"Fresh from Canada"
Episode Ten (Part Two)
Story Written by Freedom Fighter
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Fresh TV, Inc. The 2010 Winter Olympic Games and all mentioned licensed characters, places, and other related material are the property of the International Olympic Committee. Oh, and this fanfic is not officially endorsed by either the IOC, Fresh TV, or anyone else involved with the Olympics.
Norman Bouchard Memorial Theatre
(Originally taped on Wednesday, July 28, 2010)
An audience could be heard applauding from inside the small theater, as the cameras zoom in towards the stage. On it, a small set of risers had been placed, and on it were chairs. Nineteen of them, to be exact, in rows of seven, six, and six, from top to bottom. Sixteen of the seats were filled by all of the contestants, with the exception of the final three competitors, who weren't present, and Bridgette, who was standing on the other side of the stage with Geoff.
"Good evening, everyone!" Geoff greeted the audience. "I'm Geoff!"
"And I'm Bridgette!" the surfer introduced herself. "And we're coming to you from the Norman Bouchard Memorial Theatre, located inside the student union building on the campus of the University of British Columbia!"
"Before you fiddle with your Internet browser, don't worry! We're going to take you back to the finale of 'Fresh from Canada' in just a minute!"
"We're just here to tell you to stay here immediately afterward, because Geoff and I here to host the 'Fresh from Canada Closing Ceremonies' special!"
"We'll be talking to our big winner, and we'll also be showing you where he or she was seen at the Vancouver Winter Olympics!"
"There's also so many questions we just have to ask about what happened here in Vancouver back in January! And we're gonna ask them!"
In a 'green' room set up somewhere else in the building, Reef, Lo, and Harold wave at the camera there as they are shown watching Geoff and Bridgette on the television via closed-circuit.
"And there's a look at the Final Three!" Geoff exclaimed.
"They'll be joining the rest of us on stage when the winner is revealed!"
"But," Bridgette admitted, "it's kind of a moot point. Since... well, you know."
"What? What are you talking about, Bridge?"
"We all actually know who the winner is. The show WAS taped back in January."
"You all know?"
Geoff looked at the others on the stage, and they all nodded.
"How do I not know? I'm your co-host, babe!"
Bridgette giggled. "Because you weren't there like we all were to see the final event in person!"
"Wait... so you'll spoil that, but you won't spoil the winner?"
"That's mean, Bridgette!"
"Anyway," she ignored him, "time to get back to the show! The final event is about begin! Let's see who comes out on top!"
"You're really not going to tell me, are you?"
"Nope... you'll have to watch and see, just like the rest of the world."
"Then let's get that film rolling already!"
The audience applauded as the camera zoomed in on the screen that was set up on-stage to show the finale.
Cypress Bowl Ski Area
At the site of the Freestyle Skiing Aerials, night had fallen. The artificial lights overlooking the entire section of Cypress Mountain, from the starting area to the kickers to the spectator stands at the bottom, were turned on, basking it in a warm, white light. It was definitely needed as the temperatures were in the mid-to-high 30s and falling.
Dozens and dozens of members of the resort staff were rushing to finish preparations, making artificial snow and spreading it all around, especially in the landing area, hoping to make sure the event could go through despite the warm conditions the last few days.
Having gotten something to eat and given a short amount of time to rest, the three finalists were now ready to take on the hill.
They started walking towards the area, and they had serious looks on their faces as they were now mentally preparing. Along side each of them was their assigned coach/cheerleader, who now was trying to keep them focused as their moment of destiny awaited.
====== [Confessional Booth] ======
"This is it," Reef rubbed his hands in anticipation. "Two long weeks, and it's going to come down to three jumps."
"There's definitely pressure," stated Harold, "but those who would be champions rise above it."
"I'm going to win," declared Lo, "and I'm gonna make Daddy proud!"
======= [End Confessionals] ======
Allen was standing near the spectator seats, and he greeted them as they stopped before them.
"Good evening," welcomed Allen. "Who's ready to win a quarter of a million dollars?"
"I am!" Reef, Harold, and Lo said in unison.
"Great to hear. Time to draw straws to determine jumping order... literally!"
Allen held out his clenched left hand, which had three straws sticking out of it.
"Ladies first," beckoned Harold.
Seconds later, Harold is shown holding a three-inch straw, Lo one that is six-inches, and Reef had possession of a foot-long.
"Shortest to longest, folks!" Allen told them. "Harold goes first!"
The three nodded, and started to head for the ski lifts with their coaches.
"Hold on," Allen called out, "I've got one last surprise for you all."
They all turned around, frightened at what that meant given the last 24 hours.
"That surprise better not be us having to jump blindfolded!" Harold threatened.
"Hey!" Allen took offense. "The events may be death-defying, but your risks of injury will always still be less than those the real Olympic athletes face! Besides... I have a feeling you'll like this one!"
He turned around and yelled into the stands.
"Come on out, everyone!"
They watched as the other 14 eliminated competitors came out from the spectator bowl. The finalists and their coaches breathed a sigh of relief and smiles formed on their faces as they saw all their friends again, some for the first time in two weeks. Wyatt was among the last to appear, who was trying to blend into the group.
Lo was about to walk over to talk to him after his hasty exit just hours ago. In what tone of voice, no one will ever know, because Allen jumped in to shoo the finalists away.
"Now that you have an audience to cheer for you... let's get this event started!"
Minutes later, the finalists were up at the top of the hill, along with their coaches.
"Go for it!" Lindsay yelled at Harold. "You can do it!"
Harold nodded as he walked over towards the starting point for the second-highest kicker. Once he was given the signal to go, Harold was off immediately. He came down the hill and hit the ramp. Once launched into the air, he performed a back flip with a spinning twist, albeit a little sideways, which led into a second back flip.
He straightened out for his landing less than a heartbeat from his skis touching down. He wobbled a little bit, arms flailing briefly, before getting his balance and safely arriving at the bottom. He came to a stop, and the audience cheered and applauded for him.
