Think you know the popular child’s game tag? You don’t know how far “tag” can be taken to the extreme. Well, let NFL jocks show you how it’s done. The latest FOX competition reality sports show filmed over one year ago, is making it’s way to the network’s prime time airwaves called “Ultimate Tag.”
Just like in real tag, the premise of the whole game is to NOT get caught by your tagger! It’s the show’s catchphrase as well – “don’t get caught!” Hollywood Junket got a sneak-preview of the show during a number of tapings.
The physically demanding game show consists of some tight, strenuous obstacles all set-up within a huge sound stage. In fact, the course is so big, it takes not one, but three hosts to efficiently navigate through the game play and contestant interviews. Three brothers from the NFL – JJ Watt (defensive end for Houston Texans); TJ Watt (outside Linebacker for the Steelers); and Derek Watt (fullback for the Pittsburgh Steelers) are the perfect trio for the job.
The contestants that go onto “Ultimate Tag” are physically fit and, according to the show are “not professional athletes.” They have to go up against “taggers” who most definitely are extremely athletic, some even being body builder/ “American Gladiators” types. Needless to say, not a whole lot of contestants make it through beyond the first few obstacle courses. Contestants are adorned with three small velcroed tags at various points on their bodies. One on the front, two on the back. It’s the job of the Taggers to grab all three before contestants reach their end point of each course which is marked by them hitting a button or trigger to mark their achievement in “The Safe Zone.”
There are three players per two-minute race against two Taggers. They start before the “Safe Zone” which is the area the contestants are trying to reach to solidify a successful end-game. If a tag is lifted, the contestant must go back to the beginning of the course and restart and they are given three new tags to wear.
The contestants with the lowest scores per race are eliminated. Exiting contestants stand in the middle of the set where the hosts are and they get comfort from their friends and family who are there to hug them from the audience side just before exiting the course ring.
Some problems encountered during the course included tags randomly falling off of contestants clothing which stopped production a number of times to re-attach after double-checking that the tags were not pulled off by Taggers. Another problem occurred during the early portion of filming when a female contestant’s arm got caught between the first course’s end point. It was scary for all audience members looking-on and thankfully she was unharmed and able to resume her game. The problematic course was soon fixed.
While watching the taping of the show, it was easy to get caught-up in the excitement, competition, and energy of the game. But, how well that will play-out on television has yet to be seen. The “professional Taggers” serve as a major element of the show which is likely to help build a following. They certainly achieved that with the reoccurring audience members in attendance whom many had their Tagger favorites. Much in the same vain as “American Gladiators” from years ago.
Some of the Taggers character names are: The Flo, The Big Deal, Atomic Ant, The Beach Boy, Rocket, The Boss, The Horse, The Nerd, The Iron Giantess, Flare, Dynamite, Bulldog. Each round has it’s own name as well. Two of the advanced courses are called “Revenge Tag,” and “Dome Tag.”
The tables are turned during the round called “Revenge Tag” which is much like “Pac-Man.” When the signal is given, the contestants have “x” amount of time to tag the Tagger. The last round is called “Showdown.” The points that the contestants earn give them so many seconds of a leeway ahead of the Tagger. They must get through the first half as quickly as possible. The Tagger can take only ONE tag. During the second half, another Tagger is waiting to take a tag. Each tag taken adds five seconds to the time. The quicker they compete, they win against their opponent. The winner is rewarded $10,000!
If you think the first few courses of the show just aren’t that exciting, stick around, because “Ultimate Tag” does get better!
The one-hour show is produced by Znak & Co. Natalka Znak, Conrad Green and JJ Watt serve as executive producers. Premiere episode of “Ultimate Tag” titled “You Better Run,” premieres Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on FOX network.