When Wipeout Canada debuts this Sunday, Apr. 3, Revelstoke will be represented by Kevin Cherenkoff. The 24-year-old grew up in town and now lives in Calgary, where he’s married and works as an engineer.
The Times Review touched based with Chernenkoff to talk to him about his experience on the show. Here’s what he had to say:
Why did you apply to be on Wipeout?
I’m a big fan of the show in the first place. It looked like it would be great to be on the course, it looked really fun and I thought it would be pretty cool to be on the first season of Wipeout Canada, kind of a little claim to fame. And my wife (Maggie) throught it would be a really great idea.
What did you do for your application video?
I uploaded a video to YouTube and it was basically me practising. I had a few friends grab some pool noddles and some bouncy balls from Walmart and the basically threw them at me and hit me with them as I tried to run through and mimic the Wipeout course. We put it to music and sped it up a bit and it was pretty funny. <i>[You can watch the video above]</i>
What was your reaction when you were chosen to be on the show?
I remember I got the call when I was at work and because it was all confidential I had to go to an empty office to speak with them. I was incredibly excited but I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody. My co-workers were asking me what was going on. They kind of knew but I wasn’t allowed to tell them. I had to keep a big secret for a couple of months until they released the names of who was on the show.
Did you do any training before going on the show?
I did some training. I tried to stay fit, go jogging and get my cardio back up. While I was jogging I would run and jump off of things – basically started a bit of free running. I also did a lot of swimming because they spend a lot of time in the water, it seems.
Did you practice your wipeout recovery abilities at all?
I didn’t but that probably would have been a good idea. I didn’t try getting hurt just to practice that.
How did growing up in Revelstoke prepare you for Wipeout?
I started my free running career in Revelstoke, when I was in high school – running around in different playgrounds around town, maybe a couple of buildings too but I won’t say which ones. Probably just the general small town friendliness and a bit of craziness. My character’s name is Megawatt and he’s basically a super-hero that can produce electricity. Megawatt was conceived and conceptualized when I was in Revelstoke.
What was the trip to Argentina like [where Wipeout if filmed]?
It was a blast. They flew us down for free. They paid for anything and we stayed in a pretty decent hotel. It was my first time in South America and hanging around in Buenos Aires was pretty cool. I got pretty close with all the other contestants on the show, in my episode so we have a pretty cool experience with each other and a cool community. Argentina’s a pretty neat place.
How did the course compare to your expectations?
Most people said it was a lot harder than they imagined it would be. Because I heard that so much, I was expecting it to be really insanely difficult. I found it to be about what I was expecting but I’d say my expectations were pretty high.
What was the craziest part of running the course?
I’d definitely say the big balls were the craziest. I remember stepping off the platform and getting hit on different sides of my body from the big balls and then going head first into the water. I have no idea what happened, I don’t remember hitting it a certain way or trying to recover. I just had no hope on those.
<i>TVtropolis image</i>; <b>Kevin ‘Megawatt’ Chernenkoff</b>
Where did the character Megawatt come from?
It started off during the online video application. I was invited to the live auditions in Calgary so I dressed up as Megawatt for the audition. After I got accepted I talked with one of the people there about my character, what kind of things they wanted from that. They liked it and it stuck.
When we were running the course they yelled out at me a whole bunch of lines to say while I was doing the course so it was pretty fun.
What’s the reaction like amongst friends and family?
People are so excited. Everytime I go to work or church, people are asking me when it’s going to be on. There’s a lot of people who try to get information out of me as to how I did. I’ve heard a lot of tricky questions from people trying to figure out if I made it to the second of third round or if I won the money.
Every time I talk to my mom she tells me how many people in Revelstoke are asking about it. As it gets closer more people are writing on Facebook who are excited about it. It’s pretty fun.
I actually met someone on an airplane when I was flying out to Ottawa. I was talking to someone about Wipeout and I see a little pair of wide-eyes staring at me from the seat in front of me and this little kid was so excited that I was on Wipeout.
I ended up getting his parents e-mail address and sending them some pictures. It’s like my brush my fame.
How did you do?
I’m not allowed to say. We’ll just have to wait. It’s coming up in almost a week so we’ll have to keep everyone in anticipation for that answer.
Wipeout Canada airs Sunday, Apr. 3 at 8 p.m. on TVtropolis.