[Harold, Run 1
Attempted Jump - Double Back Flip w/ Single Twist
Run 1 Score: 73.22]
Back at the top, Lo was grumbling as she got into position. Seeing this, Emma quickly ran over to get her focused.
"Lo, will you stop fussing about him?"
"Don't you think I'm trying not to!" Lo shouted back.
"Just take a deep breath and clear your mind," Emma suggested.
Lo did as she was told... and a few seconds later, she was smiling.
"That actually worked! Thanks, Emma!"
Emma ran back up to the starting area with the others, while Lo started her run down to the lowest ramp. Her first jump was to be a single back flip with a twist, and she performed it nearly flawlessly, keeping her arms at her sides and her feet together. She glanced down at the hastily approaching ground and made her landing. Again, almost perfect, save for her head and shoulders leaning a few inches forward.
Once stopped at the bottom, she scanned the bleachers for Wyatt, who was trying to hide behind Jonesy and Jude. Not well enough, as she could see his hair sticking out between their heads.
Regardless, Lo kept her composure, and turned to the scoreboard to wait for her score.
[Lo, Run 1
Attempted Jump - Single Back Flip w/ Single Twist
Run 1 Score: 55.80]
Lo was a little surprised by the score, and she glanced up towards the judges' stand overlooking the ramps. She couldn't see the reaction, but they saw hers, as her gesture was caught on camera.
"I don't get it," Nikki said aloud. "Her jump all around looked better than Harold's."
"She probably got a better base score," Jen explained, "but her jump was easier than his. They add up the judges' scores and then multiply them by the degree of difficulty."
"Well, if Wyatt wants his girl to win, she better start jumping off of the taller ramps with the big boys!"
"She's not my girl!" Wyatt exclaimed, popping out from behind the guys.
"Sure... you just keep telling yourself that, not-Romeo!"
As Lo departed to head back up, Reef was rubbing his hands in anticipation as he skied off from the gate. He was heading for the second-highest ramp, and he was determined to hit his first jump right as he launched up into the air. He was trying to one-up Harold by going double back flip, double twist.
He pulled off the first flip-twist combination pretty well, and did likewise on the second. He seemed to be holding his form fair enough as he landed, but he wobbled upon touchdown. Still, he was happy with himself as skied to the bottom, shouting with exuberance as he came to a stop.
"Oh yeah, that's the stuff!"
The judges apparently were happy with the trick, too.
[Reef, Run 1
Attempted Jump - Double Back Flip w/ Double Twist
Run 1 Score: 82.77]
After a short break to allow the competitors to get back to the top and for the resort staff to check the take-off and landing area to see if any snow had to be added, the second round of jumps was set to start.
Harold was ready to up the ante, as Lindsay and the others observed as he headed for the middle kicker, the highest ramp of them all. Once airborne, he did two back flips while twisting through both, and then he tried to squeeze in a 360-degree turn on the back end. He kept much better form throughout the entire jump, but his landing once again left a lot to be desired, as he hit the ground leaning very far forward. He only managed to keep from falling on his face as he swung his arms backward in a windmill motion to help him get his balance.
Harold came to a stop and wiped the sweat off of his forehead. He knew he might have lucked out on that one.
"Great jump, Harold!" Bridgette yelled.
"You nailed that one!" shouted Tyler.
They thought his jump was great, but would the judges agree? Harold got his answer a minute later... and he raised his arms in both triumph and disbelief. It was a huge score.
[Harold, Run 2
Attempted Jump - Double Back Flip w/ Double Twist Plus 360 Turn
Run 2 Score: 104.05
Total Score: 73.22 + 104.05 = 177.27]
Lo and Reef saw the score on the huge video monitor near the starting area, and realized that Harold had thrown down the gauntlet. They were going to have to step it up if they were going to win.
Lo was already lined-up for the second-highest ramp, but suddenly she decided to move over to go after the highest one. As she did, Emma came over to make a suggestion.
"You've got to go trip-back, at least," Emma said to her.
"But I never even attempted a trip in practice!"
Lo relented after a few back-and-forth moments between the two girls, and Emma ran over to the official to tell him of Lo's revised jump.
"Lo's definitely in trouble unless she pushes it," observed Reef.
"Emma was right," Fin said back. "She was way too conservative on the first jump. She doesn't have a choice now but to go big."
Once the judges had been made aware of the change, Lo was given the signal to proceed. After a few tense moments to gather her composure, she took off down the slope.
Once she came off the ramp, she went into her modified routine. She did one back flip, combining with a twist, then another. She was about to start her third when she panicked a little, noticing the ground coming up fast, and tried to abort. But her momentum had already carried her past the perfect landing angle.
She hit the slope hands- and back-first and slid all the way to the bottom that way. Hitting the bottom, her back's friction with the ground eventually brought her body to a stop.
"That... wasn't pretty..." winced Gwen.
"Serves her right," remarked Heather, who was sitting behind her.
Lo managed to sit up and reached up to take off her goggles, but she was grimacing in pain as she did so; her back had taken a hard hit.
Everyone looked on with worry, particularly Wyatt, as the medical staff came out to check on Lo.
"Poor girl," commented Jen. "I hope she's okay."
"She must've been distracted by me," Wyatt deduce, albeit incorrectly, "oh man... now she'll probably blame me for her not winning!"
Up at the top, Reef gulped nervously after seeing Lo's bad landing. He and Fin watched uncomfortably after a video replay of the jump was shown on the big screen. Emma was no longer with them, as she had left to head down to check on Lo's condition personally.
To their relief, once the replay had ended, the cameraman at the bottom showed the medics deciding it was okay to get her up. They each grabbed an arm and carefully pulled Lo to her feet. She still felt a lot of stabbing pain in her back, but she did her best to keep a smile on her face, visible because the medics had taken her helmet off during the brief check-up, as the guys and gals in the stands applauded her being well enough to walk away from the crash, albeit gingerly.
