Behind The Curtain of Surviving Barstool
White Sox Dave
$10,000 and the pride of knowing you won the first season of what is sure to become a staple of Barstool Sports
Sunday-Thursday, 7pm. Immediately followed by the New Amsterdam #NAVtershow - nightly after shows with other bloggers reacting to that night's episode
Thursday, 7:30pm - Live announcement of the winner. 8pm - KFC Radio Live Aftershow with the winners, losers, and viewers
If I could script my life from here on out professionally - I'd get my Barstool money when we cash out on this sumbitch, go to a network like E!, or the major channels if they'd disregard my entire reputation and history, and become the host of a game show or a reality show. Or, a reality TV game show. Spend the rest of my days cracking some jokes with contestants and competitors, basically getting compensated for being a TV viewer, while they all interact and attack and live for our amusement.
So with that in mind, this last week as the host of Surviving Barstool is a dream of mine. I'd love it to be my second act. The beginning of my life as a host on a Challenge-esque type show. Part Seacrest, part TJ Lavin, part Chris Harrison. For a week straight, we filmed Surviving Barstool twice a day, every day. 11am challenges, 6pm votes. For me, a week directing traffic on the first full scale, true blue reality TV show at Barstool HQ.
It. Was. AWESOME.
For a little peek behind the curtain, this originally was supposed to be a small piece of the next KFC Radio live show. We like to come up with skits that are pre-recorded that we can run during the live podcast to break up the convo and bring your favorite personalities into the mix to make it like a variety show. So we had this idea with Tommy running a miniature reality show competition where he would text 5 other bloggers with extremely easy, basic internet based questions/tasks, and based on who failed those, each night one of those people would be removed from the text chain. We were gonna air 1 minute clips like 5 times throughout the live show and crown a "winner." It was a simple, tightly packaged idea that I took to our girl MB in sales. I said we've got this mini reality TV game show segment of the live show, think you can get that sponsored and make some extra cash money dollhairs from this show?
Thats when MB hit me with the Rock GIF:
She said lets blow this motherfucker out and do it right for Super Bowl week and New Amsterdam. With COVID killing any chance of us traveling to Tampa Bay for media week, this meant we had no Barstool House/Hotel. We had no week jam packed with unique, on-location content that NAV has come to expect in previous years as our sponsor. But once MB heard about this, she saw the Matrix. Hit up one of our old KFC Radio producers Logan to scale this idea up into a major, major piece of content for Super Bowl week. In just a matter of a couple weeks, those two hatched this scheme for an entire week of Barstool content on an unprecedented scale. We recruited 8 contestants with a $10,000 prize as the dangling carrot…enlisted our entire crew of professional cameramen and audio guys to work around the clock this last week….and honest to God we churned out a full fledged television program for you guys this week.
I believe you're about to watch the best polished content series ever put out at Barstool Sports. I can't promise you that this is going to be "your favorite" piece of content ever put out by Barstool. Because not only is that obviously subjective, but I'm also aware that what people like the most about Barstool is the raw, unrefined content. Dave with a single "cameraman" holding a phone while he holds his breath in his own bathtub…three of us with a "film school" drop out who didnt know how to work a lav mic running sprints in a field in the middle of a work day. But as far as our branded content that we film with our professional staff with a presenting sponsor? As far as an ensemble cast, on set, with guys who actually use one of those black and white slate thingy's that you clap in front of the camera? This is going to be the best content we've ever produced. The perfect balance of our bloggers and their inimitable personalities, with the framework of game shows and reality shows we've all watched for the last couple decades, and a heavy pour of many, many New Amsterdam vodka drinks.
The X Factor, of course, as always, is the Barstool difference. Meaning the people and the place. In other shows and challenges, contestants are strangers. They come in not knowing each other, and they leave never having to see each other again. These 8 bloggers all know each other. Some are real life friends. Some of them are professional partners. Coming in with preconceived notions about each other, and without the safety blanket of "I'll never have to talk to them after this." 8 people who all made the cut to work with the best and fastest growing sports/comedy media company in the world - meaning they all have big personalities, loud opinions, huge egos, and all capable of being mean, competitive contestants. Living at WORK as opposed the the beaches on an island. Their dirty, dry, rat infested place of business, in the dirtiest garbage city in America. The only worse place than HQ3 for Surviving Barstool is HQ1. Other than Milton, this is one of the last places on earth you want to be trapped for a week straight. Rats, Camera, Action!
So thats what I think you'll find fascinating right off the bat with Surviving Barstool. I wasnt sure if we would get the traditional drama we've all grown accustomed to reality TV game shows. I thought there was a chance that people held back - either intentionally or unintentionally - because they were amongst friends and coworkers, and being filmed in their place of employment. NOPE! It was riveting. There's something truly sociological about it. Like they said in the Real World…'find out what happens when you put 8 people in a house…" Whether its with friends or strangers…whether its at work or a beach…people will A) get shitfaced and do dumb weird stuff…2) form friendships, romances, partnerships, or some form of relationship…d) will inevitably ruin those connections by lying and deceiving to preserve their self interests. I mean it happened like THAT. Took like 5 minutes for the "Game" to begin.
As the host I got to watch it unfold with a front row seat. I watched these 8 bloggers compete physically in the challenges…agonizing mentally in the cerebral portion of the game (breaking out in rashes and hives from the stress)…and suffering emotionally through the intended and unintended consequences. They were drowning, sweating and puking physically. Breaking out in rashes and hives from the mental stress. And crying real tears of anger, sadness, and embarrassment from the emotional game. By the final days the remaining contestants were full blown zombies. Getting to see that all unfold while getting leave a little bit of my own mark on it, was fucking incredible. I truly believe Barstool fans and non Barstool fans alike are really going to enjoy this one. Buckle up.
Every night directly after the episodes air, we will be hosting the New Amsterdam #NAVterShow - Surviving "Surviving Barstool." The after show reacting to everything we just watched and predicting what comes next. All culminating in the live show announcing the winner, and one grand after show reuniting the winners and losers (who will have witnessed everything that aired by then) one last time. Its the first season of what I think is going to be many many more to come.