Bagging the hosting job for Pinoy Fear Factor was totally unexpected, according to Ryan Agoncillo. Last Friday, August 1, the actor-host confessed how he emerged from the audition room a few months back feeling disheartened.
"Depressed ako pagtapos ng audition. Kasi ang natatandaan ko, paglabas na paglabas ko nung audition, tinawagan ko ‘yong manager ko, si Noel [Ferrer], sabi ko nga ‘I just lost the job,'" narrated Ryan.
Ryan admitted feeling rusty after months of inactivity as a host. His last TV hosting was two years ago in the maiden season of Philippine Idol, which at the time was still with ABC-5.
"Kasi unang-una, iba ‘yong Tagalog na conversation, iba ‘yong Tagalog ‘pag TV. So ‘yong panahon na ‘yon, rusty'ng-rusty ‘yong TV Tagalog ko and I found myself translating. And I didn't know what kind of hosting I really wanted to show kasi pagdating ko dun, ‘yong nagbukas ng ilaw, nung kinausap na ako nung audition master, doon na ko kinabahan na, 'Teka nga ba, ano nga ba?'"
Ryan is an avid viewer of the U.S. version of Fear Factor. Knowing that he was vying to be the local counterpart of American host Joe Rogan added extra pressure on his shoulders. The condition during the audition was also different, compared to his experience in Philippine Idol.
"When I auditioned for Philippine Idol, I didn't have time to have those thoughts, hindi ako kinabahan kasi wala akong time kabahan. E, ito, naghintay ako ng mga 30 minutes habang sine-set up 'tapos dalawang oras ‘yong audition, so mahaba. So all of these thoughts were in my head na I felt that I totally screwed up."
The audition as a host was less extreme as compared to the contestants, although Ryan also went through minor tests just to give him a feel of the show's concept.
Explained Ryan, "Kasi ang alam ko, the contestants were subjected to stunts. Ang akin, ang audition ko, which took about two hours, consisted of doing spiels and how I handle the simple stunts, so, naka-encounter din ako ng mga daga, ng mga centipede and those big...‘yong bundok cockroach. ‘Yan ‘yong mga naka-engkuwentro ko habang nag-i-spiel ako, e, ginagapangan ako ng mga insekto. ‘Yon lang ‘yong extent nung sa akin, kasi ‘yong sa contestants mas grabe."
ON THEIR OWN. Despite nursing some doubts, Ryan was able to impress the audition master and the people behind Endemol, the Netherlands-based production outfit that owns Fear Factor's franchise.
Ryan, along with the contestants and production team, will fly to Buenos Aires for over a month to tape all the episodes. ABS-CBN hopes to launch the show this coming September.
"One month ‘yong actual contest period, pero we'll have a few days before that pa, e, na immersion pa," mentioned Ryan, who lost a considerable amount of weight through his frequent jogging.
The possibility of fiancée Judy Ann Santos visiting him while in South America is remote, mainly because of distance and time constraints.
"I doubt it," replied Ryan, "not with her schedule and the amount of time that it takes to get to Argentina."
Based on the couple's computation: "Even if she takes a week off from work, travel to Argentina takes two days and travel back is two days so that leaves her with three solid days to stay in Argentina, which I don't think really is worth the hassle."
There's no need for Juday to feel restless as Ryan said he's there only to work. "Napagdaanan na namin ‘yang mga ganyang thoughts nung first year of the relationship," he quipped, pertaining to petty issues like jealousy, a common problem encountered by young couples. "Iba na ‘yong concerns namin."
WEDDING PLANS. Now that they are officially engaged, the public is now raring to know the couple's exact wedding date.
"Definitely, it's not going to happen this year. I mean, siyempre ako, gusto ko next year, e, hindi naman namin alam kung ano ‘yong mga trabaho namin. We don't know if next year. ‘Yong bahay 'yong kailangan, ‘yon yung definite na either masimulan this year or matapos by this year."
They're still in the afterglow of their engagement and both are cautious not to discuss the next giant step.
Looking pensive, Ryan said, "Sa totoo lang, hindi pa namin napag-uusapan dahil we got engaged nitong May lang. We left for Europe and then for the States again. Kumbaga, the dust hasn't settled so hindi pa kami bumabalik sa normal routine namin, and ito nga, I'm leaving for Argentina.
"Ang fear namin kasi pag-usapan habang nakabakasyon kami. Kung ano man ‘yong mapag-usapan namin doon, baka produkto lang ‘yon ng pag-i-enjoy namin at hindi totoo. Pero pagkabumalik na kami dito sa Pilipinas, na normal day-in day-out na ‘yong trabaho namin and we actually decide within those parameters and conditions, ‘yon ‘yong totoong desisyon, e. ‘ Yon ‘yong totoong usapan na matino. So probably when we get back sa September, 'tsaka lang din namin mapag-uusapan 'yong specifics."
Some people are skeptical about long engagements but Ryan remains unfazed, saying, "It really depends on the couple and not the amount of time you spend engaged together."
Even the emphasis on the so-called "financial readiness" doesn't hold much water according to Ryan. He stressed that marriage all boils down to the couple's attitude and willingness to uphold the vow they make before God.
"Ako, 'yong stand ko kasi diyan sa financial readiness, is 10-million pesos enough, is 100-million enough, is 1-billion enough? We never know. We have these billionaires having problems with their marriage din, di ba? So, there's never really financial readiness and really, it's more [on] the couple's readiness to commit," stressed Ryan in closing.