A glass box filled with mealworms and snakes, trying to find pieces of cheese surrounded by mousetraps while blindfolded and being held underwater by an anchor proved to be a little too much for Burbank residents Carmela Roeschlein and Jasmine McNew.
The two Indiana natives were contestants on MTV’s reboot of the early 2000s hit TV show “Fear Factor” in an episode that aired Tuesday. Though Roeschlein and McNew lost the final stunt by seconds, the duo learned a lot about one another during the experience.
“We’re mentally really strong, and we make a good team,” McNew said, adding that she and Roeschlein grew up watching the original series on NBC.
Though rapper Ludacris is hosting the show instead of Joe Rogan, the basic elements of the show are still the same. Contestants are given challenges, which usually involve something death-defying or eating something disgusting, and if they beat out the other teams, they win a cash prize.
For the first stunt, Roeschlein had to lie down in a glass box while covered in mealworms, snakes and scorpions as McNew was busy trying to find the key to free her teammate, who is also her roommate.
Roeschlein said the challenge was particularly difficult for her because she has a fear of confined spaces.
“I don’t like coffin-like things, but they put me right in that,” she said.
The next challenge required trust and communication between the two women. The task was simple: pick up a piece of cheese on a table and place it in a dish. However, McNew had to accomplish that while blindfolded and with mousetraps scattered across the table. The only way she could find the cheese was to listen to Roeschlein’s directions.
Though the two roommates were able to complete the first two stunts without too much of a hitch, it was the third that bested them. Roeschlein had to hold her breath underwater with an anchor tied around her waist as she waited for McNew to cut her free.
McNew, who has a fear of open bodies of water, said she was afraid there would be a water challenge in their episode. So to prepare herself, she and Roeschlein went to the pool where they live to see how long they could hold their breath underwater.
“We were practicing in our pool, and I literally held my breath for 30 seconds,” McNew said. “So, if we had to do anything with water, I wasn’t going to be able to hold my breath.”
However, McNew impressed herself during the challenge, saying that she held her breath for about 50 seconds.
Though Roeschlein and McNew were able to conquer their fears, the other team was able to accomplish the underwater stunt faster, which resulted in the Burbank pair leaving empty-handed.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Roeschlein said. “We got to do cool stunts and met a lot of cool people on the show. It was fun and definitely challenging. I’m really glad that we got to go on it together.”