Monday, July 11, 2011

Twincredibles Conquers AXN Big Challenge!

I'm lovin' June & is less hectic and life is more happening...leggo!! =) As mentioned in my last post, we were one of the top 3 teams in Penang that got through to the AXN Big Challenge finals that took place in KL last last weekend. It's been 2 weeks since the super-duper-awesome challenge but I'm still burning with excitement so I'm gonna share all about this experience prepared for a long-winded post. :p Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pictures to share yet coz we were too busy running around the malls and our 'camera crew' (aka my parents) couldn't keep up with us all the way...hahaha!! :p 

June 25 (Sat): Penang & JB Teams Interviews
Even though the final was on Sunday, the organizer wanted all 6 outstation teams (3 from Penang & 3 from JB) to arrive one day earlier for an interview. So my supporter team (mom & dad) and I drove down to KL in the morning and picked up bro who just landed from Langkawi before heading over to One Utama.

As the prelim round for KL was going on in the mall, the producer asked us to go outdoor to the park to shoot the interview. This was my first time ever doing a video/tv interview...kinda awkward coz talking in front of the camera was definitely not my thing but it was a very interesting experience. =) There was a videoman, a sound guy, and the producer. The producer gave us about 5 questions and asked us to think about what we wanted to talk about. So after discussing and deciding who to talk what, the videoman started recording. Of course there were several NGs either coz the mic was senget, or our conversation wasn't smooth, or bro 'naturally' faded away before the camera stop! But for a first timer, I think we did quite a good job...even the producer said she gave us few more extra questions coz she thought we answered quite well...haha! :p

KL many people! I was actually kinda happy when they announced the top 10 semi-final teams coz they were all guys...that means I'm gonna be the only female in the finals...hahaha!!  

After the interview, Gerry from AXN and Edora from Spanner Works (the events company) briefed us about the final on the next day and passed us our hotel keys. It was great that the organizers put us up in Eastin for 2 nights. =)    

Our hotel room. Thanks AXN! =) 

All PG and JB teams were advised to familiarize ourselves with the mall coz the KL teams definitely have homeground advantage for this. Even though I studied in KL for 2 years, it didn't really help me at all coz I'm not a mall goer. :p We spent about 3 hours walking around the whole mall trying to remember each and every shops...of course that was mission impossible la! By the time we got to 2nd floor, I've already forgotten what's on G and 1st floor. =.= Anyway, some preparation is better than no preparation. :p

Btw, thanks to facebook, most of my colleagues knew that Leng Hin & I were going for the finals in KL so I guess it's right to say that we've got quite a strong moral support!

June 26 (Sun): AXN Big Challenge Final
This was the 'big' day, time for all 10 finalist teams to show what they've got to win the grand prize of RM15,000!! Honestly, I didn't really do any physical training to prepare for this final coz I was sore for almost a week after the prelim round in Penang and I didn't want to work myself too hard the week before the final to avoid my muscle from aching again. Haha...a lot of excuses hor! :p

Team TWINCREDIBLES all set for the AXN Big Challenge! 

We arrived 1U around 10.30am for another round of briefing by the organizers, filled up some forms, warmed up a lil', sealed our cellphones, then stand by backstage before Vanessa (the host for the day) introduced each teams on stage. 

During the briefing, we were informed that there would be two parts for the final. For the first part, there would be 10 check points and we'll have to solve the clue cards to find the checkpoints then complete all tasks in each checkpoints. Yeah it's sorta like Amazing Race, just that this was in the mall. The 5 fastest teams to complete this first challenge would advance into the second challenge which would determine the ultimate winner of the grand prize. Regardless of whether you came in 1st or 5th in the first challenge, it would not be brought forward to the second challenge coz the second part was a new round of challenge altogether. 

Host for the event...Vanessa Chong. =) She's one of the sisters in 'The Strong Chongs' who won 1st runner-up in the 2nd season of Amazing Race Asia.

Group picture of the 10 finalist teams before starting our first challenge.

Before the race started, we were given a race passport. Our task was to get all 10 stickers from each checkpoints (CP) upon completing each tasks. We were also given the clue cards CP 1-6 in a sealed envelope. FYI (if you're interested in the description of how the challenge works), the first 6 CP can be completed randomly. That means each teams can go to any of the 6 CPs in any sequence. And if we're unlucky, we may have to wait for the team who arrived earlier to finish their task before proceeding with ours. As for CP 7-10, we were required to complete each tasks in sequence. 

Doing my signature jumpshot at the starting point. :p Look how 'energetic' I was when the race started...hahaha!!

