‘Spell-Mageddon’ Tries To Make Torture Fun

Did you ever wonder what would happen if Nickelodeon threw up all over a spelling bee? No. Well, too bad because ABC Family answered that question with Spell-Mageddon. The Alfonso Ribero hosted show would be at home on 90s Nick. The only problem is some of the situations are straight up torture, so the show is more terrorist’s nightmare than messy kid-friendly entertainment.

The show doesn’t start off too bad, but quickly gets boring. The first round has contestants maneuver over a blow-up obstacle course. The first person to reach the end and buzz in gets to spell a word. If the contestant gets it correct, they get to move on to the next round and the process is repeated over and over again. In total, viewers see the same thing six times in a row. While the obstacle course undoubtedly gets harder, the final round has the contestants wearing vision impairment goggles, no one cares because they are still watching basically the same thing and just wasted time that could have been better spent doing anything else like being unproductive on Facebook.

Now that the viewer has lost interest, Spell-Maggedon forces the contestants to spell words while being shocked and doused in water with its next game, Zapped. Those contestants that spell something incorrectly get sprayed with blue slushy. Two strikes means they are out. One hopes that the contestants are masochists because viewers have to be sadists to make it through an episode without cringing and feeling concerned about the contestants well-being.

Once two contestants are eliminated, the remaining four move on to Revolver. Revolver puts contestants on a spinning dart board. As one contestant at a time spells words, food is thrown at them. The two contestants who spell the most words move on to the next round, the bottom two contestants are sent to the Loozer’s Lounge. In the event of a tie, a short version of a normal spelling bee is played. The winner of the tiebreaker moves on to the next round.

Two-thirds of the way through the show, the audience gets to vote one of the eliminated contestants back in the game, which means the first person eliminated can potentially win the game, despite not participating in half of it. The first person eliminated hasn’t won the entire show yet, but it is a blatantly unfair element of the game. Then again, when was torture ever fair?

In order to narrow the field to two contestants, the remaining two contestants and the reinstated eliminated contestant have to endure Head Banger, which is Wack-A-Mole combined with a pie catapult. The contestants find this funny. The studio audience laughs because its members are glad its not them. Home viewers should have already changed the channel long ago to a rerun of Friends or even Jerry Springer. There are no redeeming qualities to Spell-Maggedon. To make things worse, Spell-Mageddon is entirely too long and not even over.

Finally, it’s time to determine the winner. A game called Sensory Overload is played for $10,000. Whoever spells the most words while suffering through strobe lights and flashing TV screens showing letters and numbers wins Spell-Mageddon.

ABC  Family has no business airing this show. Yes, Alfonso Ribero needs a job, but couldn’t ABC Family have settled on something that wouldn’t alienate its audience. Instead of producing Spell-Mageddon, the network should have bought the rights for a Beat The Clock or Truth or Consequences remake.

About Allison Lips

I am the Toastmasters District 83 Public Relations manager and President of Freehold Phrasers.

Posted on August 1, 2013, in ABC Family, Cable, Game Shows, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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