Reality TV On SPEED: Drag Racing For Pink Slips
From a press release issued by SPEED Channel:
SPEED CHannel's pinks adds new twist to reality tv
contestants put 'pink slips' on the line in classic drag racing format
Until now, reality shows have been all about what contestants win -- $1 million, a renovated home, a tricked-out car, a new mom. Other than varying degrees of dignity, there has been absolutely no risk of losing anything.
SPEED Channel is changing all that with its new show PINKS, set to debut in February of 2005.
Using the setting of a classic 1950s drag race, PINKS will pit contestants in a best two-out-of-three format, with the loser handing over the title (pink slip) to his or her vehicle. The rules are simple: two vehicles show up and drivers negotiate any head-start distance (vehicle lengths); vehicles line up, the flagman drops the flag and the first one down the quarter mile wins. After each round, the drivers have the opportunity to re-negotiate lengths.
"This is the real deal, so the faint of heart need not apply," said Robert Ecker, SPEED Channel VP of Programming. "This is real racing in a controlled setting and the stakes are high. Anyone not prepared to walk home had best not show up."
"The response to the show has been overwhelming," said Rich Christensen, host and creator of PINKS. "We have three guys building cars from the ground up, the town of New Hampton, Iowa is sponsoring and racing a car, one of the hottest bands in the Mid-West bought a car just so they could compete on PINKS and three Shifter Kart racers are putting their $10,000 karts on the line in a winner take all competition in San Francisco. And NOTHING about this show is fake. If you lose the race, you lose your vehicle ...period."
The extreme format got the attention of Chicago resident Dustin Bassi, who noticed a link to the Pinks casting call located on a Chicago racing Web site.
"It was old-fashioned street racing," said Bassi, who will bring an '89 Pontiac Formula 350 to the show's first taping in mid-October. "Not many people have the balls to do this, so I wanted to at least try it once."
Bassi will put his American muscle car against the tricked-out import of Steve Taylor from Los Angeles and the trash talking is already flying.
"I'm not sure what I'll do with his junk when I win it," Bassi said. "I'll probably just take some pictures of it and sell it on e-Bay to rub it in." Editorial Note: According to SPEED, PINKS will not be limited to cars.