As I mentioned above, our 'camera crew' only managed to take photos and videos of our first CP...wall climbing. They lost us from the 2nd CP till the last CP coz both of us were just running around like crazy using the stairs, elevator, and escalator looking for the checkpoints. Luckily my parents didn't run with us, abo they'll sure pengsan...haha!! Dad didn't even know that we have already completed all the checkpoints when he heard Vanessa saying that the first team has arrived coz he didn't think we would be that fast...hahaha!! :p 

Honestly, our team definitely used internet to our best advantage for this challenge. Besides, the 'homework' that we did the day before also helped us familiarize ourselves with the layout of the mall...Rainforest, Oval, Highstreet, Promenade...or else we would definitely got lost...haha!! :p 
Camp 5 was our first CP. We basically just tried our luck by getting into the lift and went all the way up to 5th floor even before reading all the clue cards. :p Good guess huh!! This task wasn't too difficult, but I was more cautious to avoid slipping/falling and getting time penalty.

Upon completing this task and obtaining our sticker & puzzle, we rushed down the stairs to level 3 car park for our 2nd CP...the fishing game. We were the 3rd team to arrive but luckily they had 3 bins so we didn't have to wait. Bro was the one fishing while I gave instructions coz he's got long hands and legs...haha! This game looked easy but it required quite a lot of patience coz it was kinda frustrating when the magnet just wouldn't 'suck it up'...hahaha!

Credits to Chris KY (the race marshall for this CP) for sharing this on her blog. =) 
Oh btw, I just found out that being the odd team out, we do have some supporters when I stumbled upon these 2 blogs (xuanneh & deathly scorpia) while googling 'AXN Big Challenge'.  

After 'doing the same thing over and over again expecting different result (=insanity)', we finally completed our task. =) Without wasting anytime, we went for our 3rd CP which was also in Rainforest...ran all the way down the escalator to LG to the Teh Tarik Place. For this CP, one of us had to answer 10 questions and try to get as many correct as possible while the other will have to score 6 goals by using a binoculars. Thank god I wasn't the one doing the questions coz there were quite a lot of football questions...haha!! Bro did a pretty good job getting 8 correct answers. No penalty for us. =)

Since we were already at LG, we decided to go up one floor to the outdoor CPs. There were 2 CPs at the Central Park and one more on the other side of the mall so we strategized our route to avoid exhausting ourselves running back & forth. We ran non-stop from checkpoints to checkpoints and I was already a bit exhausted when we were running to the 4th CP. As I was gasping for breath and walking slowly into the park, one camera man was standing there asking us to run while he took very un-glam pics of us!! 

So this was our 4th CP. The task is for one of us to go through these obstacles blindfolded while the other person gave instructions. As you see from the middle pic, that is usually how ppl play this game. But the rule doesn't disallow us to crawl through the whole thing...and that's exactly what I did...hahaha!! I ended up with grasses all over me but who cares, that was the fastest and best way to complete this task...totally don't care bout how I look in front of the camera anymore. :p Credits to the race marshall for this CP for sharing these pics on his blog. =)

The other CP in the park was the easiest of all. Just scoop up the balls with alphabets to form the words given. Some teams missed out one of the CP in the park so they wasted some time running elsewhere then came back again. 

Our last random CP was at the upper roof...the Batting Cage. Each of us had to hit 5 baseballs in 15 tries. I've never played baseball and it was definitely not easy. I see the ball coming, swung my bat, but I hit nothing. =.= Then we decided to change our strategy, who cares about looking pro and hitting it the right way, we just held our bat upright and aim to 'hit' the ball...well it's more like the ball hitting our bat not us hitting the ball with the bat. :p Anyway, this tactic worked well and each of us only got one penalty.
Upon completing the first 6 CPs, we would have collected 6 puzzle pieces which would be the clue for our 7th CP. The picture led us to a lift whereby we were required to count the number of logos on a poster while we took the lift from G floor to 5th floor. We were lucky coz the lift that we got on went all the way down to B2 and stopped every floors so we had ample time counting and recounting those logos. =)

CP 8 was a picture of a view and we had to look for the place that has this view, we spent quite some time looking for this location but luckily it didn't take us too long to find it. We were the first team to arrive in this CP, that means we were still leading the game. =) For this task, bro was blindfolded and I gave him instructions to solve a jigsaw puzzle. As we were working on the puzzle, 2 more teams arrived so we were a lil' pressured but still we managed to complete the task slightly faster and headed off straight to the 9th CP.

