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This elimination on a UK reality show is brutally shocking—but not new

This elimination on a UK reality show is brutally shocking—but not new
Too Hot to Handle's David Birtwistle reacts to the first elimination on Love Trap, the new Channel 4 on which he's the bachelor.

David Birtwistle, one of the cast members of Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle, is starring in a new UK reality show, a clip of which has become a sensation on Twitter this week—even though what happens has been used on reality TV shows before. If this amuses you, there are many more clips to watch on the Internet!

The show, The Love Trap, is a new reality competition that has the same concept as HBO Max’s FBoy Island, just with the sexes of the contestants reversed. Channel 4’s description asks, “Can you spot a love match from a love trap?! Joel Dommett hosts, as one bachelor looks for love in a mansion full of beautiful women, but not all of them are single.”

The fact that half of the contestants are already in relationships is a twist revealed on the first episode. The first eliminated contestant, J’Harie, says she and her partner “conjured up this whole kind of lie together, because what we really wanted was money for a mortgage so we could eventually move out of our parents’ house and start a new life together.”

To eliminate his suspected “trap,” the bachelor, David, chose three “suspects,” and then chose one of them to send home. Two episodes have aired so far, but it’s a clip from the first one that’s been making the rounds.

That’s the part you just need to watch, and then we’ll discuss. I’ve started this video, which is from Channel 4, at the point where the viral tweet begins:

It’s so surprising! And good to know “she’s not dead,” as the host says.

As unexpected and shocking as that moment may be, watching someone fall through a trap door is not at all new to reality TV.

For example, Ellen’s Game of Games, aka the show where Ellen Degeneres demonstrates just how much she enjoys tormenting common people, used trap doors on its final elimination game. Contestants playing “Know or Go” stood atop a high platform so viewers could see part of their fall through a clear panel.

And that was not new. Almost 20 years ago, in 2002, the GSN game show Russian Roulette, which was hosted by a pre-Temptation Island Mark L. Walberg and adapted internationally, did the same thing.

The game show had its contestants stand on circles that were arranged in a circle, resembling the cross-section of a handgun’s cylinder. Eventually, contestants dropped through those holes in the floor. The game show even aired a montage of drops, recognizing the entertainment value of that particular moment.

The Love Trap’s contestants knew what was coming

The Love Trap's first eliminated contestant, J’Harie, drops through a hole in the floor of the set
TheThe Love Trap’s first eliminated contestant, J’Harie, drops through a hole in the floor of the set

The contestants’ reactions are the best part for me—and what’s particularly amazing is that they actually knew what was about to happen.

In a longer clip Channel 4 posted to YouTube, we see what precedes the events of the clip above. Host Joel Dommett actually explains that the elimination space, “The Trap Room,” is where one person “will immediately leave the house. They won’t be leaving through the front door, they will be leaving through a trap door.”

Even though they knew, the immediacy is what surprised me: the door just opens up the second he says her name.

The reactions are the best, both of the cast members and people on Twitter. One person asked, “Is she ok? Did she fall into water or something?” with someone else jokingly replying, “im sorry bro she died immediately on impact.”

This reminds me of the people who thought an ABC reality show was actually killing its contestants.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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