"You sure you still wanna do this?" Fin asked Reef back at the top. "Your second jump's as difficult as the one she just tried to do, and your third's even tougher!"
"I got to practice mine!" Reef said in response. "I can pull this off. Though... it is nice to see you care about me."
"What? No! I'm just trying to make sure you win this thing so you can back up that inflated ego of yours!"
Reef then skied into position in the lane for the highest ramp, as the score for Lo's second jump came up... not that it mattered.
[Lo, Run 2
Attempted Jump - Triple Back Flip w/ Triple Twist
Run 2 Score: 72.74
Total Score: 55.80 + 72.74 = 128.54]
Taking a deep breath, Reef hoped he could put up a good score on the board to challenge Harold. He leaned forward, attempting to get as close to top speed as possible as he flew off the end of the ramp. He was starting off with a 360-degree turn as he hit his peak height, which led into the double back flip, double twist combination he did on his first jump. He succeeded in getting all the way around, but his feet were coming apart as he landed on the hard slope below. He bobbled, and it looked as if he had control...
But then he leaned a bit too far left, attempting to complete the correction, and he fell over, sliding about 20 feet down the remainder of the slope on his left arm.
Once he came to a stop, he was shaking his head as he turned over so he was now flat on his back. He took off his goggles and helmet and spent a few seconds just to sit up and look back at the slope. He stayed there for quite awhile, long enough that one of the medics ran out to him, wondering if he had hurt himself.
The medic knelt beside Reef, and the two chatted briefly before the guy got up and took a few steps back. Reef stood up soon after, and he dusted the fake snow off of his left side as he glanced up at the scoreboard.
It would take a couple minutes before the judges could render their decision.
[Reef, Run 2
Attempted Jump - 360 Turn Plus Double Back Flip w/ Double Twist
Run 2 Score: 88.93
Total Score: 82.77 + 88.93 = 171.70]
Reef realized the fall had cost him... he was now behind Harold by more than five-and-a-half points.
As the ski bowl area was being prepared for the final round, a quick run to the medical tent showed that the medics were still examining Lo, and a number of groans and whelps could be heard at random intervals.
====== [Confessional Booth] ======
"This can't be happening!" Lo exclaimed. "I so wanna go back out there and finish, even if I have no chance of winning. But my body just refuses to cooperate!"
======= [End Confessionals] ======
"I'm my duty to announce," Allen stated over the loudspeaker, "that as of this moment, the medical staff will not clear Lo to participate in the final jump of the competition."
Murmuring could be heard by the spectator gallery, but naturally, Wyatt was the most upset of all, as he jumped out of his seat and ran off, in the direction of the medical tent, as fast as he could.
"She has sustained no major injuries, but as a precaution, the doctors have decided to not clear her to compete. Therefore... our two-week competition has come down to Harold and Reef. Have at it, guys!"
Harold, Reef, Lindsay, and Fin were chatting at the starting gate over the news regarding Lo's condition.
"I guess it's just you and me," Reef said to Harold.
"Guess so," Harold said, sticking his hand out. "May the best jumper win!"
The two boys shook hands, in a sportsmanlike gesture.
"Too bad," Lindsay said aloud. "I was kinda hoping she'd win one for us girls."
"True," Fin partially agreed, "but I think she'll be content with finishing third. Don't think anyone expected that."
A minute later, the signal was given for the final round to begin. Again, Harold was to go first. Reef, Lindsay, and Fin went back up the hill to clear the way for Harold, who began to psych himself up for his last jump.
Once he was in his 'zone,' he began his descent to the ramp. Heading for the biggest kicker, he took off high into the air. All eyes were on Harold as he immediately learned back to flip over, twisting in the air as he did. Then he did a second combination flip-twist... and then a third. His form looked perfect as he came down for the landing.
He hit the ground okay, but he was leaning backwards on impact. He fell off his skis, and his butt hit the ground. But somehow he bounced back up before his skis were completely off the ground, and he skied the rest of down upright.
He clapped his hands once, signifying his displeasure as he came to a stop. He bent down to take off his skis, and then he bowed to the crowd, as everyone applauded his great effort.
"Almost had it," he said aloud, before turning to the camera. "I think it was the same jump Lo did."
It indeed was. But how would the judges score it?
"Nice landing, doofus!" Duncan exclaimed as he walked down from the stands to 'congratulate' Harold.
"Like you could've done any better!" shouted Harold.
"Ignore him, Harold," Courtney stated, walking up behind Duncan. "He has no right to talk after not making it past Day One here!"
Duncan opened a mouth to retort to that, but he couldn't think of one. Or maybe he didn't dare think of one?
"Harold's score is in," Allen announced over the loudspeaker, "but I'm gonna withhold it until after we get Reef's. Makes for more tension, don't ya think?"
Up at the top, Fin was giving Reef a few last words of advice.
"You can win this!" she told him. "But the landing has to be perfect! You don't have room for error!"
"That trophy's as good as mine!" Reef declared with confidence.
As Reef skied away from her, Fin clasped her hands together, as if she were praying for him to succeed. Reef stopped at the starting line for the biggest of the three ramps, pulled his goggles down over his eyes, and all that was left was to wait for the biggest moment of his life to arrive.
Seconds later, Reef got the 'go' signal, and he started down the hill.
"I believe in you!" Fin called out. "Hit this, you insane kook!"
Reef leaned forward as he picked up speed. Before he knew it, he flew off the edge of the final ramp and into the air, and all eyes were on him as he went for the biggest stunt of all.
"A million dollars says he lands face-first in the snow!" Duncan betted.
"You're on!" Harold agreed, before taking a step back. "Wait a minute... didn't you spend it all already?"
"It's her fault," replied Duncan, who pointed to a displeased Courtney.
Reef did two twisting back flips in mid-air, then he went for a 540-degree turn! That meant that he would be landing looking up the slope, and everyone gasped in shock when they realized that was what he had planned. All he had to do was stick the landing...
