The Jump returned for its 4th season on Channel 4 this weekend but is it as good?
We are not convinced. Something seems to be missing. It could be that this is the first year that I haven’t live blogged the Jump therefore allowing myself more time to watch it but to me it seems to have lost its edge. It doesn’t feel as anarchic as is it once did it. It feels a bit like that seasonnaire who want’s to carry on living in the mountains but knows a lifestyle change is in order to make it sustainable.
At the end of the last season there was much written about it being the most dangerous reality show on TV after many participants were injured, including Tina Hobley who dislocated her elbow and Beth Tweddle who still sufferers from a back injury. Combined that with plummeting ratings and there were talks that it could be axed. But it wasn’t.
The return feels like it has taken seriously the safety issues that have been raised over the years, but that doesn’t mean that it is any safer. Vogue Williams, was the first person to injure herself and has not be able to compete in the show. Her knee injury happened while she was receiving some ski cross training. Last year 50% of the entrants when home with injuries, can you imagine if that was a sport wide statistic, skiing wouldn’t be as popular as it is.
There could argued that it doesn’t seem as good because the contestants aren’t that famous. Getting to know 14 new people in 90 minutes is a tough ask especially when several of them come from privileged backgrounds that make it hard to identify with and get behind. The rest of the cast are mainly athletes who essentially aren’t Phil Tufnell. The biggest star is Sir Bradley Wiggins, who looks like a man that has ended up at a Hen Do and can’t escape but knows the only way to survive is to join in as half hearted as possible while saying how much fun he is having.
One of the biggest innovations of this years event was the celebrities being introduced and appearing from behind a screen and then paraded through a crowd of unexcited crew members. This could have been dramatically improved if done in ski boots on icy steps with a handicap system that matched number of day skiing to the number of additional children skis they had to carry.
Of course we will still be watching every week and soon it will be time to confess that Spenser is our favourite, but not just yet. Let’s just hope the action gets a bit more exciting as this week’s just seemed like a beginner slope highlight package and the racing was about as tense as a snapped hamstring.
Join in the chat during the show with our twitter account @alpineactionski.