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Review: Full Metal Jousting, Season 1, Episode 1: “Army Strong in Armour – Arena, meet Marine!”

A bone crunching, heart pounding, heavy metal, painfully good time is what History Television promises to deliver with the premiere of Full Metal Jousting. Given an overabundance of tired, formulaic reality TV shows, you might wonder what sets this show apart from its predecessors. Well, for one, it’s not about what you have, what you drive, where you live, or who you know – this show is about competition, no alliances, no flash, just all out physical effort.

16 men from different backgrounds (theatrical jousters, marines, show jumpers, and rodeo riders) compete for $100,000 and the title of jousting champion. They are split into two teams – red and black, and go through rigourous training before they hop on a horse and try to knock each other off. At the end of every week, there is a final joust between the two teams and the loser gets sent home.

Sure, there are egos and drama, what reality show is complete without a wee bit of arguing and tension? However, for the most part, it’s training, instruction and an in-depth look at translating medieval jousting into a modern sport. For the purists – no, it’s not 100% medieval, far from it; this is medievally-inspired brought to the modern arena, but it doesn’t make it any less fun and interesting to watch. Shane Adams, the host and a champion jouster, infuses the show with his passion for the sport and explains the basics of jousting to the audience in a way that is easily understood. He keeps the jousters motivated and keeps the viewer interested.

This week’s episode was an introduction to the basics and set the stage for the rest of the season. Teams were created, some of the character personalities were introduced and the competitors got their feet wet. Josh (Black Team) a theatrical jouster squared off against Mike (Red Team) a former marine for a great final joust. For a marine with little to no jousting background, Mike really held his own againt Josh who has at least gone through the motions by being a theatrical jouster. In this show, a win is truly earned; no one is voting anyone off the island here. No one cares who you are because in the end, all that matters is that you can stay on your horse and beat your opponent.

If you’re interested in reality TV with a physical twist, and actual talent, then this show is for you. Tune in with us Wednesday nights, 9pm on History Television to watch medieval mayhem tranform into modern sport!

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