His skis hit the slope almost flat. Reef landed leaning forward into the slope, looking for balance. But his left hand hit the ground as well, meaning he was a bit too far forward. Still, he quickly pushed off the ground and skied the rest of the way to the bowl standing straight up.
The crowd went wild as Reef came to a stop. Although not perfect, they were in jubilant disbelief that he had actually pulled off a backwards landing! Reef got a standing ovation as he reached down to unlatch his feet from his skis. Harold walked over and just had to give him a high-five just for attempting such a jump.
"How did you pull that off?" Harold asked.
"I'm still wondering myself," Reef chuckled, as he looked up at the video screen.
He and Harold watched the replay, and saw how close Reef had come to falling on the landing. If he had not stayed up, Harold would've won for sure. But now... it was all on the judges.
As they waited, everyone else came down from the stands to congratulate both Harold and Reef for putting on a good show for them on this mild winter's night. Eventually, they were joined by Lo, who walked out to the bowl with Emma and Wyatt on either side of her. Harold and Reef both came over to give her a hug for her efforts, though a gentle one, as she was still in some pain.
The three of them then stood next to each other, and the rest of the gang stood off to the side as Allen finally appeared, with a huge golden trophy. It was half of a lemon that was atop a Roman-style pedestal about 14-inches tall, and the lemon itself had engraved in it, on the open face, the Fresh TV logo and the five Olympic rings.
"After 16 days, ladies and gentlemen," Allen exclaimed, "let me just say that you three finalists have done the unthinkable. Compete in ten different Winter Olympic disciplines, and do it better than anyone could've reasonably expected given the unideal weather conditions and torrid things that such participation has done to your bodies. Guys, let's give our three finalists one last round of applause."
The others obliged, proud of what they have done.
"The judges have made their decision!" exclaimed Allen. "The winner of 'Fresh from Canada'... is..."
Reef and Harold both leaned forward.
"...by the final score of 196.83 to 191.18... is..."
Everyone held their breath, as they waited for Allen to say his name...
"Woo hoo!" Reef yelled, raising his arms in jubilation. "I can't believe it... I actually did it!"
Lo wrapped her arms around Reef to give him a hug, while Harold gave him another congratulatory high-five. As they separated from him, Reef was mobbed by the rest of the group, who wanted to offer their accolades. Most upfront of them all was Fin, who jumped up and wrapped her arms around the back of his neck. He swung her around in delight as he grabbed her by the hips.
"I did it, Fin! I did it!"
"You pulled it off!" Fin shouted. "Nice going, you!"
Reef stopped spinning and he leaned forward slightly so that Fin's feet were back on the ground before she pulled her hands apart. She then stepped aside as the others came in.
====== [Confessional Booth] ======
"Reef is a men amongst men!" Harold declared. "To have the balls to attempt a backwards landing... he completely deserves to be the winner. I'd tip my hat to him... if I had a hat, that is."
"I didn't get to see the jump live," stated Lo, "but after seeing the replay, the judges were so right in giving him the win. Great job, Reef! I'm sure Fin's proud of you, as are the rest of us."
"I knew I could win this competition if I just put my mind to it," admitted Reef. "There were a lot of great competitors, and I managed to outlast them all. How about that?"
======= [End Confessionals] ======
After everyone had congratulated Reef, Allen finally came over to officially hand the trophy to him.
"There you go!"
Reef smiled as held the trophy high above his head, and the others gave him a round of applause. He then put the trophy down on the ground as he spotted two men in black suits coming forward, and one of them was holding the briefcase Allen had shown to the Final Four yesterday. They stopped next to Allen and opened the briefcase.
"As promised, as the winner of 'Fresh from Canada,' you receive a quarter of a million dollars! You also are going to get VIP tickets to any three event finals here at the Olympic Games next month! You also get the honor of representing Fresh TV, Incorporated, the studio behind 'Total Drama Island,' 'Total Drama Action,' '6teen,' and 'Stoked,' at the Winter Olympics."
Everyone cheered as the suitcase was closed and handed to Reef, who took it and rubbed his face against it.
"One last thing, Reef... part of the package of representing the company at the 2010 Winter Olympics is that you get the chance to attend the Opening Ceremonies, which will be held at BC Place Stadium. As an added perk, you get to bring one of your fellow competitors to that once-in-a-lifetime experience."
A few curious eyes turned Reef's way, wondering whom he would pick.
"When you voted last night for your choice, you said you wanted to take Lindsay. It's been roughly 24 hours or so since then... will you stick to your guns and take her, or do you have someone else in mind?"
"Allen," Reef stated, "there's only one person I'd dream of bringing with me..."
He then turned to his selection, and she happened to be standing right next to him.
"It's gotta be you... Fin!"
"Really?" Fin gasped, half-shocked. "You really want to take me?"
"It's your motivation that got me the win today! It's gotta be you!"
Everyone cheered as Fin wrapped her arms around Reef's body this time, and he did the same in response.
====== [Confessional Booth] ======
"I still can't believe it," Reef slapped himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming, "but I have to! I've won! I've really won! And I'm going to the Olympic Games! This is the best day of my life!"
======= [End Confessionals] ======
A short time later, all 20 competitors were gathered in the spectator seats for one final farewell to Vancouver. They all piled in behind the three finalists, who sat in the front row. Reef, of course, was in the center, cradling his trophy in his right hand and holding up his briefcase full of cash in the other. Lo sat to his right, while Harold was to his left.
The others piled in behind them, with Fin most noticeably sitting down right behind Reef, smiling as she placed her hands on his shoulders.
Once they were all in position, they said their final farewell.
"On behalf of Fresh TV and the city of Vancouver," they said in unison, "thanks for watching us! And... GO TEAM CANADA! WOOOOO!"
They all waved goodbye as the camera pulled away, and the cast got smaller as the camera was hoisted into the air and pulled away from Cypress Mountain aboard a helicopter.
The said helicopter flew over BC Place Stadium, where the Opening Ceremonies were going to be held...
