Monday, December 05, 2005

Explorace Season 3 Audition : 3rd December 2005

It was a wet, cold morning. Bandit sms-ed me at 5.40am, telling me he will be at my place by 6.20am.

The time then was 5.45am. I took a shower. Wondering how the day would go by like. It was raining, still. Any heavier, i would supposed i'll go to bed and tell the organiser that me and Azly got stuck in a major flood at Batu Tiga Toll.

At 6am, Bandit called me, saying he is on his way from Gombak.

Well and fine, nothing beats the feeling of your team mate calling you up when you are stark naked in the toilet.

We were on our way to Bukit Cerakah by 6.20am. After carefully loading in 8 changes of clothes, 4 pairs of shoes, 4 bottles of 1.5L PET water, swimming gear, one hydration pack, 2 packs of chocolates...now we sounded as if we are going for some picnic.

We reached Bukit Cerakah at 7am. Paid the RM1.00 parking (which is cheaper than FRIM!) and noticed that most, if not all the participants are already there, most walking into the park.

We followed suit. We were still in our sandals, half awake, hungry, cold and now, wet.

We registered ourselves at the Admin centre, Team MX5, Bib Number 4. Not going to be supersitious about this Die Die number la, i looked at it as being No. 8 (4+4 mah!)

It was still raining
The breakfast consist of 2 egg sandwhiches, 1 currypuff and 1 Bergedil, 2 cans of Excel isotonic and 2 bottles of mineral water.

The production crew were already seen walking around with camera to capture memorable moments of this audition. It wasn't until 8.30am that the rain showed some sign of stopping and the organiser rounded up everyone for race briefing.

One TV personality, Tasha, will be the host. I've seen her before in the TV3 afternoon malay drama/telemovie/teledrama. Daphne Iking will not be the host this time around. Maybe she has gotten expensive?

We were told to warm up, of which, some of us, which by this time/moment, has already gotten aquinted with each other. I saw Soon and Anna, Adilah's friend which i met in titiwangsa's Triathlon on the 13th November. Then i saw Reita K. The Reita K that whooped some of us arses in triathlon. Fuiyoo...i feel she is more of a celebrity than compared to Tasha. :P

I also found out from some sources about Reita that will get married soon, and she has won one of the Fear Factor episode. Well done la girl. You've shown how it is done!

Soon, we all made more friends out of each other. We also found out that 2 regular race marshall for races organised by Nomad is with us. Khairil and Rossha. They recognised me and Bandit from AXN race as they were marshalling at CP2 and 10. Hello people!

At 9am, we were told to move to the starting line and was introduced to the creator of Explorace, which gave us a few tips.

Clues were given and as this is a made for TV show, there were a few takes on Tasha introducing the race and so on and forth. Everyone seems to be eager to go. No holding back. Some were seen with their killer look and some were just jokers in every sense.

The horn went off...and off everyone went....

Clue One   
"Retrieve a black and white tag from LImau Nipis and Belimbing tree. Keep the tag with you until the end of the race"

Me and bandit went off to the left hand side, it's 3km to the Tropikal Fruit's farm. goodla, giving us a good 3km jog. It wasn't until 2 minutes later than the organiser shouted for us to turn back to the otehr side as the palce to be is on the right, not left.

Hence, me and bandit ran back..only to be chided by the crew to "read the clue" properly....

everyone was seen looking for limau nipis and belimbing tree admist the shrubs and tall trees. Then someone let the cats out:

"err...wrong clue la!"

everyone was asked to return to the starting point. Apparently, the crew gave the wrong clue. Yeah, their way to humour us up...so they said.

Take Two!
Tasha and participants were asked to huddle up at the starting point again. This time, Bandit didn't lose anytime and got right next to the host. Heck, if we can't get into the show, at least we will appear in the first episode. :P

We were told to read the clue infront of the camera and not while running. We were told to read it properly. We were told to look for camera...in that instant, me and Bandit became the new superhero...we are The Cam Whores, perhaps the more appropriate word would be Cam Pimps...