The 9th CP was at Celebrity Fitness. We were required to complete 4 tasks in sequence: 1km running on the treadmill (bro), 10 times weightlifting (me), 20 push-ups (bro), 20 sit-ups (me). While bro was running (I didn't wanna do this coz I was already exhausted from all the running around), I took some time to rest for a bit. When it comes to my turn to do the weightlifting and sit-ups, the camera crew was right in front of me shooting me doing all goodness...I have totally no idea how exhausted I look anymore. Hopefully, if this clip is aired, nobody who knows me will see it...hahaha!!

It was quite 'gan cheong' when we saw the 2 other teams arriving at the CP coz we only had one more CP to go to complete this first part of challenge and stand a chance to enter the 2nd round of the final. The moment we finished our task in Celebrity Fitness, we ran straight down the stairs back to our starting point at G floor Highstreet. The privilege for being the first team to go to the final CP is...the camera crew followed us to run down the stairs. I was basically jumping 2 steps down but the camera crew had to go slower with all their eqiupments, and bro even asked me to slow down so that they could keep up with us. desperate to be caught on camera meh? :p

The final CP was to arrange the different types of food into the correct category in the food pyramid. We got a penalty of 30 seconds here for making a mistake in one of the category. Upon completing this final task, we rushed to the finish line to clock in our time...1 hour 51 minutes!! We didn't know if we were the first for this challenge yet coz the we still had to add up our penalty time to it. But I kaypo-ed the 2nd & 3rd teams' time plus penalty, did some mental calculation, we were only about a minute ahead of them...woohooo!! =)

Since we were the first team to arrive, we had some time to rest and did another interview while waiting for all the teams to get back. We were pretty confident that we would be one of the top 5 teams to advance into the 2nd round but it was quite nerve-wrecking thinking about the next challenge. We had totally no idea what we were gonna do but it was obvious that there would be flying fox and traversing from 3rd floor.

After all the teams finally completed the first challenge, it was time for Vanessa to announce the results for the first round. Hahaha...the odd team out with 'the only female contestant' got number 1 for this challenge. :p Another JB team also got into the 2nd round while the other 3 teams were from KL. All top 5 teams were pretty strong (apart from us) coz the JB team was marathon & triathlon runner, and one of the KL team was wall climbers. Honestly, I was glad enough to the finals in KL, didn't even thought that we could come this far. I think we were really lucky.

The race director explained about our task for the second of us will have to traverse (walk & balance on a rope) and collect 5 puzzle pieces along the way, while the other will have to take a pic of the one traversing while doing flying fox down. After both members completed doing these 2 things in the air, we'll have to complete a puzzle then run up the stage to shout the slogan. The fastest team to complete this task (incl penalty) will be the grand prize winner.

Deciding who to do what was easy for us, I was the one traversing across coz I'm shorter, better in balancing and bro has fear of heights. Besides, I've done something like this before in Sheffield. :p Even so, I was so freakin' nervous and it's even worse coz we had to wait for 3 teams to complete the task before it was our turn. =.= When it was finally our turn to do the challenge, all the nervousness went away and I traversed across the mall at 3rd floor with style...slow & steady....haha!! :p I was extremely careful not to drop any of the puzzle pieces coz we would be disqualified if I dropped any puzzle pieces or fall off the rope. :p Even though bro's task was relatively easier, he did a good job taking a perfect pic of my upper body and solved the jigsaw puzzle pretty quickly.

Finally, we're done with all the challenges and it was time to find out the results. Vanessa started from the 5th place, then 4th, then 3rd...still haven't heard our team name...that means we were either 1st or 2nd. There were 2 teams left...the JB team and us...we were all on suspense mode...gan cheong gan cheong...and the camera crew were zooming at 4 of us. Then she announced the 2nd place...Solomon USJ!!! OMG...that means Twincredibles is numero uno!!!!!! =) =) That was just unbelievable!!! Oh yeahhh...the only team with female wins the challenge...hahaha...that's just plain awesome!!!!! After the mock cheque presentation, we did another round of interview with the AXN crew and the press release company. =)

Honestly, the satisfaction of achieving something that most people thought impossible meant so much more to me than the cash prize of RM15k. I'm thankful to all the people (especially the females) who've encouraged and supported 'this only female contestant' from the prelim round till the finals. Hope I've made us (cha bohs) proud and prove that gals can achieve great heights too...hahaha!!

This was one of the finalists' status...the 2nd last comment made me laugh out loud! :p

Celebration dinner with my supporter team. :)

Media coverage:
1. AXA Affin (Full Press Release)
2.  Jmagz-1
3.  Jmagz-2
4.  Myfriends2u Blog

Cropped from AXN website =)

That's all for my long-winded story. Thanks to Vietnam for blocking fb and made me spend more time typing this long! Next post will be short...don't worry...hehe!! :p

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