And then a shot of the Olympic torch burning brightly through the night, apparently taken in February during the games themselves...
Norman Bouchard Memorial Theatre
(Originally taped on Wednesday, July 28, 2010)
Said shot was being show on the screen as the audience in the theatre cheered and the lights came up on the stage. Everyone turned their heads back towards the entrance, and the cheers and yells got louder as Lo and Harold both entered, the former blowing kisses and the latter waving.
The other competitors were standing up on stage, applauding loudest of all as the two runner-ups made their way down the aisle and up onto the stage. Both of them looked much better physically than they did at the end of the competition, particularly Lo, who was walking around like normal.
As Harold and Lo took their places in front of their seats on stage, the place erupted as everyone looked back again. Reef entered the theatre, holding up his winner's trophy for all to see. There were a few boos, but they were easily drowned out by all of the cheers as Reef came down the aisle. He high-fived every guy he could, and winked at every cute girl he saw.
After a couple minutes, he finally got to the stage steps. He handed his trophy off to a stage hand for safekeeping, then proceeded to the riser where the other competitors offered high-fives and hugs to him.
As the cheers continued, the camera panned to the back corner of the room, where Geoff and Bridgette were standing with microphones in hand.
"And so Reef is the winner of 'Fresh from Canada!'" Bridgette declared.
"We'll have reactions from him, and the rest of the cast in moments!" Geoff exclaimed. "All in the 'Fresh from Canada Closing Ceremonies' special, coming up next! Stay tuned, folks!"
(End Act Five)
After a brief intermission, the audience was signaled to applaud as the cameras came back on-line and turned their focus onto the stage. On the left side were 19 of the show's competitors, sitting in three rows. In the bottom row, from right to left, were Reef, Harold, Lo, Wyatt, Lindsay, and Heather. In the middle row, from left to right, sat Jude, Fin, Jen, Cody, Gwen, and Trent. In the top row, positioned right to left, were Jonesy, Courtney, Emma, Tyler, Nikki, Duncan, and Johnny.
Where was the 20th competitor, Bridgette? She was sitting on a stool at about center stage, next to her boyfriend, Geoff, and they together were hosting the show.
"Good evening, Vancouver and everyone else in the world!" greeted Geoff.
The audience became silent as the hosts began the show.
"Welcome to the 'Fresh from Canada Closing Ceremonies' special, hosted by me and Geoff! We're here at the Norman Bouchard Memorial Theatre on the campus of UBC!"
"We're here with the entire cast to take a look back at the competition, and maybe get some behind-the-scenes scoops about what you didn't see on camera!"
"We don't have much time, so let's get right to it. First off, Reef, I can now say this for the first time in public... congratulations on winning 'Fresh from Canada!'"
"What's life been like since the end of the show?"
"Unreal. Completely unreal. I think the toughest part was trying to keep it all a secret for so long. I mean, the show was supposed to air, from what I was told, during the two weeks leading up to the actual start of the Olympics. And then, for whatever reason, the show got pulled after three episodes and then up and disappeared for a couple months.
"Holy moley!" remarked Geoff.
"A lot of my friends got curious after I quote unquote 'disappeared' a couple days before the Opening Ceremonies and stayed gone for, I think it was a week and a half. After I got back, they all bombarded me with questions. Because they had seen those first few episodes, they were starting to suspect that I had won because I was gone for so long again... especially just a couple of weeks after being back from the show's taping."
"Uh huh," nodded Geoff.
"It didn't take long before they found out their suspicions were right, and I had to end up calling the producers to come down and have them sign those forms that they had to sign, agreeing that they wouldn't go public with the fact, because the show was going to be coming back on the air and they didn't want it ruined by viewers already knowing what the outcome was."
"How many people do you think figured it out on their own, in your hometown?" asked Bridgette.
"Probably seven, maybe eight people. And then I had to tell my family, because they'd be curious to know where the heck I got a quarter of a million dollars from out of the blue."
The audience laughed.
"I didn't steal it, Mom and Dad, I swear!"
More laughter and a few chuckles followed.
"The six month wait was killer, though. They should've made me sign several of those secrecy things, because you don't KNOW how many times I wanted to come out and say I won this thing. I would've love to have gloated in a couple people's faces. And now I finally can, thank God!"
Another round of laughter and cheers filled the air.
"Take us through that final day of competition," Geoff said to him. "The early wake-up, the high-speed Skeleton challenge, and the Aerials finale..."
"Whoa... let me preface this by saying that if I hadn't been declared the winner that night, I would've spent the night sleeping on the mountain. Because my body was aching so much, I had literally pushed myself close to my limit. To be hurting that much and not come away with the trophy... that would've made all of that pain not worth it. I mean, we went through so much in two weeks, and then it ended when we had a new challenge day after day after day, with no breaks."
The three finalists, plus Wyatt and even Lindsay and Heather, nodded in agreement.
"And then the final day, dragged out of bed at... what was it, I think five o'clock, and then have to survive a 16, 17-hour day that included barreling down a slide at 90 miles an hour and then having to twist and turn your body in mid-air and hope that your feet are the first thing that touch the ground. How I, or Harold, or Lo still had the energy to still stand at the end of the day... I don't know."
"Talk about the final jump," goaded Bridgette, "and Harold, you can jump in on this too, but what was going through your mind when you were in the air and when you came down, backwards?"
"I was thinking," Reef replied, "that if I don't nail this jump, this landing... Harold beats me. And again... that would have been so disappointing, for me to have worn my body out to come up with nothing. So I was ignoring all the pain and pushing my body to keep turning, keep rotating. And then, on the landing... keep your feet grounded, keep your feet grounded. And I just barely managed to do it."
"I can't speak for the judges," Harold added, "but just for attempting something like that... even if Reef had fallen, I probably still would have given him the win. None of us were any sort of good or experienced at ski jumping. I'm actually amazed at the scores Reef and I got... 'cause I would've scored us a whole lot lower."