Take two were taken and off we went, first Clue asked us to get to the bike shed and ride to The Sg. Kuning Dam. me and Bandit went looking for the largest framed bike, as the seats are all not adjustable, we have not much choice. It was funny as this is a first time in many many moons that i've kicked up the bike stand before i ride the bike! The last time i remembered i had a bike stand on my bike was when i was in secondary school, cycling to class!

nevertheless, some participants struggled with the bike and gearing as me and bandit decided to just *granny gear* all the way. i tried riding the bike as much as i could. I've finally found a crappier bike compared to my Le Run. It made me aprpeciate my Le Run more.

The bike ride took us up 2 steep hills. It wasn't very long climb, but steep enough to warrant most participants to be down and pushing the bike.

Me and Bandit knows it is not about winning this race to be in Explorace. We take every oppurtunities to be infront of the camera. Yes, no time to be shy!

We reached The dam area and was given the second clue...which was...well...the first clue we gotten. Now it made more sense.

Limau Nipis and Star Fruits
Bukit Cerakah is Big. The Limau ground itself is huge. I had problem locating the limau nipis tree. Along the road, we saw the sign for Limau Purut and Limau Kasturi. Thinking that Limau Nipis will be next, we boldly ventured where no team has gone before...down the road, further than we should...and we even told that theory to one of the camera crew...which then later asked us to make sure that we get the theory right...

Oviously, it was wrong. IN many many ways. Those trees were at where the marshalls were...just right next to each other....duh!

We ran back to the marshall and went searching for Belimbing and limau nipis. I've seen both trees before (there is one belimbing tree behind my granma's house and it's huge) and found those tags stapled on the trees.

When that was done, we were given anohter clue..

Off the beaten track
The next task has us walking/running/crawling through the cerakah's jungle track. it's rahter enjoyable as fresh air aplenty and there was time to catch up with friends and teammate. Me and Bandit momentarary exchanged teammates with Reita and Mani. Still can't believe i'm talking to the triathlete! hahaha...the 800m of jungle walk almost came to an end as we noticed a few cameras waiting for us.

Yes, we pimped for the screen again.

The camera crew followed us, capturing us climbing over and under some branches. I almost had my ankle twisted as i went into some ditch, underestimated the ground as i thought it was solid, which turned out to be otherwise. Thank goodness that Reita was there as she sorta *saved* me. No Bandit, it wasn't intentional.

We emerged at the edge of the track, overlooking the Sg Kuning dam. it's very much like the Klang Gate basin. Up infront, we saw participants inside the lake, crossing them.

Suddenly, i can't help but laugh inside. The TV3 about the crocodile hunter sorta flashed through my mind...hahahaha...it was a good dip in the lake water, was expecting them to make us swim across, but instead, there was a rope which we could pull ourselves over to the other side.

That done, we ran back to the marshall again to get a new sets of clue, which is to pick the bike up and return it to the bike store.

We ran, this time, i crawled for the camera, which wasn't there and had everyone in stiches. That was how desperate some of us has become (notably me) just to get some air time ;-)

Last task
We picked up the bike, only to realised that our nice working bike was exchanged for some rotten bike. It was pretty much downhill from there as i almost risk running straight into some bushes because of brake failure, i wasn't the only one as one lady participant came screaming down the hilll....what a sight...she was ok, no accident whatsoever.

We parked the bike, took a set of last clue.

We now, have to retrieve one red and one yellow tag from the paddy field. No wonder why we saw some of the earlier participant playing in the smelly dirty mud filled field.

Me and bandit dived into the paddy field (ok, if we ever did that, it would cause a crater..we walked into it la, ok!)

We went searching for the tags. Can't find any, but the two tags we got was courtesy of other teams. The deal is, if we got a yellow tag, and teh other team needs a red one, we ahve to give them the red tag if we find one. Sounds fair.

It took us a good 15 minutes inside the pool of mud, with one participant finding one golf ball (???) and me and bandit found more dead leaves than anything else inside the pool of mud.

