Here's your weekly dose of "Top Gear is doomed" news.
If the kindergarten game "telephone" taught anyone anything it's that messages that get passed around can't be trusted because somewhere along the line they get misconstrued. However, even if the original message is lost sometimes you can still get the gist of it, or at least its general tone. It looks like the general consensus on the new "Top Gear" is a negative one, but we sure hope it's just a case of news getting misconstrued as it's passed down to writers by anonymous sources.
Recently the show shot its first episode, and if the news coming out of that shoot is any indicator (and if it's true) then the BBC could be in trouble. An anonymous source told UK news outlet The Independent that during the taping audience members began to walk out before the shoot was up. To be fair Evans promised the shoot would end by 4:00 P.M., which it didn't. Instead it continued into the evening. But those who stayed were treated to a tough first run, as The Independent's source says that Evans and co-host Matt LeBlanc repeatedly flubbed lines, with the head honcho having a particularly tough time introducing the Stig. How hard can that introduction be?
As if that wasn't bad enough another report mentioned how a disheveled Evans even cursed at the audience for folding their arms and looking like they were bored. In the interest of giving the hosts of the new show the benefit of the doubt, we should note that Evans is probably under huge pressure because gearheads around the world are collectively placing the weight of Jeremy Clarkson's crown on his head. And besides, it's being reported that Evans was much more relaxed when interviewing celebrity guests Gordon Ramsay and Jesse Eisenberg. (Brad Pitt reportedly canceled last minute.) But we have to say that we disagree with Evan's choice to end the show with Clarkson's famous "and on that bombshell it's time to end!" line.
Matt LeBlanc also spilled some disappointing secrets about the magic that happens behind the scenes. He recently told reporters at The Sun that he and Evans use stunt drivers for some of the trickier shoots. LeBlanc said, "I'm not going to pretend I do all my own stunts. "I do as much as I'm comfortable with. When it gets really crazy, I have a stunt driver. That's no secret." Clarkson, May, and Hammond may have used stunt drivers in the past, but accidents like Hammond's 250-mph dragster crash prove that the old trio had the guts to get behind the wheel for some pretty crazy shoots. In no way do we want a medieval joust where the hosts entertaining us are in constant danger.
But there is a certain appeal to the notion that the old show was about three badass Brits who really loved cars and were up for anything. Whether the new show ends up being authentic or not is up in the air. We'll wait to pass judgement (telephone game, remember) until we see the first episode for ourselves when it airs on May 29th.