"Just for those curious at home," Bridgette said, holding up a small piece of paper, "Reef's final jump was given a score of 107.90. Not bad, from what I hear. If you would've hit the landing, it would've been something really special."
"Speaking of landings," Geoff cut in, "Harold, dude... what was up with yours? Bobbles on all three, including a landing on your butt on the final jump. Hit any one of your three landings perfectly, and we might be celebrating you winning the competition."
"Precisely," Harold nodded in agreement, "I had structured my jumps based on what the judges wanted to see and if I could pull it off. And I think did well. The problem was, as you said, the landings. My legs just wouldn't cooperate with me. Maybe it was all of the exhaustion and my extremities had just decided that they'd had enough."
"If your body is at full strength, do you win that final challenge?"
Harold looked at Reef and then back at Geoff.
"I'd like to say yes, but then Reef here probably would've pulled out something even more incredible than that backward landing."
"What could get more incredible than that?"
Harold shrugged his shoulders.
"But there was one more person in the finale," Bridgette reminded them, "and that was Lo."
"Hi, Bridge!" Lo waved hello.
"I know it's been a long time since that day, but my first question has to be... are you okay? That was a nasty spill you took!"
Lo nodded. "Yeah. It was pretty bad. Like the guys said, we were all pretty much running on empty. To be fair, I wasn't just trying to go easy initially just because I was hoping the guys would take some pretty big spills and the trophy would just fall into my lap... but I was also hurting so bad from the crash in the Skeleton earlier. I was trying to only do what my body would allow me to do. But then I had that crash on my second jump... and in addition to my back, I had also tried to brace my fall with my arm."
"So basically two injuries in one day?"
"Pretty much. I'm actually glad my body told me 'no more,' because I definitely would've tried to go back up to the top to try and finish the challenge. Probably would've risked hurting myself more."
"Now, this wasn't shown on TV, but immediately after Reef was given the trophy, you had to be taken to the hospital. What happened?"
"At first, it was a precautionary measure, as the doctors didn't think I had broken anything. But it's a good thing I went, because on the way there, my left arm started swelling up. It turns out that there was a small crack in my humerus bone. I had to have surgery, as I had a few torn ligaments and tissue right around the crack."
Some of the other cast members gasped, as did a good portion of the audience, as they had not about it until now.
"Yeah, I was in a cast for about a month," she said at she looked up at some of them, "it was to make sure my arm healed properly."
"You must be glad it wasn't any more serious than that," Geoff said to her.
"And your arm now?"
"Good as new!"
The audience applauded her successful recovery.
"Then you don't mind me asking this..." Geoff said with a smirk, "you and Wyatt? On or off?"
"Off. Most def off."
Wyatt nodded in agreement.
"Really? Because... a lot of the footage we saw says otherwise! Especially the last couple days! You two aren't gonna blame tiredness for your flirtations are you?"
"Flirtations?" Lo huffed, pointing at Wyatt. "Wyatt was the one doing all the flirting!"
"It's kinda hard to call it flirting when you didn't flirt back," Wyatt shot back.
"But didn't you initiate all of the conversations between the two of you?" Geoff asked.
"That didn't start until after Lo came back from the hospital after the Luge challenge. And at the time, she was kinda up on those painkillers."
"Okay. But still, even though she apologized for her actions, you saw it as a sign that she liked you. So you started to push, trying to see if that was true, and also if you felt the same way."
"Well, yeah... but I was trying to be careful. You know, I've already been in several failed relationships, and I wanted to make sure of our feelings before I truly embraced us as a couple."
"It's true," Jen spoke up. "Wyatt's been through a lot."
"Thanks a lot," Wyatt sarcastically replied.
"Personally," Bridgette stuck her nose in, "the part about the whole thing you two as a couple that's most confusing? The end of it. Wyatt, Lo was about to reciprocate her feelings to you, and you basically told her it wasn't going to work out, and walked off."
Murmurs and a few shouts of 'Yeah!' were heard from the crowd.
Wyatt sighed. "Like I said in the confessional booth afterward, I just felt that I wasn't ready to be in a relationship again just yet. Just too many issues I had to deal with internally before I could open up to a girl again."
"Lo," Geoff looked at her, "do you buy that?"
"I absolutely do. I didn't at first, but after we had a couple of chats, I understood where he was coming from."
"The only thing Lauren still doesn't understand," Wyatt said with a smile, "was what signs she was giving off that she liked me."
The audience laughed.
"I recorded the last three or four episodes and have watched them over and over again," admitted Lo. "You guys tell me, because other than right after the first hospital trip and at the end... I didn't see anything in-between those two moments that I saw as a sign that I liked Wyatt."
"Signs or no signs," Bridgette prefaced, "we know that Wyatt and Lo were sharing signs of a different kind... in their alliance with Harold and Lindsay!"
"How did arguably four of the weakest players in the game turn it so upside down that they had a legitimate chance to win at the end?" Geoff asked aloud.
"I question your meaning of 'weakest,'" objected Harold.
"And what about Cody and Jen?" questioned Bridgette. "What about the drama between them?"
"We'll answer those questions, and whatever else we can fit in, next!" Geoff shouted. "But first, these messages..."
(End Act Six)
Audience applauds and cheers as the show resumes.
"One of the biggest surprises in this game revolves around the performance of the Blue Team," Geoff stated. "Despite how well both Harold and Lindsay did in both seasons of 'Total Drama,' most of the competitors pegged the two of you as weak. Lindsay, I'll start with you... how did you react to such a claim?"
"I wasn't happy, that's for sure," Lindsay replied. "I know people looked at me and think, 'she's here just to be eye candy.' And I thought to myself, candy that tastes like an eye can't be good."
"Uh..." Geoff stuttered.
"I finished sixth on 'TDA,' but people here still didn't believe I could compete in all these Olympic Games. I had to show them that I was as good as anyone here!"
"Quick poll," Bridgette asked the others. "How many of you, the first time you saw Lindsay, thought that she didn't belong in this competition?"
