The Jump 2016
• New blood
• Fresh victims
• Baffled bookies
The Jump 2016 features celebrities competing in a selection of winter sports events for Channel 4 in the UK, a relatively obvious reality TV show format that this year has run into trouble, as within three weeks only five of the original twelve contestants remained. The Jump injuries list grew so fast that even the typically bloodthirsty tabloid press has started clamoring for it to be banned. Which would be a shame, especially for those people who saw it as a novelty bet par excellence.
Taking advantage of the extremely sensible UK gambling laws to place a wager on which semi-famous Muppet would win the series at Bet365 seemed like a fun way to join in The Jump 2016, to be part of it and add some much needed thrills to a silly concept. What transpired, quantified by The Jump injuries list, turned out to be a carefully orchestrated celebrity self-harm club that was merely disguised as a reality TV show, possibly to get around rules against wagers on human suffering.
The debate over whether or not the show should be removed from the airwaves is somewhat moot, 2.1 million people tuned in to see the last installment, so there’s obviously an audience for it. Of course there is. Semi-famous people hurting themselves? Who wouldn’t want to watch? The problem is, of course that this means eventually the producers are going to cotton onto this desire we have and then its slippery slope down to Rollerball and James Caan ruling the world. Which may be no bad thing.
What occurs to me, however, is not the possibility that we will inevitably slide into a dystopian future of hyper-dangerous sports shown live on TV complete with Corpse-Cam(TM) and Bloodloss Tracker(TM) in some distant far flung time, but that in the very near future some idiot in Hollywood is going to buy up the rights and turn The Jump injuries list into the meat and gristle of a gritty movie……after all, it almost resembles one already……..it’s just a shame it’s a war film.
The Jump Injuries List Like A War Film
It might not star John Mills or Richard Attenborough, but all the characters are there for a classic British war film, and The Jump injuries list is just perfect for drama. Their uniforms look ridiculous, their can do spirit is just a bit too grating, and there’s a selection of different personalities to give the thing depth. On parade at the start they all seemed keen enough, the mission explained by Gruppenfuhrer McCall, their duty clear, their innocence sadly only lasts until their first contact with the enemy.
Rebecca Addlington is the first casualty. The bright young thing’s screams echoing for all to hear and instantly removing any idea the rest might have had that this was all just fun and games, then next to go is Tina Hobley with her arm mangled, the walking wounded. Then Beth Tweddle steps on a landmine no one expected, the young prospect Mark-Francis Vandelli trips over his own rifle and Linford Christie, the old veteran quietly sneaks away from the massacre. Gambling news reports he’s strained his hamstring are a plausible enough excuse.
There would be the touching bedside scene with Tweddle in the hospital, the rest gathered round assuring her she’ll be back on her feet in no time, McCall hustling them away in time to meet the new replacements, in this case Zara Holland, who, like all replacements in war films, is instantly killed before getting anywhere at all because she lacked the basic skills, but there’s no time to mourn her passing because The Jump injury list is hungry for more, and as that realization dawns, cue credits.
Celebrities Vs Snow; The Snow Wins
This sad tale of loss and regret, however, is nothing compared to that being felt by the bookies, who have been thrown into disarray by the whole series with their favorites dropping like flies and some of the replacement cast unable to stand up on a pair of skis. Their assessment of the odds actually subject to almost random whims of fate and that is reflected in the odds you can get on this novelty wager as the series nears completion and the almost inevitable bodycount.
You can get 7/4 on Tom Parker ahead of one-time-Superman Dean Cain on 9/4, Ben Cohen is showing strong at 9/2 but may not be able to sustain it, Sid Owen and the woman everyone loves to hate Heather Mills are both on 10/1 with Brian McFadden and Joe Swash back a bit on 14/1 and Tamara Beckwith and Sarah Harding on 16/1 and 18/1 respectively. Not that you should dismiss them because of their long odds, not in this show.
If you like to bet on sports in the UK, but are bored of the English Premier League, The Jump injuries list has already proved this is far from a harmless TV show and it’s well worth putting a few quid on even one of the long shots because with participants dropping like flies the eventual winner could be nothing more than the one who manages to break the least amount of themselves.