On Saturday’s Live Broadcast of “Wetten Dass” (A German Reality Show) twenty three year old contestant Samuel Koch attempted to jump over five moving cars. After he successfully tackled three cars he was hit by the fourth car driven by his father in front of a studio audience and a TV Audience of Million people. Samuel Koch is in stable but critical conditions.
This accident raises again the question whether we have gone too far with Reality TV and some Germans called for shutting down the show. The incident made its round to several international morning shows like: “The Today Show” discussing just that.
“Wetten Dass” is a hugely popular monthly program on German Television. Ordinary people challenging themselves with unusual weird undertakings! See here! Celebrities are waging in and if they loose their bid they have to undertake a humilating task for a charity. The show is usually scheduled for two hours but often goes over sometimes up to forty five minutes. Of course it is interrupted by commercial breaks. People are also entertained by performances from current stars. As a matter of fact Justin Bieber was scheduled to perform after that stunt but the show was halted because of the incident before he could perform.
I have seen this show for years while growing up in Germany. And I assure you an accident like this never happened before. Contestants are carefully vetted. Then they train in the studio before the show. Shutting the show down because of one accident isn’t the answer. Stuntmen want to perform and give world records. Nobody asks a certain person to do specific things. People are writing the show and telling them what they can do and the show decides which contestant they are going to feature. If this show is shut down over this, you might as well stop producing the Guinness Book of records. People will do crazy things like jumping over five moving cars or sailing around the world with only sixteen years of age as Abby Sunderland attempted. I think the world needs daredevil like that to see the limits of human kind.
Adventures are hard to stop whether you feature them on National Television or not. The accident is tragic and I am wishing Samuel Koch the best. However I am sure he was aware of the risk as Thomas Gottschalk (Host of the Show) pointed out. But he was motivated to do it anyway.
Wetten Dass is a family show however.I suggest extremely dangerous stunts should be aired with a one minute delay. Samuel Koch incident is now broadcasted all over the world on the Internet even so ZDF (The TV Station) is trying their best to remove live footage from the incident as soon as they see it. It’s not in the best interest of the Stuntmen nor the audience to see someone get hurt in such a way.
As for Samuel Koch I pray that his prognoses will be better soon. Right now they are predicting that he will be paralyzed. I hope that his father acknowledges for himself that this tragedy isn’t his fault and that supporting Samuel Koch with his goals is a fatherly thing to do. It is unfortunate that the accident happened.
A short search will give you video links to the actual accident but I chose not to provide them here.