We ran to the finish line and was told to walk up to tasha and give her the 4 tags and she in return, asking us how was it...

well, it was OK. We rahter enjoyed the mini race.

Cleaning up. Lunch. IQ Test
We went on to clean up later. We found out that team Barakth Brothers (we don't know their name, but they work in the Baratkh Poultry farm in Kluang) went back to get 2 tags that they misplaced earlier on. well done la.

We were later told to sit at both ends of the hut, with team 1-20 on one side and 21-40 on ther other for some hardcore kiss ass IQ test.

it was tough.

Got maths questions and all..i had to remember all my sudut selang seli and some geography. But for sure me and bandit got the currency for vietnam wrong....hehehe...no excuse for that.

The IQ test was funny in some way and tough in some. We did filled in the answer cheekily (and hope it is right, if by any chance we failed ot get to the second audition, it is because well, we are just low on IQ).

Lunch was served after all teams finished the test. It was chicken rice. Delicious chicken rice and apple. Which all contestant gobble down. Excel was there again to provide all the isotonic drinks we could ever drink up.

Then, we were called in pairs of team for the interview segment where participant will be paired up and made to talk to the camera. Want to see how we gel la with each other and camera.

Then, it was the profile shot before all of us adjourned to UiTM swimming pool for water competency test.

Swim baby, Swim
We reached UiTM at about 4pm. we were briefed that we only need to swim 100m, any style but holding on to the dividing float is a no-no.

Me and Bandit wore the "Pain Is Pleasure" tshirt, which was branded by some participants as too "lovey-dovey" (we're pimp for camera, don't blame us :P)

5 teams were called up at any one time (only 10 lanes mah!) and we were lucky number 4. bandit and me swam and forsee no problem with any water segment (heheh, i still post the fastest time, according to them...some 2min 5 seconds or something like that i think...which any malaysian sea game medalist would had finished twice the distance in free style by then).

I'm no fish...and it's proven that everyone is not a fish. Some had trouble swimming, and was called to the side, so that the lifeguard could monitor them.

No casualty in the swimming portion, except one bag was stolen right under the 40 team's nose..not forgeting having 8 cameras at site and a couple of the uniformed group watching over everything. Whoever that stole the bag..i hope your hand melts and your balls burst when you open the bag.

The poor lady was later given extra changes of cloths by the other participants. Poor her. She lost her bag, clothes, watch and her car keys.

Tea Time
Tea was served. BeeHoon, Roti Jala, curry puff and onde onde and teh tarik.

Everyone gobble it all up, as usual and was later handed pieces of paper and were asked to write feedback on the days' happening. Ah, one last chance to impress the organiser we supposed.

Later after that, as we went to hand in our SPM essays, we were each given an Explorace T shirt which was written Beyond Endurance. Yes. It is beyond endurance, as luck plays a major role in races like these. Like getting called for the second audition, for example.

Soon after, participants were called to the lawn bowl field of UiTM to do one more profile shot. Bandit did a handstand while i held on his leg. Gimmick la tuh!

As we wait for others to finish their shot, more friends were made, amongst them, the chinese chipmunks, which we do not know their name, but one's a chef that keep on offering Barley Masam and an IT expert that has his own company. It was fun in many ways as we all joked and laughed and poke at each other.

Lastly, as the last group ahd their profile taken, all participants were called for a group photoshoot.

Yours truly and Bandit went up the fence to pimp for more camera.

Later, it was made known to all that the earliest anyone would be notified if they made it into the second audition is in 2 weeks time. The second audition, and hopefully the last will take place on christmas eve and christmas day.

We thought they were joking, but obviously, they aren't.

Bandit volunteered to set up a yahoogroups for all team to keep in touch with. It is simply called xploracetiga@yahoogroups.com and currently there is 13 people inside. So, any of you participant come across this blog (what are the chances anyway???), give me a holla and i'll add you into the group, this apply to the TV3 people as well.

And SO... in 5 months time, one of the 40 teams you see in the first episode of Explorace will be the winner of the RM100,000.00 prize.

And we sure hope it will be me and Bandit.


;-)

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