Just more than half of the group raised their hand, including the entire 'Stoked' group, everyone from '6teen' except for Jude, as well as Heather and Courtney, both predictably.
"Nikki," Bridgette pointed her out. "Didn't think that way for long, did you?"
"Her bumping into me was hands down the best move she made in the entire game!" Nikki exclaimed.
The crowd went hysterical, unable to tell if Nikki's response was serious or not. Jen chuckled as she motioned Nikki to bend down so she could whisper something into her ear.
"Harold," Bridgette turned to the runner-up. "You two were thrown into the Elimination Challenge three times. Lindsay added a fourth the episode she went home in. Why do you think everyone thought it was fashionable to try and get rid of you two?"
"To be blunt, Bridgette, I think some of the guys were jealous because I was paired with Lindsay. And some of the girls just didn't like Lindsay at all."
Harold's first instinct was to look down to the end of the row... at Heather.
"Why are you looking at me?" Heather shouted. "Courtney was one of the ones who threw them into an Elimination Challenge, not me!"
"To be fair," Courtney answered, though she directed it at Harold and Lindsay, "I wanted to get rid of you because you really didn't belong here! You two, Olympic athletes? Yeah, right!"
"Funny thing, princess," Duncan interrupted. "The episode you threw them into the Elimination Challenge and survived, you got thrown in the very next week. And you got sent home!"
"That fall was an accident!" Courtney tried to cover her blunder.
"Speaking of blunders," Duncan growled as he turned his attention to Geoff and Bridgette, "all that crap about me throwing that challenge just because I didn't want to be around Courtney is complete bull! I just wasn't on my game that day."
"Whatever you say, bro," accepted Geoff, before turning away and rolling his eyes.
"Anyway," Bridgette got back on topic, "moving onto the alliance that you two would end up forming with Wyatt and Lo. Whose idea was that?"
"Mine," Lindsay raised her hand proudly.
"The... whole thing?"
"Actually, just decided to pick Wyatt and Lo," clarified Harold. "We thought about forming an alliance together, because we thought people wouldn't pick on us if we were with another team or two."
"Heather," Bridgette turned to her, "it wasn't long before you found out about the alliance. When you look back at the game... do you think picking Lo as the one to blackmail was the right decision?"
"I think so. I immediately picked up on the alliance as her chance to pretty much just breeze through the game without being threatened of getting sent home. There was no way I was going to allow that to happen."
"You two would end up butting heads quite a bit," noted Geoff. "What do you think about the fight that resulted in the producers thinking about possibly sending Lo home?"
"Plain and simple," replied Heather. "She should've gone home."
"Hey!" objected Lo, jumping out of her seat. "You provoked me!"
"So what? I'm not the one who wrestled me to the floor!"
"What?" Jonesy freaked out. "What episode was this, and how come I don't remember it?"
A few people laughed, but it quickly stopped when Gwen stood up to come to Lo's defense.
"You say that, and yet the producers did nothing the same day you found out about her alliance and then turned a rifle on me!"
"That's not the same thing!" argued Heather.
"Host dude did give her a warning," inputted Jude.
Gwen and Lo glared at Heather, and she glared back at them.
"Okay, everyone," Bridgette pleaded, "this isn't MTV. We can talk about this without resorting to petty violence."
"What are you talking about?" Geoff looked at her. "Everyone loves a good cat fight!"
A couple yells and whistles could be heard.
"Yeah, bring it on!" Jonesy and Reef yelled simultaneously.
The two of them then got stares from Nikki and Fin, respectively, and calmly sat back down.
"Trying to be the voice of peaceful reason here!" Bridgette said to her boyfriend.
"Fine," Geoff gave up.
Once Geoff backed down, the three girls also regained their composure and took their seats.
"Now..." picked up Bridgette, "anyone in the alliance can answer this, but did you believe in your wildest dreams that you would not only make it as far as you did, but be one day in which Lady Luck was on Reef's side away from making up the entire Final Four?"
"Never crossed my mind at all," Wyatt quickly confessed.
"I think if a few things fell their way," stated Harold, "which they almost did, yes. We were all very underrated. Lo in the skiing challenges, me in snowboarding, Wyatt in curling... we all did really well."
"Do you think you were helped by the favorites like Tyler, Courtney, Jonesy, Jen, Fin, and Jude all going out before the merge?" questioned Harold.
"Definitely," Wyatt answered, "and I know we were responsible for sending some of them home. A lot of them unexpectedly. I mean, no one would've expected Jen to get eliminated in Snowboard Cross, for example. But things happen."
"Probably would've helped if we had gotten rid of one more," Lo joked as she glanced at Reef. "No offense, Reef!"
Reef blew it off, taking the open jab with ease.
"We've gotta move on," Geoff spun his finger around, "and we'd be remiss if we didn't talk about Cody and Jen."
"Here we go," Jen rolled her eyes.
"Cody," Geoff looked at him first. "And be honest... bad decision to pick Jen as your partner instead of Gwen?"
Cody began to sweat, pulling at his collar. "Um... pass?"
The crowd laughed as both girls looked at him, surprised he didn't answer... or maybe glad he didn't.
"Alright then... Jen! Do you think Cody made a bad decision picking you instead of Gwen?"
"No, I think he made the right one."
"I think he was set on being paired up with someone he thought could take him to the end of the competition. Assuming there was some history between him and Courtney, and at the time I didn't know if there was any, he knew I finished 2nd, so he picked me."
"Did you know about the history between him and Gwen before he picked you?"
"Gwen," Geoff looked at her. "When he picked Jen, were you jealous?"
"Geoff!" Bridgette scoffed at him.
"Jealous?" Gwen pointed at Jen. "Of Jen? Well, duh!"
"You were jealous of Jen?" Trent looked at her.
"You were jealous of me?" Jen blinked in shock.
"Heck, yeah!" answered Gwen. "You're both athletic and intelligent! There's not many girls out there that can say that."
