I was really quite excited when I first heard about Channel 4’s new reality show The Jump last year. I am not a great fan of watching Z listers play silly games usually but I am interested in skiing and couldn’t help wondering how they would all fare. I also devilishly considered the fact that snow sports can result in some fairly major accidents so there was bound to be a bit of drama along the way!
For those who have not seen the programme, The Jump pits celebrities against each other in a series of snow sports including skiing, speed skiing, bobsleigh and skeleton. In each round those who finish in the bottom two must brave the ski jump to decide who leaves the competition.
Rubbish but Compelling
The series actually proved to be complete rubbish but rather compelling all the same. There was the usual interminable segments featuring the back stories or should I say sob stories of the contestants and an awful lot of largely unnecessary attempts at building up the tension as the jump off approached. The big climax of the show usually turned out to be a little underwhelming with most of the celebrities opting to ski jump off the shortest available hill but despite my reservations I kept watching until the bitter end.
The anticipated injuries were all too frequent and rather than adding to the drama of the affair, they rather made a mockery of the whole show as replacements were drafted in somewhat late in the day. As one of these, Joe McElderry, ended up winning the thing having only competed in a small piece of the action it all seemed a bit odd.
A Second Series?
I wondered if the series would be re-commissioned because there were certainly issues with it. Then when I arrived at the Snow Centre last week for my usual two hour session on the snow I was prevented from entering the changing area until 20 minutes before the slope opened which was not the usual procedure. I was informed that this was due to a private hire of the slope but when I finally started getting changed I noticed that Joey Essex and Cricketer Phil Tuffnell were there.
Paralympian Jon-Allan Butterworth was also in attendance together with two women who evidently hadn’t even made the Z list because I didn’t recognise them at all! Clearly The Jump was coming back. I am no great fan of Joey Essex and I felt the need to comment that the only thing worse would have been to find Louis Spence was there! At least my own ski gear looked more stylish than that of the celebrities. Perhaps I should have auditioned!
On arriving home I discovered that the series had already yielded some drama as dancer Ola Jordan had been seriously injured in a training session a few days earlier. The series will also feature Mike Tindall, Stacey Solomon, Heather Mills, JB Gill and Sally Bercow amongst others. I had to laugh when I discovered that none other than Louis Spence will also be competing. Having met the man when he was filming Scream if You Know the Answer on Saw the Ride at Thorpe Park, I cannot begin to imagine what histrionics will transpire when he has to ski jump!
The Jump is a concept with promise that hadn’t quite found its feet in the first series. I hope that there will be improvements for 2015. It isn’t actually the epitome of glamour as the celebrities are far from superstars but then skiing has a glamour all of its own somehow and perhaps that is what made this silly programme so watchable!
Article by Sally Stacey