Life on Legends

This interview is set up in a question and answer format. My questions are in bold, Asher's answers are in plain text.

Asher, Temple Run Victor, The Jeweled Scabbard of Sforza, Season 3

How did you get interested in auditioning for the show?

I was always interested in Nickelodeon game shows. Like every kid watching them, I always pictured myself running through the challenges, and visualizing what I would do differently. I lived in Orlando, FL, so I was close to the studios. I am guessing all or most of the kids on the show were local. Anyway, I used to take Kung-Fu as a child, and outside of the Temple was this bulletin board with various advertisements. "Legends" was one of them. It stated that there were "try-outs" for the game show, and listed when and where to show up. So my mother agreed, and off we went.

What was the auditioning process you had to pass through?

The auditioning process was a blast. In many ways it was like a mock show. There must have been a thousand other kids there, all running through what looked like a miniature obstacle course. There were different stations that a child would have to pass through, and based on how well that child did, they were given a "grade" of green, yellow, or red. I am not sure what the different colors meant exactly, but I remember being able to sneak a peek at my score after an event and seeing green. So I guess green was good. The different stations we had to complete were pull-ups, sprints, a rope climb, and a shuttle run (where we had to sprint to drop off and pick up objects at different points). The most interesting station was a challenge I had seen on "Legends" before. It was the giant rotating disk set at an angle. When my turn came to jump on it, I was not sure if the grader wanted to see how many times I could turn the disk, or how much control I could show. So I ran up the disk, resting near, but not on, the center. This allowed me to spin the disk as fast or slow as I wanted, but still not lose control and fall off. To this day I still don't know if it was control or speed they were looking for. Who knows, maybe both? After that, it was "Thank you for coming, we'll let you know."

How did you get informed that you had made it onto the show, and how did you react?

A few weeks later I was notified by phone call. The representative wanted to know if I would be available on a particular date, and other such essential questions that I barely listened to. I was too excited to pay attention to much of anything. I just remember running around my house yelling that I was going on "Legends." Later, I received through mail official rules and directions to the studio, with a time and date to show up.

What was the pre-production process you had to go through like?

The "pre-process" is all really vague for me. I remember waking up at some ungodly hour, and driving down to the studio. The sun had just come up when we arrived, and there was a light fog all around us. It was my mother and I, and about 11 other families, with kids all my age. I made brief friends with a really ambitious kid who was certain he was going to be a Silver Snake. To be honest, I was secretly hoping to be a Silver Snake too. Then the gate opened up, and a representative brought us into some warehouse. The parents were then escorted to some waiting room, and the kids were taken to another. We were then assigned our teams and partners. Lacey was mine, and she was a lot of fun. Really full of energy and enthusiasm. I recall when we were taken into the clothing storage, she began jumping around, super excited because they gave her a pair of "cons" (converse sneakers) to wear. I played along saying "yeah, sweet, cons are awesome." We also received our team t-shirts at that time. From there, they took us to a room that was every kid's fantasy. It was our waiting room, and it was painted with bright colors, in a total Nickelodeon fashion, and filled with every Nick video game, toy, or any other thing to play with you could imagine. It was glorious. The way the taping went, at least for that season, was there were several different episodes all being taped the same day. So my episode would do the moat, and we would go back to the waiting room, and another episode would do the moat, and come back, and then another, and another. So between the moat, and the steps of knowledge, we had to sit around for hours. All the while with soaking wet clothes to make it look like we went from the moat, directly to the steps. During that time, however, they gave us a two page "history lesson" where we were to memorize all of the information needed to pass the steps of knowledge. Thank goodness for Lacey, because I goofed off most of the time, while she was the real brains behind the operation.

Describe what you can remember of each round of the show.