"Ahem," Courtney coughed.
"Okay, so there's Courtney..."
"Wait a minute," Cody interrupted as he looked at Geoff, "are you insinuating I picked Jen so I could make Gwen jealous?"
"No..." Geoff looked around, "but that sounds good, so let's go with that."
"Geoff," he heard Bridgette growl.
"It's like Jen said," explained Cody. "I wanted to be with the person who gave me the best chance of staying in the competition. And as much as I like Gwen... Jen was a better choice."
"I'm flattered," Gwen cooed, before doing a double-take, "I... think?"
"What about the falling out between you two?" Geoff asked the pair. "Jen, you weren't happy that Cody was keeping you two from winning challenges, then he find out, threw a fit, and then got himself hurt. You then blamed yourself for his injuries and almost quit the game. He almost quit because he thought his injuries would slow you down even more. Thoughts?"
"Be less blunt about it, why don't you?" Jen remarked sarcastically, glaring at him.
"Heh heh," Cody nervously chuckled as he put a hand on Jen's shoulder and got her to back down, "it's true that we had trouble getting on the same page athletically, but we figured things out and everything between us is cool!"
"Like, yeah..." Geoff snickered, "until she tried to block Harold and missed!"
"GEOFF!" yelled Bridgette.
"Okay, okay! Sheesh!"
"I thought you said Geoff was a cool guy," Jen whispered to Gwen.
"You hang around Chris enough," responded Gwen, "you change horribly."
"We're gonna take another quick break!" announced Bridgette. "We'll chat about Reef and Fin's trip to the Opening Ceremonies, and what events he picked to see with his VIP tickets!"
"Be right back, folks!" Geoff shouted.
(End Act Seven)
More audience applause as the TV viewers rejoin the show.
"You know whom we haven't heard from?" Bridgette asked to no one in general. "Johnny!"
"Who, me?" Johnny gasped, glad someone recognized he was there.
"So... someone told me you have a crush on Emma!"
Emma buried her face in her hands, and Johnny reached up and rubbed the back of his head.
"We kinda went on a date at last a few weeks ago..."
"And?" Bridgette gasped excitedly.
"That's it. We found out we weren't meant to be."
"Whoa. Um, Emma, your side of the..."
"I don't want to talk about it," she muffled through her hands.
The audience laughed. So did Geoff, but for another reason.
"Now that a question's blown up in Bridge's face for once," he stated as he looked at Fin, "I found someone we really can't ignore anymore. Fin!"
"If you're asking a question," she pointed at him, "maybe I should stay ignored."
"Oh, come on! It's a good question! See, upon winning the final challenge, Reef decided that he wanted you to accompany him to the Opening Ceremonies! How was that?"
"Now that you mention it, the Opening Ceremonies were great! So much pageantry, a great homage to our country, and... who could ever forget the Great One, carrying the torch through the streets of Vancouver! I'm not even much of a hockey fan and I found that incredible!"
"Reef, do you agree?"
"Certainly! My best part had to be Team Canada coming into the stadium. Man, did they represent our country well!"
"Indeed, my friend. Indeed."
Bridgette, having regained her composure after her last sequence of questions, picked up from there.
"So... we're all curious. What events did you see?"
"Men's Snowboard Cross was a must," Reef replied. "Loved doing it, and seeing it in action was as good as I had hoped. The men's 500 meters in Short Track Speed Skating... we got gold and bronze there. And, of course, I had to go to the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal game. Watched Canada beat USA in overtime! Great game! You had to be there to see the arena celebrate! It was awesome!"
"Great to hear!" Geoff exclaimed. "I have one question for everybody here, and that means you too, Bridge."
"What is it?" Bridgette asked.
"We all know the Summer Olympics are coming in two years, and they're being held in London! By show of hands... how many of you would be willing to repeat your experiences here in Vancouver for Summer Games events in London if you were invited?"
Geoff looked around and saw that Duncan, Nikki, Tyler, Jonesy, Courtney, Jen, Fin, Jude, Heather, Lindsay, Harold, Reef, and Bridgette all had their hands up. So, more than half the group.
"What about it, audience?" Geoff turned to the crowd. "If we're all still relevant in 2012, would you like to see these guys attempt some Summer Olympic sports?"
A majority of the crowd cheered in agreement, with a small scattering of nays and an even smaller population of silent non-deciders.
"Good to know."
"What about you, Geoff?" Bridgette asked him.
"Sure... if I get invited next time, I'd love to!"
"We're just about out of time here, so..."
Bridgette turned to Reef.
"As the winner of 'Fresh from Canada,' and as is this production company's tradition, you, Reef, get the last word!"
Reef smiled as he took advantage of it.
"I'm calling it now!" he shouted. "I, Reef, am the next Olympic gold medalist in Men's Snowboard Cross! The world better look out for the old Reefster!"
"Smooth," Fin said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.
"From all of us here in Vancouver," Geoff finished up, "thanks for coming, and good night!"
A final round of applause was heard from the crowd as they began to get out of their seats and head for the exit. Geoff and the entire cast are seen also seen getting up and they started mingling amongst themselves.
The camera pulls away one last time, then fades to black.
'Fresh from Canada' End
(Final Author's Notes):
Thanks to all of you who have stuck around for the journey and read this fanfic from beginning to end! A winner has been declared... agree or disagree? Sound off in the reviews!
Keep an eye out in August for the full release of this story on my website, Freedom Fighter's Library! The release will include extras such as character profiles, a 'what if' section, and maybe more that I have yet to decide on! Watch my profile page for more details in the coming weeks!
With this, 'Fresh from Canada' becomes the first reality series that I have completed since 'Mystery Solvers' way back in... you know, I don't really remember. It's been that, that, that long, for sure. Short of a possible Summer Olympics edition of this in 2012, if I'm still writing fanfics at that point, I don't have any immediate plans to feature any Fresh TV characters in another reality series. I guess if the right idea came along, maybe...
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the fic! Good night, everyone!