You could say Fly Entertainment artist Bobby Tonelli received “special treatment” during the filming of Sasuke Singapore’s celebrity episode back in June.
After all, the Singapore-based American actor-DJ’s girlfriend, local actress Joanne Peh, is the host of the show.
Sasuke Singapore is Channel 5′s new crazy, action-packed game show that pushes contestants to their physical limits through an arduous five-part obstacle course.
A local adaptation of the Japanese series Sasuke (known as Ninja Warrior internationally), it premieres on Aug 9 at 8.10pm, after the telecast of the National Day Parade.
The 36-year-old Tonelli and Peh, 29, did not bother to hide their affection for each other on the approximately 160m by 25m set at Sentosa.
The couple, who have been dating since 2009, openly addressed each other as “honey” and “dear”. While Tonelli was navigating a series of slanted platforms called the Sextuple Step and jumped from a trampoline onto a cargo net, Peh took out her smartphone to take photographs and videos.
She also energetically cheered her hunky beau on and could not keep her eyes off him.
When asked whether she gave Tonelli any insider tips on how to ace the course, Peh responded with a chuckle.
After all, she was a contestant on the Channel 8 variety series Battle@Water Margin, which saw MediaCorp artists overcoming their phobias of heights and water as they duked it out on the wacky, wet and wild obstacle courses.
She told The New Paper: “There’s nothing I can do to help him because he’s the one on the course. “There’s no formula for success.”
She added: “I didn’t want to say I was worried because I might have projected that nervousness.” Incidentally, Tonelli had also auditioned to host Sasuke Singapore, but lost the role to Peh.
Nevertheless, he did his homework for his part as acontestant.
“I studied some of the obstacles on YouTube, worked out a lot and trained myself mentally for this challenge,” he said. “I think you just have to focus on what is going on ahead of you and give it your all.”
So are they still at the stage in their relationship where Tonelli has to impress Peh?
Quipped the American: “I think taking part in Sasuke is impressive enough because not everyone can do this.”
Yes, even someone as well-built and physically fit as Tonelli was seen having a difficult time on the course.
While climbing up the rope ladder, his foot got tangled and he looked visibly troubled.
Also, he failed to conquer the Jump Hang obstacle and fell into the water below.
When he emerged, looking disappointed with himself, Peh hugged and comforted him, saying: “It’s okay baby, I still love you.”
She told TNP later: “I think he did great, although he has been very nervous for the past few days.
“I have to say, I was more nervous for the other contestants than him.”
Tonelli was joined by other local celebrities such as Nat Ho, 27, Paul Foster, 31, Jimmy T, 48, Sylvia Ratonel, 24, and Koh Yah Hwee, 25.
And none of them had it easy on the course.
The sun was merciless during the shoot and they all left nursing rope burns on their hands.
Actor-singer Ho said: “My only thought was to get on the other side at all cost (for the Tarzan Swing and Rope Ladder). Only when I pressed the buzzer did I realise both my palms had blisters and were bleeding.
“My next thought was that I cannot play Diablo 3 for a while.
“I didn’t really prepare (for Sasuke Singapore). I just watched some YouTube videos and followed my normal exercise routine because I didn’t have much of an idea of what to prepare for.”
Singapore Idol 3 runner-up Ratonel suffered even more severe rope burns and was seen being attended to by medical personnel at the scene.
The singer was heard gasping in pain and kept telling the medics not to “press” on her wounds.
Koh also didn’t expect the obstacles to be so tough. While she was on the platform to prepare for the Tarzan Swing and Rope Ladder, the actress kept shouting: “It is different up here!”
She added: “I exercised and did some yoga. I honestly thought it was going to be easy, but it is no joke at all.”
The host of new gameshow Sasuke Singapore speaks about being thankful she only has to host, plus beau Bobby Tonelli says there is ‘no competition’ over Joanne nabbing the gig he also auditioned for
A sprightly Joanne Peh enters the Sasuke Singapore set at Sentosa on 22 June all guns blazing to film Episode 1, although the sun has been merciless to her scalp. She was filming for the previous two days to harsh ultraviolet rays, but her burnt scalp – Instagrammed on her account, mind you – is the least of her worries.
When asked by xinmsn during filming break if she has tried the obstacle course, Joanne broke into a sheepish grin and admitted her worries at going for a spin. “I see some girls who have done it get rope burns and I’m quite gu niang in that way, so I don’t really want to get scars and cuts. I’m crossing my fingers. I don’t think it’s a requirement for the host to do the course,” she justified.
It looks like there are more dangers than it seems, lurking on the Sasuke Singapore obstacle course. A mixture of celebrity contestants, new Singapore citizens and athletes will join the other contestants to power through the grueling course in record time. The winner will represent Singapore in the Sasuke competition in Japan.
The original Sasuke and Ninja Warrior versions do not have a prominent host in the show and Joanne Peh hopes to fill that void. She wants to flesh out the contestants’ personal stories and ease camera-shy contestants to ‘show some energy on camera’. She also agreed that she feels for the contestants on the show.
“I get very nervous for them before the buzzer goes off… I can’t imagine that kind of fear. That sense of accomplishment when I’m at the end talking to those who succeed is almost like I did it and sometimes I want to cry because you look at them struggle. I think it’s really a triumph of the human spirit when you manage to overcome all the obstacles and get at the end,” Joanne said.
Subway Photo Contest
Contestants of Sasuke Singapore have shown us their determination and skills through each physical challenge. We believe that there is a Ninja in our Homeviewers too! Bring the Ninja out of you!
Simply take a photo of yourself in any Ninja Pose at any Subway branch and upload it to Postbox! Tell us which Subway branch you were at. We are looking for 3 of the best photos to win $150 cash each sponsored by Subway!
Every week, 3 photos will be chosen to qualify for the final selection. Find out who your competitors are and be sure to be back to check if your photos qualifies for the final round! There is no limitation to the number of submissions, so send in as many photos as you can!
3 winners will be chosen and announced on 19 September 12.
Contest Submission Period
1. 9 August 12 – 12 Sep 12