Jasmine Kyle, a Media mom, and Lina Carollo, a Delran school counseler, survived the first round of ABC's The Quest, which debuted Thursday night.
The show's like Survivor crossed with a Renaissance fair, as 12 costumed contestants find themselves immmersed in a fantasy storyline, complete dead-serious actors and mythical creatures, like the ogre who picks off an actor during an early journey through dark woods.
It's not a reality show, it's an alternate-reality show.
It got off to a bit of a slow start, with the show's creators hogging airtime for explanations and sales pitches, before introducing regular people getting invitations to join a quest to save the land of Everealm from the evil Verlox.
"I grew up in a very strict Italian household," Carollo said on-air, while being shown entering a tunnel to Everealm. "I was the youngest, I had three older brothers. It just allowed me be the person I am now and have that competitiveness within me. ... I’m super excited."
After armed guards lock up the seven women and five men, a dispute arose over whether to try to escape.
"I felt like this was the first true moment when everybody’s personality started to come out.” Jasmine commented.
Because each had a fragment of the legendary Sunspear, the dozen "palladins" were treated with respect and escorted to living quarters in the castle.
Carollo chose to room with Chicago bartender Katie Smaluk, who, alas, wound up being one of the two up for banishment, after her team failed in the show's biggest challege -- catapulting spears into an army of dummies.
"Me and Katie told each other that we have each other’s back, and I wanted to keep that," Carollo commented as others discussed which one should stay.
Katie had to turn in her piece of the Sunspear.
Overall, the show was fun, and has one advantage other competition countdowns: No instrusive host or judging panel, though there is a trio of Fates who preside over banishments.
Each week one player gets the boot until there's a single hero left.
Weirdly, THE HERO WINS NO MONEY, according to Variety. The network said, 'No, it's off brand," according to producer Mike Ordesky.
Maybe there was no loot left after paying for the actors and elaborate sets.
At least they could have given a chest of Everealm coins, suitable for hocking as collectibles on eBay.
Watch the premiere here. (It's a Hulu link because ABC.com's was busted this morning.)
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.