1. The Crystal Maze was an incredible game show.
It ran from 1990 to 1995 and was way ahead of its time. Just look at this fancy computer animated map! They had to link 5 Super Nintendos together to make it.
2. It featured one of the greatest TV presenters ever.
Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O’Brien impressed us with his excellent taste in coats, fantastic comic asides and his mesmerising dancing skills. He was a legend.
3. …and some of the worst prizes.
Crystal Maze ‘grand prizes’ were famously underwhelming. Dry stone walling experience for two, anyone? Richard O’Brien frequently mocked the prizes in his introduction to each show, referring to them as ‘pointless’, ‘inconsequential’, ‘mediocre’ and so on. Again: greatest host of all time.
4. It didn’t really matter though, because the contestants were totally useless.
Throughout the entire course of the show, only 17 out of 83 teams managed to win the ‘grand’ prize. Most of them didn’t even come close, mainly due to their inability to ride a mechanical bull while shooting a paintball gun. Here are nine other contestants who couldn’t handle the Crystal Maze:
5. 1. U3 Guy.
This contestant solved the first part of his puzzle fairly quickly, then spent over a minute staring at a wall looking for a button marked ‘U3’ while his team mates screamed “IT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU”. Needless to say, he didn’t win a crystal. Watch the full clip here.
6. 2. This woman.
The Aztec Zone’s water puzzles were fairly challenging, but that’s still no excuse for almost drowning yourself in two feet of water. As well as getting soaked, this poor woman also got locked in. To add insult to injury, the producers added her watery face plant to the opening credits.
7. 3. Cad the stairmaster.
Failing at tasks was bad enough, but a lot of people- like Cad here- couldn’t even get themselves around the set without help. Climbing down the wall isn’t even that hard: Richard O’Brien managed to do it in heels, for goodness sake.
8. 4. The contestant who forgot she had legs.
These ‘walk across a moving log’ tasks were a bit tricky, but shimmying along on your bum isn’t an effective solution. Forget Del Boy falling through the bar, the full clip of this challenge is officially the funniest three minutes in television history.
9. 5. The skeleton botherer.
Instead of looking for the crystal in the obvious place - the treasure chest- this guy became obsessed with a prop skeleton and tried to abduct it. He frustrated the camera crew so much they ended up releasing their puzzled commentary as part of the series out takes. Other comments included: “Where do we get these contestants from?” and “LEAVE THE SKELETON ALONE.”
10. 6. “I touched a mirror. Will that do?”
After successfully navigating a mirrored maze on his hands and knees, this spectacularly dim contestant touched the crystal’s reflection instead of picking it up. He then patted himself on the back, decided that was all he was supposed to do and retreated, leaving the maze without it. Wow.
11. 7. “Door? What door?”
This contestant was given a key and tasked with finding her way through a maze to a hidden door. Which she then proceeded to repeatedly run past while getting more and more frazzled. The full clip is here, but proceed with caution: the whole thing is so frustrating it might make your eyes bleed. Unsurprisingly, she gets locked in.
12. 8. Woman overboard.
Like Cad the stairmaster, this contestant had trouble even making it into the Aztec Zone. Maybe there was some kind of ancient curse? She tumbled out of a boat approximately one minute after entering the Crystal Maze, and presumably had to spend the rest of the episode wandering around in a soaking wet nylon jumpsuit.
13. 9. Sarah the destroyer.
Sarah was meant to use the glowing radar dot to locate the crystal. Unfortunately, she got so flustered that she decided the crystal was behind the radar itself and ended up demolishing a part of the set. Her reckless vandalism almost certainly cost Sarah the grand prize: a glass blowing workshop for two at the National Trust property of her choice. Full clip here.
14. Bonus entry: this woman (again).
“They’ve given me a stick with a hook on the end. What on Earth should I do with it? WAIT, I KNOW.”
This is the same woman who goes on to fall off the log in #2, but this section was too funny not to share. Full clip here.
15. One thing’s for sure. None of them deserve this.
Every contestant got to take home a commemorative crystal that claimed that they’d ‘cracked’ the Crystal Maze. Unless ‘cracked’ also means ‘nearly drowned in’, ‘damaged’, ‘failed’ or ‘broke’, the people above should really give their crystal back.
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