I was extremely nervous right before the moat challenge. The audience was right behind me, my friend who mentioned he wanted to be a Silver Snake, was a Silver Snake. And he was loud and confident. The camera came and swooped by us, and I thought to myself, "oh crap, quick, do something cool... uhh... number one! We're Number ONE!" and I thought, "oh man, that wasn't that cool." But before I could think about it too much, we began. There was an explicit rule (that afterwards turned out to be not so explicit) that if your feet touch the water during the rope swing, you had to drop into the water, and start over. Lacey went first, and did it with no problem. Then I did it, splashed my foot just a little, and dropped in to start over. The second time, I grabbed the rope too low, and swooshed the water. The third time, I think one of those assistant guys gave me a tip to try and grab the rope higher, and it worked like a charm. I swung across, grabbed on to the rope ladder thing, and jumped over. I think I was the last team member to finish and still qualify for the next round. At this point, I didn't really care how I performed in the games. I was actually on the show, and had completed the first challenge! The rest was just icing on the cake.
So, several hours later, I was standing on the Steps of Knowledge, and thanking God Lacey was a knowledge stud. We were first to the bottom. The Blue Barracudas followed suit, and back the waiting rooms we went. At this point, Lacey knew we were going to win. Her reasoning for this was, we were the Green Monkeys. We can climb, swing, and run around faster than any Barracuda could. Who could argue? When she's right, she's right.
This time, when we went back to the waiting room, they sat us down to ask some personal questions that Kirk was to briefly talk about later in the show. I remember having trouble with this part. I did Kung-Fu, so that was an easy thing to mention to Kirk, but they wanted one more interesting fact about me. As you know, when Kirk introduces the two teams, he usually states two facts about them. Well, I did Kung-Fu... and... well, nothing really in particular after that. So I mentioned I had 11 pets. This included my dog, and 10 fish in my fish tank.
Before I knew it, we were swept backed to the Temple, for the Temple Games period. I don't recall who went first, but my activity was to jump on this trampoline inside a caged area, jump above the wall in front of me, and throw "boulders" into my opponent's goal behind him. I managed to get the upper hand, and won the event. The entire thing happened so fast that I don't remember much about it. Just that near the end, I ran out of boulders, and watched helplessly as my opponent threw one last boulder at my goal. I don't think he made it, but I surely gave a last desperate attempt to block it. Then Lacey had a challenge were she was on a mock horse, and had to stay on as long as possible while these assistant guys shook the horse to try and know her off. I thought she would do well because I think she mentioned that she was a horseback rider, but she got annihilated. So we had another event which was actually commented on in your site. Apparently we gave a "lousy showing" or "sheer lousiness" or something? Well, here is the real deal on that (which the second commenter actually nailed on the head):
Before they taped the game, they explained how the bungee system worked. I was attached to my partner umbilically, except from the back, through this whole in a wall. When I pressed my back to it, she was able to run, when she pressed her back to it, I was able to run. Now, initially they brought out the big boulder things. But on the first trial using these, I and my opponent had a little trouble getting them onto the platform over our heads. Not because I was too heavy or bulky, but because we just weren't used to doing it yet. So they switched to kickballs. These things bounced everywhere, and no matter how softly I would toss it onto the platform above me, it would roll to fast out of Lacey's reach. Additionally, the very last try I had to run and toss the ball, if you watch the episode carefully, I was stuck to the wall. Lacey had pulled me so hard that the base of the bungee had been jammed in the hole, and I couldn't get it out. This brought us to the tie breaker.
As soon as Kirk had counted the final score, 0, they rolled out this tie breaker stand thing. I was determined to get the answer and finally defeat my opponents and move on to the temple, but when Kirk said it was the Blue Barracudas that had answered first, I thought it was all over. You could see on Lacey's face that she was devastated. But when he corrected himself and came to us, we made sure there was no way we could get the question wrong, by stating every detail we could possibly remember from our study sheet (luckily, this was a question that I actually took time away from the game room to study). And that was it, we were going to the temple. I was really excited, because finally, I would have a chance to show that I could do better than those other kids on "Legends," and vindicate all of those years of bragging at home with my friends as we watched the show.
What I recall at this point, which is very interesting, is that before our run through the Temple, this woman came and walked us through a "recommended" path through the Temple. She even showed us where an "extra pendant" would be. I don't know if they did this for all of the teams, but it seemed to be routine. Lacey and I discussed our strategy, and since I was more physically fit than her, we reasoned that she would go in first. That way, she could clear whatever temple guards were in the way, and I could sprint through and complete the Temple cleanly.
As we walked up to Olmec, and he asked who would enter first, Lacey shouted loudly and confidently "I Am!" She was hoping that a director would happen to be sitting in the audience, and realize what a stunning and confident young woman she was, and swoop her off to Hollywood. I tried to match her confidence, but don't think I succeeded. Anyway, the gate lowered, and she ran up. I think she got eliminated in the first room, I can't remember. All I know is, as soon as Kirk said "Go!" I ran as fast as I could through the room with those mummy things, and jumped into the Pit. The extra Pendant of Life was sitting right where I was told it would, and I grabbed it and ran into the Tomb of the Headless kings. It was simple enough; I just pulled the ropes, found the skull, and climbed up the ladder. When I got to the top floor, I started smashing the vases to find the key that would bring me into the room where the Scabbard was. This was way more fun than it should have been. I will never again be in a position where it is encouraged to smash pottery. So I found the key, ran into the room of the warriors, and grabbed the Scabbard.
At that point, all of the doors in the Temple opened. I don't remember the path I took to leave the Temple, just that I almost tripped into the Pit when I tried to cross it. Out of the room with the mummies and down the stairs, everything was such a blur. The next thing I knew, Lacey flung herself into my arms and we had won. It was amazing. It was that pure moment where you go as crazy as you want to because everyone else is also. And you know it's over, but you had won. I remember being ushered backstage, where all of the other contestants from other episodes waiting to film were standing by the door to congratulate us. They were all so impressed, and so were we. And that's it. It was over.

Did you meet Kirk Fogg or Dee Bradley Baker? If so, what were they like?

I never met Kirk Fogg or Dee Bradley Baker. All I saw of Kirk was our interactions on camera.

What was the most interesting thing (or things) that happened off-camera?

The most interesting thing off camera was the waiting room. I just had a blast in there. It was also interesting to see that they rotated shows in one taping, and tested events with us before we actually did them.

How was your vacation?

Well, I never actually went on my vacation. They gave us 4 tickets, two for me, and two for Lacey. Since I have 3 siblings, my parents wanted to wait until we could all afford to go, but that never happened. My tickets have long expired. My friends always give me flack when they hear that part. But oh well.

Anything else interesting?

I was disappointed to see that Olmec is only like, 3-4 feet tall. He seemed so much bigger on TV. But he's puny!

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