling.
Mike: "YAH! YAH!" 
The look on everyone's faces when they saw Abram was priceless. What a fun way for him to make a come back on the shows. I jumped off and we split to join our teams. I shook hands with the other members and got in to place on the platform. Abram grabbed his girlfriend Cara and kissed her. Everyone else just looked on at them with bewilderment.

What we didn't realize at the time was that there was a whole lot more that we were diving into than just competing on a reality show. I was soon to find myself stuck in the middle of a series of umraveling events and secrets that stretched my brother to a breaking point, who to this day, I truly believed was mentally indestructible.

 


The passenger van made its way through the winding narrow streets and down towards the water. I could tell already that riding anywhere here in a car was going to be nauseating. Today was day one of filming. With every kilometer that passed, the anxiety grew; my hands began to sweat. The Bodrum harbor came in to view and we caught a glimpse of a crane on the docks with some sort of aluminum truss structure dangling from its boom. 

Abram: "AH HA! What'd I tell you?! heights over water!"
Mike: "Well well, guess you were right."

The van pulled down by the docks where a camera crew was waiting. We came to a stop, the door flung open and in stepped a camera man whom promptly pushed the camera right up to my face. In that moment I went a little numb and my heart started pounding.The producer of the show climbed inside and sat down facing across from us. Since I cant use his real name, I'll just call him Producer.
Producer: "Dude! Abram, it's been a while. Welcome back."
Abram: "Hey, good to see you man. Yeah it's been what, four years now? Where the hell have I been? Of course you already know, this my brother Mike."
He held out his hand for a handshake and I promptly accepted. 
Producer: "Nice to meet you Mike, welcome to The Challenge. How does it feel to actually be here with your brother?"
Mike: "A little surreal, and a little nerve racking. I'm not used to being on this end of the camera," I said jokingly. 
Producer: "Well, don't worry, you'll get used to it pretty quick."
Mike: "We'll certainly find out."
He turned back to Abram.
Producer: "Well, just wanted to say hi before we send you out there. Glad to have you back and good luck out there guys."
He exited the van and a sound man quickly came in to take his place. He sat down and pulled two lavier microphone  transmitters from his bag. 
Sound Guy: "Here, clip these to your belts, then run the cord up underneath your shirt."
We followed suit, then he clipped the microphone to the inside of our collars, just out of sight so as not to show up on camera. 
Sound Guy: "Good? Alright." 
He checked his levels, then exited the van. We sat idling for some time as they prepared the set for shooting. Out the passenger side window you could see the set, with six foot tall block letters as the backdrop that read CHALLENGE, and suspended in the air was a giant square with inner tubes hanging from it. 
Abram: "You ready for this?"
Mike: "Ready as I'll ever be."
Abram: "We should do something cool when we go out there. Like that scene in Step Brothers where they're lined up behind each other, and the first one says 'We'll be applying as a team' and the other says 'We're here to fuck shit up.' Heh? What do you think?
Mike: "I dunno, I don't think it would go as well as it sounds in our heads. Oh, how bout I jump on your back and ride out hollering." 
Abram: "Yeah... but the fuck shit up thing. Can't we do that?"
Mike: "We can do that but the way that everything is set up, I think we'd look really awkward trying to pull that off."
Abram: "Alright, fuck it, let's ride out there."

We waited for about an hour total before anything happened. Camera crew had to set up, techs were double checking the rig, producers doing whatever the hell they do, etc. (I came to find out very quickly that we would always be waiting.)
Finally we say the cast emerge and make their way out on to the set and up on the the stands as the host TJ, awaited to greet them. Then we heard him.
TJ: "Alright guys, come on out."
A crew member standing next to us whispered to us hurriedly: "Ok, go, go, go!"
Mike: "Alright, you ready? I'm jumping on your back."
I hopped on and Abram went tearing out of the gates like a bull at a rodeo. The ride out got me yelling.
Mike: "YAH! YAH!" 
The look on everyone's faces when they saw Abram was priceless. What a fun way for him to make a come back on the shows. I jumped off and we split to join our teams. I shook hands with the other members and got in to place on the platform. Abram grabbed his girlfriend Cara and kissed her. Everyone else just looked on at them with bewilderment.

What we didn't realize at the time was that there was a whole lot more that we were diving into than just competing on a reality show. I was soon to find myself stuck in the middle of a series of unraveling events and secrets that stretched my brother to a breaking point, who to this day, I truly believed was mentally indestructible.

 

 Abram and I "Training for the Challenge". Circa 2007

 

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April 24, 2016

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